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