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Discussion Starter #1
Okay guys, over the years we've all seen the poor guys who made a hash of trying to remove their OEM badges. We've seen scratched paint, peeled paint, and other damage caused by improper technique.

So, we are getting ready to sell our Optima in the next week or two so are going back to stock. I thought I would take the opportunity, in picture form, to do a DIY on removing badges. Well, this process is fast enough that I figured I would make this even easier for everyone and do a video. It should help out the forum and since we are getting rid of the car will be one of my last chances to contribute in a DIY type of capacity for the most part.

So here we go... started as a pictorial DIY with the rear badge. Scroll down if you want to skip all this and just watch the video.

Tools Needed:
1. Heat Gun (preferred) or Hair Dryer
2. Plastic Bone (preferred but not required)
3. Flat Head Screwdriver
4. Quick Detailer or other cleaner and Microfiber Towel
5. 3M Painter's Tape (any color but blue comes off super easily with no residue)

Step 1: Start by taping around the rear emblem anywhere you plan on prying. Get as close to the emblem with the tape as possible. Even try and get the tape just under the emblem if you can. At least with a couple of layers. I use 5-10 layers of tape. For a fresh OEM emblem I suggest at least 2 adjacent sides. In the pics I only used one side because the "K" emblem does not have the pegs and comes off really easily with some heat.



Step 2: Heat the emblem up with your heat gun or hair dryer. You want to heat it to the point (at least) of not being able to touch it with your bare hand. Sort of like the sun does as your car sits in a parking lot. I use the 800 degree setting on my heat gun and move it back and forth to heat the adhesive evenly.

Step 3: Insert your bone first to begin lifting the emblem. If you have a really thin flat head screwdriver you can use that. Only pry where you have the tape... that's why we put it there. And pry in a manner that keeps the tip lifting up under the emblem, not pushing down into your paint. See the video for a more clear demonstration. The emblem will come up relatively easily, especially if using a fairly rigid screwdriver.



Step 4: Now that you have the emblem removed heat it again so that you can get the rest of the adhesive left behind. If you are doing this on a fresh emblem on a new car... all of, or almost all of the adhesive will come off in almost perfect shape along with the emblem. Wipe down the area with a quick detailer and microfiber so that the area is prepped for the new emblem. The emblem pictured below was on the car for a day after purchase before I removed it. It has been sitting on a shelf for the last 14 months, but you can see how fresh the adhesive still looks.



Step 5: Install your emblem of choice. In this case, the OEM badge is going back on for sale of vehicle. As you can see, no marring of the paint and no damage is left behind. When installing your emblem, heat up the paint where the emblem goes... and even the emblem to "prime" the adhesive. It really does help the emblem adhere well so you don't have to worry about it coming off if it rains the next day.



Now, after taking 5 minutes to do the rear emblem... I figured this might be better if I set up the tripod and camera to do a video DIY on the front badge. So, enjoy. It only took 10 minutes to do even with the narration and demoing.


I'm hoping this helps the community and prevents owners from damaging their paint doing what should be a super simple and worry free mod. I was trying to take out the risk associated with doing badge removal, and hopefully accomplished that. You guys let me know. Suggestions or comments welcome.
 

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Hey, that car doesn't look like a KIA..... That is one mod I can't understand. I would want people to know what type of car I have. Not hide the brand... It seems like a vendor only needs to find something to sell and everyone wants it and if it is on ebay it is not quality. Oh well, enjoy your new ride..... What are you getting...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, that car doesn't look like a KIA..... That is one mod I can't understand. I would want people to know what type of car I have. Not hide the brand... It seems like a vendor only needs to find something to sell and everyone wants it and if it is on ebay it is not quality. Oh well, enjoy your new ride..... What are you getting...
I have no problem telling anyone it's a Kia... pretty proud of it actually. My problem is with the "Kia" badge itself... looks like garbage, like it belongs on a playschool truck. But if you don't mind the design of the OE emblem I can definitely see where you are coming from as this is the only car I have ever changed badging on.

We are getting another BMW, probably an e46 sport wagon. After I got another one for baby duties (X5) the wife decided she didn't enjoy driving the Optima anymore because it didn't handle like our BMW's... lol... I was like "we knew that before we bought it." But, happy wife, happy life. At least now she knows she has to be in a vehicle that handles well to enjoy driving it. Lesson learned.
 

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Hey, that car doesn't look like a KIA..... That is one mod I can't understand. I would want people to know what type of car I have. Not hide the brand... It seems like a vendor only needs to find something to sell and everyone wants it and if it is on ebay it is not quality. Oh well, enjoy your new ride..... What are you getting...
THANK GOD for someone finally putting this together. Props to crystal. This needs to be a sticky in the Appearance & Body Mod section, too.

As for your comment Chuck, I wouldn't doubt that a segment of owners change out the badges for not wanting to be caught in a KIA (because of pre-conceived notions and judgment around product quality). Others do it because they hop on the bandwagon. Some of us, such as myself, think it's great way to stir up conversation, however, with those same people who pre-judge a car by its brand name. Cannot tell you how many people I meet who ask me what kind of car I have, and then guess some lame status symbol make (I even had one guy think it was a Porsche :rolleyes:). I change out my badges or remove everything completely because I don't advertise for free. Have done it on all my cars.

But if you don't mind the design of the OE emblem I can definitely see where you are coming from as this is the only car I have ever changed badging on.
That is the crux of the conversation. I've almost never seen a swapped out badge on a Honda, Toyota, BMW, Benz, Audi, Chevy, Ford, or Hyundai. It's curious why some choose to do so with KIA.
 

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That is the crux of the conversation. I've almost never seen a swapped out badge on a Honda, Toyota, BMW, Benz, Audi, Chevy, Ford, or Hyundai. It's curious why some choose to do so with KIA.
If you look at all the cars you listed, what do they all have in common? All their badges are their actual logos! The word KIA is just hideous to me and just looks cheaply done. No other car that i can think i would change the logo, maybe just black it out to look mean :D But again just me opinion!
 

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If you look at all the cars you listed, what do they all have in common? All their badges are their actual logos! The word KIA is just hideous to me and just looks cheaply done. No other car that i can think i would change the logo, maybe just black it out to look mean :D But again just me opinion!
Fine. Nissan? Rolls Royce? BMW? Bugatti? FORD????? They all just slap their name on a badge, too. For goodness sake, Honda is an H. I'm just saying it's not only KIA that uses their name on their badge.

Sorry crystal, we got derailed. **** DIY!
 

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This is a cool DIY for people asking how to do their badge, plus there's a video, Good Job Sir :thumbsup:
 

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Great guide. The only thing I would add (if it's not mentioned in the video) is to be more careful with the front badge because you're dealing with painted plastic up front, rather than metal in the rear. Paint just doesn't stick to plastic quite as well as it does to metal, so be extra careful with the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry crystal, we got derailed. **** DIY!
No probs... it happens to me in like 90% of the threads I post in... sometimes one subject just leads nicely into another and a conversation ensues. It happens on every car forum.

Thank you for making this DIY!

This was definitely overdue, and I think many people will be able to use this since the older DIY was done back in 2011 or 2012.

Great work!
I didn't even know there was another DIY. LOL. If I had I might not have done this. I just remember reading too many threads where people damaged their cars trying to do something that should be simple so I thought I would make this seeing as how I was rebadging the Kia.

Hope it helps people out, and if you want to link to it on your site I have no problem with that... just give a shout out.:thumbsup: You have a large customer base so I know it will help many there as well.

Nice DIY thanks. I went the fishing line route but this is good to know!
Yep, that works too. There are lots of ways to skin this particular cat. I just figured I'd show the easiest method I've discovered over the years for doing this on tons of vehicles. Ironically, this doesn't apply necessarily to a BMW badge though, unless we are talking the model designations. BMW roundels (the actual hood and trunk badges) are not held on with adhesive. They use push pins and special grommets.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great guide. The only thing I would add (if it's not mentioned in the video) is to be more careful with the front badge because you're dealing with painted plastic up front, rather than metal in the rear. Paint just doesn't stick to plastic quite as well as it does to metal, so be extra careful with the front.
Definitely be careful (on front and back)... but if you use the 8ish layers of tape... it's almost impossible to damage the paint by prying. And if you heat the emblem up appropriately the adhesive is going to let go of the paint before the paint lets go of the bumper. If the DIY is followed as a guide all should be well.:thumbsup:

How long was this DIY in approval state?
Not long, I think the mods are trying to be more on point with that since the drama two or three weeks ago (lol and lets not re-hash it here). I finished writing it up last night around 1 AM and submitted it via their submission DIY area. Was up and live when I checked it at 9 AM central this morning. :thumbsup:
 

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Not long, I think the mods are trying to be more on point with that since the drama two or three weeks ago (lol and lets not re-hash it here). I finished writing it up last night around 1 AM and submitted it via their submission DIY area. Was up and live when I checked it at 9 AM central this morning. :thumbsup:
Yep, why I was asking. Just curious. Hopefully that attentiveness can be shared by other DIYers as well.
 

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I didn't even know there was another DIY. LOL. If I had I might not have done this. I just remember reading too many threads where people damaged their cars trying to do something that should be simple so I thought I would make this seeing as how I was rebadging the Kia.

Hope it helps people out, and if you want to link to it on your site I have no problem with that... just give a shout out.:thumbsup: You have a large customer base so I know it will help many there as well.
Well there was a half a$$ one made which was just a video that we currently have linked to on the site. So this should definitely help others as well. Thank you for that, I will link members back to your DIY here on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I removed mine emblems, front and back using an old credit card in about 5-7 mins. No lie!
Sweet. Sometimes you can get away with that too, though I still recommend the taping (especially in the front). When it works, it sure is nice. You live in LA as well so the sunshine probably helps to keep that adhesive fairly pliable. :)

I posted this because it will work anywhere, at any time of year, and minimize the chance of any paint damage. We've seen some hash ups over the years and we don't need anyone else to go through that.

Well there was a half a$$ one made which was just a video that we currently have linked to on the site. So this should definitely help others as well. Thank you for that, I will link members back to your DIY here on the forum.
Gotcha. Hadn't seen it, but glad this will get put to use.
 

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So hey CW, will you be completely out of the Optima game after this car is sold? I can't remember whether you had one left or not. If not, let me know if you have any left over DRL housings, I could really use an extra one to experiment on. TYIA! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So hey CW, will you be completely out of the Optima game after this car is sold? I can't remember whether you had one left or not. If not, let me know if you have any left over DRL housings, I could really use an extra one to experiment on. TYIA! :)
I am going to have a bunch of stuff in a for sale thread here coming up soon, but will not be gone at all. I will have some DRL stuff... haven't really gone over exactly what I have lying around yet. Will definitely keep posting here unless the quality of membership drops to a level I am no longer comfortable with.

And of course I will still install stuff locally.
 
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