RoadKing shocks

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by dave26027, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. dave26027

    dave26027 Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dallas, Texas
    • Thanks to everyone on TTR who sent good bad or ugly info on RoadKing shocks. After reviewing all the posts i bought steer and drive axle shocks. They're on a 2016 KW T680, RK isn't making a cab shock for this model yet. To save a dollar i bought drive shocks from a chrome shop. When they arrived, one shock was missing a dust cover. Turns out it was an outdated version of the same shock, the other three were the updated versions with dust covers. I called RoadKing and they said they would send a dust cover. They sent a complete new shock instead, i was truly impressed by the awesome customer service.
    The truck has 160,000 miles on it, the old shocks were easy to take off. The only difficult shock to install was the drivers' side steer axle cause the top mount is behind the fuel filter. The drives were insanely easy, i disconnected the suspension air valve, raised it all the way and placed the shocks in the mounts, then just lowered the valve and bolted them in.
    Now, someone mentioned in a thread that they're hard to compress and they are. But, they're shipped compressed with a nylon strap holding them. Don't cut the strap till you really need to cause it does take a lot of upper body strength to manhandle them in place. If you weigh less than 150 pounds or so and don't have that strength, pass the job off to a shop. It does take that much force to compress them.
    The ride is impressive. Instead of hopping across the tops of rough spots and making the cab shudder, the tires follow the bumps both up and down and stay in contact with the pavement. The steer axle used to bottom out and hit the rubber stops once in awhile, it hasn't happened once with the new shocks. Now i can tell the steers used to bounce off potholes and slam up into the frame causing shuddering and slamming. That's why i started looking for upgraded shocks. Seems like lt's tracking less than it used to on rutted roads and uneven surfaces, too.
    For a couple of weeks the shocks were stiff like all new shocks are. I expected the ride to change or degrade once they broke in so, it was a pleasant surprise to find they only got smoother. It's been more than 10,000 miles since the installation, it turned out to be a great investment. Once in awhile i hit a rough patch that still causes shuddering but it's rare and the steer axle hasn't bottomed out yet. The cab used to see-saw and rock front to back, that stopped too- now it just moves up and down instead. Someone mentioned in a thread that R/K's aren't any different from other shocks and i really have to disagree. Seems like you could get used to the better ride and forget how bad the old stock shocks were. Also, i'm leased so i can only imagine how nice it feels to pull a trailer with R/K's front to back.
    If you're considering RoadKings, here's my advice. First, if you want or need a Bose seat, R/K's should be the ultimate compliment for it. Personally, i don't have one. Next, these shocks are very expensive, expect to spend about $2,500.00 more or less to shock up your power unit. That's steers, drives and cab shocks, trailers will cost even more. Don't forget they're lifetime shocks and they're rebuildable, it seems unwise to install them in equipment you won't keep long. Then again, as long as the part numbers still match, you could reinstall them in a new truck. Roads aren't getting any smoother and vibration damage hits an O/O in the wallet hard. Fiberglass radiators, fragile air to air coolers and electrical wiring are just some of the expensive things vibration chafes hammers and breaks. I can see where it could help save some trade in or resale value, maintenance and tire costs. If you have an old unit that's worn and won't last long, spending this kind of money for a shock upgrade isn't wise unless you can reinstall them on the next truck. It would be the perfect upgrade for a brand new tractor. Most of all when it's time to remove and rebuild them make sure the shop tech doesn't just cut them off with a torch, it's probably best to do the job yourself.
    Overall i'm impressed with the product and well satisfied, R/K's Customer Service is impressive and this was a good project.
    Oxbow and gokiddogo Thank this.
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  3. somat

    somat Bobtail Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Glad to see someone give such good review on this shocks.Good job.
    Yes they are expensive,about 400$ a piece.
    I am cheap ### and never will putt'em.
    dave26027 Thanks this.
  4. boneebone

    boneebone Road Train Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    If your truck had 160k miles riding on the Original OEM Shocks and you replaced them with a new Shock (regardless of Shock Manufacturer) it's only relevant that the ride would be improved.

    The age of the Original OEM Shocks could have degraded the ride over the course of time where the Driver didn't really notice that the Shocks were worn out because the degradation was over the course of a year or two.

    So when a new set of Shocks is installed, of course the Driver is going to notice a difference.

    I don't believe spending $2,500 on Shocks is going to give a truck a night or day difference, nor do I believe the ROI is worth spending that amount of money on Shocks when you can spend $350 and replace every Shock on your Suspension and Cab and have plenty of money left over to replace them again (7) seven times over.

    Additionally, you still have to pay money to have the Shocks rebuilt when the time comes.

    Me personally, I wouldn't spend that amount of money for Shocks because I don't see the value to justify the expense.

    I'm glad that the OP is enjoying them, they're just a little too rich for my blood.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
    dave26027 Thanks this.
  5. beltrans

    beltrans Medium Load Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    spokane wa
    You can't compare OEM shocks to R/K shocks... I tried 3-way adjustable ones and IMO they still too soft even in ExtraFirm position. Road Kings are way firmer and control a suspension movement better. I had them on my truck for about two years now... Sure they are expensive but is there anything cheap in this business?
    dave26027 and Oxbow Thank this.
  6. dustinbrock

    dustinbrock Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    Every now and then ROI just isn't top goal although RK ROI over 5 year life of the truck may even out..

    Think about the guy who spends thousands on a bose ride seat, ROI isn't his top concern.... comfort is.
    dave26027 and beltrans Thank this.
  7. ipogsd

    ipogsd Heavy Load Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    For me it was great to improve the ride with R/K shocks. But what really impressed me was the overall handling and control was vastly improved. I've got 150k on them and going strong. My only disappointment was the finish deteriorates quickly with road salt. I may even clear coat my next set.
    beltrans Thanks this.
  8. dave26027

    dave26027 Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dallas, Texas
    Just dropping in for an update, it's now 80,000 miles later and these RoadKing shocks still perform like they did when they were new. One drive shock sprung a leak, i called RK and they mailed a replacement asap.
    I was in the Iowa 80 travel center recently, they had a set of RK's on display. They're cut open so everyone can see how they work. Well designed. Now that they have cab shocks available for the T680 i'll have to get a pair- the stock cabshocks were replaced with oem's 80,000 miles ago, they're worn out again.
    And i replaced the steer tires at 180,000 miles (20,000 miles after putting RK's on) and added centramatics to the front end. With 60,000 miles on the tires they still look new, they're wearing even and much slower than i'm used to.
    These shocks were a very good investment, i'm still well satisfied with them.
    RubyEagle, larry2903 and QUALITYTRUCK Thank this.
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