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My name is Cliff and I'm from Tampa, FL. I was never really a big car guy until I bought my new Hyundai Sonata GLS. But now suddenly I'm scouring Google for every possible thing I can do to it. Is this normal? Anyway, a commuter Sonata isn't the kind of car that jumps out as everyone's first pick for custom mods, so I'm a little at sea about what to do with it and could use some feedback. Hit the jump to see a list of some of the things I want to do!
1. Emblems. De-badge? Custom emblems? What kind, and where would I get them?
2. Black-out. Get a black grill with no emblem or custom emblem, or pure chrome with no emblem or custom emblem. I have seen black grills for around $130, the chrome gets up there. Any ideas where to get them and brands that are recommended? Also, flat black or gloss?
3. Lighting. I want to do something to headlights and taillights. I have seen the smoked Halo head/tail lights for like $500 each but I have also seen people tint, smoke them themselves using paint or vinyl.
4. Paint. I am thinking about painting the roof black to blend in with the tint. I have seen this done and it looks real sharp. About $300 to do that.
5. Rims. I want a pair of black machinced-style wheels with a decent tire. 20's?
Orgingally I was thinking 22's but after speaking to a couple guys with them I realized there was too much modifying and work to make them fit.
I drive a lot! As in 1,000 miles within 2-3 weeks. I want something that will give me a comfortable ride, look stylish and classy, and is going to last. I don't want to have to modify or cut any thing out. I am also worried about spending a ton of money on tires if I get 20's. And will the tires wear out faster? Anyone else out there have 20's, and do you get any rubbing or other issues with them? How much does the ride quality change, and does it affect your MPGs?
6. H & R lowering springs. I keep seeing everyone who is on 20's use them. I am not against lowering, but I imagine it'll change the way the ride feels. A smooth ride or hard and bumpy? Does it void the Hyundai warrenty? And is this the best option if I'm going with larger wheels?
7. I did not get the in-dash screen option, with nav and backup cameras, but now I wish I did. If i want to get a setup like this aftermarket, what are some good options? How much would it run?
Thank you guys for your time! Like I said, I'm new to the hobby and very excited to get going on my little project. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated!
9/13/2012 1:58 PM
less than 50 bucks you could black out your grill and paint your roof black with Plasti-dip and if you dont like it you can peal it off.. lowering springs WILL void your warranty but you can check with your dealership and if they install them they may honor your warranty if something goes wrong. head lights and tail lights can be done for less than 10 bucks with a 1 or 2 light coats of VHT NiteShade (check local laws before doing this) but you basically remove your head/tail lights and put them in the oven (yes oven) for 10 minutes at 200 degrees... you are just warming up the sealant that they use and then gently start to pry them apart... repeat the oven step to put them back together....
9/13/2012 2:15 PM
VHT nightshade is a spray on lens tint...you dont need to take them apart. ive seen people plasti dip the insides before thought. thats when you need to bake them. whatever you do, dont junk up your car with chrome stick ons or corny decals
9/13/2012 2:38 PM
if you spray the VHT on the outside it leave a nasty textured finish and if you try to polish it out it eats through it..
9/13/2012 2:52 PM
If that Hyundai badge in the grille comes off without any brackets/extra plastic you could absolutely black out the grille yourself for about $10 with Rustoleum outdoor spray paint. It won't chip and you can choose whatever gloss level you prefer (personally I'd go with a matte finish, I used it on the grille of the K1500 truck that I used to have if you want to know how it looks). Taillights and headlights can also be done (on the outside) with the translucent paint used to tint the windows of model cars. Its available at almost all hobby stores for $3-4 a (small) can. Each taillight may use up to a can depending on how dark you want to go. I used this on the K1500 (taillights, front corner lights) and Durango I used to have, as well as my friends' Denali, Trailblazer, and Wrangler. It looks great and holds up through rain or shine. WORD OF WARNING: if you choose this method, you need to ensure that the lens is COMPLETELY scuffed for maximum adhesion - this includes sanding off the DOT numbers that are stamped into the light because sandpaper can't get to the actual lens beneath them. Time consuming, but it can look great. I would imagine that it would work equally well by pulling the lights apart as was suggested above, I've just never taken the risk myself. Also, tinted headlights and tail lights are almost certainly illegal everywhere. That being said, I never got a ticket for them. If this were my car, I would: - Matte black grill, debadged - Take off the badges in the back (fishing line and a hair dryer to soften the adhesive - wear gloves so you won't cut yourself and do it when the temperature outside is warm to avoid buckling the metal) - Black 20s and no lowering springs if you value your warranty - Black out the tail lights (dark) and tint the headlights slightly so that you can still see at night Hope some of this is helpful or of interest! Good luck with the car, I'm interested to see how it comes out for you. It's a great hobby to have, although it can get pricey!
9/13/2012 4:14 PM
If you wanted a stylish and classy ride, why did you buy a Hyundai ..? Just sayin ..
9/13/2012 4:48 PM
let's keep it constructive. why spurn a new enthusiast?
9/13/2012 5:26 PM
^i second that. plus as much as i may hate to admit it, the new kias and hyundais are actually pretty good looking, generally speaking. regardless, i recommend AGAINST tinting your head light lenses. either buy blacked out ones or plasti-dip the inside of the housing. keep in mind that light output will decrease no matter what method you choose...
9/13/2012 8:18 PM
^^ Seriously, how do you know the Sonata was at the top of the list of cars he wanted that he could afford? Maybe he needed a family sedan. Maybe he just likes it, and he's not trying to deck it out with Pep Boys stick on crap like that Sable from a few days ago, so let's encourage it. I think that first pic with the debagged black grill and amber lights looks good. Put a tasteful set of wheels on it, maybe lower it an inch or two, and I probably wouldn't mind driving it myself.
9/13/2012 8:57 PM
Can't believe no one suggested intake and exhaust! That's the first thing you should do to ANY car.
9/13/2012 9:01 PM
All black grill with no emblem and no chrome sounds good to me. I had a chrome stip on the back of my car that runs the entire width of the trunk. I just painted it matt black, but it was a pain to do because you really have to rub the chrome down with wet and dry paper first to give something for the paint to key onto. On my first attempt I didn't rub it down enough in some spots and after a short while the paint started peeling off. So I had to remove it and redo it again properly. I'm very happy with the finished result though.
9/14/2012 2:31 AM
If you do drive 1,000 miles in 2 weeks I would ditch the 20's since they will ruin your mpg's and you might go through brakes way quicker if you don't upgrade. Get some 18's with a meaty tire and it should look as good if not better and ride quality will not be affected as much if at all.
9/14/2012 9:30 AM
Lowering won't void anything about your warranty. If something breaks due to the aftermarket parts then they can deny that particular warranty claim only. In my experience aftermarket parts to make it more difficult to get warranty claims made at times. It varies from dealer to dealer how many service departments handle claims on modified cars. Many are jerks in my area but I have heard others have a good experience with their local dealer. Lowering will affect ride. Generally it will make it more harsh because the suspension is limited in the the amount of travel. It can cause problems but well designed parts will mitigate these potential problems. Larger wheels will similarly affect the ride by making it more harsh. Both of these modifications can have a benefit of improved handling in the turns if done with improved performance in mind. Both will improve appearance though IMHO that should be a secondary concern. All the appearance mods are certainly a matter of taste. Once again do your best to improve the way your car performs while trying to attain your desired appearance. Welcome to the world of car guys. No matter what you do. Take lots of pics. We love that.
9/14/2012 9:49 AM
^we really do love that
9/14/2012 2:24 PM
You photoshopped stickers? lol thats odd. Go get some platidip and do your roof grill and emblems. bake your headlights and customize them yourself. you can do it for around 50 if you just black or clear them out and the plastidip is only like $9 a can.
9/14/2012 6:27 PM
Hey man, I was in the same dilema when I first got my Sonata so I'm pretty sure I can help. Hit my page if ur interested
By: TCK Cliff
9/16/2012 12:22 AM
thanks guys for all the input! this thing didnt tell me i had responses, was loosing hope for this blog. ha ha But all your post will help.
9/16/2012 5:11 AM
what much you require to dress up your sonata ofcource some safety rods if roof changes with an open roof added a great one speaker to change to more better versions and of course more dark films need @ autoworldcar.com
9/16/2012 9:09 AM
Welcome to the world of car freaks! I agree with Tazgts, you should totally wake that engine up. Whereas I appreciate the little appearance mods you want, I subscribe to the "if it doesn't make it faster, it doesn't matter" mantra.
9/17/2012 6:06 PM
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9/18/2012 1:29 AM
go for something like the 1st grille. tint everything out with the exception of your headlights. you wont be able to see shit. and as far as those aftermarket projectors go, just be careful. some work wonders while others do a worse job of lighting up the road than the stock ones. as for the roof being blacked out, id be cautious about that. i dont see any line separation so it might look awkward 2 toned from the roof. this car has strange body lines. they look good tho! its just they cant be separated, they kinda flow together. those wheels look kinda ghetto. id go with something more classy on that car... something that resembles what would be found on a mercedes, porche, etc. but still keep with the black! deff debage the car. and if you plan to change some, i know there are diff style hyundai badges. ive seen some one youtube before when someone was showing how to debadge double backed ones. then just go for some hids and get creative with some leds and add some flare to the grille and headlights or something!
9/18/2012 8:31 AM
I would blacked out the headlights/tail lights, de-badge the emblems and spray the grilles black, that would look good. I would go any larger than 18's on that car.