King has been building top-quality dampers for decades. One of the lines offered by King is their OEM Performance Series shock absorbers that are designed to provide improved performance, ride quality, and easy installation on stock and modified vehicles.
Our JK needed help. The original project shocks were OK three years ago when installed, but they were leaking and had seen better days. Their valving wasn't perfect, either. They could be revalved and the seals replaced, but we decided to go another direction. We had installed King OEM Performance Series shocks on an F-150 project we built in Off-Road Magazine and were impressed with their performance and high quality (you'll be seeing “quality” mentioned a lot when we're referring to Kings). Friends have run everything from King non-reservoir to racing bypass shocks and coilovers over the years, with nary a complaint.
King builds both 2.0 and 2.5 shocks for the JK Wrangler. We chose the 2.5 reservoir shocks with 20-position compression adjusters. We also received a pair of King's JK bumpstops, but we didn't get them installed in time for this feature.
The 2.5 compression adjuster shocks are works of art. For details on their construction, see the photo captions.
The Kings were a great improvement over the shocks they replaced on our JK. That's not saying enough, though. Their performance is outstanding, even on our (relatively) lightweight two-door Wrangler. Out of the box, valving on the King JK shocks works best on the JK Unlimited, as the four-door JK was what King used during valving sessions. The compression and rebound damping could have been a bit softer on our two-door. The compression adjuster works at higher speeds. We ran the shocks on their softest setting most of the time, increasing compression with the aluminum adjuster knobs to see how they worked. We found noticeable differences in three-click increments of the adjuster. Even at higher speeds, we found the softest setting best. We'll order a valving kit from King and set them up for our preferences and needs.
We've talked about valving because we want you to understand that high-end shocks may not arrive set up perfectly for your application. We've seen many forum posts from folks who don't like their new “Brand X” shocks because they were too soft/hard/etc. out of the box. King shocks aren't cheap hydraulic shocks with welded bodies. They can be tuned perfectly for every application.
King Off-Road Racing Shocks are among the best in the world. They're a good example of made-in-the-USA quality. It's huge that King has entered our niche and builds shocks for the trail rider and Jeeper. The OEM Performance Series 2.5 reservoir compression adjuster shocks run cool, work great, and improve our JK tremendously. 'Nuff said.