Following our extremely popular shim adjustable front upper control arm for the Model 3, we’re proud to announce our Front Upper Control Arm for the Model S (2021+) and Model S Plaid. This arm carries over the best features of our Model 3 arm, including shim adjustment, sealed spherical bearings, and OEM style balljoints – but it also goes further.
Included with the kit are adjustable brackets for the front and shims for the rear, allowing air ride height adjustment up to 35mm lower than factory. The front adjuster is infinitely adjustable and laser etched to offer precise setpoints. The rear adjuster uses shims and is adjustable in 0.5mm increments – which are within the deadband of the OEM air suspension’s height adjustment.
While it would have been easy to put some open spherical bearings on the inboard end, we opted to keep OEM sealed bearings and ball joints throughout to ensure that these arms would endure the test of time, and not leave your silent Model S squeaking and creaking over every bump a few years down the road. These OE sealed spherical bearings and ball joints come from high-end European cars, and these joints are designed to last for tens if not hundreds of thousands of miles without degradation.
As with our Model 3 FUCA, we spent extensive time both 3d modeling and testing in real life to ensure that the FUCA could cover the entire travel and steering range that the vehicle may operate under. That included removing the OEM dampers and sweeping the arms throughout the entire travel range and steering range, to ensure contact would not occur. Be wary of any vendors who are producing parts who do not have a vehicle to do these kinds of thorough tests on.
The camber adjustment mechanism uses shims – making camber settings infinitely repeatable. This is a huge advantage as it offers the end-user or the alignment shop the ability to drop in shims for a “track” alignment and then set it back to stock in a matter of minutes. Our detailed instructions will indicate roughly how much to turn the tie rod to match up with a shim change, allowing shops or end-users to quickly adjust between track and street front alignments.
We have a video coming soon that shows just how quickly a camber adjustment can be made (we’re talking about less than one minute per side to make a change, the wheel doesn’t even need to come off!). We have even prepared matching toe adjustments for various camber shim stacks. Say you want a street alignment with -1.2 degrees of camber, but want to turn it up to -3.0 degrees when you get to the track.
No problem. Just take out the shims in the camber arm, turn the tie rod the exact number of turns specified in our instructions, and the toe will be within 1mm of where it was prior to the camber adjustment. When it’s time to go home, simply pop the shims back in and set the tie rods back. We’re talking about a few minutes per side to do this!
We went a step further with value-added features such as the ability to also adjust the ride height. This means that we’re able to save you money by no longer requiring lowering links to adjust your ride height. Even if lowering links are used, by offsetting the mounting position, the links can be set to close to the OEM length which helps keep them calibrated over a large ride height range. In addition, mounting provisions are provided for the OEM wheel speed sensor wiring, so the arms are truly plug and play!
The image below does not have laser engraving on the ride height mount – production ride height brackets will be laser engraved to ease adjustment.
How much camber can you get with these arms? Depending on ride height and the position of the lower eccentric, you can achieve close to 3 degrees of camber. It was simply not possible to add more camber than that due to geometry constraints. Shims can also be added to lengthen the arm beyond the OEM length for those that want to reduce camber.
Lap time improvements thanks to the front upper control arm are massive (well over 1 second per lap, closer to 3 seconds per lap on larger tracks). The Model S – just like most production cars – do not have nearly enough front camber, nor do they gain very much camber in roll. The end result is driving on the sidewall – there’s no grip out there! Adding camber also allows the fitment of wider tires. In our particular case, we have fit 315mm tires on 11.5″ wheels within the confines of the OEM bodywork. With such a large and heavy car, having the largest front tire possible is so important to help improve the cornering and dynamics of the vehicle.
- (2) Front Upper Control Arms, balljoint carriers, and hardware
- (4) 8mm Shims
- (2) 4mm Shims
- (2) 2mm Shims
- Front ride height sensor bracket and hardware
- Rear shims for rear ride height adjustment and hardware