Kia Soul Forums :: Kia Soul Owners banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Warning - this post is lengthy!

As much as I love my Soul's quirky style, I have to say that rear visibility sucks. I'm sure there was a good reason for the enormous back pillars, but trying to see what's behind those takes paranormal abilities, which I do not possess. The regular “blind spot” can be substantially reduced with proper rear view mirror alignment, so it's OK while driving, but parking and slow backwards maneuvers while in unfamiliar territory is a test of willpower. A garbage can, a shopping cart, a bicycle – is there one there or not? How about infants abandoned in strollers or toddlers riding red tricycles? My guess is as good as yours.

A simple remedy for the above ailment is a so called “parking assist” system, otherwise known as ultrasonic backup sensor. Apparently some models of our Soul do come with a three sensor setup from the factory (according to the service and repair documentation), but sadly mine is not one of those models. I feel adventurous as of late, so I decided to install a similar system all by myself. By now I'm OK with such scary concepts as drilling holes in my dear car's body and such, so why not?

I ordered a 4-sensor wired set from Ebay. I paid $25 with free shipping from Hong-Kong. The envelope came after only a few days and being sent via Mail it saved me any hassle of extra duties, brokerage fees and taxes. Pretty sweet deal, or so it seemed. But is it what it promises to be?

The set came without the box (clearly an attempt to save on shipping fees), everything was included in the padded envelope and nothing was missing. 4 sensors, main unit, LED display, all cables, instructions and an exact size hole-saw/pilot drill bit combo -nice touch.

To get prepped I watched a couple of instructional videos easily found on youtube (boring!) and I spent some time poking around the back of the car trying to get a feel of what needs to come off and what can stay on. I decided to place the display in the back of the vehicle, as it seemed logical that while backing up, one would look backwards – being able to see the display showing you the remaining distance until collision is imminent seemed like a good idea.

That said, just about all the systems sold all over the place suggest that the display be installed in front of the driver. Therefore the shape and orientation of the display makes is difficult to place in the back.
The display's half-moon shape (with the flat surface on the bottom (duh!) works great with the on-dash placement, but I wanted to “hang” it under the third brake cover. But how? If I flip it, everything will be displayed upside down, and left becomes right. Not good.
So I came up with a clever contraption to fix that – an L-shaped “mini-shelf” attached to the third brake cover on which the display can rest on while keeping its proper orientation.
(note: when connecting ABCD sensors to the main unit the left-right is still reversed as you looking at it flipped horizontally, so connect them accordingly)

Once the display was affixed, the connector wire was routed inside the door using existing openings/grommets – there is a bunch of wires going through the left-top corner already – if you remove the flexible rubber grommet you can feed the display wire through there and voila, your inside the car now.

The left side boot panels need to be loosened, but need not to be fully removed. They're attached using clips and screws (three screws on the bottom under the floor panel and parcel tray. One of the cargo net hooks (the top one) also fastens the panel to the body, leave the other one alone – it's attached using a nut from behind. To loosen the left side panels the bottom trim panel on the edge of the trunk needs to come of – it's held by three plastic push-pins (the screw part comes out first, the push-in hollow anchor next). Careful, they're fragile. Then you just pry and pray – there are 4 retarded clips under there and I can guarantee you at lest one will break. I have no idea how to avoid this. Service manual advises to “replace any broken clips” before you put everything together, so there, they will break.

The power connection is taken from the backup light. The left taillight assembly needs to come off– three screws at the inner edge need to be removed and the assembly comes off with a gentle tug – the outer edge is held in place with 3 clips. I hooked the power cable close to the middle (reverse light) socket – black is negative, green is positive (there are 3 green cables there- one with black stripe, one with lettering and one plain green. It's smallest gage of all there – your best bet is to use a meter to confirm you've got the right one. I used the “vampire taps” as I don't like cutting any wires unless necessary. The unit only needs power when you put the transmission in reverse (hence feeding power from the reverse light).

To install the sensors, the bumper doesn't need to be removed, provided you decide to place them where I did. After you take off the two reflectors (one screw each, and then, you guessed it – a gentle tug) you'll see a fairly large opening that will allow you to feed the senor wires through and gives you access to the grommet leading inside the trunk and under the left panel you loosened before – the license plate light wire goes through there.

I drilled the holes in the same place where the factory sensors are installed. The difference being I have four sensors instead of three. You should space them evenly and perhaps use masking tape to mark the exact locations for the holes, like I did. The pilot bit/ hole saw combo cuts through the plastic bumper with ease- do not push, let the drill do the work. Clean the edges of any burrs - the sensors fit v. tight.

I'm debating whether to paint them to match the body color. They're gloss black now and actually look quite good as is. I think I will leave them alone.

Tip: to feed the wires through various cavities a straightened wire coat hanger does an awesome job – bend a little hook on each end and pull your wires through (I usually wrap it with an electrical tape to protect the connectors and make everything slide through easily).

All the exposed wires need to be wrapped to protect from fraying, bundle the excess wire and tie with included twist-ties.

As usual, if you chose to use these instructions, please be aware that you're risking damage to your vehicle and yourself. Measure twice, cut once and be certain you know what you're doing.

Oh, and how does it work? Well, I have to say that this system is DA BOMB! It works flawlessly and detects cars, bikes, shopping cars, garbage cans, street lights, traffic signs, bicycles, tricycles, small children and medium-to large animals. Best $25 bucks I spent in a long time.
Happy DIY-ing,
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
^^^:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What's your location? I can give you info on someone local here....
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Totally appreciating this post.. dealer offered to give me one for cost which for him was $300.. thats nuts... just snagged one on ebay
Glad to be of help.
A local place I know of will install something like this for around $150.
So if you can find a similar deal in your area, it will cost you about half price of what the dealer quoted - parts AND install (I don't suppose the quote you got included labor, did it?)
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Glad to be of help.
A local place I know of will install something like this for around $150.
So if you can find a similar deal in your area, it will cost you about half price of what the dealer quoted - parts AND install (I don't suppose the quote you got included labor, did it?)
Kris
$150 is an excellent deal. Here in San Fancisco, something like what you did will cost $350.

Here is the link:
http://www.audiod.com/SPECIALS.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
To clarify, it's $150 for installation only. $250 for the sensor and install.
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
No.. my dealer isnt charging me labor on anything.. just selling stuff to me at cost.. but I am planning on self installing like you did..
You'll be fine. Make sure you have a free day with no other errands to run, clean space and good night sleep before you get at it.
Send me a pm if you get stuck.
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Thanks for the original post here. I have now fitted reversing sensors on mine and it was pretty easy.

I found it was easier to fit the control box & speaker on the right side (when looking into the rear) of the boot as this panel is easier to remove and there is also an earth bolt beneath the panel near the seat back support. Also the wiring from the rear light can be accessed here. The loom to the right side light only contains one green wire, which is the +12V to the reversing light and therefore easily found. On the other side are three green wires.

I purchased my sensor kit on eBay for £18.99 (about $31) and with white sensors, which are a pretty good match to the Kia white.

The only downside is that they don't have a particularly good range and only cut in during the final 40-50 cm gap. By this time, from inside it seems like you're going to hit something and the sensors are not working!
At the place I mounted the sensors, the bumper is angled and therefore the sensors are pointing upwards slightly. They did come with angled rings which changed the pointing angle slightly, but even with these the sensors weren't horizontal, so I didn't fit them. They also look much better without the rings and the job looks first class. I suspect that they would work much better if they were pointing horizontal. Maybe if would have been better to mount them lower on the bumper.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the original post here. I have now fitted reversing sensors on mine and it was pretty easy.

I found it was easier to fit the control box & speaker on the right side (when looking into the rear) of the boot as this panel is easier to remove and there is also an earth bolt beneath the panel near the seat back support. Also the wiring from the rear light can be accessed here. The loom to the right side light only contains one green wire, which is the +12V to the reversing light and therefore easily found. On the other side are three green wires.

I purchased my sensor kit on eBay for £18.99 (about $31) and with white sensors, which are a pretty good match to the Kia white.

The only downside is that they don't have a particularly good range and only cut in during the final 40-50 cm gap. By this time, from inside it seems like you're going to hit something and the sensors are not working!
At the place I mounted the sensors, the bumper is angled and therefore the sensors are pointing upwards slightly. They did come with angled rings which changed the pointing angle slightly, but even with these the sensors weren't horizontal, so I didn't fit them. They also look much better without the rings and the job looks first class. I suspect that they would work much better if they were pointing horizontal. Maybe if would have been better to mount them lower on the bumper.

If yours are anything like mine they can be rotated. There is an indicator pointing "up" on mine and if you look closely, the sensors themselves are actually angled to point away from the ground, to avoid false readings like low curbs etc.
If you rotate them 180degress the angle of the sensor will offset the angle of the bumper and they will become vertical. Mine start working @ 1.3- 1.5 m away from the obstacle if positioned this way.
I know they're a pain to remove, but it can be done. I've tried mine a few different ways and "upside-down" yields best results.
Great Job!
Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
If yours are anything like mine they can be rotated. There is an indicator pointing "up" on mine and if you look closely, the sensors themselves are actually angled to point away from the ground, to avoid false readings like low curbs etc.
If you rotate them 180degress the angle of the sensor will offset the angle of the bumper and they will become vertical. Mine start working @ 1.3- 1.5 m away from the obstacle if positioned this way.
I know they're a pain to remove, but it can be done. I've tried mine a few different ways and "upside-down" yields best results.
Great Job!
Kris
I don't think mine are the same. The sensors are completely flat. Instead they supply these tapered rings which you slide onto the sensor before fitting, which then give it the angled adjustment.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top