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 less than direct feeling through the steering wheel, and a wallowing or wiggle as the car “takes a set” upon entering a corner. But 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 in the front suspension, which reduces total front grip.
That’s not even the worst part! The OE Tesla Model 3 lower control arms have a known tendency to come loose after aggressive track driving with high grip tires. In fact, the bolts totally backed themselves out on us during our Laguna Seca Time Attack event, and frankly we were lucky that the arm stayed on at all. The last half of the lap was completed with the bolts literally being held in place by the factory plastic undertray. This happened despite torquing the bolts higher than the factory spec and having checked them on the first day of the event. You can read more about this here, and we recommend you continually check these bolts if you’re tracking your car.
Our Tesla Model 3 bearings aim to reduce the occurrence of these bolts backing out by offering a secondary load path for the lateral motion of the arm. Using dowel holes in the arm and matching dowels in the cross member, the bolts can do their job of clamping, and the dowels can carry any lateral load.
The result? A super direct, laser-sharp turn in and no more wallow on taking a set, and no more wiggle or indirect feeling mid-corner – and more overall front grip! This is MPP’s Solid Front Lower Control Arm Bearings for Tesla Model 3 & Model Y!
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 3 (or Model Y).
Installation is straight forward, but requires access to a press. All that is required is to remove your lower control arm, press out the OE bushing (we offer press tools as an option), press in the MPP bearing and re-install, along with dowel pins.
NOTE: You know your OE front lower control arm is coming loose if you hear a loud clunk during aggressive braking. The sound comes from the arm moving outwards from braking (the force of the wheel wanting to move back pulls the arm outwards, pivoting around the rear compression bushing). When entering a corner, if the bolts are loose, the outside arm will then be pushed inwards from the cornering force. If you hear your car doing this, check please those bolts! Due to the dowels used with our kit, this will no-longer occur, however you should routinely re-check these bolts.
CLICK HERE For Installation Instructions
Installing these bushings made for an immediate change to the steering feel on the Model 3, increasing feedback from the road and allowing for a more connected driving experience with improved precision. I absolutely recommend purchasing these with the installation tools, as they are huge bushings and it is unlikely you will have some properly sized tools laying around. The dowels fit into the subframe perfectly, and it is nice to know I will no longer have “slop” between the bolt and the body or have to worry about a bolt falling out! Removing the old bushings and installing the new ones was fairly easy with the help of a 12T shop press. The whole process took about 1.5 hours. Highly recommended to tighten up the front end of the Model 3.
This has easily been the best modification I’ve done to my car. The unsteady feeling mid-corner (like you’re being pulled off the road, you know the one) is completely gone! The car simply settles in, rock solid through the entire corner.
Need to tighten your line in a decreasing radius corner? Not an issue! Just point the nose and the car goes!
As always, the best part is MPP’s customer service! Thanks, Jesse!
Daniel Wang –
I just had these LCA bushings installed even though my car had only 10k miles on it. The stock bushings are soft and don’t provide much feed back in the steering response of the car. After installing these solid bushings, the car goes where I point it to go. I did run into one issue that MPP described in the installation process and by no means is it MPP’s fault. I have a 2018 P3D and the LCA bolt that attaches to the subframe screws into a welded nut. Well unbeknownst to me, Tesla did not center the nut and I could not use the sleeve to make up some of the slack in the bolt hole. While it is not required to use the sleeves, it would have been nice to use the supplied sleeves.
Other than that the bushings are a great improvement over the stock bushings. I did not buy the bushing press tools, but in retrospect, it would have helped out with the installation process.
These were among the last of the MPP suspension upgrades that I completed. What a finishing move too.! Laser precision is the best description I can offer for the improvement. First indication was the immediate response with a quick little steering input. The front suspension also comes a little more alive too, which is most evident to me while cornering under load while encountering a bump or undulation. One of my local shops wasn’t comfortable pressing the OEM bushings out for me, understandable I guess. So given some COVID downtime I figured I’d give it a whirl. MasterC17 is right-on about the 12ton press. Heck for just about shop rate labor cost an H-frame 12-ton on Amazon does the job nicely. I can +1 on the advice to include the press tools. Those made it a breeze.! Tips I can offer are to cleanup the mounting surfaces on the sub-frame and I found the 1st 1/8 inch of the holes where some cleanup was needed. Seemed like slag from welding or paint. I just cleaned that up and those dowels fit perfectly.! Thanks MPP for your endless enthusiasm for Teslas. Can’t wait to see what comes next.!
Eric Wai –
Had these LCA bushings installed alongside the master cylinder brace and boy do the two parts make for an IMMENSE upgrade to the vehicle’s steering and braking responsiveness. I will save my thoughts on the brace for my review on the corresponding product page.
Gone is the vehicle’s reluctance and unsteadiness when cornering – everything is now crisp and sharp, the car simply goes where I direct it and I cannot ask for more.
Thank you Sasha and Jesse for the attention you have given the Model 3 platform. I cannot wait to see what you guys come up with next.
I paired these with Sports coilovers (and brake brace) and I am glad I bought these as a “bonus” piece.
Almost all the dead zone/floatiness/weightlessness the Model 3 experiences at medium to high speed is gone. I think there is still a TINY bit left. But steering feel is so direct. I had a friend drive my car and he instantly remarked on the great steering feel.
The difference in feel is dramatic. Initial turn in is instant and had good feedback. No more waiting for the bushing to compress before you find out how much turn-in you have on the road.
The installation instructions are thorough and demonstrate extensive real-world experience and care about the end result.
If you care about steering feel in a sports car context I cannot commend these to you highly enough, even if you don’t push the limits of the car at all.
After skid plate, this was one of the first upgrades, especially if you want to go on the circuit. It gives you more confidence behind the wheel.
I bought a complete kit with a pressing tool, the installation was simple and straightforward.
Larry Butkovich –
Just installed yesterday. Noticeable improvement in steering feedback.
I uploaded a video of my installation to YouTube (https://youtu.be/cz-lKLE3mTo).
Worth the price and a great first mod. I hope to install more of the suspension mods soon!
Bought this for my MYP, very pleased with the difference in feedback. Highly recommended.
Was one of my favorite mods, as it reduced a lot of the front end sloppy-ness that was there. In addition, while taking the turns, the car seemed to have much better front end grip than before, since there is no toe or camber deflection that happens due to the solid bushings. Taking turns actually became more fun again, since the front end feels razor sharp now. I wish I had done this sooner.
I AutoX and run HPDEs and coupled Camber, Toe and Front Upper Control Arms to dial in alignment. Well made, easy to adjust and hold positions well. Definitely the main game in Tesla performance modifications. I added these before the last AutoX of the season and could absolutely feel the difference at the limit. Plus, my factory bushings were starting to tear in a few places (4x AutX events and two days on the track), so I consider these preventative maintenance anyways.
Rudolph Xu –
best bushing upgrade, worth every penny! You can feel this the most when the car is under high lateral load. The difference is night and day compared to the stock component. Noise and durability is fantastic too.