The Model S Plaid suffers from a numb front end, and it’s one of the things that really take away from the driving enjoyment of the car. Our solid front lower bearings for Model S Plaid are a major fix for that. The lower control arm bearings for the Model 3 have been one of our most popular products, and we have no doubt these bearings will be even more popular – as they really help to liven up the front of the Model S.
Possibly the most significant bushing replacement on the entire car, the front lower control arm bushing moves laterally significantly when cornering. This results in a mushy feeling through the steering wheel, and a wallowing or wiggle as the car “takes a set” upon entering a corner.
It gets worse! As the outside wheel and tire carry most of the cornering load, this outside bushing deflects more than the inside bushing. This results in a change of toe and camber loss, which reduces total front grip.
The tension rod bearing has a nearly equal significance, as this bearing affects the car’s stability under braking, as well as contributing to the camber and toe compliance. The good news for Model S owners is that this arm is in the opposite direction of the Model 3, which means a solid bearing can be installed here without the same NVH compromise that is experienced with the 3.
We’ve kitted both of these bearings together into one product for that reason. Both bearings can use the same press tool, and since an alignment is required doing both bearings at once is the most efficient and cost-effective option.
The upgrade is significant, and when used in conjunction with our front upper control arm, there is zero rubber in the front suspension. That results in a much sharper and more direct steering feel, as well as total confidence and a connection to the front end of the car during cornering.
It should be mentioned however that even after this upgrade the steering feel will not match that of a Model 3. Due to the car having a slower steering rack, it’s just not possible to match the 3. It’s something we thought we should put here on the product page to manage expectations.
The MPP Difference:
At Mountain Pass Performance we aim to do things the best way possible, at a cost that is competitive with even the offshore-made products. The bearings we use in this application are German-made, by an OE supplier. They will outlast anything else on the market. The housings are cut from 6061-T6 billet and anodized in our signature MPP electric blue.
As you’d expect, these parts have been tested exhaustively – running through about 10 different track days over the course of a few months, including competing and nearly winning at One Lap of America in the TeamPGR Plaid. You can read all about that here. As with all MPP products, we fully stand behind what we sell, and offer a 3-year warranty on this kit along with industry-leading support and turnaround time if you should ever have an issue.
This kit is a complete bushing replacement, using a sealed spherical bearing (similar to the ones used on our other arms). These replacements have all of the benefits of a spherical bearing, with none of the drawbacks.
This bearing is a MUST HAVE if you’re going to the track with your Model S Plaid, or if you enjoy spirited driving and want the car to have more of that tight European sports sedan feel.
This kit includes the following:
- 2x Spherical bearings for the front lower control arms
- 2x Spherical bearings for the front tension arms
Installation is straightforward but requires access to a press. All that is required is to remove the four lower control arms, press out the OE bushing (we will be offering press tools very shortly), press in the MPP bearings, and re-install. Note that an alignment will be required.