Smart Jeep Shocks From Fox

    Smart Jeep Shocks

    Stuart A. BourdonPhotographer, Writer

    For years the Jeep Wrangler JK has been referred to by many as one of the (if not the) most capable off-roaders available, right out of the box. However, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s what we’re all about here. Aftermarket tires and wheels can move the Jeep’s overall performance farther up the scale, but it’s when you start to tinker with the suspension system that you often begin to see the first real dramatic progress toward increased trail-worthiness.

    Our subject, a 2017 Jeep JKU, had some serious miles on its current aftermarket 4-inch suspension system, and we wanted to step things up a bunch without tearing apart the entire undercarriage again. A shock-absorber upgrade would be a perfect way to achieve that goal. At the same time we hatched this plot, we were talking to the Fox shocks people about the company’s new Performance Series 2.0 iQS (PN 885-26-145) Intelligent Quick Switch shock-absorber system designed fit 2007-up Jeep Wrangler JK models.

    The Fox Performance Series 2.0 iQS system includes four electronically controlled reservoir shocks (each one tuned to its specific side and end of the Jeep); the ECU and a three-position switch to control the shocks; and complete plug-and-play wiring harnesses for battery power to the ECU, signals to the shocks, and direction from the dash-mounted damping position switch. The system’s settings are Soft, Medium, and Firm. The Medium setting will increase off-road performance over the factory Jeep shock and is useful for moderate to extreme off-roading and everyday on-road use. Soft has the least amount of low-speed compression damping—60 percent softer than Medium—and is good for slow-speed off-roading and rockcrawling. Firm delivers the highest amount of slow-speed compression damping—60 percent more firm than Medium—and is best suited for higher-speed off-road driving with minimized body roll and increased suspension control.

    The complete installation took about four hours, and it went together easily because it’s a direct-replacement kit. There’s no cutting, drilling, or welding. It can all be done in your home garage with the right tools and a little patience. Fox currently offers the iQS system for Jeep JKs running 2.5-inch to 4-inch suspension lifts; a new Jeep Wrangler JL kit may already be available by the time of this report, and more vehicles applications (one of the Fox engineers is testing it on his Jeep Wrangler TJ) for the Fox Performance Series 2.0 iQS system are in the works. Check out how easy the installation was on this 2017 Jeep JKU.

    Steering Treatment

    Fox also makes a number of steering stabilizers. We have heard good things about the Fox ATS steering stabilizer, and Fox has recently launched its upgraded Performance Series 2.0 TS steering stabilizer line. With a through-shaft (TS) design the damping force is linear, and there’s no ramp-up force. Equal control in both directions (left and right) is achieved by having the shaft come out the other end of the body when compressed, as opposed to a traditional steering stabilizer that compresses inside the body.