What's the gripe with KYB items? Not good quality? For someone who off-roads once a year and tows a boat to unimproved ramps every weekend I'm sure they'll work fine?
I can shed a little light on what is talked about. Sooooo...
KYB isn't necessarily a bad brand.. From what I understood, they were one of the OEM suppliers to Chrysler for the LX cars (Charger, Magnum, 300). I couldn't pin it down since some other sources said they were also supplied with Sachs shocks as well. Anyway, I used KYB's gas shocks when I did the front suspension rebuild on my 300C. I also replaced the rears. I put on about 25 to 30k miles on that rebuild and traded it in with it still riding like a new car. Handled great as well. So, I can say that they did a good job. That said, I didn't even consider them when I looked to replace the shocks on my Liberty. Here is why.
It has been known that Bilstein makes a great truck shock. I wasn't sure I needed to go "that good" except for my experience working on my wife's Mercedes R350. That tank had air springs in the rear. They are a known major issue with those beasts. I converted hers to coil springs. That was at 75k miles. The constantly failing air bags toasted the shocks as well. Bilstein is the OEM provider for Mercedes, so I got a pair. Pricey but figured go with OEM quality. Like I said, that thing is a tank. It weighs over 4900lbs dry!!! I thought for sure the fronts would be going.... at 96k now, they are still fine. Unbelievable. So, given that car's history with me, I am now a firm fan of Bilstein.
Will the KYB's serve someone well... maybe.. I wouldn't say they are a bad brand, far from it. Just will what they make for a truck work as well as their car stuff? I wouldn't chance it, not when Bilsteins can be had for only a little more per unit.
Oh, and when I was doing up my Chrysler, the KYB's were about $50 a unit when the equivalent Bilstein for that car was $150, and the Sachs were $100. So I decided to stay away from the German stuff for that....