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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Before proceeding, you will need to have your headlights baked, and the lenses removed. You can find a write up on this process here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28489-headlight-baking-yum.html.
This can also be called "Sidemarker Switchback Mod" - I thought I would add this for search purposes.

What you'll need:

Screwdriver
Dremel (or some kind of precision cutting tool)
LED switchback board (w/ TPC) - exLED Kia Optima K5 ('10~) Custom 2Way LED Front Light Reflector Kit
White Diffuser - exLED Kia Optima K5 ('10~) Front Reflector Light Diffuser Film
Mechanic wire
Solder and soldering iron
Silicon / caulk (or some kind of glue type substance - preferably clear or white - optional, but highly recommended)

I would like to point out that the above links (from exledusa.com) have some pictures that are intended as a DIY guide. But, I feel that it would be easy for someone to get confused by trying to follow pictures alone. In addition, the above guides do NOT give wiring information. So, I created this one to clear up any confusion! Also, you may get these parts elsewhere, but the parts may slightly differ (such as wire colors and small variances). However, this guide should still be able to walk you through the mod.

Step 1:

Remove the holder of the reflector. This holder is secured to a plastic portion, and that plastic portion is secured to the lens. To make the removal (and replacement) of this holder easy, remove the screw that secures the plastic portion to the lens. This screw is show in the pic below and is circled in red. After that screw has been removed, remove the two screws that hold the holder in place (shown in the pic and circled in blue).
ReflectorHold.jpg

Lift the plastic portion slightly away from the lens and then remove the holder. After removing the holder, you'll see the reason why you didn't pry the holder out of place.
HolderHold.jpg

Step 2:

Remove the reflector from the holder. This is pretty straight forward; there are two pieces of the reflector - remove them both.
RelfectorRemoved.jpg

Step 3:
Cut out the back of the reflector (the ENTIRE back portion). This is easily achieved with a Dremel, just be sure to not over cut and break the holder. Once you remove the back, the holder is a bit flimsy... it did, after all, lose much of it's structure. You'll also want to be careful to not cut the screw holes out.
ReflectorMod.jpg

Step 4:

Place the board (LEDs facing inward, wires facing outward) over the hole that you just cut; make sure you attach the board to the correct side... you will attach it to side you just cut so that the board replaces the backing of the holder that you just removed. Attach the board to the holder by soldering mechanic wire to the board, and "tying" the mechanic wire to the holder. You can also solder the mechanic wire together after it's been tied.
LEDtoHolder.jpg
Sorry for the blurry picture here, but you can get the idea. Using 4 points to secure the board to the holder is enough. You can "tie" the mechanic wire around both the board and holder, or you can lace the mechanic wire through holes in the holder and solder it back to board. You can even use a combination of the two. Please do not try to use a soldering wire in place of mechanic wire. You can get mechanic wire at any auto parts store, and it's cheap (like $4 for a small roll).

Step 5:
Place the white diffuser over the area where the reflector and holder were. Using the soldering iron you used in the previous step, "melt" the diffuser to the plastic at a few points. Work your way from one end to the other, melting a point every couple of inches.
Diffuser.jpg

NOTE:
The melting process is very quick. DO NOT hold the soldering iron on too long as it may melt all the way through the plastic. After melting a few points, I recommend using clear or white caulk and going around the edges of the diffuser to secure it in place. Allow at least 30 minutes for the silicon to set.
NOTE:
The walk through on exledusa.com says to use electrical tape to secure it in place. I used a little, but I don't think it's needed if you secure it white caulk. You may want the tape if you use clear silicon or don't use any silicon at all, just to make sure no light escapes.


Step 6:
Reattach the holder (now with the LED board) to the plastic portion and lens.
LEDBoardAttached.jpg

Step 7:

Reattach lens to the housing, pulling the LED board wires through the hole for the old parking light bulb.
LEDWiresPulled.jpg

OPTIONAL NOTE:
To keep a clean install, you can place the TPC module and all the wiring inside housing. To do this, secure the TPC module somewhere in the housing, connect the wires from the LED board to the TPC module "out" port (wires connect color to color), then connect the TPC module "in" port to the correct points in the housing. I believe this is:

  • [*=1]White from TPC to white on housing (where reflector light was)
    [*=1]Black from TPC to black on housing (where reflector light was)
    [*=1]Yellow from TPC to red on housing (where turn signal goes) - UNVERIFIED - Would someone please verify this for me?

I recommend doing this IF you do not plan on adding the http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28602-vent-switchback-led-mod.html. I didn't do this because I didn't think of it before I closed my lights, and I was doing the vent switchback mod.

If you go this route, continue to step 8, and you are finished.

Step 8:

Close lights up (bake closed) - please refer back to http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28489-headlight-baking-yum.html for help with this.

Step 9:

Take the holder of the old parking light bulb and remove the bulb. Create a hole in the end of this piece, then create a channel all the way down the piece (as shown in the below pic). This will allow a passage for the wires, while keeping the hole in the housing minimized. Do not seal the hole any more than this as that may hinder reopening the light.
EndCap.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Step 10:
IMPORTANT NOTE: This step pertains to the stock non-HID housing. I do not know the pin layout for the stock HID housing. If someone would like to send me a wiring diagram, or information on those housings, I will be glad to add it here.​


Ah, the wiring! This part took me the longest time to figure out, and I ended up having to pin out the connector myself. Luckily, you don't have to because jtrade (View Profile: jtrade - Optima Forums : Kia Optima Forum) has helped out by finding these:
Headlamp Left Connector.JPG

To make these lights switchback, you will need TPC modules for the LED boards. Without the TPC module, the lights will work, but the white lights will not turn off when the blinker turns on. On the TPC module "in" port, connect the following:
  • Black wire to ground (pin 5, 6, or 7, or you can create your own ground... I recommend using a pin. I used pin 5)
  • White wire to pin 3 or 8 (I used pin 3)
  • Yellow wire to pin 4
In the picture below, I have drawn a small diagram of how the wires should connect. For simplicity, I have labeled the wires (black, white, and yellow) as if they were connected to the pins I used. This diagram has a "resistor" connected to pins 4 and 5, which is used for a switchback mod on the front turn signals (http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/66-diy-audio-navigation-electronics/4833-switchback-leds-front-turn-signals.html).
Ttaps.jpg

NOTE:
The DIY for the front turn signals (above link) has the pins reversed from what I have shown... pin 1 = pin 4, pin 8 = pin 5.
NOTE: I'm not sure if it matters where the module is placed, (before or after the resistor), but I hooked it up before the resistor (in-line connections: power source, TPC module, resistor, headlight).
ALTERNATIVE: You can use this mod for the switchbacks, and then it really won't matter where you put the TPC module: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/22-optima-diy/13380-led-switchback-front-signal-lights-2-0-a.html

Step 11:
Connect the wires from the LED board to the TPC module "out" port. I highly recommend doing this with quick disconnects rather than splicing directly in. This will allow for easy removal of the headlight in the future rather than cutting the wires.
QuickDisconnect.jpg

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Only ONE TPC module is required PER SIDE of the vehicle. If you are adding this mod to another switchback mod (such as the vent switchback mod), connect BOTH LED boards to the "out" port of the TPC module.



Test! If all your wires are connected properly, you should have some switchback action! Clean up the wires, replace the headlights, and put your car back together.
Switchback.jpg
 

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Another awesome DIY! Thank you much for taking your time to make these DIY threads for the forum members. :thumbsup:
 

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Awesome DIY!!!! Your Optima looks sweet with all the switchbacks!!!
 

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You make these DIYs look so simple!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Awesome DIY!!!! Your Optima looks sweet with all the switchbacks!!!
You make these DIYs look so simple!!!
Thank you! I've had to write a few write ups, a few technical documents, and a whole lot of Standard Operating Procedures, so I kinda got the hang of creating write ups that are easy to understand and follow. And I kinda like doing it. So, I'm sure I'll be writing several more. In fact, I plan on making another one tonight (HID Install).
 

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Nice writeup!

I think when I do this though I am only going to hook up the turn signal to flash amber. Don't care for the white to light up. Already have front switchbacks and DRL's. Think it would be too much white going on in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Awesome job!!! I ended up doing this but all the wires are inside the headlight. Didn't want all the wires showing up behind the headlights (more cleaner look) and if I need to switch them, it will be plug & play!

Shame on me for not taking pictures!! I could have share them with you for this AWESOME DIY!
The only reason I didn't hide the wires inside the headlight was because I didn't know where the yellow wire went. I didn't think about soldering inside until after I closed it all up. =/
Also, I knew that I was going to add the vent light as a switchback, and I figured the TPC module would need to be outside of the housing.

If you are only going to do a white LED board in place of the amber reflector, or even do JUST the switch back in place of the reflector, I would recommend putting them in the housing. If anyone wants to send me pics of the lights open (because I don't take a pic of the lights head on), then I can add a section to this walk through on how to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice writeup!

I think when I do this though I am only going to hook up the turn signal to flash amber. Don't care for the white to light up. Already have front switchbacks and DRL's. Think it would be too much white going on in the front.
The turn signal does flash amber....
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
ok - i am going to do the film mod switch the amber for white instead of the LED mod you did. i already did white on white switch backs for the turn signal. want it all white up front
I'm a little confused... mine is completely white up front. The turn signals, the side markers, vent LED and mirror all light up amber when the blinker is on. Other than that, they are white. Are you saying that you do not want amber at all? Not even when it blinks? Or you just want it to light up white?

The attached picture shows the white and amber... only amber when the blinker is on. The white doesn't look way white, but it's pretty white. It's just too bright for my camera phone. LoL
 

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yes all white. my switchbacks (if you want to call them that) run white and blink white. and i am going to replace the side marker film thats currently amber for a white film. just making sure its a white light behind there befor i do it if not i will buy a new led.

I had purchased the new mirror light that would run white and blink white as well but i fried one of the LED's so i never got back around to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yes all white. my switchbacks (if you want to call them that) run white and blink white. and i am going to replace the side marker film thats currently amber for a white film. just making sure its a white light behind there befor i do it if not i will buy a new led.

I had purchased the new mirror light that would run white and blink white as well but i fried one of the LED's so i never got back around to it.
Ah, I see. Well, I believe the bulb was clear, but it was a halogen so it would light slightly yellow. You would need to replace the bulb with a white LED bulb. This walk through could help you with the white film portion.
 

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The turn signal does flash amber....
Yes I know. I am only going to hook up that function... not the white. I only want the signal to flash and then no light behind the white reflector. Otherwise I'd have white DRL's, white running lights (switchbacks), and white lights on the side of the headlight behind the formerly orange reflector. Too much white light (for me personally, what anyone else likes is perfectly cool).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes I know. I am only going to hook up that function... not the white. I only want the signal to flash and then no light behind the white reflector. Otherwise I'd have white DRL's, white running lights (switchbacks), and white lights on the side of the headlight behind the formerly orange reflector. Too much white light (for me personally, what anyone else likes is perfectly cool).
I gotcha. Well, if that's the case, you just need to connect the yellow wire to pin 4, black to pin 5, and you won't need the TPC module. Also, if you aren't going to have the side vents then I recommend connecting the wires in the housing (refer to step 7... I edited that earlier today).
 
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