Kia Optima Forums banner

1 - 20 of 265 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright gang, I figured I would do a DIY for everyone in hopes to save people some money. The installation is very easy. Front is pretty much like an MacPherson style assembly and the rear is similar to that of BMW's and quite a few others. .

Total time for me was about 2 hours with taking a ton of pics. I have been a tech and working on cars for many years so you might not knock it out as quick. It should take you no longer than 4 hours with taking your time and doing it right. For fun I took a video of me taking the passenger side front completely off. From start to finish it took me 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Alright the details-

Time: 2-4 hours depending on Experience
Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Tools Needed:
-Air Compressor (this is not 100% needed but makes things go quickly)
-Ratchet of course
-19mm Socket
-17mm Socket
-14mm Socket
-12MM socket
-Crescent wrench or Open end wrenches

FRONT:

Step 1) Break loose lug nuts (just loose, not all the way out)

Step 2)Jack up front end of the car (both sides) and put it on jack stands


Step 3) Remove wheel to gain access to the suspension

Step 4) Remove two 12mm screws that hold on the Brake Line and Speed Sensor wire brackets


Step 5) Remove 19mm nut from sway bar link. Then swing the sway bar link out of the way. ( i put nut back on just so I dont lose it, as you can see in pic)
First pic you see here is overview of Step 5 and Step 6



Step 6) Remove two 19mm bolts that hold the strut to the knuckle. When you remove these two nuts, the knuckle will be free so be sure to put something under it to support it up.



Step 7) From the engine bay; pop off the cap on the top of the strut assembly. Then remove the 3 14mm nuts. When removing the last 14mm nut, make sure you are holding the strut up from inside the wheel well, or it will just fall. At this point the entire strut assembly will be free and you will be able to swing it out.


Step 8) Use spring compressor to compress the spring. This is a safety precaution however it can be done with out using these. If you do not use the spring compressors then when removing the top strut nut (in step 9 below) the spring pressure can make **** go flying. The optima did not have near as much spring tension as other cars I have seen. I didn't use the spring compressor on the passenger side after realizing this.


Step 9) Remove top 17mm strut nut. This is where the air compressor comes in handy. If you do not have an air compressor then you can hold the top strut assembly in place while wrenching the 17mm nut off.


Step 10) Place new spring in place on the strut spring perch. Notice the grove on the rubber spring perch. Make sure the spring sits on this properly.


Step 11) Put strut cap back on and and tighten 17mm top strut nut. (note: when you are all finished you will have access to the 17mm nut front the engine back and can get a tq wrench to make sure it is properly tq'd on the strut)


Step 12) Install strut assembly in reverse order.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Part 2

Rear Suspension:

Step 1) Jack car up and put it on jack stands (you can do one side at a time)

Step 2) Remove wheels

Step 3) You will now have access to the rear suspension. Get a jack and place it under the control arm. Jack up the control arm so it relieves pressure on the front bolt. Remove the 19mm bolt. (19mm bolt is the bolt closest to the jack in this picture)(dont pay attention to ARK spring already in)


Step 4) Before lowering the jack you want to remove the 17mm nut that goes to the sway bar link. This will allow you to lower the control arm more to get the spring out. (dont mind that spring is already out in this picture, i forgot to take a picture and had to snap one when it was out)


Step 5) Lower the jack. Once you lower the jack pushed down on the control arm and you will be able to pull the rear spring out with no problem.



and after it is pulled out


Step 6) Pull the rubber hat off the old spring and put it in the new spring. Keep in mind the spring has to be properly seated into the rubber hat grove. (see picture)


Step 7) Place spring back onto the control arm. Note that the spring needs to seat correctly on the rubber perch that is mounted on the control arm. see picture



Step 8) Once spring is in place. Put the jack back under the control arm and jack it up. Jack the control arm up until you see the control arm line up enough to put the 19mm bolt back in. as displayed in picture. Then tighten up the 19mm nut back on.


Step 9) Put the 17mm nut back on the sway bar link. Do this before you lower the jack back down!

Step 10) repeat for other side.
 

·
12/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
418 Posts
This is definitely on my list of mods...Have you loaded it down to see if there would be any rubbing? For example 5 people and full tank of gas? I'm just curious with the reduced suspension travel and/or if will bottom out under a full load.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
Dang, the rear looks super easy -- you don't even need a spring compressor, two bolts and it's out.

Here's my big question: What's the deal with the alignment on the car after lowering an inch or more on the front and the rear?

My concern is more the rear. Does the camber stay in spec with that much drop, and if not, can it be adjusted to stay in spec, or do you just have to plan to eat up the inside edge of the tire?
 

·
Former Administrator
2011 K5 Turbo
Joined
·
6,926 Posts
Great write up! Stickied!

And once you get springs down, they're a piece of cake. You're not kidding there :lol: I once changed all 4 springs in my buddy's Tiburon in 17 minutes flat.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Dang, the rear looks super easy -- you don't even need a spring compressor, two bolts and it's out.

Here's my big question: What's the deal with the alignment on the car after lowering an inch or more on the front and the rear?

My concern is more the rear. Does the camber stay in spec with that much drop, and if not, can it be adjusted to stay in spec, or do you just have to plan to eat up the inside edge of the tire?
My alignment stayed spot on after installing the springs. Camber goes a bit more negative than stock spec, that is for sure. I believe you can get some of the negative rear camber out when doing an alignment. There is a camber bolt on the rear control arm.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This is definitely on my list of mods...Have you loaded it down to see if there would be any rubbing? For example 5 people and full tank of gas? I'm just curious with the reduced suspension travel and/or if will bottom out under a full load.
Haven't loaded her up just get. But not rubbing or scraping on the speed bumpers or dips in our complex yet. I am sure the front will scrape on driveways since it did when it was stock height.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
My alignment stayed spot on after installing the springs. Camber goes a bit more negative that stock spec, that is for sure. I believe you can get some of the negative rear camber out when doing an alignment. There is a camber bolt on the rear control arm.
Thanks for the fast reply. And thanks for sharing this valuable information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Wow awesome right up! Does look easy. Think i will do this myself now and save $200+.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
have a feeling there will be a lot of lowered Optimas now :yahoo:

great write up Avant. You da man!:congrats:
Thank you sir. I hope this helps a lot of people. The job is pretty easy.
 

·
05/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Bad A$$ write up. I will definitely try my first spring install ever b/c of this. If Eibach would hurrey the h3ll up and release their prokit!.. Do you think I should play it safe and get spring compressors?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Well to be honest.. I put the compressor on just to take the picture for the DIY.... on the other side I Did not use the compressor. I just stand on the spring and ZAP the strut nut off with the air gun. it will pop a little but nothing goes flying. I am supposed to say it could be dangerous though.
 

·
05/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Well to be honest.. I put the compressor on just to take the picture for the DIY.... on the other side I Did not use the compressor. I just stand on the spring and ZAP the strut nut off with the air gun. it will pop a little but nothing goes flying. I am supposed to say it could be dangerous though.
I won't be using an air gun. Do you think it will be ok if I am standing on the spring as I'm hitting it w/ the socket wrench?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
I won't be using an air gun. Do you think it will be ok if I am standing on the spring as I'm hitting it w/ the socket wrench?
Not really worth it to risk it since just about any auto parts store will lend you a set of compressors for free. They don't want to see you hurt yourself.
 

·
05/2012 ROTM
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I was just going to put on my Shoei helmet and wing it.... Looks like I can get em on ebay for dirt cheap so I'll just do that to play it safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
I was just going to put on my Shoei helmet and wing it.... Looks like I can get em on ebay for dirt cheap so I'll just do that to play it safe.
You live in Houston like me. Just go to O'Reillys auto parts near you and borrow a set. It's not something you are going to use often, so no need to pay for a set.
 
1 - 20 of 265 Posts
Top