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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a great mod to add to these other switchback mods -
http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28537-front-reflector-led-switchback-mod-parking-lights.html
http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/66-diy-audio-navigation-electronics/4833-switchback-leds-front-turn-signals.html
http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/22-optima-diy/13380-led-switchback-front-signal-lights-2-0-a.html

In fact, this post is very similar to the front reflector switchback mod linked above.

What you'll need:

Screwdriver
Dremel (or some kind of precision cutting tool)
Towel (or some kind of cloth)
Fender LED Switchback (w /TPC)- exLED Kia Optima K5 ('10~) Fender LED Reflector
Silicon / caulk (or some kind of glue type substance - preferably clear)

The above link from exledusa.com has some pictures that are intended as a DIY guide, but it can sometimes be a bit confusing to follow a guide with pictures alone. Also the above guide does not give wiring information. So I made this post in hopes of clarification. In addtion, you may chose to get these parts elsewhere. Regardless of where you get the parts or any variance that may come with those parts, this guide should still be able to walk you through the mod.

Step 1:

Remove the vent from the car. This is easily done by placing a screwdriver or some sort of prying device behind the vent and gently prying it away from the car. Start from the back of the vent and work your way forward, around the top side of the vent. While working the top side of the vent, push down and pull towards you.
VentPry.jpg VentHole.jpg
NOTE: Use the towel or cloth to place against the car, behind your prying device to keep from scratching the paint on your car.

Step 2:

Remove the chrome piece from the vent. On the back side of the vent, you'll see that the chrome piece is held in place by three clips. These clips can be pushed out of the way and the chrome piece will pop out.

Step 3:

Using a Dremel, cut out the entire section that was behind the chrome piece. You should be careful to not cut too much... you want the clear plastic pieces that will replace the chrome to fit in the slot you're creating without falling through. I recommend testing the fitment multiple times throughout the cutting process to make sure the fitment is just right.
VentCut.jpg

Step 4:

Place the clear plastic piece in the slot you just created and secure it with silicon on the back side. If you use clear silicon, you don't have to worry about getting too much on the plastic piece - just make sure to place an even coat over the entire back. Because it's clear, the light will still shine right through. If you don't use clear, be sure to only place silicon around the edges of the plastic piece, keeping the "face" of the plastic piece clean.
VentPlastics.jpg

Step 5:
Place the LED board (LEDs facing the plastic pieces you just put in) on the backside of the vents. The boards should not fit inside the valley of the vent, but sit just on top of it. You can wedge it in a bit, but not too much. Secure the board in place with silicon. You will want end of the board with the wires to be toward the front of the vent. You will also want the board to be pushed forward as much as possible. The front of the board should line up with the front of the new plastic piece. If you look closely at the board, the rear LEDs are slightly pivoted. This is to direct the light towards the rear.
VentBoard.jpg
NOTE: You can be liberal with the silicon... it does not matter if it gets on the electronics. However, if you do cover some of the electronics, make sure the silicon is completely dry before wiring the board up to power.

Step 6: Open the hood of the car, then place the vents back in their place. The wires can be routed up behind the fender and into the engine bay. You should be able to reach your hand back in that area enough to pull the wires through - no special tools are needed. You will need to extend the wires to reach the headlight connectors. When doing this, I recommend using quick disconnects in case you ever need to remove the vents.
VentWirePlacement.jpg

Step 7:
(This step is almost a direct copy of step 10 from http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28537-front-reflector-led-switchback-mod-parking-lights.html. As a result, the links to images may not work as intended. To view image full size, see "attached items" at the bottom of the post.)
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.


This step took me the longest time to figure out, and ended up having to pin out the connectors myself. Luckily, you don't have to, all thanks to jtrade (View Profile: jtrade - Optima Forums : Kia Optima Forum) finding these:


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 (DIY : Switchback LED's (Front Turn Signals)).

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 don't think 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: LED Switchback Front Signal Lights 2.0



Step 11:
Connect the wires from the LED board to the TPC module "out" port.
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 reflector 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 sweet switchback action!
 

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Registered
2012 Kia K5
Joined
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1,817 Posts
Never got a chance to Welcome you to the forum, but I notice you created a few DIY. Very nicely done on the Write-Ups, easy to understand. Your mods look great. Look forward to seeing more.
 

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Registered
2013 Optima
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927 Posts
None of the clips broke when prying this out from the car? Would the chrome piece snap back in if you wanted to I'm thinking of wrapping that chrome piece in vinyl.
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Never got a chance to Welcome you to the forum, but I notice you created a few DIY. Very nicely done on the Write-Ups, easy to understand. Your mods look great. Look forward to seeing more.
Well, I will take that as a welcoming welcome. =)
You'll surely see more DIYs from me!
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
None of the clips broke when prying this out from the car? Would the chrome piece snap back in if you wanted to I'm thinking of wrapping that chrome piece in vinyl.
No, none of the clips broke when I took it out the first time. But one did break the second time (I didn't move the board up far enough so I had to take the vent out and redo the positioning of the board). I used some superglue to fix the clip... luckily it wasn't a vital clip and you can't notice on the vent at all. You just have to be careful when prying it out - as the DIY says, you gotta push down and pull out. If you can located the clips and press down there, that would be best.

But, DJcuetip has a good point:
To can vinyl wrap it without taking off. Really easy! Just apply vinyl, tuck in edges with squeegee and then trim with sharp blade careful not to nick paint
If you just want to do a wrap, I would go that route.
 

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2015 Kia Optima
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99 Posts
I will wait for the whole replacement piece
 

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08/2015 ROTM
2015 Kia Optima
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430 Posts
Do you guys still suggest doing it this way? I've seen 2 other mentions, one by removing the top fender bolts and lightly pull it out and reach down and the other talks about removing the wheel well and reaching up. Which way would you do it? I'm worried about breaking a clip if I I do it as the OP states how to do it. Your opinions would be appreciated...
 

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Registered
2012 Kia Optima
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4 Posts
Great write up. Very informative. I have the HID housing, and the ONE WAY fender leds. It only white. My question is where can I tap the wire to come on with the parking lights but not blink or what not?
 

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2013 optima Optima 13 EX
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20 Posts
great write up. i want to do this but have the white light work off the welcome dome light and the blinker to run the yellow light.
 
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