Tips For KING Shocks Owners - Ride Quality (1 Viewer)

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Mar 12, 2018
Doha Qatar
DISCLAIMER: I just have to mention that what I may consider something that works, may not work at all for you or may not be effective for your application. So this is just to get you thinking about your setup and what the issue is or how to optimize it for your needs. Some of these tips are not fixed procedures, meaning you don't have to follow a step I write down to achieve a result. It's been said that if you ask 100 different shock tuners how to achieve a specific ride quality, you will get 100 different answers. They are many different loopholes

First of all, congratulations on your set of high-end shocks!. I have tested pretty much all mid-high range shock brands, and in my opinion when it comes to building quality, durability, ease of adjustability/tuning and spare part availability. Nothing comes close to KING. It's simple, it works and it smooth.

Alright, I am going to write down all the best tips I have to ensure you get the most out of you KING Shocks, these were things I wish I knew about last year. You might learn allot, a thing or two or nothing depending on your experience and or research you have done.

It turns out its pretty simple, I was very confused with a lot of things at first, still am about a few stuff, constantly learning by investing a lot of time in trial and error and research.

I am going to keep it simple, here goes.

Make sure:

1. Don't!, Adjust Nitrogen Pressure to change ride quality or performance.

I HIGHLY do not suggest you play with the nitrogen pressure to get a firmer/softer ride!, Nitrogen serves one purpose, keep the shock oil pressurized and prevent cavitation. It does not have any damping/absorbing properties. Adjustments should be done with the piston, valving/shim stacks and or spring rate. In fact, having lower nitrogen pressure is actually better, the less nitrogen pressure the less the rod wants to extend, you defiantly do not want pressure forcing the rod to extend, it will prevent the shock from working properly/ as expected.

150PSI (in my opinion) is the best pressure to be running.

2. Ensure that you are using the lowest possible spring rates!

Having more spring rate than needed means that your shocks won't be able to work properly since spring cannot be controlled it absorbs the energy and releases it that's it. You don't want that, it will cause the vehicle to be unnecessarily harsh and bouncy. The key is to have the lightest possible spring while achieving the desired ride height. You want the shock to be doing all the work, especially since you have high-end offroad shocks.

I lost count to how many times I see people running 700LB springs on there 200 land cruiser KING Shocks without having any weight added to the front in my country. They complain about a bouncy, harsh ride, when they drop it to 600LB they noticed a huge improvement in ride quality.

3. You have the correct valving and piston setup for your application

This is also very common in my country, some people don't like the ride on their new shocks, they think its either too soft or to firm. Then they end up trying other brands. What a waste of time and effort. I actually ended up on the same path many times. Just please know that the valving and piston tune can change drastically causing many different ride qualities and characteristics.

For instance, you can screw on all three bleed holes and use a pyramid shim stack on the piston to tighten up and stiffen up low-speed compression, to get better handling and performance on G-outs, cornering, nose dive and braking. Basically making the damping curve linear.

You can also do the opposite and open all three bleed holes, use a flutter stack and make it very progressive, to get a very smooth ride on washboard, small-uneven terrain.

Many many possibilities.



1. Rough ride/chop over a washboard or small bumps?

These small bumps are controlled by changing low-speed damping. Basically, these kinds of bumps generate 1-10 inches of piston velocity, that kind of piston velocity is to slow to open up and bypass shim stacks, so KING designed removable bleed holes on the piston to allow the oil to bypass the shims take(path of least resistance) to smoothen those out and prevent chatter.

KING Pistons have three bleed holes, that can be opened up or closed using a very small screw.

So open up your shock and check on how many screws are open on your piston. If all three are closed, it is forcing all the oil to go through the shim stack, so open up one or two and try it out. If two are open, then open all three. If all three are open and it is still harsh, double check your first three shims on the stack, ensure you have a flutter stack, and also double check your spring rates.


2. How do I ensure I am running the lightest spring possible?

If your coilovers have zero preload, and you're sitting at the right height, then you are oversprung. You will need to run a lighter spring and have at least an inch or two inches of preload. When you achieve ride height at 1-2 inches of preload. You are likely running the proper spring.

3. I am running to much preload, will that cause a rough ride?

Well if your preload causes a harsh ride, it is not because you're compressing the spring, that is a very common misconception. Preloading your spring will actually make your spring softer. Not only that, but it will also add spring force which will apply contact pressure on the tires, making the tires follow the terrain and bump better. Giving you better traction and a more comfortable ride.

The only time preload will cause a harsh ride is if you are sitting too high and you do not have any down travel left if that's the case run a lighter spring.

Alright, guys, that's all for now, I really hope you have learned something that is useful to you.

I will add more information if, I learn something new and relevant.

Big big thanks to all the sources of information, for speeding up my process on tuning my shocks over a couple of years and achieving amazing ride quality.


1. Off-Road Shock Tuning Guide | How To Tune and Valve Off-Road Racing Shocks


3. Suspension Theory With King Shocks


5. Shim ReStackor, Finally software to tune a shim stack

6. Ben with filthy motorsports, for giving step by step advice.

7. KING Shocks customer service for being way to technical with advice.

8. Gerardo (Tuning specialist for KING). Sent way to many emails to this guy.

9. Local Experience.

10. Local offroad dealers.

11. Local offroad mechanics.

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