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2013 Kia Optima Hybrid
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Couple of weeks ago i noticed that one of my front illuminated door sills was broken.. and at a same time wondered that why there was no such things in rear doors at all:confused: So i fixed the front one and straight after that started to think that how can i do this same thing to rear doors sills as well. So this thread contain rear door sills only. (I can do other thread too about those front ones, if you guys want it :))

And in this point, i apologize for my english skills.. but try to bear with me :D

Starting the project: Basically the rear door sills are connected to the car exactly like the front ones (using the interior remover tools you can pull these off), BUT there is one plastic screw behind the rear seats where the sills are ending (highest point). I assume that this removal process is simple enough, so i didnt take pictures from it.

So this is what it should look like:

As you can see, the first thing is to remove the parts from each other. Stainless steel plate is connected with these "overhang clips" under the door sill. I used small crowbar + pliers to turn clips to straight position, that its possible to take it off from the main part. There is no glue between the parts or anything, just turn all the overhang clips straight and that´s it!

Next step is a little more tricky.. it worried me up a little bit before is started to do it because i didnt want it to look just totally silly :D So basically what i did was: Drilled holes to every corner point of the each letter, next used Dremel with small blade to cut between the holes and last step was to use metal file to make those edges nice and square. I was actually surprised at the outcome!

Looks pretty neat to me! :cool::thumbsup:

Next step for me was the fill those letters with something that would protect the electrics components underneath and look fairly close to front door factory ones.
Ended up using clear epoxy resin, that is easy to work with and do the job nicely.

Just remember to use something behind the letters and tight it up to get the results what you want :D It did take like 2hours to dry before i was able to remove those claps away.

Next i wanted to test that how it would look like when its finished. So basically i needed to make a hole big enough to the main part (plastic one). I copied layout and size pretty much from original front door sills ones. Then i powered up a random red light behind the plate, and woaa! :rolleyes:

So, the red light should look smooth and even, so i tested different kind of layers between the light source and the actual letters and ended up using greaseproof paper, some random porous protective plastic (~2mm thick) and red electrical tape on it :D

To me the problem was the light source itself, because it needed to be small, but still powerful enough to light up all the letters evenly and smoothly. And it needed to be found at home !:D So i found this neon led strip, or whatever you want to call it. The problem was, that it was kinda "orange" light and not a red one what i was looking for.. so that´s why i used the red electrical tape between the light source and letters! :wink:

Its not the prettiest installation, but well.. it does the job :cool: I went around the whole letters area with the strip and used hot glue to stick it up. After that i needed to cover my mess with something and used some black tape to do it. Also i needed to extend the original wires from led strip, and used what i found from my drawers (yes not black and red one, not the same size, but again, does the job :D). And by the way! there is that place for the plastic screw if someone is still wondering how the hole part is connected to the car.

And now is time to go and connect this to your car! First thing is to remove that switch from door arch. Its connected with single screw (see in picture). There is a one wire connected to it, and its negative (-) one. So basically what you want to do is connect your led strip negative(-) wire somewhere between original wire and switch. There is many ways to do it, but i ended up cutting the original wire and connect it to chock connector WITH my led strip negative(-) wire. Then just wire it back to switch with from the chock connector. There is not much room to do this.. the original wire is SO short, unless you cut those protect tapes to give it more length. And last but not least i protected all the wires with some rolling protective plastic.

Now you should be in position, where there is only positive (+) wire left to connect somewhere. First i was thinking to connect it somewhere in trunk, but then remembered the front door sills again and decided to get my much needed positive(+) from there (easiest and fastest one i think). I needed to extend that positive(+) wire again at this point.. There is no plastic screw holding front door sills in car like there was in rear, so using the interior remover tools you can pull these off. Carefully remove door sills and find the positive wire from the original connector:

This time i was having more space to work with, so i didnt cut the original wire, i just peel the positive wire a little bit to get led strip positive wire wrap around it nicely and then solder wires together. Remember to protect wires WELL with heat shrink tubing/vulcanized tape and make sure that there is no possibility wires to damage/rub/grind against anything. Also you want to check, that the led is NOT on all the time, so the switch in door arch is working like it should and the connections are correct.

And now, just double check the connectors, put everything back together and enjoy the results i think! :cool::thumbsup:

And some feedback would be nice! :D This is my first DIY what ive done. I try to edit the post later on if i find something that i need to fix.

Your K5 Optima Vendor
Tesla Model X P100D
28,772 Posts
Wow, I love the originality of this DIY project.

Very time-consuming but looks like you did it, and that’s awesome.

Thank you for taking the time to provide photos and detailed information for others.
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