We worked with Don at Thuren to build a custom set of King 2.5’s that would work with the stock springs and height of the Power Wagon. Typically, these shocks are installed as part of a kit designed to lift and soften stock suspension.
Our goal with the camper was to keep our factory two-inch Power Wagon lift and stiffer stock springs. We wanted to create a more compliant ride when loaded with the camper and the airbags inflated. The biggest gripe I’ve had so far with the camper off-road is how much suspension cycling it creates when going over a step, ledge or drop.
Don was easy to work with. The Kings were dropped shipped direct to our address with the reservoir brackets shipping the same day and coming from Thuren.
Because our shocks showed up before the Thuren package, we started with the rears. Actually, we started by wrapping all the shock bodies with clear 3M film. Thuren says the bodies, not the reservoirs, are prone to degrade in salty winters if they aren’t wrapped.
On to the install. In the rear, lift the truck, remove the wheel, chock the frame and use the jack to drop the axle to full droop. From there, the top bolt is simple, but a pain the in ass to remove. The pin tops are hexagons that allow you to use a second wrench to keep the shaft from spinning while you loosen the main nut. We only had 18k miles on the truck, and PB Blaster came in handy. I fear what more miles and more winters would do to the removal of the old shock.
On the passenger side, I quickly realized that the piggy back reservoirs wouldn’t fit with the e-brake cable. So you had better wait for the Thuren package before you start your install. Inside, you’ll find an e-brake relocation bracket that pushes the e-brake cable out and away from the shock.
Remove the bracket on closest to the shock, and reuse the bolt in the Thuren bracket on the predrilled and tapped hole on the control arm. You can see in the background, I just zip-tied the old bracket to the cable so it doesn’t move around.
Once installed and torqued, I like to mark things with a paint pen. That makes it easy to tell later on if things are backing off when they shouldn’t be.
With the backs done, it was on to the fronts. I started by installing the reservoir brackets. I held them with the mounts towards the rear on the coil bucket and traced them out with a sharpie. Then cut the fender liner with a utility knife. Once everything fit, I marked, drilled, and mounted each side with blue Loctite.
From there, it’s a really similar scenario to the rears. But this time, you can access the top mounts from under the hood. For me, I was able to use a 24″ extension, wobble, and deep socket on both sides. The bottom bolt is crazy easy since the factory nut has a “tag” on it that prevents it from spinning. The hardest part for me was, with the sway connected, the front axle would drop completely and the Thuren shock was still too long. I ended up using a pry bar to compress the shock and get the bottom bolt through.
I also made the mistake of putting the wrong shock on the wrong side. So I actually did the driver’s side twice. Pay close attention to the elbow at the top of the shock to make sure it’s oriented correctly. It should look like this…
Again, torque it to spec, mark it with a paint pen and put everything back together. Time to go baja.