I think we have all been there at one point. You are driving down the road in your pride and joy when all of a sudden there is a huge dip right in front of you. You have just enough time to let off the gas and go to maximum pucker point before--bang!--the car bottoms out and smacks the ground. For the next few seconds you go through the normal bottom out checks--stare at the instruments to see if the oil pressure is still up and look in the rear view to see if you left any parts behind. There is a fairly simple and inexpensive cure to alleviate this scenario and it's called installing bump stops. Bumpstops limit the travel of the suspension system, and if they are not in place expensive things like tires, headers, and sheetmetal are all in danger of getting damaged. Most (if not all) suspension systems come with bumpstops included in the parts bag, but have you ever really made sure they were correct for your specific wheel and tire combo, headers, or anything else that might hang down? We usually just install them and hope they are correct. Now if you have a completely stock car, then a stock bumpstop will work. But what if you have long tube headers? You'll most likely need something different. We put this story together just to get you thinking about bumpstops and getting the right ones up front for your situation. We went to a well-known source when it comes to assorted bumpstops--Energy Suspension. The company has a ton of different bumpstops and, with the procedure we'll show here, it should help you get the perfect ones. 1 The starting point to finding the right bump stop is to get the car up on jack stands, remove the springs and shocks from the car, and reassemble the suspension without them.1 The starting point to finding the right bump stop is to get the car up on jack stands, 2 Now, slip a jack under the control arm, spin the tire and raise the jack until the tire just starts to contact the wheelwell. This will help us set up a bump stop for tire to wheelwell clearance. If you want to check for a low hanging exhaust system you will want to take the car off the jack stands and get the jack under the crossmember. Next, lower the car until your lowest hanging part just touches the ground.2 Now, slip a jack under the control arm, spin the tire and raise the jack until the tire 3 Now you can simply measure the distance between the lower control arms and the bump stop pad on the frame. We had a measurement of 1-1/4 inches. This is where you would contact Energy Suspension and tell them your application and measurements to see what they have for you.3 Now you can simply measure the distance between the lower control arms and the bump sto 4 Energy Suspension was nice enough to send us a small selection of bump stops it had that would fit our A-body. From left to right, these measure 2 inches, 1-1/2 inches, 1/2-inch, 1-inch, 1-3/4 inches, and 2 inches. Since we know we need a bump stop at least 1-1/4 inches tall, the two short ones are not a viable option. The two taller red ones on the left and the two stock-style black ones on the right will be the ones we'll install to see which works best.4 Energy Suspension was nice enough to send us a small selection of bump stops it had tha 5 First, we installed the closest to our measurement, which is this rounded style that measured 1-1/2 inches. Next, we jacked up the control arm again until the car started to lift off the jack stand. While this one kept the tire from contacting the wheelwell, it only took a little downward pressure on the fender to collapse it more and induce tire contact. Almost all bump stops are made to compress to lessen the harshness when they are engaged.5 First, we installed the closest to our measurement, which is this rounded style that me 6 Then we went to the other end of our height selection and grabbed the tallest red one that measures 2 inches. This prevented tire contact even with our best efforts to push the car down, but we were leaving about an inch of travel on the table.6 Then we went to the other end of our height selection and grabbed the tallest red one t 7 We wanted to give the Chevelle's suspension all the travel it could have so we took the stock style one that measured 1-3/4 inches a try. This one gave us the perfect ratio of protection without sacrificing travel. This totally makes sense since we have a factory-sized wheel and tire combo on the car right now. In the future, if we up-size our tire diameter, change wheel offset, or once we install the motor we'll need to revisit this and most likely install a taller bump stop. SOURCES Energy Suspension 1131 Via Callejon San Clemente CA 92673 949-361-3935 www.energysuspension.com By Calin Head Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!