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Tesla Driveline Vibration issues and fixes. “Aim before firing”

Tesla premature tire and half shaft repair fund

If you have ever owned a Tesla model S or X of the first generation 2012-2020 you will experience and expensive fix in your future. At some point you will need front half shafts. (CV Joints). The symptom is the front of the car shaking violently under heavy throttle. Typically the car drives fine at normal loads but with heavy throttle the vibration appears. This is inevitably the front half shafts wearing and wobbling out of round due to the high torque loads. Yes, there is a service bulletin and yes there are new parts, but there are still issues.

Tesla S/X (2012-2020) Front Half Shaft Assemblies that are Vibration Prone

Here is some relatable stock car racing knowledge. Once upon a time N-car changed the rules about ride heights. They used to require cars to have high heights in the garage and during inspection. 8″ high in the rear! This was a problem as cars needed to be low for best performance, but not too low they hit the ground. Many tricks were used to achieve this and it usually required huge libraries of very expensive springs to achieve. Eventually the rule making body changed the rules and allowed cars to go out at any height they wanted. Teams quit making their cars high in the garage as it was an unnecessary complication. Yay, money saved on springs that could be spent in other areas!

The unintended consequence was the cars started randomly vibrating! (oops)

Mini Stock car for reference. (If you need a house then call the person on this one)

We narrowed down the shaking to the driveshafts. Weird. This was crazy. The new lower heights actually made the driveshafts more straight. Things should be better! Logic no longer applied. What could have changed? We didn’t change our parts. We still have the same transmissions, the same driveshafts and the same rear ends. What in the world was going on? Many teams were confused, including the sanctioning body.

The parts didn’t change. The rules changed. With the new rules race cars did not travel vertically like they used to.

Previously the cars had huge height changes every time they would go out on the track. This 8″ of vertical travel would result in an longitudinal inch movement of the yoke in and out of the transmission. This frequent large movement would inevitably lubricate and work the splines of the yoke. This movement would keep the yoke splines properly engaged and wear more evenly.

Without normal slipping the slip yoke was wearing faster and allowing orbiting.

Without height changes, there was no longitudinal change on the yoke splines. This caused the yoke to wear faster in one spot as it always ran in the same spot. 900hp of heavy load is hard on components. In the corners of the track the car would see a torque reversal. As the pieces wore, on this reversal the yoke would get the splines out of whack and orbit a bit. This orbiting was causing mind shaking vibration to the point that shifter handles started to break off the transmission. (This is a very bad thing for a race car driver… not to mention the handles)

Through no fault of their own there was a new “normal” causing many drivers to drop out race after race. There was a behind the scenes race to engineer a solution to the problem.

This was a complicated problem. Many prominent teams spent millions on this issue. It took months for many teams to figure out where the vibration was coming from and curiously what was actually causing it. Luckily we were on it and things were better for us quicker than others.

So… Back to the Tesla. There is a very similar phenomenon occurring on these front half shafts. Once they are worn, they can orbit and you get a case of the shakes.

Let me say this. Almost never is there a problem with the rear shafts. Why is this? What is the big difference between the front and rear of the car? The rear has more power? Shouldn’t it wear first?

Wear is a function of overall angle and torque on the half shafts. Overall angle? Yes the angle has a much bigger effect than the overall power. The front tires steer. The back tires do not. This is the main reason why the fronts are usually the culprit. Yes there is more overall angle on the front caused by the geometry and the front ride height but the big culprit is steering and the jack shaft.

This is why even when lowered those that have lowered to “save their half shafts” continue to have problems with their front shafts shaking. It’s the overall angle and high torque with high steering angles that are causing the most wear. The issue has more to do with the driver than the ride height.

Our advice is to not go crazy when pulling out into traffic or when making hard turns. Simply, “Aim before firing” is good advice. You can save your money for more tires instead of half shafts.

The Tesla half shaft fixes are improvements but are not really fixes. Hang in there. We are working on a better solution.

Tesla does have their newer vehicles encourage lower heights more. It is a trade off to save the half shafts (to some degree) but it does have the effect of radically sacrificing tires… Save your tires with our camber arm kits for 2012-2020 Tesla S/X vehicles or our palladium camber kit for 2021+ Tesla S/X.

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Yamaha Waverunner Factory Audio got your battery down?

Yamaha Waverunner with the battery-killing built in audio

The 2021+ Factory audio systems on Yamaha Waverunners have a known high draw when stored for even short periods. 2 weeks may be all it takes to completely drain the battery if not ridden or put on a trickle charger.

sea doo switch battery is dead after storage
sea doo switch battery is dead after storage

We know it is not practical for everyone to keep their watercraft plugged in when not in use. It can be dangerous if near water and just not something you want to deal with for every ride.

We offer the simplest solution to the problem. The MACSBOOST battery mount cut off switch. This innovative switch mounts directly to your battery without modification. With a twist of your wrist you can instantly disconnect your battery. Walk away with the piece of mind that the next time you want to go ride your watercraft will be ready for fun.

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Did a dead battery ruin your day on the lake?

The story is all too familiar. You get to the dock on a Sunday. The rest of the family hops on the brand new Sea-Doo Switch Pontoon. You’ve kept it stored safely under cover, nestled away for the winter.

sea doo switch with dead battery

You go to start it and…… crickets. Your battery is dead and you are stuck. Blood pressure starts rising.

sea doo switch battery is dead after storage
sea doo switch battery is dead after storage

You can “try” to jump the battery and hope it doesn’t leave you stranded or you can maybe find a Wal-mart that is open and get a new battery last minute. Your kids are going nuts asking for internet and youtube, the wife is getting thirsty and the invited guests are starting to sweat.

Don’t be that dad.

Be this dad!

Had you installed a MACSBOOST battery mount cut off switch, could have assured that when stored your Sea-Doo Switch would have a charge and be ready for a fun day on the lake.

The MACSBOOST Battery mount cut-off switch requires no permanent modifications. It installs directly to your existing battery cable using the same 10mm wrench you need to change a battery. Best of all you can install this day saving fix in 10 minutes or less.

Dealers are installing this fix on new units as a part of prep. Let us know how we can help your business make your customers happier! [email protected]

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They say “camber is fine” at the service center. It may be fine, but why can’t it be better than fine? Why can’t it be correct? Don’t settle for “fine.” Add our palladium kit and get the camber you should have had from day 1.

Tesla Model X

You get more usable grip, higher efficiency and better tire wear with our camber upgrades! If you have a 2012-2020 S or X you need our MACSBOOST camber arm kit. If you have a 2021+ refresh you need our MACSBOOST Palladium camber kit. Every Tesla S or X vehicle ever manufactured suffers from the same “fine” camber. That makes over 1,000,000 vehicles that are “fine” and need reduced camber for optimal performance.

Tesla Model S

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Tesla S & X Alignment Woes or WOAHS

For those new to the Tesla S and X, you may be on your first set of tires. What comes next is the inconvenient truth. You may not understand until you drive a few more thousand miles. For now, read on.

The rear suspension of these vehicles is largely not adjustable yet is very dynamic. Toe is the only factory adjustment. Camber is not, but camber does change with ride height. That is the camber angles and heights are interrelated. You find yourself being told you need tires and an alignment. Here we go.

Before working on your vehicle, the alignment tech tells the vehicle to change height. The vehicle goes through a dance and ends up somewhere in spec. We can guarantee that this height is never the same twice. It is close.. But inevitably not exactly the same each time. This is not a flaw but the reality that the vehicle has to be able to cope with ride height changes on uneven ground. Most road surfaces are in fact not even and thus it has to have a reasonable bit of height roll and variance that it can call “acceptable.” It should be a bit more repeatable on a flat surface like an alignment rack but there is a large tolerance there. In addition, what occurs on a flat rack will be different when it levels itself on uneven surfaces like your home driveway or work parking lot.

Planes and Automobiles

How does the car measure it’s height? To define a plane, you only need 3 points. When you introduce the fourth point, you now have 4 separate planes or 4 solutions to the height problem… Thus, a 4 wheel car is overconstrained. With real world road surfaces almost never being perfectly flat, how does the car handle these situations?

With 4 different possible planes, which one is correct? If you are getting confused, don’t worry so is the car. Things just need to be “close enough” for it to be happy. How can we simplify 4 sensors into 3 points? Internally the rear sensors are averaged and treats their outputs as one. (generally speaking) One rear and two fronts are how it is solved.

Four sensors can give you four different solutions for ride height. What to do?

This variation in ride height or roll, heave or tilt plays a part in the geometry of the suspension. For the rear, more travel will result in more camber. Specifically if a car is tilted, one side is lower than the other and you end up with differing values on each corner. The stock suspension components are very repeatable and “not adjustable” as you have heard time and time again. Most of the variation comes down to the tolerances on the vehicle height, not actually from differences in the components. These height variations are driving the differences in cambers. Lower geometrically means more camber.

Rear camber imbalance is most often caused by the vehicle not sitting level while being measured.

Countless Tesla owners have been not only to Tesla, but have been to 3rd party alignment shops and are begging service advisors to please help them. They get their car aligned not once, not twice but countless times. The end result is the same. Tire wear is so bad that you can’t believe it is that bad. Yet every time you hear the same “it is within spec.” Camber is “not adjustable.” While technically true, it is not the whole truth about camber adjustability.

They may not be able to help you at first. But we can give you good advice. Instead of concentrating on the symptom, attack the cause first. Instead of measuring camber, find the flattest surface you can and measure from the ground to the lifting pads. If heights are different from left to right, you are probably on to the first issue you need addressed. Your height is off and thus cambers. Unfortunately it will require a Tesla service visit to perform, but get an SC appointment and ask them to calibrate the ride height. Tell them what you found and specifically have them level the car better left to right.

tesla model x height specs.  we recommend the macsboost palladium camber kit

This could solve your left/right issue, but you still need to address the “more than optimal” overcamber in the rear for low or “normal” ride heights.

Tesla Plaid set to very low with reduced yet high performance cambers.

Lucky for you, MACSBOOST offers high quality parts that are all you need.

For first generation up to 2021 (AC rear drive motors) you need a camber arm kit.

MACSBOOST Tesla S X Camber arm setFor refresh 2021+ vehicles you need a palladium kit.MACSBOOST Tesla S X Camber Kit 2021+ Palladium