Rock Krawler is owned by Pure Performance which also offers these same shocks under their Prodigy label. Both companies are best known for their popular truck and Jeep lift kits. They introduced their own line of coilovers and bypass shocks in 2009 as an optional upgrade for their lift kits.
Rock Krawler and its parent company Pure Performance Group are based out of Waterford, New York. You can visit their websites at RockKrawler.com and Pure-Performance.biz or call them at 518-270-9822.
We called Rock Krawler / Pure Performance anonymously and spoke with one of their sales techs about ordering a 12" coilover. The person we spoke with was friendly and professional, although, we got the impression that not many people call asking about ordering coilovers outside of their lift kits. They do offer a decent range of valving that ranges from "zero" to "hard" but that was as far as that conversation went. From browsing the web it looked like we should have been able to get better pricing through one of their dealers but the few that we called told us that they didn't really sell the individual coilovers so we ended up order through Rock Krawler directly.
Shipping and Delivery
It took five and a half weeks to get our coilover from Rock Krawler but they did a good job responding to our requests for updates via email during that time. The coilover arrived via UPS in very good shape with the shock body and reservoir heavily wrapped in foam. With the padding removed, we gave the shock a close visual inspection and could not find any scratches or imperfections on it so Rock Krawler gets high marks for their quality control.
Rock Krawler 2.625 x 12" Coilover, Remote Reservoir, No Springs*
$647.95 ($629.00 + $18.95 Shipping)
Typical Dealer Price:
$599.95 ($599.95 + Free Shipping)
April 6th. (38 Days)
*We did not request springs with our order but ended up getting a coilover loaded with PAC coilover springs.
A few things immediately jump out at us when we look at the Rock Krawler shock. The shock and reservoir cylinders are ribbed, the reservoir hose is made up of AN braided line and fittings with a strange layout, and there are no stop nuts to allow a dual rate spring transition. The decal on the reservoir also looks weird since it doesn't contour to the reservoir cylinder. As a whole, the coilover looks very professional with excellent fit and finish, however, the AN hose and ill-fitting reservoir decal cheapen that perception for us.
Extruded aluminum shock and reservoir bodies with vertical ribs.
AN braided hose and AN fitting used to connect the reservoir.
Heavy duty coil nut, slider, rubber bump stop and rod ends.
Rock Krawler claims that their "fluted aluminum body gives the advantage of weight reduction without sacrificing strength. Which not only make this shock the lightest coil carrying remote reservoir coil over shock in its class, it also provides a surface area greater than most 3” bodied shocks. The fluting provides the structure required to ensure the aluminum cylinders are as strong, if not stronger than their steel 2.5” counterparts."
Opening the Rock Krawler coilover closely follows standard performance shock servicing procedures, however, the lower wiper cap and seal cap are one assembly that threads into the bottom of the shock cylinder. Thread locking compound was used on all of the end caps but it freed up nicely when heat was applied to the areas. Due to the shape of the cylinder, the shock does not fit standard shock cylinder clamps and we had a hard time clamping it in a vice without leaving marks. Despite a shape you would think could be clamped easily, the aluminum cylinder would flex and spin in our soft jaws so we ultimately had to remove them and go metal-to-metal in order to remove the top cap which left a few teeth marks in the cylinder.
One piece lower seal cap and wiper cap that threads into the bottom of the shock cylinder.
The shaft assembly took quite a bit of force to remove from the cylinder, indicating a very tight piston seal.
Thread locking compound was used on all of the threaded components.
This is the first shock we've ever seen with blue shock oil.
The shock oil was very clean with no debris or particulates.
The top cap required a moderate amount of force to break the thread locking compound but once it cracked loose it spun off smoothly. Two large o-rings seal the top cap to the cylinder. The 1/2" bearings are smaller than we typically see on most 2.5" series shocks where 5/8" spherical bearings are the norm. The reservoir hose also uses 1/4" ID fittings connected to 3/8" ID hose which seem like they would significantly restrict oil flow.
The top cap has plenty of thread engagement despite the interruptions in the cylinder threads.
AN hose and fittings are a bit undersized, however, they do allow for easy changes and repairs.
1/2" spherical bearings with 1 piece (non-removable) misalignment spacers.
Removing the end caps from the reservoir was not as easy as we had anticipated. We were able to remove one end by turning the end caps against each other using spanner wrenches, however, the remaining end required us to clamp the reservoir at its end so as not to damage the decal. Unfortunately though, just like removing the top cap on the shock body, we ended up needing to clamp the reservoir body tight without soft jaws which resulted in some cosmetic damage to the reservoir. With the end caps removed, we could pull out the internal floating piston which is very narrow and uses two o-rings for seals.
Reservoir end caps are a threaded design and sealed with large o-rings.
The internal floating piston (IFP) is small and uses two o-rings and no wear band.
An NPT plug in the IFP plugs a hole likely used for positioning during machining.
The reservoir decal leaves little room to clamp the reservoir for servicing.
When we first laid eyes on this Rock Krawler coilover, we were very impressed with the size of the coilover components. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, we found glaring faults in their design. The top coil adjustment nuts are massive, however, they only have a 1/8" thick collar to keep the coil spring seated. Similarly, the slider that separates the springs is extremely beefy all the way around except for a lower lip that is dangerously undersized and has a rounded seat that didn't allow our test springs to sit squarely. Keep in mind that this is the side where if the spring jumps loose it will under-cut the cylinder and potentially cause serious damage to the shock. The lower spring plate is slightly better but again has a spring retaining lip that is much too small for comfort. Finally, as mentioned previously, there are no stop nuts to allow a dual rate transition.
Dangerously low spring engagement collars on all coilover hardware components.
Slider does not allow lower spring to sit squarely on the bottom surface.
No stop nuts (secondary nuts) to allow dual rate spring transition.
The top coil adjustment nuts spin freely for smooth adjustments.
The slider is a very nice fit on the coilover body.
Shock Shaft and Piston Assembly
The shaft and piston assembly in the Rock Krawler coilover is very similar to that of most high performance shocks. The shaft, bump stop, and lower seal cap are solid in both size and design. The piston is machined in a way that requires incoming oil to enter from the side where it needs to make two sharp 90 degree turns which we find far from ideal. The shaft does not utilize a shaft spacer which helps shorten the compressed length a bit at the expense of full extension side-load strength. Finally, the shaft is not chromed like we find on most other shocks but rather "Nitrotec" coated which we are unfamiliar with.
Massive 1" OD shock shaft with 1" thick foam bump stop.
Strange side flow piston design requires oil to flow past two sharp 90 degree turns.
Wear band does not completely close and there is an unknown blue band used under it.
Solid lower seal cap with DU bushing, dual internal o-rings and heavy duty wiper seal.
Despite the larger OD cylinder, the piston is smaller than other 2.5" shocks in our test.
Full-extension bumper included but no shaft spacer.
This Rock Krawler shock came valved with the shim stack configurations listed below. Rock Krawler does offer additional valving options as well.
The following is a list of component materials, dimensions, weights, finishes, and other important details as they pertain to each individual part. Each component was measured multiple times with a highly precise caliper and scale.
12.5 lbs. Overall Dry Weight with Hardware
2,352 grams of Moving Weight
1,223 grams Dry Weight Without Hose
Medium Weight | Blue
15.25" Long | 2.625" OD | 2.235" ID | 0.19"/0.13" Wall | 785 grams | Aluminum | Clear Ano
3.681" Tall | 3.00" OD | 0.752" Ear Width | 0.395" Bearing Wall | Aluminum | Black Ano
Top Coil Nut
Two | 0.751" Tall | 0.361" Spring Perch | 3.753" OD Spring Seat | 158 grams | Aluminum | Black Ano
2.690" Tall | 4.500" OD | 2.650" ID | 0.752" Wide Spring Seat | 0.178" Wall | Plastic
Lower Spring Plate
1.503" Tall | 0.360" Thick Seat | 3.750" OD | 1.024" Slot | Aluminum | Black Ano
1.000" OD | 0.392" Wide | 0.500" ID | Steel | Requires Oil
1.249" Overall Width | 0.500" ID | Non-Removable | Steel
17.188" Long | 1.000" OD | 1661 grams | Steel | Nitrotec
0.766" Thick | 2.160" OD | 0.277" ID Ports | 61 grams | Aluminum | Bare
0.880" ID | Various OD and Thickness | Steel | Bare
Seal Cap / Guide
2.020" Tall | 2.626" OD | DU Bushing + 2 O-Rings + Wiper | 316 grams | Aluminum | Black Ano
None (Built Into Seal Cap)
2.28" OD | 1.05" Thick | Foam / Rubber
Lower Rod End
3.041" Tall | 1.745" OD | 0.748" Ear Width | 0.383" Bearing Wall | 164 grams | Aluminum | Black Ano
12.00" Long | 2.625" OD | 2.235" ID | 0.19"/0.13" Wall | 658 grams | Aluminum | Clear Ano
Reservoir Valve End
2.623" OD | 1.374" Thick | Schrader Valve | Aluminum | Black Ano
Reservoir Hose End
2.623" OD | 1.374" Thick | 0.420" Bore | 1/4" NPT Thread | Aluminum | Black Ano
2.197" OD | 0.636" Thick | 0.125" Deep Hollow | 94 grams | Aluminum
15.0" Long | .542" OD | .344" ID | ~1,000 PSI | Stainless Steel Braided | -6 AN Fittings| AN Hose
Summary / Conclusion
The biggest takeaway we get from the Rock Krawler coilover is that they do a lot of things very right and then do some things very wrong. We love the look of the fluted cylinders, the heavy duty lower seal cap, and the massive coilover hardware. Unfortunately, the 1/8" spring engagement lips on the coilover hardware, the missing secondary nuts, and the piston design are altogether unforgivable.
The Good Stuff
The Bad Stuff
Good customer support and service
No stop nuts (secondary nuts)
Many oversize components
38 days from order to delivery
Custom valving available
AN hose and fittings used for reservoir
Misalignment spacers attached to bearing
Very impressive lower seal cap
Reservoir decal awkward on ribbed cylinder
Massive foam bump stop
Unsecure coilover hardware a big concern
Ribbed cylinders for cooling
Piston design has 2 sharp 90 degree turns
Very attractive looking shock
Smaller piston despite larger shock OD
Relatively light for its size
Not the easiest shock to open or service
Rubber extension bumper on piston
Aluminum used for shock cylinder
Made in the USA
Undersized 1/2" bearings
No shaft spacer
The Final Word: As is, we would have a hard time recommending Rock Krawler coilovers at $600 each. However, with just a few simple tweaks we could see them become a major contender at that price point, especially if they remain made in the USA.