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2017 Sorento
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Discussion Starter #1
Posted in the 2010 and lower forum by accident then posted here in the right forum but mod deleted the one here instead of the correct one.



Ok I know this has been talked about a bunch in the towing threads. Well our 2017 has had a sagging rear since new. Even with groceries in the back the rear sags quite a bit. I can't imagine if you actually put 7 people in it as the rear bumper would be dragging the ground...

Well now with 30K on it and I have to make a 2K mile round trip with the trailer hauling the daughters stuff out to her from her storage place here. I was not looking forward to that long of a trip with the nose up in the air and no traction on the front wheels...

So I have finally installed airlift airbags in it. I have used them on many other vehicles and I will say that this one was the cleanest install I have ever done. The rear suspension lends itself to running the airlines nice and cleanly. The line can be run in the crossmember and just use grommets in the holes to protect the hoses from chafing. No holes to drill just a slit in the lower spring isolator.
I used the Airlift 60901 which others have installed in their 2017s as well. They fit but a slightly shorter bag would be preferred as this one is a little longer than I would have liked.

So far everyday driving is greatly improved. The rear is a little more planted and they don't know how to pave roads in tx so every intersection and driveway has massive dips and I nearly get sea sick. After the bags the rear doesn't bounce around like it did before and the overall ride is better.

I will take pics at a later date and will do a video when I get a chance of how I did the install and get it on my youtube page. But if you have any questions just ask.
 

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2020 Kia Sorento LX 3.3L V6 AWD
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Anxious to see the pics and be sure to post a link to the video. I have the same set in my garage waiting for warmer weather.
Where did you put the inflation valve?
 

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2017 Sorento
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107 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
For the valve placement I ran the tube into that big cubby hole area where you have access to the tail light harness to plug in the trailer harness. For now I just rolled up the extra tubing and put it in there then I removed one of the trim retainers for it and bolted the inflation valve in place of it.

It's really unfortunate that we can't get the self leveling rear suspension option here in the US that is available pretty much everywhere else. Funny how cars outside the US always have cool options we can't get here like that and Diesels etc.

It'll be a bit before I am able to film it. Headed from DFW to Charlotte and back next week with the trailer and will see how it does on a long trip. It'll be on my channel TheInfernalCraftsman.
 

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2020 Kia Sorento EX+
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407 Posts
Thanks for this! Looking forward to the review. Regarding the model of airbags, I have seen these two mentioned for the Sorento:

How To Build and Install an Air Lift 1000 Universal Kit | Air Lift Company - Tow and Haul with Safety and Comfort
60901 - max diameter = 3", max length = 8"
60729 - not listed on the air lift website??

I wonder if the 60729 is maybe a bit shorter like you were thinking could be better? Did you measure your springs for the X and Y dimensions and then plug it into their calculator?
 

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2017 Sorento
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107 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I went with the 901s as they were the best fit they made and there were several others in the comments that had used them on Sorentos. A bag that was about 3/4" or so shorter and a little larger in diameter would be perfect however... A larger diameter would be better but it would be impossible to put it in the spring without removing the spring from the car. The bags I put in just barely fit through the spring as it is already. They are not fun to install.

We did our monthly big shopping trip to Sams yesterday and I had 15lbs in the bags and the rear wasn't dragging like it usually does and drivability, stability etc were far better than it has ever been when the car is heavy.

Kia/Hyundai really should offer the leveling system here in the US as it makes it a far better car to drive and use. I wonder if there is a dealer installed version of that self leveling kit outside the US but I would assume it's a factory installed item only.
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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Kia/Hyundai really should offer the leveling system here in the US as it makes it a far better car to drive and use. I wonder if there is a dealer installed version of that self leveling kit outside the US but I would assume it's a factory installed item only.
I brought this up in another thread since it is a European option. However, after having thought about it, might not be such a good idea after all. Auto leveling/air suspension was an option on the fourth generation 4Runner (called XREAS) and when it dies, literally no one replaces it with the same system. Different springs, in the spring air bags and some other options work far better and are far, far less expensive. Now, Hyundia/Kia may have engineered a better system but much like Toyota, there will be no aftermarket alternatives when it's time to replace and so it will be a very expensive proposition to replace with the same system. And the 4Runner is an actual body on frame tow vehicle unlike the Sorento.
 

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2017 Sorento
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Discussion Starter #7
I brought this up in another thread since it is a European option. However, after having thought about it, might not be such a good idea after all. Auto leveling/air suspension was an option on the fourth generation 4Runner (called XREAS) and when it dies, literally no one replaces it with the same system. Different springs, in the spring air bags and some other options work far better and are far, far less expensive. Now, Hyundia/Kia may have engineered a better system but much like Toyota, there will be no aftermarket alternatives when it's time to replace and so it will be a very expensive proposition to replace with the same system. And the 4Runner is an actual body on frame tow vehicle unlike the Sorento.

True on many cars. I don't know how the system works on the Kia/Hyundai but... The ones used on German cars are generally unreliable and one strut can cost $1500+. If I were Kia and looking at how the suspension is made I would do it as an addition and just replace the rear shock with an air shock assuming the mount points can take the stress. It's nearly impossible to make a system that can adjust to the weight and compensate with ride height , shocks etc. It's always a compromise of carrying capacity and ride quality.

I still can't get over how puny the rear springs are in the Sorento. At some point in the near future I may also replace the rear shocks with Bilsteins if I can find them as it looks like the good ones have been discoed... The stock shocks are too loose on the rebound and if you have too much air in the bags and no weight the loose rebound is amplified. If I were ordering a car new and there was an option to get Bilsteins on it I would do it. Their stuff is very good and is used on the high end and off road production US made vehicles like the new dodge thing that is competing with the ford raptor.
 

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2017 Sorento
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Discussion Starter #8
A quick update. I loaded up the stuff from daughters storage and most of it is going out there. I still only had 15lbs of air in the bags and the rear squat was far less than normal. Driving and handling etc are far far better now and the front isn't sticking up so you can actually get some traction on the front tires.
If you tow with your sorento just do it.
 

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2017 Sorento
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Discussion Starter #9
Really quick update more detail later. Got back from the round trip much of it through the ice in Mississippi and Lousyana. The trailer towed perfectly with the airbags. Far better than it has ever towed before. I will post a few pics and more detail later.
 
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2016 Kia Sorento SX, 2020 Ford Fusion SE, 2001 Ford Ranger 4.0, 2000 BMW Z3 2.3
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104 Posts
just watched the install video from the manufacturer. does not appear to be too difficult and is a no-brainer for anyone doing consistent towing.
 
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