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2016 Kia Sorento Sx V-6
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am totally confused. Kia advertises towing capacity for the 2016+ Sorento at 3500lbs. or 5000lbs depending if you have fwd or awd. Yet when you attached a very light 2000lb travel trailer the rear drops 1.25 inches over the rear axel. Has anybody found a way to reduce the drop and keep the Sorento level? I cant find an air bag kit to insert into the rear coil springs or any other method that will fit the newer Sorento model. I dont understand how Kia can make such claims regarding towing capacity when their rear suspension system doesnt support any trailer on the market today over 1000 lbs. Also is the reason there is nothing on the market to beef up the rear suspension because of the design of the rear suspension or just the lack of demand for such products? Thank to all of you who care to respond.
 

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Just a point: The total weight of what is being towed and the tongue weight of what is being towed are quite different things. Weight distribution counts. I believe the upper limit per Kia spec is 350#. Ideally, the recommendation is more on the order of 10% of the total, so in your case, 200#.

What is the tongue weight of your trailer, loaded?

Edit: Should have made "loaded" more clear. Put in the stuff you plan to haul, and distribute it as you normally would. You may need to adjust position of stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good question. I will have to weigh it and get back to you. The manufacture says 175lbs but I cant besure if that includes the battery or the two 20 lb propane tanks filled.
 

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When you measure, be sure that it's loaded in a fashion typical to how you would travel. Make any adjustments necessary by moving your stuff ahead or behind the trailer's axle.
You don't want things to get too light, either -- trailer sway is ugly! I recommend 10% of the trailer's loaded weight for lighter units, but the suggested range out there is 9%~15%, which would put you at between 180# min and 300# max.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento (run about)
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The KIA Sorento with larger size V6 engine can pull huge amount of weight. As previously stated 3,500 lbs or 5,000 lbs. This means its engine, transmission, drive system and chassis is rated for this MAX "towing" weight. It doesn't mean its "factory" suspension is made to support 10%-15% (average 13%) of loaded trailer's tongue weight. If it did, a solo driver will have too solid of suspension. Vision vehicle with solid axle and solid tires comfort at 100% of the time. Ouch!

For a vehicle with high towing lbs ratings, you'd think KIA would have optional factory towing package that included Air Bags, Air shocks or some other Rear Leveling systems - like other auto makers. re: Like Dodge and their Nivomat "load leveling" rear shocks.

In a perfect world, one can attach a Weight Distribution System with properly sized tension bars (on the attached trailer's tongue) and the vehicle's "stance" can be manually adjusted to level out. Yes. This is in a perfect world. In a reality world, not all trailers can accept a Weight Distribution System. In this case, install custom sized air bags within its coil springs, "air up" for heavy weight inboard cargo and/or trailer tongue weight and away you go. And if one cannot use a Weight Distribution system, remember NOT to exceed the trailer's hitch's non-WDS numbers. re: See Trailer hitch numbers for more details.

I wish Kia made optional Factory rear air bag systems for their Sorento V6 vehicles as well. But since they don't, one must go 3rd party - to customize the vehicle's rear suspension themselves. re:

"The Air Lift 1000 Universal Air Spring Kit (Part No: 60901) is a perfect fit for the 2016 Sorento LX V6 AWD". This product might fit for your year or Sorento as well....

Hope this helps.
 

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.

If wondering, Air Lift 1000 PN: 60901 (for 2016+ Sorento rear coil spring inserts) can be bought from:
- Amazon.ca -> search for Air Lift 60901
- Amazon.com -> search for Air Lift 60901

Good install videos at U-Tube:
_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmcKIJo1D8g
_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJiw4nyd9-E

Note: To install Air Bags inside coil springs, I find it best to jack up the vehicle's body, disconnect the rear brake line (and temp cap it), remove the lower shock bolt, drop the rear suspension lower and remove the coil spring. Then, install the air bag inside the remove coil spring. Then, reinstall in reverse order. Afterwards, remember to bleed the rear brake lines. All these tasks are an easy DIY job in one's driveway - taking 3-4 hours.

Hope this helps as well...
 

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2016 Sorento EX V6
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I recall seeing the Telluride will have a true towing package that should help eliminate the rear squat issues.... not that it helps us Sorento owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I want to thank all of you for your thoughts on getting my rear suspension a little stronger. Air bags are the way to go. I have searched these threads and found a member by the name dsatwork who wrote how he installed Air Lift 60901 1000 universal air springs. It was written back in 7/4/17 under the post " Sorinto 2016 V6 towing capacity 5000 lbs? why? Spike99 you are right. Both of you installed them on a 2016 AWD since mine is a FWD I am not sure that the air bags will fit. I see the rear coil springs have different part numbers so I assume they are different. Just not sure how to see if they will fit other than trying to compare the spring side by side. That can get expensive. Maybe somebody out there already knows the answer.
 

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To find proper "universal" fit of Air Lift 1000 product, simply crawl under your vehicle and with empty ride chassis weight on a level suspension, accurately measure the space inside the rear coil springs. Ya. Its a PITT (Pain in The Tail) doing detailed measurements on one's driveway. Alternative: During next engine oil/filter change task, do get the auto shop to do inside coil spring "space" measurements while vehicle is on the hoist (assume wheel lift hoist).

If wondering, one needs the cavity space width and cavity space height (space within the steel coil rings area) measurements at normal weight compression. With confirmed measurements in inches, simply search Air Lift Universal Sizing Chart - to pick the best fitting universal size air bag insert (for inside the coil spring cavity space).

For details, scroll down the many pages within:
https://www.airliftcompany.com/workshop/air-lift-1000-universal-air-spring-kit/

And/or see PDF file at:
https://www.airliftcompany.com/content/manuals/MN-1002.pdf

And if still unsure exact part number before buying, do call Air Lift company @ (800) 248-0892. They will verbally confirm your needed exact Part number - based on your vehicle's rear coil spring cavity space measurements as well. Then, buy off Amazon or ???? Do shop around because selling prices of same part number do dramatically vary.....

Hope this helps as well...

.
 

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2017 Kia Sorento EX V6 FWD
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Spike 99 it does help. Thanks again for all your suggestion.
Hi faster813. I was wondering if you tried the Airlift 60901 kit with your FWD Kia Sorento. I have a 2017 Sorento FWD EX. I did get under the car and measure it. It does seem that that kit Airlift 60901 or the Airlift 60900 would likely work but I wanted to double check. The 60900 is a bit shorter but I think may be too short. It seems like everyone is using the Airlift 60901 on their AWDs. When I measured my springs I do already have a hitch on and the car was on a slight incline so it might have already been a bit compressed. If anyone has used the Airlift 60901on a FWD Sorento please let me know. Or if anyone knows if there is any difference in the rear helper springs please let me know.

Thanks,
AB
 

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Air Lift 1000 Part number 60901 installed!

Hello everyone,

I finally got to it and installed the airlift 1000 air bag system in our 2017 EX AWD. Not a bad install at all. Took a 2 hours and a little sweat. Appreciate Spike99's info and help. I am towing a 2003 Rockwood Roo 21 that weights 2700 dry and with my weight distribution hitch it was not quite enough to make the car level. According to the info that trailer has about 325lbs of tongue weight but I hated the sag in the back. After doing some research and coming across this thread....I went for it and it was a perfect fit. Check it out!
 

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Looks great., Glad we helped...

BTW... I see you are new to this forum as well. Welcome. Also... Appeciate if you can continue to remain active and continue to help others on this Kia forum. thus, "pay it forward" with others...

And, thanks for sharing your success results (and picture) with us....
 

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2018 Sorento EX AWD V6
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60901?

OK, I am ready to make the leap and try the Air Lifts.

Is it the 60901 that you installed on your Sorento? And are you still using the weight distribution hitch along with the bags?

I have a 2018 EX AWD, and have purchased but have not yet installed an Anderson "no-sway" 3348 weight distribution hitch and plan to use that in combination with the air bags.

My trailer, a 2006 R-Vision 19' hybrid has a dry weight of 3300lbs, but a quite heavy 450lbs tongue weight. The sag is quite bad, and my old fashioned weight distribution hitch (the kind with long bars with short chains on the ends) are so creaky it concerns me. The Anderson one is unique in that it uses chains instead of bars, and the sway control is built into the hitch ball, with a friction mounted ball that rotates with the trailer. Supposed to be very quiet. Quite interesting (and expensive!)

I will post pics once I complete the project.
 

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AirLift-off

OK, the Air Lift kit is installed, and it seems great. I have only towed once with it, but there is a noticeable difference in sag and ride with them installed and inflated to 35psi. The installation process was simple and straightforward, and yet somehow took me all afternoon lying on my back under the vehicle anyways. That might just me me though ;)
Getting the bags inside the springs is tight, but do-able without dismantling the suspension. I just jacked up the car one side at a time and pushed them through the gaps in the springs.
Running the tubing in a clean fashion took some time, finding a path that avoids the exhaust heat, and leaving enough slack for suspension arm movement, etc.

When complete, I tested and thought I had a leak because each time I checked the pressure, it was 1-2 psi less than the prior check. After wasting time dismantling my work, I learned that the actual CHECKING of the pressure was releasing a bit of air as the gauge went on and off the valve. I guess because the bags have such small capacity, that makes a noticeable difference in pressure. Turns out, it was all good the whole time.

My next project was to install my new Andersen no-sway hitch, which I completed last night. It looks great and seems to work well. I will know more after a trip to the Whiteshell this weekend.

I will post some pics on return
 

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I am going to install the Airlift bags in my 2016 Sorento V6 AWD I would also like to install a weight distribution hitch but I understand the two hitches rated for this car, (Curt and DrawTite) are not rated for weight distribution. Has anyone found a hitch that is rated for weight distribution? I currently have the DrawTite class III hitch installed.
 

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? What kind and how many bicycles? I toss a pair of mountain bikes on the back of my '16 on a carrier that inserts into the hitch mount and see no difference at all in headlight aim at night.
 

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OMG yes I need lift kits. Sorento drops to it's knees with Bicycles attached on hitch mount. Then stays down after taking weight off! Takes days to spring back up. Headlights pointing to the sky :(
That does not sound normal. I have a camper that puts about 225 lbs on the hitch and it sags about 1 1/2 inches. But there is no change in the front. The measurement at the front wheel arches does not change until I put around 400 Lbs on the tongue, and even then it is less than 1/2 inch. And it springs back to normal immediately.
I have a 2016 Sorento EX V6 AWD
 

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How much just the front raises isn't alone the issue -- it's the angle created from back (down) to front (up, if any) of the entire vehicle that will move the headlights up to whatever angle. However, 1-1/2" of 'rear down' induced rear/front pitch change along the length of a Sorento (about 187") amounts to only 0.5 degrees up. Not enough to annoy anyone.
 
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