No More Fox?
Fox Shocks has been a loyal partner for 10 years. We’ve always loved the product, but a few bottlenecks have forced us to seek an alternative. Most importantly, the pandemic related supply-chain issues they faced resulted in extended lead times and continuously pushed ETA(s) to which we’re no longer willing to subject our customers, nor hinge our company – critical operations of our manufacturing business rely on our vendor ETA(s) to ensure our manufactured products are ready at roughly the same time as the shocks that pair with our parts to head out the door. Continued failure to meet these ETA(s) resulted in angry customers and excess inventory of complimenting parts.
Secondly, and arguably as important, we’re one of a select few manufacturers to participate in Fox’s proprietary program. You’ll note the Carli shocks are prefixed with a “986” in their part number vs. the standard OEM designated “985”. A quick rundown of the program: We would give Fox our dimensions, get a set of “tuning shocks”, then go to work. Once we determined our valving profile through extensive on and off-road testing (and MANY adjustments), we submit to Fox for their internal approvals and cost evaluation. We’re assigned a unique part number and, once all is signed off internally at Fox, we are authorized to order the part.
For many years, this process took months. Once released, we’d see 3-5 months ETA(s) on our Purchase Orders. In the most extreme example, which (at the time of writing) many of our customers are still suffering, the Air-Ride specific leveling shocks took just under 1.5 years to exit the administrative process. We finished the valving and were assigned part numbers we used to sell the shocks. We released them to the public and began preorder 12/11/2020. We were not authorized to order these shocks until 4/21/2022. Once ordered, these shocks were assigned a 4-month lead time and, as of January 2023, we’ve still not confirmed an ETA making for a 2 year + lead time. This is an outlier, but we averaged well over 1 year for all recent projects.
We were left with two options, ditch our commitment to custom valving our shocks and start pairing generic Foxes with our kits (as they’re much quicker to come to market AND more readily available), or find another manufacturer of an aluminum-body IFP at a similar price point. They must have the same commitment to quality, better and more predictable lead times, and an ability to pivot to ensure we’re able to quickly adapt to model changes within our serviced applications. Given our commitment to the end-ride quality of our suspension systems and the importance the shock tune plays in this role, we really only had one choice…
We do not outline the above to vilify Fox; we’ve always been about transparency and want to provide you all with insight as to the “why?” behind the switch. To find a replacement that was equal or better quality and move away from a 10 year relationship with the company, and the people, compounded by the need to re-tune every application they served is no small feat and certainly not an undertaking we wanted. However, as we’ve detailed above, it was necessary. We simply cannot allow any vendor to delay us 2-3 years from coming to market on a platform change.
If you currently have a Fox equipped Carli System, details on servicing of your warranty can be found HERE
Carli SPEC 2.0″
Enter the Carli-SPEC 2.0″ Shocks. Through our 20 years in business, we have built our brand by pairing our manufactured parts with complimenting products built to our specification from other industry-leading manufacturers in their respective markets. Through endless trials with these manufacturers, we’ve built a formidable knowledge database fit to produce, or improve, any of these items to suit our applications. Suffice it to say, we know a thing or two about shock quality and tuning.
Having worked with several shock manufacturers, we’ve expanded our capability through contention with varying approaches to shock, piston, and tuning shim design. These trials made us better and, in searching for a replacement shock for the Foxes, made our check-list longer and quality standards more stringent.
Let’s talk about the highlights.
Both the Internal Reservoir (IFP) and Remote Reservoir shocks will feature the same construction. The body is 6063 aluminum offering a long service life and fantastic heat dissipation – they’re also anodized for corrosion resistance. The 5/8″ shafts are a hardened & chrome plated steel. These shocks are spec’d with a premium 5WT oil to balance lubricity, consistent damping and the widest available range in temperature variation
The stem-top bushings are something we’re excited about. In our vast experience with shocks, we’ve become bushing snobs. In an industry obsessed with poly bushings, we’ve always measured against our benchmark – the original rubber Bilstein bushings. In an eyelet style, poly is fantastic – in a stem-top, we’ve not met a poly bushing we preferred to tried and true rubber. They do not seem to handle the forces of the stem-top as well as a rubber bushing. We’re elated to be able to spec a rubber bushing on these Carli Spec Shocks. Elated may be an exaggeration but we eat, sleep and breath shocks – to eliminate such a frequent point of failure is exciting!
The rod ends are constructed of 6061 billet aluminum; inside you will find a high-quality 1-peice bushing and zinc-plated crush sleeves for precision fit and longevity.
The cylinder end cap has a unique design as it overlaps the body of the shock to provide external support to the internal snap ring. These shocks serve as the travel limiter for all trucks without our radius arms (and subsequent limit straps installed), ensuring the shock stays together on top out while bearing the load of the axle is paramount.
The Remote Reservoir variant adds the separate canister to carry the dividing piston and nitrogen charge leaving the entirety of the body available for extended piston travel. Without getting too technical, a Remote Reservoir will have more suspension travel than an IFP with the same mounting dimensions. In adding this canister, we have spec’d a high quality hose and fittings (better than our Fox offerings) similar to the one offered on our King shocks.
The last high-end touch we’ve added is our billet, laser etched Carli reservoir clamp, where applicable. In front applications, we tend to run a longer reservoir hose to a Carli mount, whether frame or coil bucket mounted. Rear configurations favor piggy-back style mounting. To ensure the look is on-par with the brand and function, we’ll be providing these CNC’d clamps.
Namely I would like to touch on the experience and the brand. Our commitment to ride quality is second to none. This commitment led us to move forward with the Carli-spec line. Our systems did not ride the way they did because they included Fox shocks; it was Sage Carli’s unwavering commitment to custom valving every truck to optimize the ride of the respective system. This ethos remains; the differentiator between the Carli SPEC and the Foxes they’re replacing is the 10 years of knowledge we’ve gained in working with Fox’s 2.0″ line that we’ll be applying in valving these shocks. We’re smarter today with far more tuning capability than 10 years ago and that’s reflected in the ride quality of the shocks we’ve tuned thus far – every kit gets a bit more refined than the one before it.
Additionally, these shocks are private labeled for Carli providing us full control of the warranty!
The warranty covers manufacturer defect for 1 year from the date of purchase. We service the warranty so you’ll work directly with us for any warranty concerns.
We’ve decided not to order any more Fox shocks. All 2.0″ IFP and 2.0″ Remote Reservoir lines moving forward will be Carli SPEC. We’ve put every application on the docket to be re-tuned and spec’d for Carli shocks.
This means, demand for the suspension system will determine the priority of the platform to be pushed to the top of the list. The first platform to see the Carli Spec Shocks is the 2017+ Super Duty with the 2.5″/3.5″ Commuter and Backcountry. These two are signed off and ordered!
We’ll be updating this as we run out of our existing Foxes per application and begin shipping Carli-SPEC shocks. As of now, we have many applications on order with Fox pending delivery – these kits will remain Fox until they’re sold out, at which point, they’ll be converted to Carli-SPEC.
|2.5″/3.5″ Commuter||2017-22 F250/F350, 4×4, Diesel||Shipping Late January, 2023||AS-FLVLSPKG-CS20IFP-A|
|2.5″/3.5″ Backcountry||2017-22 F250/F350, 4×4, Diesel||Shipping February, 2023||AS-FLVLSPKG-CS20RR-A|
|2.5″ Leveling System||2014-22 Ram 2500, 4×4, Diesel, Coil Rear||In Custom Tuning Process||TBD|
|2.5″ Backcountry Leveling System (New Kit)||2014-22 Ram 2500, 4×4, Diesel, Coil Rear||Will Start when above is complete||TBD|
Any ETA on the 3500 backcountry leveling kit?
Hi Ashley – It’s signed off and being ordered. 6-8 weeks from today! There will also be a Backcountry Leveling kit released for the 3500 with the same lead time.
new orders for 2020+ f250 gas backcountry system still shipping with foxes?
New orders will ship with Carli-SPEC; the Foxes have all shipped for that application.
Hi, just ordered a commuter kit April 16th. Will I receive the new Carli Spec or old Fox 2.0. If the Carli Spec is said to be better then I obviously want the better shock. Am I able to return the shocks?
Hi Nick – shoot us an email with your receipt, we’d be happy to look into it! email@example.com
Any news for the 14 back country 3.25s? I’ve got 4 leaking/blown commuters with 100k miles on them that need replacing. Before I order the foxes I figured I’d ask..
Hey Trevor – we have those here to tune. Should have them ready within the next 3-4 months.
Any chance that there will be a set of back country’s being tuned for a 3rd gen ram in the near future?
Hey Jesse – the 3rd gens are on the list after the 14+ 2500 and 13+ 3500, absolutely!
2019+ 6” lifts?? Is there anything planned for that?
Sorry! 2019+ Ram 2500/3500
Nothing at this time…
Will the Ram 1500/Rebel be a part of this line offering?
It sure will! We’ve already finished it, actually. Need to get a Rebel in to finalize the numbers but we expect it to get about 1.5″ more lift than the equivalent Fox System.
What nitrogen psi are these back country shocks set up to run? Just finished installing everything for my 2022 f350 regular cab 3.5 kit including the deavers. Rides amazing.
They’re spec’d with 200psi
When will the backcountry leveling start shipping out? I’ve ordered a kit just would like to know how soon to expect it.
We’ve already begun shipping! Depends where you are in your retailers back-order; you’ll need to reach out to them for specifics!
When will the E-venture series be out for ram power wagon 2500? And thank you for stepping up and taking on a large initial cost to bring these designs to keep customers happy.
Hi CJ – We’re on the Ram project, for sure. We’re anticipating it to launch for the diesels in the net few months, Power Wagon will be shortly after!
It’s great to hear you guys are coming out with a backcountry leveling kit for the ram platform. Any idea when that’s going to hit the floor? I have a 2022 ram 3500 mega cab 4×4 laramie with the high output. ( I don’t know if that makes it heavier?) if you need a test truck. And I’m in Orange County. (Fountain valley).
Hey Mike – we actually need that truck to do the leveling kits for the Ram 3500 – submit it HERE
Will there be any of these shocks for the newer ram 1500 rebel ecodiesel
Hey Sergio – 1500 is on our list of trucks to do. We’ll have more flexibility with the Carli-SPEC than we previously had with the Fox so it’s entirely possible we’ll be covering the EcoDiesel Application!
With all this new news, is there still a leveling Kit coming out for Ram 3500 with factory air ride? The only option with the pintop setup is overkill for my primary need. Thanks and hope this makes things better for the customer and Carli as a company.
Hey Tyler – there never was, unfortunately. We messed with several kit variations on this platform and the only one that provided enough improvement for us to stamp with our approval was the Pintop you mentioned.
I had purchased the 2.5 leveling kit with the Fox 2.0 shocks and Carli springs for my 2018 RAM 2500 Diesel along with the Carli track and sway bars. When I purchased this set up it was my understanding that in the future, if the Fox shocks needed to be repaired (bad seal etc,) that they could be. Would I now send it to Carli or Fox for repair? If Fox, would they repair to Carli specifications?
Hi George – if you’re past the warranty period on the Foxes, they’d be sent to Fox to be rebuilt. This has always been the case. Fox replaces the seals and buffs the shaft but does NOT alter the valving during servicing so the shocks will remain to Carli’s specifications.