Abstract Dislocation remains a serious complication of total hip replacement. An insufficient range of motion can lead to impingement of the prosthetic neck on the acetabular cup. Together with the initiation of subluxation and dislocation, recurrent impingement can cause material failure in the liner. The objective of this study was to generate a validated finite element (FE) model capable of predicting the dislocation stability of different femoral head sizes with regard to impingement in different implant positions as well as the corresponding stress distribution in the liner. In order to cover posterior and anterior dislocation, two total hip dislocation associated manoeuvres were simulated using a three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model. The dislocation stability of two head sizes was determined numerically and experimentally. After validation, the FE model was used to analyse the dislocation stability of four different head sizes in variable implant positions. Range of motion (ROM) until impingement, the resisting moment that was developed and ROM until dislocation were evaluated. Additionally, stress distribution within the polyethylene liner during impingement and subluxation was determined. For both dislocation modes, a cup position of 45° lateral abduction and 15° up to 30° anteversion resulted in appropriate ROM and dislocation stability. In general, larger head diameters revealed an increase in ROM and higher resisting moments. Stress analysis showed decreased contact pressures at the egress site of the liners with the larger inner diameters during subluxation. The analysis shows that an optimal implant position and a larger head diameter can reduce the risk of dislocation induced by impingement. The finite element model that was developed enables simplification of design variations compared to experimental studies since prototyping and assembling are replaced by prompt numerical simulation.