How to Fix or Replace Your Control Arm Stop or Stops
A control arm stop or bump stop is a polyurethane or rubber device that protects your car from bottoming out, particularly when it comes to your control arm or A-arm component (the hinged suspension link between the suspension upright or hub that carries the wheel and the chassis of your vehicle).
Difficulty Level: Moderate
What You'll Need
- Replacement bump stops
- Socket set and ratchet
- Spring compressor (optional)
- Breaker bar (optional)
Step 1:See if you have a bump-stop-equipped vehicle. Most vehicles already come with stops. They're black, square- or circle-shaped, and made of rubber. They're mounted atop control arms or near your suspension rings too, but you're after the ones on the former rather than the latter.
Step 2:Inspect the bump stops. Look at their condition. Over time, these rubber stops can come apart or get torn off by regular wear and tear. However, it should be easy to see their mounting locations (otherwise, research it on the Internet).
Step 3:Once you locate the damaged bump stops (which could be found on one side or the other side of your automobile), replace them with fresh replacement ones. They're typically secured to your car with washers, nuts, and bolts.
Step 4:Remove the old bump stop then keep their washers, nuts and bolts on a magnetic tray (unless they're corroded, in which case you need to replace them too). If your stops are shock-housing-mounted, you should remove the coil spring with a spring compressor to gain access of them.
Step 5:Make sure that the stops you're putting in are dependable at stopping metal-on-metal contact from faulty, bottomed-out suspension. The bottoming out might be happening somewhere else other than the bump stop location after you lowered your car's suspension to modify it.
Step 6:For contact points on your control arm that's away from your factory bump stops, you might need to engineer a new bump stop solution and contact point with the help of high-strength adhesives and circular pad placement in new locations.
Step 7:You might even needed to drill mounting holes for your replacement control arm stops. The idea here is to modify your control arms so that they can accept non-factory-approved stops to unanticipated contact points from your own suspension modifications.
Step 8:Another technique you can try out to installing stops is using the plank method. First, you should grease the stops up, install a 1 x 4 wood plank, and then jack up the car with the wood under your control arm. This will pop your replacement stops right into the control arms.
Step 9:Be careful when using the plank method on your rubber stops, because some of them might not be able to take the pressure. On the other hand, if they're not made of high-grade rubber and can get damaged by only this, then maybe you should purchase better bump stops.
Step 10: You can also jack the control arms up, put the stops in place, and then slowly let the jack down while the spring force pressed the bump stops in at the same time.
Just as there's more than one way to skin a cat, there's also more than one way to go about installing your control arm stops (which also come in many different sizes and shapes). These bump stops are important because they're the best solution to dealing with bottoming out, which happens when a fully compressed suspension ends up damaging your car with close-proximity metal-to-metal contact.