[DIY] : LED Bumper Reflector Install
NEWS
 

  1. Welcome to Kia Optima Forum – General discussion forum for Kia Optima

    Welcome to Kia Optima Forum - a website dedicated to all things Kia Optima.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join Kia Optima Forum today!
     
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 20 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 199

Thread: LED Bumper Reflector Install

  1. #1
    OptimaForums Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,626

    LED Bumper Reflector Install

    I bought a set of these about 3 weeks ago and they came in last week. Got around to installing them yesterday and thought I would take pictures to do a DIY for everyone. This is not a very hard install, but can take up a good chunk of time if you are meticulous about wiring/soldering like I am. Took me 5 hours to complete from start to finish.

    Required:

    Drill w/ bits or multi bit
    Razor blade/sharp knife
    Channel lock pliers (small or medium should work)
    Phillips head screwdrivers/bits (assorted)
    Flat head screwdrivers or panel popper preferred
    12mm socket and ratchet (1/2" drive)
    10mm socket and ratchet (1/4" drive)
    Masking tape
    Soldering iron and solder
    Electric tape (good quality... I use 3M)
    Heat shrink tubing (can use electric tape instead)
    Heat gun/lighter/matches/soldering iron (I use heat gun to shrink my shrink tubing)
    36 feet total length of wire (LED reflectors come with some but I had to use more) 3 colors preferred
    Flash light
    Set of LED reflectors (purchased mine on ebay for around $95)
    3 hours minimum if you are rushing/cutting corners and 8 hours maximum if you take your time

    First thing is first. Test your new lights by connecting them to any 12v source (your car battery works fine) to be sure both the tail light function (white wire) and the brake light function (yellow wire) work. Test them by simply touching the ends of the wire to the battery terminals. Black is ground obviously. I use a 12v converter for bench testing automotive electronics/lighting but most of you (probably any) won't have that luxury. That's fine the car battery will work.

    Secondly, tape under your tail lights so that when you pop them out they do not scratch the bumper.



    The tape will slide under the tail light to protect your paint.

    Next pop your trunk and remove the 2 "Christmas tree" style plastic retainers on the drivers side trunk liner and the 1 on the passenger side. Panel poppers work best for this but a pair of flat head screwdrivers can also be effective. Now remove your cargo mat (if equipped) and your trunk liner. Remove the 2 covers over the tail lights on each side. They simply squeeze together top and bottom. Now disconnect the wire harness from each tail light.

    Now we need to remove the plastic trim piece surrounding the trunk striker that runs the length of the front of the trunk (if looking in). I didn't take pictures of the fastener locations but if you run into trouble (at any point) the KGIS diagrams can be very helpful. There are 2 Christmas tree plastic push pins and several of the plastic screw type retainers found all over the car. Now simply lift up. It will take some force as there are some white push clip retainers holding it from underneath that will pop out. Once you have the trim off check to be sure all the white plastic retainers came off with it. If not, pry them out from the trunk and re-insert them into the black trim panel so that when you go back to re-assemble you don't forget them.

    Remove the 10mm bolts and plastic retainers holding the bottom of each side of the trunk liner on the bottom. You should now be able to fold each side of the trunk liner back into the rear of the trunk. I was able to get them both to stay in position behind the spare tire so they were out of the way.

    We can now remove the tail lights. There are 3 10mm nuts and 1 clip retainer per side (it's hidden under a rubber plug). Remove the nuts from both tail lights. No need to mess with the retainer under the rubber plug... it will release with a decent tug of the tail lights. You may have to push from the inside or pull from the outside or some combination. Mine were on there pretty good but eventually the plastic retainers relinquished their grasp.



    Inside the trunk there are 2 square push clips and 2 10mm bolts holding each side of the bumper onto the car body. Remove all the bolts first.



    Above are the locations for the bolts and black square retainers. They are behind the wire harness. Before attempting to squeeze and release the black plastic retainers you must unscrew the 4 screws and 1 plastic screw retainer from each side of the bumper in the wheel well area. The top one holds the corner of the bumper to the body, 3 hold the wheel well liner to the bumper, and underneath the 1 plastic screw retainer holds the bottom of the liner to the bumper. Most of their locations are pictured below.



    Note, if you are doing this with the wheels on like I was you may need a very stubby screwdriver and a small ratchet (1/4" drive) with a 1/4" socket on it to put a fillips screw driver bit into.

    Now go back into the trunk with your pliers, squeeze and push (simultaneously) on the black retainers to pop them out. If you have long arms like I do you can squeeze with the pliers and pull the bumper away from the body at the same time. While you are in here go ahead and unplug the white plug that comes through the front of the trunk with a factory grommet. It is for the impact sensor attached to the bumper support. Feed the white plug and wire through the hole you pushed the grommet through.

    There are also a couple of fasteners per side residing where the tail lights were that hold the top of the bumper cover to the body. Remove those.

    Once you have each side of the bumper free get under the car with your 12mm and 1/2" driver ratchet (I found a 12mm ratcheting wrench to work better but are less common in everyone's tool boxes) and remove 2 12mm bolts from each side of the bumper supports. Sorry no pics of these but they are fairly obvious once you are under the car. After these are removed the bumper assembly is ready to come off.

    This is a HUGE rear bumper, it really helps to have 2 people at this point just to avoid scratching paint and general frustration on your part. Each person should get a side of the bumper at the rear of the car and FIRMLY pull rearwards. The only thing holding the bumper is a series (3 per side) of metal compression clips pictured below along the rear of the body.



    BTW... now is an awesome time to polish your exhaust tips. As you can see the wife took full advantage of all the working room.

    With the bumper set on a blanket/towels/etc you can now remove the bumper reinforcement by undoing the 4 plastic screw type retainers. 2 are under the bumper on the diffuser and 2 are up top. Move the reinforcement out of the way for now. Remove the 2 fillips head screws from each factory reflector and pop them out. Still with me? The new LED reflectors require that you drill 2 holes as pictured below. I used a multi-bit large enough to fit the harness plug into. I could have made the holes smaller since I ended up cutting the harnesses later anyway... but the holes were already drilled. Se la vie.



    Install the new lights with the 2 (per side) factory screws. They will require some adjusting to get them to fit evenly. Take your time and you will get them in there nicely. They don't fit as well as the factory lenses but after some adjusting I give them an 8/10 for fitment. Go ahead and reinstall the bumper support onto the bumper cover with those 4 plastic screw retainers.

    Now the fun part... wiring. I extended my wires through the factory impact sensor grommet so that everything would look and function like stock. By this I mean you can still disconnect the harnesses in the trunk and remove the bumper for servicing without having to cut wires. The kit comes with some wire but I found this to only be enough for the interior trunk runs. As such I left those harnesses alone and extended the wires/harness on the lights themselves. Having matching wire colors here is nice but not necessary. If keep track of your wires with labels all will be well. All my wiring is wrapped in electric tape to resemble the factory wiring harnesses. Below you can see the soldering/heat shrink/wire routing on the bumper.











    To make the holes for your wires in your grommet use your razor blade or knife to make a hole just big enough to pass the wires through on each side of where the factory wire goes through. Remember not to solder your plugs back onto your extended wires or they will be difficult to get through the grommet and require you to make holes much larger than they need be.

    With all that done it is time for the bumper to go back on. Again, it is VERY helpful to have a helper here. Installation is the reverse of removal. Take your time and line up all the clips and holes for bolts. Also be sure to push the wires and grommet back through the hole in the body or you will be pulling the bumper off again or fishing for them. Go ahead and install all the fasteners for the rear bumper. 2 per side where the tail lights were. 4 per side in the wheel well area. 4 12mm bolts underneath the car (bumper support). 4 per side inside the trunk (2 black clips and 2 bolts per side). Plug the impact sensor back in as well (white harness). If you start the car without it plugged in you might trip the airbag light which would require a trip to the dealer to reset.

    You are almost done. Only thing left to do is the wiring in the trunk. I have included a diagram below from KGIS. Strip an inch of wire from the end of the LED wire harness that we set aside earlier. I went ahead and wrapped mine in electrical tape again to mimic the factory wire harnesses. Simply strip a small portion of insulation from each wire needed (brake lamp,ground, and tail lamp per side) and insert your 1" stripped ends of the corresponding wires on the LED harnesses. Yellow = brake lamp, White = tail lamp, and Black = ground.





    This is the driver's side.





    Here's what you will connect:

    Driver's Side -> Yellow on LED harness to Green on tail light harness, White on LED harness to Green/Black on tail light harness, Black on LED harness to Black on tail light harness (there are 2, either one is fine)

    Passenger Side -> Yellow on LED harness to Green on tail light harness, White on LED harness to Brown/Black on tail light harness, Black on LED harness to Black on tail light harness (there are 2, either one is fine)

    With all that done go ahead and reinstall your tail lights. Plug the harness in and test your lights function properly. If they don't you have a break in a wire or wired the lights incorrectly. If you followed this up to this point... your lights will most likely be working properly.

    Go ahead and install all the trunk trim in the reverse order it was removed. Pull the tape off the rear bumper. You are now done... sit back and have a beer. You should be left with the below.





    Post any questions... will be happy to help.

    PS: You can do this in a much shorter period of time than I did but I am pretty meticulous and OCD when it comes to this sort of thing.

    Here is a video for good measure.

    Last edited by crystalworks; 01-10-2012 at 01:51 AM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    Optima Forums
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Learner's Permit
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    129
    This is really awesome, i'm planning to do mine as well. Also how much did they cost you and from where you got them?
    Last edited by iTQAN; 01-10-2012 at 02:04 AM.

  4. #3
    Learner's Permit opTIM-A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    148
    Yeah I can see doing that. Thanks for the awesome writeup!

  5. Remove Advertisements
    Optima Forums
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    LED MASTER
    01/2013 ROTM
    Scottmuffman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    4,160
    Year
    2011
    Make
    Kia
    Model
    K5
    Trim
    KS-EX
    Very nice write up. Good job. I remember it being a bitch. I had done mine well over a year ago when the only part out there was the led module that you had to put in the reflector. Slicing the reflector down the middle then caulking it closed and hoping water does not get it.

  7. #5
    Administrator Munky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Noblesville, IN
    Posts
    6,978
    Model
    2011 K5 Turbo
    Trim
    SX W/Premium
    Spectacular write-up, very detailed. But there's just one thing.........










    .........stop giving me all these mods to do!! You're a bad influence! Now I have yet another thing to add to my list..


    Oh, and this is getting stickied.

    2011 K5 Turbo - KDM Registry #0009 - Kia Optima K5 Owners - www.KOK5O.com

  8. #6
    Apprentice REDHORSE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SOCAL, Inland Empire
    Posts
    738
    Great job on the write up, very detailed.

    One question for everyone. Is there a relay/switch/isolator/thingy-ma-jig that would allow you to have these Bumper LED function with both the brake lights and the turn signal indicator, yet isolate it so that it doesn't screw (feedback) with the OEM brake/turn indicators?

  9. #7
    OptimaForums Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,626
    Quote Originally Posted by iTQAN View Post
    This is really awesome, i'm planning to do mine as well. Also how much did they cost you and from where you got them?
    Info was at beginning of writeup. ~$95 on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by opTIM-A View Post
    Yeah I can see doing that. Thanks for the awesome writeup!
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottmuffman View Post
    Very nice write up. Good job. I remember it being a bitch. I had done mine well over a year ago when the only part out there was the led module that you had to put in the reflector. Slicing the reflector down the middle then caulking it closed and hoping water does not get it.
    Ya, I was going to go that route too when I ran across these.

    Quote Originally Posted by Munky View Post
    .........stop giving me all these mods to do!! You're a bad influence! Now I have yet another thing to add to my list..


    Oh, and this is getting stickied.
    Just trying to help the community. Ya I am constantly adding mods to the list because of this place. I should never come back here.

    Quote Originally Posted by REDHORSE View Post
    Great job on the write up, very detailed.

    One question for everyone. Is there a relay/switch/isolator/thingy-ma-jig that would allow you to have these Bumper LED function with both the brake lights and the turn signal indicator, yet isolate it so that it doesn't screw (feedback) with the OEM brake/turn indicators?
    Would take some work with a relay and diodes but can be done. I would not like that though because the top would be an amber signal and the bottom would be a red signal. I would want them to match.

  10. #8
    Apprentice BoNsWa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New Orleans, La
    Posts
    711
    Model
    2012 Optima SX-T
    Trim
    Premium & Tech
    WOW!!! Great Write-Up!

    I was just looking at this on a vendors site. That's incredible looking.

    One thing I must say about this crew is that ya'll aren't afraid to take bumpers off and stuff. On my BMW forums, EVERYONE is afraid to take S%&T apart! It seems much harder to take apart a BMW bumper than a Kia bumper, so I'm stoked about this one.

  11. #9
    OptimaForums Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,626
    Quote Originally Posted by BoNsWa View Post
    WOW!!! Great Write-Up!

    I was just looking at this on a vendors site. That's incredible looking.

    One thing I must say about this crew is that ya'll aren't afraid to take bumpers off and stuff. On my BMW forums, EVERYONE is afraid to take S%&T apart! It seems much harder to take apart a BMW bumper than a Kia bumper, so I'm stoked about this one.
    Thanks.

    Funny you mention BMW forums. I am a member of 3 of them and have done many of these same type of mods to my BMW's (Owned 8 or 9 of them, still own 3).

  12. #10
    Apprentice BoNsWa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    New Orleans, La
    Posts
    711
    Model
    2012 Optima SX-T
    Trim
    Premium & Tech
    Quote Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
    Thanks.

    Funny you mention BMW forums. I am a member of 3 of them and have done many of these same type of mods to my BMW's (Owned 8 or 9 of them, still own 3).
    I just sold my 2001 530i M-sport. I was on BimmerForums with the same name. There was like 2 guys, maybe, that would get daring.

    The only thing people did with their bumpers was replace them with the M5 bumpers. BUT... they would send it to a shop to do it. I never did see a good write-up from an owner doing it his self.

  13. Remove Advertisements
    Optima Forums
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 20 12311 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [FS] : Rear Bumper LED Reflector Lights
    By jonathanpaul2012 in forum Classified Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-05-2013, 06:17 PM
  2. Rear led bumper/reflector
    By SxOptima12 in forum Optima Appearance and Body Modifications
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-21-2013, 09:22 PM
  3. 3 way bumper led reflector
    By Kronyx in forum Entertainment: Audio, Navigation, and Electronics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-27-2012, 07:33 AM
  4. LED Bumper Reflector Install
    By crystalworks in forum Optima DIY
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 08-26-2012, 03:07 AM
  5. Rear bumper LED reflector replacement
    By robjr69 in forum Optima Appearance and Body Modifications
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-20-2012, 08:28 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2