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Thread: Roadster - new options

  1. #301
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    1. Better brakes (before upgrading anything else)
    I really don't get why everyone is so down on the brakes. I understand that they kind of feel weak, but as far as I can tell all that means is that you need to push them a little harder to get them to work.

    I periodically do hard braking just to keep the brakes clean, for practice, and because it's pretty fun. I never have any problem getting the ABS to kick in, which means that I'm at the limit imposed by the tires. Which means that better brakes wouldn't improve the stopping distance, even if they made the pedal feel like it was more responsive.

    If you never use the brakes, then they glaze over and don't work all that well. That's also going to be true with other brakes. You just notice it way more in the Roadster (and presumably Model S) because of the strong regen.

    On the other hand, lots of you who seem to know what you're talking about hate the brakes. So, am I missing something, or is it really just about the pedal feel and not the stopping distance?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and another thing that I don't really understand is why if they're planning on putting in something like the Model S power train (better inverter, motor, battery cells) why you'd expect better performance with a smaller pack. That's certainly not true with the S, the larger packs do better. Presumably this is because they have more power, which means that the place where the torque curve hits it knee is faster.

    Why wouldn't that be equally true on the Roadster?

    Now, if you're trying to build a great track car, maybe the reduced mass would be worth more than the increased acceleration because turning and breaking performance matter more than speeding up. But, I'd expect a larger Roadster pack would have a better 0-60 than a smaller one (until it hits the limit of the tires).

  2. #302
    Senior Member W.Petefish's Avatar
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    One major reason for wanting the Model S motor and PEM is the simple fact that they are liquid cooled. If you live in hot climates you can't always have your performance. (and alot of the time you get the Power Limited light.)
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  3. #303
    Senior Member daniel's Avatar
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    If you're never using the brakes, you're not driving the car like a sports car. If I drove the Roadster like I drove the Zap Xebra, I'd probably never need to use the Roadster's brakes. But I accelerate hard, and that means there are times I have to brake hard. I usually let the regen do the braking, maybe 75% to 85% of the time. But 15% to 25% of the time I get to the stop too soon and have to step on the brake pedal.

    I read on some thread here that the upgrade brakes have better cooling and so are beneficial on the track, where you're braking a lot. I've never been on a track. Maybe some day I'll take it to a track. But not as a regular thing, and never in a race. I always tell people, this is a sports car, not a race car. It goes way faster than any sane person would ever drive a car on public roads in the U.S. But not as fast as race cars go on the track.

  4. #304
    Senior Member wiztecy's Avatar
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    The brakes are not up to par at all for that car. Unless you changed out to a different set of brakes to compare, you won't understand. My 1st observation of something odd was seeing all the roadsters getting in front end collisions. Two things for that... they accelerate quick so magically things jump out in front of them not knowing their hyper-speed sprints. But secondly, the regen is giving false confidence on the brakes and when you hammer them all you can do is clamp down on your teeth and hope/pray you slow down in time.... There's a thread on this. These brakes are not doing the physics that braking needs. Meaning the front end needs to dive and put weight on the front wheels and your tires have to be * squealing*, not just the ABS kicking in. I had the ABS kick in with the stockers, I never ever had the front dive on hard braking nor could I get the tires to squeal. All the inertia of the roadster's rear favored weight is going forward on a plane, not down. There's nothing out there except things to hit. Switched my pads and I've got bite, dives, and squeals on hard braking... thats what I wanted to see and have. Its my daily commuter and I have the car-pool lane sticker which is really a hazard at times, people will just pull into your lane when your going 40-70mph and you need really good brakes. You can say the stockers were glazed, but I don't think so, I feel they just sucked to be blunt. They generate too much dust, dust is not good since its like grease and marbles on your braking system. Braking systems need to be clean to work properly. The pads are also too small. My brakes never worked when I picked my roadster up used, it had only 3,800 miles on it. Lastly the pads didn't show any glazing it when I pulled them off.

    I'm absolutly happy about the brake upgrade Tesla is providing, I won't be going for it since I'm very happy with my brake pad swap results and don't track the car. I will every 5-10k pull the pads off, rough them up with sand paper, and brake clean / blow out with compressed air the entire brake system to remove any dust, dirt, and build up. I'll also clear out / clean the drilled holes in the rotors to help collect any accumulation of crap as well as well as inspect for any cracking (which drilled rotors are prone to do). That keeps my braking maintained at optimum performance.

    I also put braking up there as top priority, its safety for one thing, but also its protecting you, your roadster, kids on the street with runaway balls, etc....

    I'm running the CarboTech AX6's which are covered in the Brake thread. I'm seeing 1/10th the amount of brake dust from the AX6's vs. the stock Brembo's based upon the finger rub test on the front/rear rims. Dirt/Dust in and on anything is bad. Just look at the Roadster's PEM when it accumulates dust, it fails to provide proper cooling, and would eventually fail.
    Last edited by wiztecy; 09-26-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  5. #305
    Roadster 919, S 2006 Doug_G's Avatar
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    +1 wiztecy.

    I have brand-new Carbotech AX6 brake pads sitting on the shelf in my garage, and will be installing them probably this weekend.
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  6. #306
    Sig 100 - #52 frequencydip's Avatar
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    There are several factors that relate to the roadsters poor brake performance, the brake upgrade will likely only solve one of the primary factors, initial bite at first application of brakes. Even with the AX6 pad the roadster still has poor bite when first slamming on the brakes. As the brakes heat up the braking becomes progressively stronger eventually geting the wheels to lock and some ABS to kick in. Allot of the improvement is to be had in that initial application of the brakes, larger pads, increased pad pressure, and lower unsprung mass will all help improve that initial brake application.

    The other major issue with the roadster is related to weight distribution and the lack of technologies like Electronic Stability Control and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. As wiztecy pointed out the roadster does not properly transfer weight durring braking. Other sports cars solve this issue by selectively braking specific wheels (ESC) and or adjusting front and rear brake bias (EBD) to transfer weight from rear to front tires.

    Unless you have braked when traction control activated and therefore deactivated regen or braked while in neutral your missing out on why many of us complain about the brakes. Without regen the vehicle brakes very poorly and is still somewhat lacking even with regen when braking in an emergency.

  7. #307
    Senior Member strider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolosky View Post
    I really don't get why everyone is so down on the brakes. I understand that they kind of feel weak, but as far as I can tell all that means is that you need to push them a little harder to get them to work.

    I periodically do hard braking just to keep the brakes clean, for practice, and because it's pretty fun. I never have any problem getting the ABS to kick in, which means that I'm at the limit imposed by the tires. Which means that better brakes wouldn't improve the stopping distance, even if they made the pedal feel like it was more responsive.
    Because you do periodic hard stops you are keeping the pads and rotors clean and so you have not experienced the problem. The stock pads and rotors work fine when they're warm and clean but if you don't use them much in your commute they won't work when you need them. It is not a matter of just pushing harder. When this happens the pedal remains rock hard, the car just doesn't slow down very quickly. I use my car strictly as a daily driver and through heavy traffic (25 miles on 237 and 101 each way) so I don't have an easy place to do hard braking. I guess I could do it first thing in my neighborhood but I'd spill my coffee. So over time "crud" builds up on the pads and rotors and then when I need them in traffic they don't work. Thanks to the early warnings here I've learned to leave some extra space and so haven't hit anyone but I've had a few moments where I didn't think the car was going to stop.

    I switched to the Carbotech pads a couple weeks ago and have been extremely happy. So far they bit early and hard every time. I'll give them a few more weeks of commuting and then see if they still work as well but I consider this issue closed for me. I don't track the car so larger rotors won't matter. Larger pads/calipers could improve stopping but with the Carbotechs I can squeal the front tires so my feeling is that they are sufficient.
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  8. #308
    mod squad TEG's Avatar
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    Part of the concern over the brakes is the fact that the Roadster makes it so easy to get going quickly without giving you a lot of queues. No roaring engine, no smoking tires. Some tall people can't even see the speedo very well.
    So, drivers are sometimes fooled into going faster than they would in ICE cars they drove before.
    You just make a quick stab at the "go" pedal and suddenly the Roadster is up to speed where you need some extra good brakes to slow back down quickly.

    Add this to the fact that the Roadster has attracted a bunch of drivers who previously hadn't considered a high performance sports car.
    They wanted a long range EV and ended up with something that has Ferrari like performance around town.
    Moderator - Roadster, and Future Cars forums

  9. #309
    RoadsterS753 ModelS P1449 garry753's Avatar
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    I'm with Jory and ViperDoc - don't need any more performance than I've got, but would love more range and supercharger capability. Looking forward to Model S in a couple months, but it isn't the same form factor as the Roadster. It would be nice to get to San Antonio and back, or to get to Houston/Dallas without a long charge time or on the same charge.

  10. #310
    Sam C samcarney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEG View Post

    Add this to the fact that the Roadster has attracted a bunch of drivers who previously hadn't considered a high performance sports car.
    They wanted a long range EV and ended up with something that has Ferrari like performance around town.
    Amen!
    Sam C

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