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2010 Kia Sorento AWD Platinum (2.2l CRDi)
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Discussion Starter #1
Slightly irrelevant topics but thought I'd cover it since it wasn't until I went to the beach that I realized that my replacement KYB shocks sagged and sat lower than the factory self-leveling after it had settled from a few bumps!

BEACH DRIVING (Quick answer for those searching the interwebs)
Quick answer, yes the XM Sorento is very capable on the beach even on soft sand as long as you turn off the traction control and lock the 4wd. I did the beach run on 255/55/18 tires deflated to 22psi and only bogged at the exit when I had to slam the brakes coming onto the onramp as someone came speeding down (Teewah, Queensland, Australia). I have since gone back to the factory wheels/tires at 235/60/18 but will eventually switch to 235/65/18 for the extra ~10mm height. You wouldn't take this car bush-bashing so don't let some old fashioned fart tell you it's not suitable for the beach.
  • The turbo diesel on this car, coupled with the auto transmission is great. You don't need hi/lo for beach/sand driving... this thinking is from back in the 80s/90s when v8's made a poofteenth of power of modern 4 cylinders. The low gear was purely to double the torque available by halving the gear ratio. The reason we have extreme car rock climbing hobbies now is because we still have hi/lo with newer higher-powered engines creating a combination that allows us to do so.
  • Use common sense, deflate your tires, and drive in the tracks/ruts of others and don't try steering too much, just let the car follow the tracks.
  • Keep your momentum between 40km/h-60km/h
  • Driving on hard/moist sand near the water is obviously going to be easier than soft sand. Don't try to be a hero and do like the car advertisements where they actually drive into the water.
  • Don't slam your brakes, don't turn too hard with deflated tires or you risk tires coming off the wheel
  • For goodness sake, bring some recovery gear.. at a bare minimum, recovery tracks, and a shovel. And a water tank to wet the sand to harden it if you must (see pics below with homemade roof-mounted water tank with pvc piping. I've got a tire valve installed into it so I can use my compressor to give it water pressure).

SUSPENSION REPLACEMENT
As for changing the shocks and springs, not going to do a detailed write-up as these videos are very detailed and the CM Santa Fe shares the same chassis. Also, excuse the inconsistent pictures as they are random pictures as I never intended to do a write-up, let-alone join a Kia Forum. It will take you a lot longer to wind the springs up/down twice per shock if you use the manual coil compressors and ratchet spanners.. roughly an hour per corner to be in and out:
Rear -
Front -

Parts purchased + Cost:
Rear Shocks: KYB Excel-G KU814/KT814 (I believe the USA model is called GR2) - AUD$165 for the pair
Rear Springs: King Springs KHRR-139 (Heavy Duty progressive spring rate + 2inch lift) - AUD$135 for the pair
Front Springs: King Springs KHFR-141 (Heavy Duty progressive spring rate + 1inch lift) - AUD$175 for the pair

Summary
  • I had opted for aftermarket rear shocks as the replacement self-leveling ones cost AUD$800+ here in Australia. And I didn't really trust the meager availability of local parts available. I have had good experience's in the past importing KYB GR2's and AGX's from the USA.
  • The factory rear springs are weak sauce! Clearly the self-leveling shocks hold more of the weight of the rear and hence their eventual failure and KIA not opting to use them on the facelift model. This is evident from the amount of sagging bottoming out to the coil bump stops just by replacing the shocks
  • Notice that I had purchase springs rated for 2inch lift? When coupled with the KYB Excel-Gs, it only equated to around 1-1.5inch after it settled.
  • If you only change the rear springs/shocks, it's not bad. BUT, your self-leveling headlights will go a bit funny always adjusting, and most of the time over-adjusting up into oncoming traffic since the car is now pointing down from the rear being raised.
  • Changing the springs at the front also with 1inch rated lift leveled the car back out.
  • Note also, that it is possible to install the strut hat for the fronts wrong (which I did and had to spend an hour fixing). The shaft end for the front shocks aren't perfectly cylinder, it is meant to fit only one way into the strut hat. make sure, you've compressed the springs extra to make sure you get the shaft in all the way properly.

These pictures are BEFORE any of the suspension components were changed. Only posting to be able to compare the subsequent pictures.
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These pictures after I had only replaced the rear shock absorbers with KYB Excel-Gs and used factory springs. At this point, I still hadn't noticed the severe sagging of the rears. I eventually noticed upon exiting the beach into the inland tracks with deep ruts as I thought I had broken something due to the scraping noise from being far too low:
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These are before changing the front springs:
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These are after changing the front springs:
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And these pictures are after changing the rear shocks + springs, and front springs (retaining factory shocks):
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2016 Sorento EX 2.0 tGDI AWD
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if i would still have my 2012 i would have definitely purchased these shocks and springs. i was looking for a better way to raise it a little bit more as i liked the capability of it. I don't like how my 2016 is lower and would love to lift it a bit but all we have reliably are spacers, and i would rather a proper spring lift.
 

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2010 Kia Sorento AWD Platinum (2.2l CRDi)
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
if i would still have my 2012 i would have definitely purchased these shocks and springs. i was looking for a better way to raise it a little bit more as i liked the capability of it. I don't like how my 2016 is lower and would love to lift it a bit but all we have reliably are spacers, and i would rather a proper spring lift.
Am fairly sure the UM model doesn't have self-levellers but you'd know best.

With USD always strong against the AUD, these could be viable for you, will give an almost 2inch lift:
USD$296: USD$252:
Both items are free shipping within Australia so you can just get them shipped to a AU>US freight forwarder

And depending on if you got 18 or 19inch wheels. Personally, i'd stick to the higher profile over the width as it leaves a longer footprint on sand when deflated to:
235/60/18 -> Can Upsize up to 235/65/18 to gain an extra half inch
235/55/19 -> Can Upsize up to 235/60/19 or 255/55/19 to gain an extra half inch
 
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