2013 Sorento Handicapped Modifications
I thought I would give fellow Sorento owners some help should they be interested in modifying their Sorentos to handle a rear mounted electric powerchair lift. I was told over and over again by many agencies as well as by kia that it wasn't possible or that I would have to dump a TON of money into it to make it work. Well I'm still in the middle of my complete build and will have the rest of the parts next week. But I thought I would post pictures of how it's going so far since I had such a hard time getting the work done.
First, you will need a custom made hitch capable of handling up to 550lbs for a standard powerchair that weighs 260lbs. What you will need is a class 3+ 2" reciever. You will lose your spare tire for the added hardware to support this weight. Torklift in Kent, Washington will build this hitch for $750. While I was at it I also had a brake controller wired in as well as a 7-way bargman plug.
Second, you need heavier tires. The stock tires 235/65r17's while good aren't up to the abuse you will put them through and will give you a VERY squishy ride and to be honest is very difficult to control during basic lane changes. I personally went to a 255/55r18 Yoko yk580 tire and a drag DR34 18x8 wheel. While it provides a much stiffer ride it does grant you a lot more control.
Third, and I haven't done this yet, but I have placed the order to have them custom made. The lift installed a, Bruno Meridian ASL-250 HTP is quite heavy and with the powerchair on the lift and in the resting position the suspension in the rear will be buttomed out and resting on the rubber bumpstops. This provides a VERY rough ride. So... Gitt's Spring in Auburn, Washington is custom making me new coils for the rear at the cost of $717 installed. I have no installed these just yet as it takes them 10 days to make and I only just ordered them 4 days ago. I will provide more pictures when it is done.
The rest of what I'm personally doing to the sorento is all my own doing. Since I lost the spare and went with a different size wheel and tire I opted to order a 5th matching wheel and tire and will put that on top of the sorento mounted to a Yakima Mega Warrior roof basket that should come in next week. Also coming in next week is a Rigid Industries SR series 40" white spot flood combo light for the roof. One the front I am installing an Aries sport bar and mounted to that will be two PIAA 540 Ion Crystal fog lights and two PIAA 520 ATP driving lights.
Now, I would love to upgrade the shocks in addition to the coils but have been told by a few shops to wait until they wear out. I've also been trying to hunt down a brake upgrade but haven't been able to find anything. Centric Brakes out of California was willing to custom make me a big brake kit with 13" slotted and cross drilled rotors, 4 pistons caliper brakes and ceramic pads at the cost of $2000 a wheel. I respectfully told him no thanks. I'm also considering having a transmission shop install an external transmission cooler as my wife and I do quite a bit of driving (11,000 miles and we've only had it since May).
For anyone that is curious, the lift with the swing-away arm and powerchair weighs roughly 480lbs. If anyone has any other suggestions as to what I should watch out for I would welcome them. I guess I should mention, my sorento is the 2013 AWD LX base model.
And I would LOVE to attach pictures but can't seem to get the attach pictures thingy to work right. So I do have them, if you interested in getting them please PM and and I'll be more then happy to show you all the modifications and limits. OH and one last thing, with 255/55r18's and the suspension sitting on the bump stops, if you go over a speed bump you WILL rub the tires. Just keep that in mind.
Last edited by Len1304; 02-10-2013 at 05:33 PM.
Reason: Used a different browser to add photos