RDC had a chance to visit King Shocks in Garden Grove, CA to check out the facilities and the new 3.5 internal bypass shock that Jason Voss is currently running on his Trick Truck. The new shock uses a full size piston unlike other internal bypass shocks that use a smaller bore piston inside of an inner sleeve. Our tour guide for the day was Kellan Meadows who has been with King for five years, he told us that all of King Shocks are machined and assembled in house, for the products they do no produce themselves like coil springs, finned reservoirs, and plating/anodizing its all sourced from companies in California. Kellan is responsible for racer and tech support and is just one piece of the King puzzle.
Another piece would be Gerardo “Iribe”, even if you dont run King Shocks you probably have heard his name before. Iribe is out in Barstow two days a week tuning shocks for Kings customers. Iribe has been with King for 14 years. He got his start tuning shocks on his dad Carlos Iribe’s race car always trying to make it better. We asked Iribe with all of his experience and years of testing and tuning what he looks for when setting up shocks on a vehicle, “The first and most important thing is making our customer happy, all customers are just as important as the next one no matter if its a weekend warrior in a UTV or an unlimited vehicle. Shocks are tuned for the driver, some want to go fast, some dont, they are just looking for comfort. First thing in tuning is to gather as much data as possible about the vehicle, suspension style, vehicle height, weight distribution, sprung and unsprung weight ratios. There are so many factors that come into play, after tuning for so long I have learned what to look for. After all the math and experience testing it comes down to customer satisfaction . We are here to make all our customers happy and ensure there experience with KING SHOCKS is a good one”.
King offers a wide variety of shocks from 2.0″ up to 4.5″, coilovers, air shocks, bypass shocks, and air bumpstops. They offer shocks for a wide range of vehicles from desert racing, rock racing, monster trucks, sand cars, and even motorhomes. King has won major championships in every form of racing they offer shocks for. Most people probably dont know that King also offers coil springs for all of the sizes of coilovers they sell. They are available on their own and not just packaged with their coilovers. King also offers a full range of OEM Performance products for most late model vehicles.
The new 3.5 IBP shock brings tunability to a whole new level. (via King Shocks website)
King Shocks has just released a unique internal bypass shock that does not have the drawbacks of the common twin tube design. The King IBP internal bypass shock delivers precisely tunable velocity sensitive and position sensitive damping as well as a hydraulic bump stop in a bolt-on monotube shock. King’s monotube design uses a full diameter piston and standard, full size valving. It’s built from the same quality materials and to the same precise tolerances as King’s top of the line Pure Race series shocks. Mounted to the shaft below the standard piston, a second set of valving is housed in a billet aluminum chamber that contains valve shims and port openings that allow fluid to bypass the standard piston by flowing through ports into the shock’s hollow shaft.
To make the shock position sensitive, a tapered, metering rod protrudes down from the center of the top cap. As the shaft moves into the shock body during the compression stroke it envelops the fixed tapered pin. The taper gradually closes the opening in the end of the shaft restricting the flow of fluid. When the taper reaches the full pin diameter, it restricts flow through the secondary valving diverting all fluid flow through the primary piston valving. Pin length determines the point in the shocks travel where the bypass flow is metered. The taper angle controls how sudden or gradual the restriction. When the secondary valving is closed and all fluid is flowing through the primary piston, enough damping force exists at the last few inches of compression travel to compress the fluid at the top of the shock body creating a suspension arresting hydraulic bump stop.
When you consider the multitude of valving combinations and the numerous valve chamber port configurations that exist, the tuning options in the secondary valving alone are nearly infinite. The internal bypass shock can be set-up with light valving at ride height to deliver a smooth comfortable ride while still providing substantial damping force at full compression to prevent bottoming out during hard use. The IBP can be manufactured as a smooth bodied shock to work with an existing coil, torsion or leaf spring or as a coilover shock to provide damping and suspend the vehicles weight. The IBP packs a ton of performance in a compact durable package that’s perfect for dual-purpose rigs, daily drivers or competition vehicles that are limited by rules to one shock per wheel. Regardless of your application, King Shocks has the solution to your performance damping needs. Nothing rides like a King.
About King(via http://www.kingshocks.com/)
King Shocks was born out of necessity, long before we opened our doors in 1996. The original designs drawn by Lance King back in the early 80’s were created to fill the needs of the top level racers of the day. Nothing existed at the time that could stand up to the punishment dished out by racers like Bill Stroppe, Parnelli Jones and Walker Evans. The faster cars and trucks ran several shocks on each wheel which were often changed at pit stops along with the tires. Our original 3” shock was designed with pure performance in mind from only the highest quality materials available. When your name goes on the product, it makes a difference. Like most family owned businesses, King Shocks had humble beginnings. Lance King did the design work and the machining of the parts, Son Ross was the welder/fabricator and Son Brett did sales. To get the company off the ground, Ross and Brett worked a whole year without drawing a paycheck. Like the desert racers who ran their shocks, the Kings where not afraid of hard work and perseverance. King Shocks has grown into the company it is today by staying true to our original goals of putting quality and performance above all else and by continuously improving materials and design. Our dedication to quality extends to our customer service and support as well. In addition to our numerous application specific products, we build custom shocks for anything you can dream of as well as some you could not imagine. Many of the high performance features available today such as bypass tubes, seal technology, shaft diameters and tube construction were pioneered by King, working to give our customers the competitive edge they need. Like many companies, King Shocks has grown from a small business building custom made shocks for race cars to a manufacturer of hundreds of products for many different applications. The difference is, we still build custom made one-off shocks for racecars, we never stopped. –
Thank you to Brett King, Kellan Meadows, Gerardo Iribe, and Ramses Perez for the info and tour, and all the employees that put up with us wandering around the shop taking pictures and asking questions.