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The most common drop for these vehicles is a 3/5-drop (3"in the front and 5" in the rear). With that drop in the rear there is a potential for bottoming out over bumps. Bottoming out is when your axle hits the frame. It sounds bad, reduces your ride quality and can just be annoying.

Professional installers have been modifying the rear bumps stops for years to give truck extra clearance and a greatly improved ride. You may not know, but the Suburban, Tahoe and Avalanche all have very similar undercarriage, which allows this bump stop application to carry from one to the other.

When it comes to lowering a vehicle we think certain additional modifications are justified because you can have a truck that is truly lowered (not just torsion bar adjustment in front and a mild drop spring in the rear) and still a very good ride.

The DJM Calmax Avalanche is lowered 3" in front and 5" in the rear. To lower the front all you need to do is replace your stock control arms with DJM's lowered control arms and get the truck aligned.

The rear consists of a 5" lowering spring, trailing arm and sway bar kit. As we mentioned before, the stock bump stops will hinder your ride quality. With the stock bump stop brackets left in place the ride was fair, but bottomed about 10% to 15% of the time. It does not hurt anything to ride around for a while without this modification, over time, in extreme cases, it can cause stress on parts and could cause damage. But with the low percent of occurrence, under some conditions (like leasing) you may not want to do this. If you need to put the truck back to stock, removing the bump stop brackets is reversible if you remove them cleanly. Even back at stock height, the lack of a bracket will not affect anything.

Because removing the brackets improves the ride to a point that you would think the truck came from the factory with this stance; Stylin' Concepts and DJM both recommend this modification if you plan to drive a lot, plan to keep your vehicle for a long time and/or like to ride in comfort!

Removing the bump stop brackets and replacing with a new bump stop is a very inexpensive modification that gives you a lot in return. All you need is a way to cut off the old bump stop bracket and DJM's new Button Bump Stop. Follow along as the guys at DJM Suspension show you how to do it.

This is the stock bracket with the bump stop shortened. The ride was ok, but it can be greatly improved by completely removing the bracket from the frame. See Photo 1.

To get started the lower shock bolts and lower sway bar bolts were removed. This frees up the rear end and all that is needed to remove the springs and lower the rear end. See Photo 2.

A plasma cutter makes quick work cutting along the profile of the frame making sure not to cut into the frame itself. A good plasma job can get within a 1/16 of an inch. The remainder can be cleaned up with a grinder. See Photo 3.

These are the stops after being cut from the truck. If it is done with skill there is no reason they could not be reattached later. See Photo 4.

Jack the rear end back into place to make sure the new urethane button bump stop will align properly then drill and tap a 3/8 x 16 threaded hole. See Photo 5.

This is the frame after a little clean up with the grinder. Spending a little extra time all evidence of the bracket can be removed. Now you can see the standard frame that was covered by the bracket. See Photo 6.

After reinstalling the springs, sway bar links and shocks you can see there is much more clearance than before. This will make for a much-improved ride and will eliminate the bottoming out problem with the stock configuration. Some customers have commented that the ride and handling is better than stock. We are not going that far; but realistically you can have a 5" rear lowering and a very good ride. See Photo 7.

Related Links:
  • Chevrolet Tahoe Accessories
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • DJM Suspension
  • Truck Accessories
  • Back toStylin Concepts Articles page
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