Bump Stops

Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) is a beautiful thing. It gives the Rangie the ability to ride high when off-road or wading through water, and the ability to ride low at highway speeds or even lower when loading and unloading cargo (or elderly relatives).

EAS is a standard fitment on all P38A Rangies. Air springs are used instead of coil springs, but retain shock absorbers and bump stops like other vehicles.

On a standard P38A Rangie, bump stops are approx 60mm in height. My P38A has a 50mm suspension lift front and rear, so the bump stops are a bit different from standard.

Removing the old bump stops

Safety first. It is advisable to have some sort of jack under the body so it doesn’t lower itself on to you while you have your hands near the bump stops. At the very least make sure you leave a door or the tailgate open to prevent automatic leveling of the suspension.

Set the EAS to High Mode to make it easier to work around the bump stops

Actual removal of the bump stops is much easier than I thought – just give them a wiggle and pry them off the metal stems. If you’re lucky, the hole in the top of the bump stop won’t stretch or rip, so you can probably re-use them if you need to.

Bump stops (red = front) removed from the car

One of the red bump stops in the photo above is split, so I purchased a set of extended bump stops from Hard Range Australia to renew them all.

Here’s a photo comparison of the new (blue) bump stops and the old ones.

Comparison of new (blue) bump stop and old ones

Installing New Bump Stops

Slighty more difficult than removing them. A squirt of WD-40 helps to lubricate the new bump stop on to the stem.

I found I couldn’t use my hands to force them on to the stems, so I got a few small blocks of wood and wedged them in to position, then lowered the suspension. The weight of the car popped the bump stops on to the stems easily.

The pics below show the new bump stops installed on the car.

On EAS High Mode:

  • distance between front bump stops and diff plate is approx 90mm
  • distance between rear bump stops and plate is approx 65mm
  • ride is ok, but car drops to “Normal” height above 60Km/h (as designed).

On EAS Normal Mode:

  • gaps not measured, but speed humps and pot holes cause the car to “bottom out”
  • not a very comfortable ride given tendency to “bottom out”.

On EAS Highway Mode:

  • rear is on bump stops
  • front is approx 20mm off bump stops
  • not useable for driving.

Obviously I will need to modify the new bump stops to account for the rear lift, or change the rears out for “standard” height bump stops.

Watch this space for developments as I figure out my options.

Update 17-May-2009

I couldn’t stand the bottoming out any more so put the yellow 60mm bump stops back on the rear tonight. Didn’t have time to recalibarate the heights so I’ll take my chances with the front/rear gaps being out for now.

Update 6-Aug-2009

Some calculations around shock absorber lengths… still trying to work out the correct bump stop heights

Update 9-Aug-2009

Latest changes to bump stops and EAS settings.

Front bump stops (HRA blue 120mm) reduced to 90mm length, rear bump stops are standard Land Rover yellow polyurethane 60mm units. See photo below for a comparison.

Front now has 100mm clearance between bump stops and diff, and 120mm at rear. The photo below shows the height of the Rangie at “Standard” height compared to a Freelander.