Fixing Tesla Model 3 Ride Quality – Before & After TEST

Fixing Tesla Model 3 Ride Quality – Before & After TEST


– Good morning, how are you? I hope you’re good. Today’s video features
very attractive cars. If you’re not into that, catch me at the next one. There’s also data so you know, we have that thing. Let’s go hop in the car though and go for a ride. (upbeat music) Alright guys, so I’m here at
Unplugged Performance in L.A. and we’re going to lower Tez, my Model 3 by an inch and a half. And these new springs they have are also designed to be a better ride so we’re gonna do a little test to see if they’re actually smoother than the original springs that
come with the Tesla Model 3. And the way I’m gonna do that, my friend Eric did this
with air suspension on his Model S, I believe, and there’s an app on my
phone called VibSensor which detects all the
movement and everything. So I’m gonna put this
on the mount in my car, go for a drive before
we do the new springs, and then go for the same drive afterwards to see what the difference is. And I’ll share that with you guys and we’ll actually dig
into some of the data. Stay tuned. (upbeat music) Alright guys, so I just
went around the parking lot, actually did it twice because
somebody got in my way and all that. Hopefully that was a really
tiny little sample data. I also got some on the way
up here on the freeway, we’ll get some on the way back but now it’s time to go
for a bit longer of a route and I’m gonna really
try and control my speed so that way it’s the same each time. Here what we’ll do is we’ll
go over some train tracks, we’ll make some turns and all that and I’ll put the data in then we’ll do it again after
we get the new springs on. Let’s go. (upbeat music) Second test, same route, still have the old
suspension, the factory stock, gonna put the Go Pro on
the outside this time and get the tire and
actually see if we can tell how it vibrates and all those things and also change the
frequency setting to low for my data recording because I think it’s gonna
give me more accurate readings. The high frequency one
seems to be way too noisy to try to parse what
the actual difference is in the vibrations in all of them. So, here we go, take two. (upbeat music) Alright guys, so here it is. We just got it lowered, I haven’t done the test yet but I’m gonna go turn up the
data collection tool I have and the other cameras and everything, we’re gonna go for that. But just take a look at this, look at how sick this is now with the 20 inch wheels
from EV Wheel Direct and the lowering kit from here in L.A. at Unplugged Performance. I’ll have a link to this
down in the description below as well as, they’re
going to be giving away a free set of these springs
to lower your Model 3. – Oh, Snap! – So make sure to go sign up for that down in the description below. There’s a link there and you
sign up for their email list and you get entered to win a free set of these lowering
springs for your Model 3. So take a look. (upbeat music) So I’m in the car firing up VibSensor. Okay, good to go. Gonna fire this guy up
when we get over there and then I’ll try to maintain
my speed and everything. Let’s do this. (upbeat music) Alright guys, so I just
finished the second test. It feels smooth, it feels
much softer than it did before so I think it’s a win and obviously the looks are
just a thousand times better. That big gap before really felt
odd with the 20 inch wheels. So definitely liking that I’ve even seen some other
cars they’ve done here that don’t have 20 inch wheels, they have the sport wheels and it looks also a lot better. So I think this is the sweet spot here of an inch and a half
lower than it was before which gives it enough clearance to where you don’t really need
to worry about it too much but it also gives it a better ride, a little bit better aerodynamics and the springs themselves
are a bit more advanced. I’ll put details in the
description down below. Now let’s go take a look at the data and see what it has to say. So when we look at the just
basic vibration analysis in the time domain, what you essentially have is
a sampling of the frequency and this is converted into hertz. So they actually take a sample
and there’s a specific way that VibSensor does
this but they convert it into a measure called hertz. And I won’t get into all the details of how this actually works but I do wanna call out one
type of chart in particular and this is the Power Spectral Density because this is the one I’m
using for my analysis here. Now, this has to deal with
how it’s actually done when a lot of engineers are
measuring vibrations of things like aircrafts or car engines, et cetera. So you can kind of see
that it helps normalize the vibrations against time so that way you can compare them which is essentially what we did here. I took the two different tests and used this chart based on the frequency to see them side by side and see what kind of
trends they’re giving us. So when we do that, the frequency
analysis of the two trips I took show a pretty different story here. On the before, you can see that the Z axis which is calculated using
a very specific mean but it is essentially
the up and down motion instead of the X and Y,
this is the third dimension, it is pretty high. It kind of goes up as the
frequency is in the lower range and then it drops back down and the after, the second trip, this is after
I had updated the springs, is quite a bit lower. So, overall, here’s what
those trends look like next to each other. So it’s pretty obvious that
the new set of suspension that I got on my Model 3 had an impact. That led me to the question of well, how much of an impact? So what I did is i looked at
the overall average vibration, that Z score that I got in the
app for the different trips and I could see that the after, the second time I did
it on the same route, the same day, in fact,
with the exact same car, wheels, and all those things, it was almost 20% lower. Meaning there was 20% less bumpy and it was noticeable
when I was in the car. So to me, this data tells a real story and I love that my perception
that I felt in the car actually matches up with
what the data shows. Now, of course there are more
scientific and better ways, I am not an engineer
that works on suspension so there are obviously different
and more controlled ways of testing this. But here is some real
world data that I took in addition to the kind
of qualitative feel that I got just from driving it around. So I’m interested what
you guys think about this. Leave me a comment down below and I may follow up on it to see some of the other benefits such as the dual mode
aspect of these new springs which actually harden up a little bit and give you better
handling as you corner. This test was merely about vibration and the overall comfort of the ride. So I hope you guys liked this video, stay tuned for more like this coming up and don’t forget, when you free the data, your mind will follow. See you back here next time.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. Please post vibSensor results for the same course with your Model S, and if possible a non-Tesla for comparison. I have a 2013 Volt, but have the Model 3 on preorder. Thank you!

  2. Awesome…I don't have a Model 3 but this seems to be a must do modification for the car. Looks great and as you have concluded…makes a significant difference in the ride quality of the vehicle. If I do get a Model 3 at some point I will do the same. Really enjoy 'Teslanomics'.

  3. you should do the test again after 300 miles, so that your new springs have time to actually break in and give you more accurate results.

  4. Good info – I would have placed your phone on the floor. You're probably getting a lot of load attenuation through the dash and phone mount. Good results though

  5. Good, back on point with data related content and not American style whining about shit being 2 degrees to the right of your direct eyesight.

  6. that looks so much better. i'd throw some spacers also to get rid of the sunken look, but that's just me.

  7. for me id have to go atleast 2 more inches lower. i dont care so much about the ride. im willing to sacrifice ride for cool factor

  8. Awesome improvement. So simple. Please forward this to the Tesla design team, to see if they would consider offering something like what the shop did (better lower springs and sport wheels) as an option. Sometimes "the tail wags the dog." 🙂

  9. I'm trying to figure out if you simply got back the height of the rim by changing the springs.
    Did adding the new wheels add to the ground clearance of the car or was the rim diameter offset by a shorter tire wall?

  10. Back in my "fast and furious" I had lowered a tuner SiR Civic. After lowering I noticed my wheels started to angle outward. A Camber kit eventually solved the problem, a set of tires burned out on inside later and horrible traction developed over time. Wondering if you were aware of such issues with lowering and if your installers brought this to your attention. Maybe this "slight" lowering will have no affect.

  11. Super cool! One question came to mind when you showed the 20% decrease slide: can you get data on what % of variance in vibration on average you see between different rides? Or did you already account for that by doing multiple rides and using some average data when you presented your findings? Keep up the great work! Loving my Model 3 so far up here in Seattle.

  12. So the 20" wheels from EV wheels direct you already had on the car, and just changed the springs and  kept the factory shocks?

  13. I would be interested in how this affects traction while stopping or cornering over a bumpy surface. Typically, springs that give a softer ride will bounce more and lower traction.

  14. Great vid, Ben. Wanted to know about how this might affect the factory warranty? Have 2 M3s on order & 1 week before my delivery estimator window opened, I got the email saying it was shifted… only a month though. I’m in Phoenix.

  15. ~ $350 bucks for what looks like a decent mod is great. only question I have is can a decently mechanically incline person do the swap in their garage?

  16. Wouldn't you'd be better off just sticking to the aero wheels? Thicker sidewall, smoother ride, and a couple grand extra on your pocket.

  17. interesting but didn't the 20 inch wheels make the ride much more firm than stock size?  why not just stick with the 18 inch wheel and avoid all the mods?

  18. There is a retrofit available for early Model 3’s. They switched the production line over to softer front dampers and front+rear springs at ~VIN 2400. Likely has a similar result minus the lowering.

  19. Ben, does it also lower the total clearance height at the front bumper? 1.5" lowered stance looks great but I guess it will also lower entire vehicle so it will increase chance of scratching the front lip.

  20. You should have done this test in a neighborhood with many speed bumps. The really big ones. Like an off road test. See how fast you can go before bottoming out. 😉

  21. Must be nice to live in California and be able to make these changes. I live near Pittsburgh and would end up stuck in a pothole. LOL.

  22. Hi my name is Marcus. I watch u on YouTube every Monday in I donate 5 dollars most of the time for the show because I love it. But I need some help I purchased some bitcoin a year ago in I have no ideal what I need to do with it can u help me please?

  23. Ok Ben, this is great and I love the look so well done but…. what if you're living in south Devon in the UK and there are a lot of country lanes with pot holes you can literally get lost in? lol

  24. Ben – it's quite possible to lower the car AND make it ride better. The tradeoff is that you have substantially reduced resistance to the suspension bottoming out and creating very large forces on the car – both on the battery and the frame. The stock springs and ride height are set to deal with a wide range of road and driving conditions. Now I'm a fan of the LOOK, and I've lowered my own cars before. But the combination of losing 1.5 inches of ride height and the reduced resistance to suspension bottoming of the softer springs are a recipe for substantial damage if you happen to hit a pothole or large(r) bump at any significant speed.

    I think what you did is right on point – as long as you drive on smooth roads without notable road hazards. Otherwise – it is possible it carries substantial risk. I don't know what the repair is for damage to the battery compartment, which is a structural part of the car.

  25. I posted to Ben in a reply below – but on many cars that have forward collision avoidance and emergency braking, the sensor systems could be affected by changing the ride height and/or the front/back ride balance. We lowered my wife's Audi and because we didn't lower the front and back equally, the forward looking radar was affected. We didn't get any warnings or anything, we just knew from an online forum that the system needed to be checked and re-calibrated.

    So unless you know all of the car's systems, it can be hard to predict if the changes you made are safe and good all around.

  26. Two things. First. There is zero doubt that less wheel well showing just looks better. Second. All the data you collect is awesome–as usual–but as you mentioned it was nice to have your a$$ confirm that data as this is one of the rare instances where subjective data might actually trump engineering data.

  27. What is the over all affects on range for the car with larger wheels and lower suspension? Less – same – more range?

  28. If I somehow got rich in the next year or so (unlikely), I'd go ahead and put your softest springs on which only lower the car 0.7".  That would be a good compromise for me.  I like softer rides.

  29. The wheels are installed the wrong way, left and right rims should be swapped from how they are now. Aerodynamic shape only gives you benefit it you install these "turbines" the other was around. As you installed them, they will only add more friction.

  30. Ah okay, after watching this once more I see now – you've got 4 left wheels man. Right and left wheels should not be the same, in your case they gave you 4 left wheels, this is why turbines look messed up, but only on a right side.

  31. Tesla is now installing softer coils in new builds…I had them replace my early 3 with the newer suspension and the ride quality is significantly improved (still not as good as the S/X) but still much better. They also replaced the power inverter (no more high pitch noise) and I got a new charge port (even though my old one didn't have any issues).

  32. Ben,
    As the 20" Sport wheel/tire package is now on Tesla website (3/21/18), i see they also come with 2 x rear upper fore links. What parts are those referring to and how they compare to what you did? Curious as to what kind of upgrade you think were needed for the 20" wheels that you have and if you have had any rubbing issues etc with your wheels. Maybe you can reach out to the people who put them on your car and ask them for their opinions. I want 20" wheels but see this now on teslas site and wonder if they are needed for safety or performance purposes?

  33. Interesting. But here in Colorado ground clearance is precious. The stock 3 is borderline; I wouldn't want to lower it.

  34. Anyone try installing lowering springs on the Model 3 themselves? I have done a few myself on other types of cars. But never on a double wishbone suspension on the front and mult-link suspension for the rear like what the Model 3 has.

  35. Do you know if unplugged performance has done anything like this comparing their mild and moderate springs?

  36. My main concern about lowering is damaging the battery when it rains or the the streets being slightly flooded. I have read a few stories of Batteries getting damaged because of the battery being submerged slightly in a puddle during a drive. I do not know if this is risky of lowering your vehicle.

  37. Hi ben,did you discuss this with tesla? Any warranty loss?did you gain battery miles?? Which rim in which size is that you ride? -thank you for all your effort!

  38. Hi Ben, thanks for all your great videos. Can you please do a followup video to give detailed feedback about living with the moderate lowering springs for 6 months. Many people on the model 3 forums are searching for this feedback and would greatly appreciate a review. Thanks!

  39. In the UK if you change any original car specs and don't tell your insurance company, if you have an accident the Insurance company has the right not pay out for any damages done!!!!! Hope this is not the same in USA?? I thought the car looked better with the lower suspension and bigger wheels.

  40. I test drove in late December 2018 so I can't imagine how much stiffer and bumpy the earlier ones would be.

    From a scale of 1-10 soft ride to stiff, I would rate the ride as:
    2017 Toyota Camry =5 (as a reference point).
    2018 Mercedes S450 =10
    2017 Cadillac CTS-V =8
    2018 Mercedes E450 =8
    2018 Lexus LS450 =7
    2018 Lexus ES350 =7
    My 2014 Toyota Highlander =6
    My 2008 Scion xB=4
    2018 Jaguar iPace=4
    My 2017 Corvette Stingray =3
    2017 Porsche 911 Carrera S =3
    2019 Alfa Romeo Giulla quadrafoglio=3
    2017 Porsche Cayman=1

    2018 Tesla Model 3 =2

  41. Hey Ben, Thanks for the video. I was wondering if you had a chance to check Mountain Pass Performance too? and why you decided to go with Unplugged Performance? just trying to decide. Gracias!!!

  42. Tesla Model 3 arrived in Europe this month and the suspension seems lower, without the big gap over the rear wheels. Has Tesla improved this issue?

  43. Hello, Heard you raised your model 3 later on
    I have a model performance live in Michigan pot hole city so on the fence if I should do the lowering or not any advice ?

  44. If you are living in a bumpy city, none of these will help. I just canceled my Tesla for the poor shock absorption and ride quality.

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