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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so if you have checked out my other DIY's you know I am a stickler for wiring and like things to look as OE as possible. Anything that does not look OE should be hidden pretty well. Of course the resistors required for installing the switchback LED's are not exactly an OEM looking accessory. Soooooooooooo... I started browsing KGIS for the wiring schematic of the front turn signal circuit.

BTW... Kia, I can not thank you enough for KGIS. I wish all manufacturers would provide this kind of technical data to their buyers. It would make second hand cars so much nicer to buy. Especially a car that has had 3 or 4 owners. So many less broken panels and unnecessary splices would be enjoyed by all. /rant

Here is what I came up with. Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for incorrect execution of this modification, no am I responsible for any damage caused by this modification. With that out of the way...

Step 1: Just as in the other DIY go ahead and disconnect your battery's negative terminal (10mm ratchet)

Step 2: Remove the stock dual filament incandescent bulbs. Simply turn the bulb holders clockwise (if you are looking from the front). You may have to remove the stock air snorkel for the driver's side. If so it requires only removing 2 10mm bolts. I am borrowing Jhall's pic here.



Step 3: Here's where it goes sideways. Go ahead and put your snorkel back on and you are done under the hood (of course you will later re-hook the negative terminal up on the battery). WHAT!!! DONE YOU SAY??? Yep, no ugly wires under the hood or resistors slapping you in the face when you are showing off your latest go fast mod to the fast and fatal crew at the local car meet. And more importantly, no non-OE looking wiring/devices slapping the dealer's tech in the face when he is screwing up your oil change or whatever you brought it in for.

Step 4: This is where the pics stop for awhile. Sorry for that but I had not intended on doing a DIY at the time. But it was so much easier and cleaner to do it in the car that I figured some of you guys could benefit. Go ahead and remove the "crash pad" as Kia calls it on the left side of the dash. Pull the door seal rubber off a little bit to allow room for the panel to come off. There is an indent that you can place a plastic bone or other pry tool to pop it off. It is number 6 in Kia's diagram below.

Step 5: Remove the bottom panel. Do this by removing 2 screws under where the crash pad was and 2 more on the bottom of the panel. Remove the fuse panel cover. Then there is just a series of clips along the top. Simply give it a good tug from the top and these should pop off. Remove the OB2 service port, 2 harnesses at the top (dimmer and something else), and remove the harness on the push button start (if equipped). The harness on the push button is on there really good... I had to use a tool as it would not let go with just hand pressure. My thumb still hurts trying to depress the little retainer. This whole panel is number 11.

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Step 6: Now you can get to the wiring you need. But first go ahead a prep your resistors. Tie two ends together (one from each resistor) by crimping them with a ring terminal. This is the same terminal you see all over the car where grounds come together and are bolted to the chassis. If you are really swanky (I was) you can use some heat shrink tubing at the crimp point just covering a bit of the ring to make it look stock. Now you will need to extend the wiring on the other end of the resistor that will connect to the car's turn signal wiring. I would solder on 24" of wire just to be sure you have enough. It's always easier to cut than it is to add wire.

Step 7: Resistors are prepped. Go ahead and mount them as I did here using 3M double sided adhesive, otherwise known as trim tape. There might be other places to mount these but I chose this spot because it is close to a ground point, is on unpainted metal, and is a reasonable distance from any plastic or wiring. I tested with the hazards on for an hour and there were no ill effects from the mod. I also added some heavy duty zip ties around the wires of the resistors, one on top and one on bottom. This is just in case the double sided tape ever fails. It will keep the resistors from just falling onto something they could melt or (if you left enough wire) down onto your feet while you were driving. Ouch! These things operate at around 250 degrees. Go ahead and use the 2 bolts that hold the metal bar to the reinforcement to ground the resistors at this point. You can use either bolt... I used the top bolt because it made for shorter wires. Remember to run your wires in a manner they will not get cut by the sharp metal edges that are all around the area. If it happened it would not be a catastrophe though as it is a ground anyway. It wouldn't become a problem until it started cutting into the wires themselves. BUT, nobody likes frayed shielding on the wires in the first place so just make sure it doesn't happen.



Step 8: Now the fun part. The wires you need are under the fuse layout. In a terminal Kia calls I/P-D. It's diagram and picture are below. They are pins 13 (red/orange) and 26 (blue/orange). Kia calls blue lavender for some reason. Took me awhile to get used to that. Be careful as pin 22 is also blue/orange. These are the two wires you are going to tap into. It does not matter which resistor is tapped into which wire obviously. Unplug the harness by unclipping the black retainer on the top and rotating it down. With the harness free use your chosen method of tapping. I always cut the OE insulation and solder the new wire in. Most will use the red tap crimps which is fine. I just like the security of being able to visually see the quality of the joint that solder provides. I don't have to worry about the crimp cutting any OE wires.



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Step 9: Now to test everything. I plugged all the plugs back in on the panel removed earlier just to be safe. I do this just out of habit as cars have gotten so smart that if a harness is disconnected it might get mad and throw some sort of code or something. Even if it is a code that is not notified to the driver but something that is stored in memory and can only be pulled by the dealer or someone who uses their software. I am used to this from working on BMW's. More than once I have disconnected a door lock actuator to have a fault stored in memory that has to be cleared either by the dealer or some super expensive computer software. Luckily I have access to BMW's and most other euro car software at work and can reset anything I need to. LOL we don't have Kia's software though... so take my advice or don't. Now put your battery terminal back on and give everything a test. All functions should be good to go.

Step 10: Clean up your wiring. Insulate where necessary. Zip tie any wires away from the resistors. Reinstall all the panels that were removed and clean up your tools. DONE! You can now enjoy having LED front signals and whatever version of the switchback function bulbs you ordered. I went with V2 which has the white DRL's that do not flash with the signals.

Hope some of you can use this. Heck, maybe some of you who have already done this will elect to change your install. I've never been a fan of having resistors exposed to the elements and this fixes that. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to help.
 

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Very creative way of doing it. I never would of thought of that. Hmm I might have to rewire mine now.
 

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Amazing. I seriously don't know where you techies come up with these solutions. I'll be installing my switchbacks tomorrow, so I'll have to re-read this another 17 times before I decide which process I want to follow. I do like the idea of keeping the headlight assembly area free of resistors though. Simple, subtle, and clean. Great write-up, thx for adding for noobs like me. You must be a mechanic or automotive engineer...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Awesome!!!! Thank you for this good sir!
No problem. I like this method of installing for the cleanliness... I'm sure a few others will agree and can use this.

Very creative way of doing it. I never would of thought of that. Hmm I might have to rewire mine now.
Thanks. I was honestly trying to avoid pulling the front bumper and headlights. I know, I know... you don't have to do that to install the resistors. LOL I would in order to keep it clean enough to reside in my wife's engine bay. Did I mention yet I have OCD about wiring and mods? ;)

Amazing. I seriously don't know where you techies come up with these solutions. I'll be installing my switchbacks tomorrow, so I'll have to re-read this another 17 times before I decide which process I want to follow. I do like the idea of keeping the headlight assembly area free of resistors though. Simple, subtle, and clean. Great write-up, thx for adding for noobs like me. You must be a mechanic or automotive engineer...
Thanks, but you give me way too much credit. I do auto sound, lighting, and video installation/wiring semi-professionally out of my garage. Mostly audio systems. I also work as a porter at a local euro car shop as a part time gig. Luckily my wife allows me to indulge all my hobbies which always seem to turn into cash from people who either see the cars or through word of mouth. As a side bonus our house and cars end up looking pretty nice... lol. I'm the proverbial "jack of all trades, but master of none." Everything I do from tiling, networking, auto work, plumbing, roofing (yep, it sucks), electrical, and any other number of things I learn from just diving in, asking questions, and of course the internet is a HUGE help. Then if my work meets my standards and someone asks me to do it for them... I do, with appropriate monetary compensation of course. :cool:

HAHA... heII for my current project I am building a 5' tall water fountain for our living room wall because to buy one of similar design was going to cost anywhere from $600 - $1200! I figured I could do it for much less. I'm in it about $90 right now and it's about 80% complete.

Here is a video I got taken. For some reason the memory card I was using earlier wouldn't allow me to make videos longer than 15 seconds so I had to wait til the wife got home to ask her where she left the other one.

Here is the vid. Shows resistor mounting location, blinker function, and parking light function. Oh, and my homemade interior LED's on the dome light. lol

 

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itscoldoutdog
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crystalworks said:
I always cut the OE insulation and solder the new wire in.
this is what i did in the engine bay on the headlight harness...real close to the connector, then heat shrink & wrapped in some black friction tape, & then snapped the OE wire cover back onto the connector over the now-spliced wire bundle to conceal it even more. Snapping that cover back on after splicing is a tight fit but works. Looks pretty darn oem. The load resistors stuck under the frame right behind the headlight. Can't see it and sees no elements.

That said, i'm guess most aren't willing to strip an oem wire and solder onto it (LOL), so if using taps especially then this DIY is 100% the way to go. But I do think this actually has a greater chance of being detected by techs . One look at the fuse area or plugging in the OBDII port and they can see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^This is true. I was meaning just being in for routine service under the hood. I have installed the DRL LED's for customers using the method you describe and it works, and looks, great. But that was with the bumper off and the headlights out of the car. I was trying to avoid doing that on this install.

It's too bad the resistors don't come in black... that would be better in all installs imo.
 

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Am I missing something. #7 in the KIA diagram is the air vent, no? Did you mean to say #6 for the side panel?

Also, just to be clear for myself, can I use either end of the resistors for the ground terminal?
 

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I just installed the switchbacks in my SX today and used this method here, worked great! I used Posi-Taps instead of soldering. And because the I/P-D is actually below the OBDII port, I can't see the wires very easily when I take the fuse cover off. Thanks crystalworks.. great write-up!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Am I missing something. #7 in the KIA diagram is the air vent, no? Did you mean to say #6 for the side panel?

Also, just to be clear for myself, can I use either end of the resistors for the ground terminal?
Yep, you are correct. It was late last night when I wrote this up. Guess my eyes were already ready for bed. Edited the DIY to correct the error. Also, yes, either side of the resistor can go to ground and the other side to your signal wires at the plug. Resistors don't have polarity and non-directional. Diodes on the other hand...

I just installed the switchbacks in my SX today and used this method here, worked great! I used Posi-Taps instead of soldering. And because the I/P-D is actually below the OBDII port, I can't see the wires very easily when I take the fuse cover off. Thanks crystalworks.. great write-up!
Ya, you don't see the wiring on ours either... it's just the resistors that are visible. And really that's fine because I didn't want to hide them by putting them too close to anything susceptible to heat. Those suckers run hot.

Glad it helped you out.:thumbsup:
 

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Got this finally done. You're right, once the dash is all put back together, I can't see the resistors or the wires I tapped. Of course, if the dealership/mechanic pulls that panel, easy to spot. Everything worked when I tested them (driving, signals, etc.....didn't test parking lights, I don't know what those are or how to activate them), so no complaints here. Good write-up, too. Thanks for the help. Took me about 3 hours, but that's because I don't have a garage/shop handy so I'm constantly having to run back/forth from the apartment for tools/soldering/root beer break/etc.

Also, for others out there with Sick's switchback LEDs, you'll have to Dremel the little tabs off of each resistor so they can sit on the plate flat. The resistors fit into the groove of the rail, but only once the tabs are cut off. I used 18g primary wire to extend the resistor wiring, and it was def overkill. I'd say the wires you're tapping into are 22g or so, just FYI. And if you have Sick's side mirror module, they will go a little screwy once you plug the battery back in. Mine danced a few times on their own, just stretching their arms since I fed them (i.e. battery juice).

All-in-all, a pretty simple install. For someone with my limited technical know-how, I'd rate a 7.5 out of 10. Yet one more thing I can say I did on my own.
 

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Couldn't we just paint the resistors with some high temp black paint before install to make them not as noticeable? I'm gonna do this install very shortly an going with this method hands down.
 

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Couldn't we just paint the resistors with some high temp black paint before install to make them not as noticeable? I'm gonna do this install very shortly an going with this method hands down.
crystalworks said they run super super super hot (can't confirm) so you'd need some paint to withstand those heat temps. Might be more work than it's worth. I can only imagine these things start heating up and melting the paint, filling the cabin with a nice, warm toxic/noxious aroma.
 

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crystalworks said they run super super super hot (can't confirm) so you'd need some paint to withstand those heat temps. Might be more work than it's worth. I can only imagine these things start heating up and melting the paint, filling the cabin with a nice, warm toxic/noxious aroma.
Lol....that's why I said high temperature paint...it should be able to withstand the heat and not melt. Most are rated for like 1200 degrees.
 

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Lol....that's why I said high temperature paint...it should be able to withstand the heat and not melt. Most are rated for like 1200 degrees.
Might be better off painting them silver/chrome if you end up attaching them to the same frame thing I did. It's raw metal, so maybe they'll blend better with that color.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
^A high temp paint will work. But not sure if it would be worth the trouble. Would add at least 4 hours of dry time to the install and then you would still have the fumes from the spraypaint. Not an issue if you leave the windows down in the car overnight in the garage... but something to think about.

The 1200 degree paint... or even 600 that I have (Duplicolor) should work fine. These resistors hit between 200 and 300 degrees depending on how long the circuit has been active.
 

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^A high temp paint will work. But not sure if it would be worth the trouble. Would add at least 4 hours of dry time to the install and then you would still have the fumes from the spraypaint. Not an issue if you leave the windows down in the car overnight in the garage... but something to think about.

The 1200 degree paint... or even 600 that I have (Duplicolor) should work fine. These resistors hit between 200 and 300 degrees depending on how long the circuit has been active.
Yea, I would paint them a day or so ahead of time so they would be ready to go...just think they won't stand out as much as the bright gold! Thanks for this write-up!!!
 
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