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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've heard that this has been posted elsewhere, but I haven't seen it on this forum. There is a video (http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/22849-front-bumper-cover-removal-video.html) thanks to nappydrew, (View Profile: nappydrew - Optima Forums : Kia Optima Forum), but some might find a simple write up just as helpful, (nothing against the video - it's actually very useful). So I decided I would post this.

What you'll need:

8mm socket
10mm socket
Screwdriver

Step 1:

Remove the top plate above the bumper. This is pretty simple - just remove the 6 "screw" keepers and the 4 bolts (10mm).
Bumper_TopPlate.jpg
The screw keepers are circled in blue, and the bolts are circled in red. Two of these bolts hold the air intake in place, so it's pretty important that you don't lose these bolts. Once all the screws / bolts are removed, lift the air intake and the plate will easily pull out.

Step 2:

Remove the screws in the top of the wheel well that holds the top of the bumper in place. It's best if you have a small screwdriver or a 8mm ratchet to reach this (especially if your car is lowered), but if your screwdriver is a bit long, you can get to these screws by simply turning the wheels. (One screw per side)
WheelWell_Screw.jpg

Step 3:

Next, you should remove the lower skid plate. It isn't absolutely necessary to completely remove the plate, but doing so makes any work to be done so much easier, so I highly recommend it. This is done by removing the 4 bolts (10mm) directly below the skid plate, and the screw keepers / bolts around the edge of the plate which connect it to the bumper.
SkidPlate.jpg
After the skid plate is removed, finish removing the screw keepers around the edges of the bumper.

Step 4:

With all screw keepers and bolts removed, it's time to take off the bumper. From the wheel well, grab the bumper and pull up and out (more out than up, but a little upward force helps). Don't be afraid to give it a little tug, but don't go all hulk on the thing. If you give it a tug and it doesn't come free, check for screws that you may have missed. As the bumper comes loose, it will pop - don't worry, it's just coming loose from the holders. Also, try to pull the bumper as close to the hang point as possible. You don't want to give too much leverage and torque by pulling too far from the hang point.
BumperPull.jpg
Once you have one side free, repeat on the other side.

NOTE: If this is your first time, you may want to check out the video (http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/22849-front-bumper-cover-removal-video.html), specifically at 7:45, to see an optional way to remove the bumper. I personally prefer the method I have explained, but some may not feel that this is the best route.​

Step 5:

After both sides of the bumper are free, the bottom of the bumper will need to come out (away from the car) while the top of the bumper comes up. This will clear the two hooks holding the bumper in place.
BumperHook.jpg

Step 6 (if applicable):

Disconnect the fog lights.

Your bumper is now removed.
Bumper Removed.jpg
 

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Registered
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633 Posts
Nice! Im sure it will be very helpful for future members who search for it.
 

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Your K5 Optima Vendor
2017 Tesla Model X
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28,251 Posts
This is great! Thank you so much for doing a write up on this! We definitely needed one of these!

:thumbsup:
 

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02/2014 ROTM
2013 Optima SX
Joined
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1,260 Posts
Thanks for the writeup, but may I offer two suggestions.

First, in step 2, it's actually an 8mm socket you need, not a 10mm.

Second, and more importantly, might I suggest that you watch the video you sited, specifically at 7:45, and include those instructions between steps 3 and 4. I think it will save a lot of people from tearing their bumper to shreds, and it does make the removal VERY easy.

Just a thought!
 

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Registered
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2,643 Posts
First, in step 2, it's actually an 8mm socket you need, not a 10mm.

Second, and more importantly, might I suggest that you watch the video you sited, specifically at 7:45, and include those instructions between steps 3 and 4. I think it will save a lot of people from tearing their bumper to shreds, and it does make the removal VERY easy.
Correct... 8mm socket is used there.

The second part... I prefer the pull method, but I've done it at least 15 times now. If it's your first time, go with NappyDrew's video tutorial. I did it his way my first time back in 2011 before examining those clips pictured under the headlights. If you pry those clips up with a long screwdriver the front bumper slides right out without having to remove the bracket. Then push them back down when you are ready to put the bumper back on.
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the writeup, but may I offer two suggestions.

First, in step 2, it's actually an 8mm socket you need, not a 10mm.

Second, and more importantly, might I suggest that you watch the video you sited, specifically at 7:45, and include those instructions between steps 3 and 4. I think it will save a lot of people from tearing their bumper to shreds, and it does make the removal VERY easy.

Just a thought!
Thank you. I have fixed the socket size for step 2. The rest are 10mm, correct? I always used a small screwdriver, and had just overlooked the fact that they are a bit smaller than the rest.

Correct... 8mm socket is used there.

The second part... I prefer the pull method, but I've done it at least 15 times now. If it's your first time, go with NappyDrew's video tutorial. I did it his way my first time back in 2011 before examining those clips pictured under the headlights. If you pry those clips up with a long screwdriver the front bumper slides right out without having to remove the bracket. Then push them back down when you are ready to put the bumper back on.
I'm with crystalworks on this. I did site the video so that people have multiple perspectives on this issue, and can choose whichever way they feel would be best. But, to make this a bit clearer for first timers, I have included a suggestion to watch the video at the specified time. I appreciate the suggestion. =)
 

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167 Posts
I just did this yesterday, and I used the method that removes the bolts. When putting back on however, I slid the brackets off and bolted them on before installing the bumper. I think after removing them once, it would be fine to pull the bumper off as long as you are putting pressure in the right place.
 

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Registered
2014 KIA Optima (Snow White Pearl)
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130 Posts
I pulled the bumper this weekend so that I could install my Osram Xenarc CBI D1S HID bulbs. It took a few hours, but I eventually got the $#@% thing off. A couple of notes..

I have a 2014 SXL, and I was trying to follow the existing guides..

Here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/22849-front-bumper-cover-removal-video.html

and

Here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28465-front-bumper-removal.html

I was able to get all the little push rivot-fasteners out - in the wheel wells, under the bumper, under the weather guard, and in the engine bay area along the front & snorkel area. Well, that's not entirely true I guess - some of these refused to unscrew - they just kept turning in place. To get around that, I just wedged a small flat-head in there while turning the phillips-head which seemed to help. I was also able to get the two screws out in the wheel wells without issue. Where I ran into the major slowdown was when I was trying to pull the bumper up and out... :cry:

The video indicates that there are some extra bolts that MUST be taken out before pulling the bumper, or you would risk ripping the bumper cover. As I pulled off my bumper, I could've sworn something was still holding onto it, and for the life of me, I could not find any other bolts holding it on from the inside of the fender area (as stated in the video). As I was a "bumper-removal virgin," I was a little apprehensive about just yanking the bumper for fear of bending/ripping it. The inside of my fenderwall/bumper area looked different than the one shown in the 2011-2013 model years video as well, and as I haven't seen any 2014+ bumper removal posts I was worried I was missing something.

As it turns out, these bolts do NOT exist in the 2014+ models - I simply had to just pull REAL hard to get the bumper to pop out of the metal tabs holding it in.

The sides weren't too bad, but this metal piece closest to/under the headlight housings is where I really had some difficulty. Those raised metal tabs are what slide over the bumper and hold it in place. These are a BITCH, no better way to put it. :angry:



I was also looking at the wrong tabs, thinking the black tabs that touch the white bumper were actually attached to the car itself, but in reality, these black plastic pieces were actually part of the bumper itself.



A closer view of the tabs. I mistakenly tried to pry one of these black plastic tabs up, thinking these were what was holding the bumper on. Do NOT do this as they are actually attached to the bumper itself and are part of the bumper cover assembly. When you pull the bumper off you'll see they are attached...



There is really limited room between the bumper and area under the headlight to get any leverage to pull, but it really was just a matter of pulling real hard to get this %#[email protected][email protected] off. Once it 'popped' I actually fell over and onto my back. There was lots of sweating, swearing, some sore fingers and scraped up forearms but thanks to a couple of guys that happened to be on-line in the chat, they offered some advice and general words of encouragement - mainly "just pull that son-of-a-bitch reaaaaal hard" - and eventually it worked.

:thumbsup:











 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Well, sorry that it was such a PITA to get off, but I'm glad you made it work.

Thank you for the added info on the new models! And the pics are a huge help!
 

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Super Moderator
2012 Kia Optima
Joined
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3,437 Posts
HUGE help for newbies with new models. And yes, sometimes those plastic expanding screws just sit and spin to which I apply upwards pressure using a small flat screw driver and they come right out. Glad everything went well for you though.
 

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08/2015 ROTM
2015 Kia Optima
Joined
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430 Posts
I'm sorry, but you would be incorrect about the 14+ models not having the 3 bolts inside the bumper area. Your bumper should just about almost fall off and there should be no yanking at all if you removed everything correctly. To be exact, it's 2 nuts and 1 bolt that you have to reach in a full arms length to get to these after you pull the ends of the bumper and push to the side a little. I will admit, I could not find these either, my brother just happened to reach in there and found them for me. This was on a 2015 SXL....
Also, the screws you couldn't unscrew, they're push rivets, so you have to insert your Phillips screw driver with zero pressure on the rivet and turn slowly and they will back out for you. I'm not trying to lecture anyone, just want to make sure when someone post info it's accurate. Good job on the pics, that definitely helps...




I pulled the bumper this weekend so that I could install my Osram Xenarc CBI D1S HID bulbs. It took a few hours, but I eventually got the $#@% thing off. A couple of notes..

I have a 2014 SXL, and I was trying to follow the existing guides..

Here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/22849-front-bumper-cover-removal-video.html

and

Here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28465-front-bumper-removal.html

I was able to get all the little push rivot-fasteners out - in the wheel wells, under the bumper, under the weather guard, and in the engine bay area along the front & snorkel area. Well, that's not entirely true I guess - some of these refused to unscrew - they just kept turning in place. To get around that, I just wedged a small flat-head in there while turning the phillips-head which seemed to help. I was also able to get the two screws out in the wheel wells without issue. Where I ran into the major slowdown was when I was trying to pull the bumper up and out... :cry:

The video indicates that there are some extra bolts that MUST be taken out before pulling the bumper, or you would risk ripping the bumper cover. As I pulled off my bumper, I could've sworn something was still holding onto it, and for the life of me, I could not find any other bolts holding it on from the inside of the fender area (as stated in the video). As I was a "bumper-removal virgin," I was a little apprehensive about just yanking the bumper for fear of bending/ripping it. The inside of my fenderwall/bumper area looked different than the one shown in the 2011-2013 model years video as well, and as I haven't seen any 2014+ bumper removal posts I was worried I was missing something.

As it turns out, these bolts do NOT exist in the 2014+ models - I simply had to just pull REAL hard to get the bumper to pop out of the metal tabs holding it in.

The sides weren't too bad, but this metal piece closest to/under the headlight housings is where I really had some difficulty. Those raised metal tabs are what slide over the bumper and hold it in place. These are a BITCH, no better way to put it. :angry:



I was also looking at the wrong tabs, thinking the black tabs that touch the white bumper were actually attached to the car itself, but in reality, these black plastic pieces were actually part of the bumper itself.



A closer view of the tabs. I mistakenly tried to pry one of these black plastic tabs up, thinking these were what was holding the bumper on. Do NOT do this as they are actually attached to the bumper itself and are part of the bumper cover assembly. When you pull the bumper off you'll see they are attached...



There is really limited room between the bumper and area under the headlight to get any leverage to pull, but it really was just a matter of pulling real hard to get this %#[email protected][email protected] off. Once it 'popped' I actually fell over and onto my back. There was lots of sweating, swearing, some sore fingers and scraped up forearms but thanks to a couple of guys that happened to be on-line in the chat, they offered some advice and general words of encouragement - mainly "just pull that son-of-a-bitch reaaaaal hard" - and eventually it worked.

:thumbsup:











 

·
Registered
2014 KIA Optima (Snow White Pearl)
Joined
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130 Posts
I'm sorry, but you would be incorrect about the 14+ models not having the 3 bolts inside the bumper area. Your bumper should just about almost fall off and there should be no yanking at all if you removed everything correctly. To be exact, it's 2 nuts and 1 bolt that you have to reach in a full arms length to get to these after you pull the ends of the bumper and push to the side a little. I will admit, I could not find these either, my brother just happened to reach in there and found them for me. This was on a 2015 SXL....
Also, the screws you couldn't unscrew, they're push rivets, so you have to insert your Phillips screw driver with zero pressure on the rivet and turn slowly and they will back out for you. I'm not trying to lecture anyone, just want to make sure when someone post info it's accurate. Good job on the pics, that definitely helps...
Thanks for your reply, and I certainly appreciate you addressing my mistake(s) - I definitely don't want to provide bad/false info. I don't recall seeing those bolts in there, but as you have a 2015 SXL I must have missed them. Admittedly, there isn't a ton of room in there to even get a picture when the bumper is still attached, and I was working in direct sunlight as well where shadows were becoming an issue as the day went on.

Looking at that picture, I don't know how someone with 'normal' arms could get in there to get those out since the nut is actually behind the frame. Can I ask.. when you take out those bolts, what is it actually doing to make the job so much easier? I mean, that black metallic looking piece where the bolts are going through - is that actually connected to the bumper itself? Either way, it must not have been easy...

For the screws I couldn't unscrew, I did as you said but some of these just spun in place. All of them were threaded and identical - some came out and some required the use of a flat-head to gently hold them in place while I used the phillips to reverse them out.
 

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Registered
2015 Kia Optima
Joined
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85 Posts
I'm sorry, but you would be incorrect about the 14+ models not having the 3 bolts inside the bumper area. Your bumper should just about almost fall off and there should be no yanking at all if you removed everything correctly. To be exact, it's 2 nuts and 1 bolt that you have to reach in a full arms length to get to these after you pull the ends of the bumper and push to the side a little. I will admit, I could not find these either, my brother just happened to reach in there and found them for me. This was on a 2015 SXL....
Also, the screws you couldn't unscrew, they're push rivets, so you have to insert your Phillips screw driver with zero pressure on the rivet and turn slowly and they will back out for you. I'm not trying to lecture anyone, just want to make sure when someone post info it's accurate. Good job on the pics, that definitely helps...

How do you get those bolts off? I don't see how it's possible. I have my car apart and can't get this bumper off! This is really frustrating. I'm afraid to pull like others have said to do. Anyone have a way to get to these bolts or an easier way?
 

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Super Moderator
2012 Kia Optima
Joined
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3,437 Posts
Its really not that difficult. Pull out the side of your bumper and stick your arm in with a deep well 10mm socket and wrench. unbolt. They some right out. When you re-install, leave off the nut furthest in and juts do the two bolts on either side. Makes it much easier in the future. Hope this helps!
 
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