Upgrading your shock absorbers is one of the most common things that off-road enthusiasts perform on their trucks or off-roaders. There are plenty of great options around, and two of the most popular brands are King and Fox. How do you select which one is best for your requirements? In this article, we will conduct a comprehensive Fox vs King shocks analysis, and present it to you. Then, you can decide which one suits your requirements and specific vehicle make and model.
Still unsure? Just contact our friendly experts and they’ll be glad to help you choose from a plethora of options in our Lift Kits and Suspension section. You’ll find great products from King, Fox, and more, plus the necessary accessories and extras that may be required for installation. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Some Key Differences Between King and Fox Shocks
Let’s start with springs, which is what you’ll get as well if you choose a coilover solution from King or Fox. Fox uses silver-colored springs, and Eibach is a popular spring option to pair with Fox shocks. As standard, Fox springs tend to be on the softer side, but you can purchase heavier rate springs separately, for an extra charge. King springs are blue in color, and there are options from Eibach to pair with King shocks too. You can order King shocks with heavier rate springs at no extra charge. Note that this applies to manufacturer purchases, and purchasing from 4 Wheel Parts may offer more competitive prices and bundling offers, so be sure to check.
Fox uses a steel body with Zinc plating for shocks, while King has a steel body with Cadmium plating. Nevertheless, both possess a similar degree of corrosion resistance, and we haven’t heard of any issues on either King or Fox shocks caused by corrosion.
Fox uses stainless steel surface hardened rods, while King has steel chrome plated rods that are through hardened. Both are extremely strong and durable for on-road and off-road use.
Fox and King differ in the oil used. They both use conventional shock oil, but Fox’s oil is rated at up to 400F with a viscosity rating of 370. King uses oil rated at up to 230F with a viscosity rating of 170. This indicates that Fox’s oil is better suited for high-temperature applications as it is less likely to break down due to heat. King is more prone to shock fade under high temperatures.
Fox and King can both accommodate remote reservoirs, with similar hose mountings, fittings, and hoses. They both come with linear pistons as well.
Fox shocks are smoother when they top out, due to the presence of a rubber bump stop that prevents metal-on-metal contact. This is missing from King shocks, creating an audible sound when the shock tops out. The metal-on-metal contact doesn’t affect the shock negatively as it’s designed to handle it, but it can be irritating to keep hearing this sound if you frequently reach the limits of your shock absorbers under off-road driving.
Looking at Rebound and Compression Dampening
Fox and King both offer some adjustment of rebound and compression damping, as they have adjusters. However, Fox gives you DSC dual-speed compression and rebound adjustment which allows you to tailor high-speed as well as low-speed compression and rebound behavior. This is in contrast to King, which only offers mid-speed adjustment via a single knob. If you’re particularly concerned with being able to finely tailor as much of your shock’s behavior as possible, Fox is better. For those who want a set-and-forget product, King provides a compelling option.
What are the Factory Tuning Limitations?
As well as the aforementioned rebound and compression damping, Fox and King are both equipped with soft valving from the factory. However, they can be valved via aftermarket service providers to provide improved handling characteristics if desired. Talk to our team for more information on valving if necessary, as we can help you determine if you really need it or not.
Overall Comparison Summary King vs Fox Shocks
King shocks vs Fox shocks is an interesting comparison, as they both score wins in different areas. One area we haven’t talked about yet is price, and Fox tends to be more expensive than King in most cases. This can be chalked down to many differences that we’ve talked about above, including their construction, the higher performance oil used on Fox shocks, the presence of the bump stop, and the increased adjustability of compression and rebound, to name a few factors.
However, King shocks still offer a compelling value proposition for those who want an upgrade over their off-roader or truck’s factory shocks but aren’t interested in serious off-road performance or myriad adjustability. Particularly for users who don’t live in the hottest parts of the country, King’s lower temperature rated oil of up to 230F isn’t really an issue, considering that boiling water scores 212F, and your shock absorber oil isn’t likely to approach that under normal driving conditions.
So can we say which one is best? No, we can’t. The decision will ultimately be yours to make, depending on your specific requirements and usage scenarios. However, we can help you decide which one is best for you. Just talk to our friendly off-road experts and they’ll be glad to assist.
A word of warning, shock absorber installation isn’t a job for novices. The spring is under high tension and must be safely released, or else it can cause serious injury. So, whether you choose Fox, King, or any other brand, it’s always best to have them installed at a proper workshop by trained professionals.
Shocks and Everything Off Road at 4 Wheel Parts
Whether it’s shocks, springs, or any off-road components you require, we’ve got it all at 4 Wheel Parts. Choose from thousands of SKUs manufactured by hundreds of the world’s best brands, by swinging by one of our 100+ stores across the country. Or, you could just shop from where you are, right now. Either way, you’ll have access to competitive prices, superior warranties, and free expert advice. Now that’s impressive!