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2008 Kia Optima 2.4
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey... Alex here. I have been trolling around here for awhile, finally thought I would post some stuff. I had a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT and sold it for a 2008 Kia Optima 2.4 LX back in February 2009 with 12,000 miles on it.

Before pic:


She now just has a smidge over 100,000 miles, but has been a great car with not one problem yet, besides a recall for airbag clock-spring and a bad oil pressure switch. I have used Green Earth Technologies bio-synthetic oil the entire time (which many don't seem to think is good), but I disagree.

Some things I have added or changed.
-Factory fog lights
-Kia small hood guard
-EX Black grill
-EX Black Headlights
-Splash guards
-EX Black Leather Seats
-Chrome trim around vents and shifter
-5% tint rear, 50% front
-Curtiss Trailer Hitch
-Lip Spoiler
-Hyundai Santa Fe 18" rims (summer use only. Steelies with Hubcaps/Snow tires for winter)
-Ultrastart Remote Car Starter
-Self Installed Pop-up Sunroof (PITA)
-All interior lighting changed to LEDs, along with the clearance lights and license plate lights, and front bumper clearance lights
-6000k HID low beams, and 8000k fog-lights
-Night-shades tail lights
-Ventvisors for the doors
-Kia Floor mats
-12", 30 LED strips mounted in each headlight and wired to clearance
-LEX 24, and 'K' Emblems
-Fumoto Quick-drain oil Valve
-2009-2010 LED Mirros

Current pics:




Next up:
-Installing new front struts, rear 'shocks'.... don't know what else.
Nice to meet you all......
 

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07 Optima 2.4L
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109 Posts
I remember noting how much the 2006.5-07-08 sleek front end styling resembles the classic look of a Lexus LS 430. These are really good-looking cars, and mine has held up well over the last few years. I still enjoy driving it, especially after keeping it polished and clean, and adding a few choice upgrades, such as my KDM Korean version Lotze Advance LED taillights, along with 17 inch V-6 OEM rims, the LED 3-way turn-signals, factory remote start, heated leather seats, factory fogs, HID low beams, aftermarket 7-in 2-DIN DVD/ GPS/HDTV/backup camera unit, mudguards and chrome door handles.

Planning to keep it a few more years, doing all of my own routine maintenance and installations. Really a well-designed and well-built car, made to last well past the warranty, with only a few minor flaws (such as those flopping $80 sunvisors..) Not bad for a car that was going for around $16,000 then. Especially enjoy using the handy KiaTech website with all those useful wiring diagrams and pictures, internet websites such as eBay, Amazon, AliExpress and all the Korean Parts people, and even those dealership parts stores featuring easily searchable factory parts numbers and special pricing online.
 

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2008 Kia Optima 2.4
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I hate you for having those LED tails... want them myself, but can't see spending the dough.... but when you want to part with yours, hit me up. I'm going to keep mine until atleast 250,000 (a bet with my father). I really just enjoy the car, and haven't had any reason to move on. I miss the versatility of a hatchback, but she's been a good substitute. :)
 

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07 Optima 2.4L
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109 Posts
Well, I really did get lucky last year with the LED Tails...was always dreaming of these KDM Kia Lotze Advance OEM factory tails, then amazingly found them one day while checking the clearance page at Korean Auto Imports. Someone had unbelievably returned them, due to difficulty wiring them up to the original connectors, which are missing some added wires. Got them for next to nothing ($100) but did have to add the extra wires onto the trunk section, much like the 2011 Optima and Sonata KDM Korean LED tails DIY require (except for the SX.). Sadly, these are not full LEDs, as are many newer versions, but they really do stand out and dazzle when you turn on the lights, and I can always replace the other bulbs with more LEDs in the future. I especially like the amber turn signals and the shape of the lights. Shark Racing
 

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07 Optima 2.4L
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109 Posts
LED Mirror Turn Signals

Nice job...Are these the KABIS OEM-Style Korean cover replacements? Those are the ones I added, the LED 3-way, with the puddle lights built-in underneath the mirror, hooked up to new door lamps, which I also wired in and added inside the base of the door, replacing those stupid factory blanks. Sadly, no US version LX factory harness wiring runs to the door lamps.

Had to thread all the wires through the long rubber grommet in the door, then fished some wire along the hood, to hook the mirror lights up to the parking and signal lights up front. That setup allows the amber running light to come on with the parking lights, then flash a signal on turns. Really a nice effect. I even found wiring connectors already in place, hidden under the dash in the foot wells, which easily hooks up to a small lamp and bulb you can add there (and which was also left out in the base LX version.) Those foot well lights now come on, along with the interior overheads, when all are properly connected to the door and mirror lamps, then all fade off together when I lock or unlock. One of the nicest and most rewarding mods I ever attempted..Really looks great at night. (Should have had an EX..ha..)
 

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2008 Kia Optima 2.4
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
They're actually the OEM Mirror assemblies. I bought both of car-part.com in white so I wouldn't have to paint them. I got one for $45 shipped and the other for $50 shipped. My LX had the wiring up to the mirror harness, I just had to locate each in the plug in the footwells, really not too difficult. I have a couple other things I want to do to my car yet, then I think I am retiring for awhile :)
 

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07 Optima 2.4L
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109 Posts
Great deal on those two LED mirror housings, and a great install. The foot well and park/turn signal wiring was easy enough to follow, using the comprehensive KIATech website, but that was some job to thread them both up through the long rubber grommet, then fishing them with a short, bent length of coat-hanger to the mirrors and routing the wires down inside the doors to the new door lamps.

Tested my patience, knuckles and back, lying on the ground and upside down, squeezed under the dash, cursing at the cramped space to work in with my fingers and crimpers. But it was well worth it. (LX to SX...well, almost..) Sometimes, I just wish I had chosen to spend the extra money at the beginning, but then I would have never had the challenge, sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction in learning how to do it myself. Knowing you can actually do something with your own hands to improve your comfort, enjoyment and confidence is so incredibly rewarding. Glad to see you had the same excellent useful ideas and results. Keep up the good work.
 

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2008 Kia Optima 2.4
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I ordered a set of rocker mouldings/skirts from a 2010 Optima SX tonight, so I will post pics of them once I get them installed :)
 

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1995 Procharged Mustang Cobra -- 2006 Grand Cheorkee limted Hemi.
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4,426 Posts
3 years is more than a while. If you have a question, start a new thread, and ask it............................
 

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2008 Kia Optima 2.4
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I know its been a while since anyone posted on this thread but any updates???
I no longer have this car. Good thing I subscribed to this thread to receive new posts.
I did install a 2009 Optima skirts on my Optima. Strange thing was they were about an inch longer that the stock ones I had. I installed them flush with the rear and they stuck inside the front fenders, but was able to cover the lip with a splash guard. Good luck! Definitely made it look sportier!


3 years is more than a while. If you have a question, start a new thread, and ask it............................

Nah, that's a ridiculous statement. Some of us pay attention to our old posts.
 

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2007 Kia Rio LX
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12 Posts
Hi, nice post. Thanks. I listed out several of the items you added. I'm particularly impressed with the 18 inch rims. Can such a thing be done to a Kia rio LX? I have a wrecked 05 Sonata. Would those 16 inch rims and tires fit on this newly purchased LX? Is there any problems, like with the bearings, or anything else?
 
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