Rear bumper - does it support body weight? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Rear bumper - does it support body weight?

Ok - odd question here - but in my 03 Outback - I was rear ended 3 times - all 3 times rear bumper got replaced - and once the rear door.
I recall trying to stand on the bumper to reach something on top and heard a noise and felt a slight movement that felt like it wasnt taking my weight (190lbs). I had THOUGHT I had stood on it before - but after that I didnt stand on it.

I am afraid to stand on my new one if it isnt supposed to support such weight. Seems like my old tercel years back, I stood on the bumper a lot for various reasons.

Should the 2013 OB rear bumper be assumed to support the weight of an average adult?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sequoia225 View Post
Ok - odd question here - but in my 03 Outback - I was rear ended 3 times - all 3 times rear bumper got replaced - and once the rear door.
I recall trying to stand on the bumper to reach something on top and heard a noise and felt a slight movement that felt like it wasnt taking my weight (190lbs). I had THOUGHT I had stood on it before - but after that I didnt stand on it.

I am afraid to stand on my new one if it isnt supposed to support such weight. Seems like my old tercel years back, I stood on the bumper a lot for various reasons.

Should the 2013 OB rear bumper be assumed to support the weight of an average adult?
All cars today have a light flimsy plastic body panel cover which goes over a steel beam which is bolted in two spots to the ends of the sub frame at the back of the car. The plastic cover will flex and move but your weight more or less is on the heavy steel beam bolted to the frame of the car resting under the plastic cap. So yes it will support your weight. However the plastic cover might pop loose in a spot or two if you pull or push it like say standing on the rear bumper while tying down something on the roof and you lean forward and your feet are pushing outward on the plastic cover. Not a big deal the plastic covers for a lack of a better way to describe it have a zipper like edge which snaps into a toothed groove on the car. Then at key spots they will have plastic pop pin retainers around the wheels and the bottom edge that pass through the plastic bumper holding it to metal tabbing. So yes the bumper can support your weight - however the plastic cap ie cover might flex or could move or be pulled loose if you apply any type of pressure other than just your weight down on the bumper cap.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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All cars today have a light flimsy plastic body panel cover which goes over a steel beam which is bolted in two spots to the ends of the sub frame at the back of the car. The plastic cover will flex and move but your weight more or less is on the heavy steel beam bolted to the frame of the car resting under the plastic cap. So yes it will support your weight. However the plastic cover might pop loose in a spot or two if you pull or push it like say standing on the rear bumper while tying down something on the roof and you lean forward and your feet are pushing outward on the plastic cover. Not a big deal the plastic covers for a lack of a better way to describe it have a zipper like edge which snaps into a toothed groove on the car. Then at key spots they will have plastic pop pin retainers around the wheels and the bottom edge that pass through the plastic bumper holding it to metal tabbing. So yes the bumper can support your weight - however the plastic cap ie cover might flex or could move or be pulled loose if you apply any type of pressure other than just your weight down on the bumper cap.

Thanks for such a great detailed answer!

Thats what I wanted to know.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:09 PM
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Can you summarize what is required to get to the inside support brackets? I was mildly rear-ended and have lost one bracket and the other is loose. I have the new bracket and some plugs, but not sure how to replace.

Thanks,
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 02:14 PM
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The steel bumper beam running across the back of the car has two feet with four bolts on each foot 8 total bolts bolting it to the ends of the sub frame - you can see this easily by simply laying on your back under the rear of the car.

The thing that can not be fixed is if the plastic bumper cover is torn at the tab points where it is pinned or screwed to the car. If the plastic bumper cap is intact then its just a matter of bending the flexible metal tabbing back to position and inserting the plastic pop pins or screw that holds it in place.

If one of the metal tabs is broken thats a different issue body shop will probably need to be involved to do that fix.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:37 AM
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FWIW this steel beam is called the "energy absorber". At least that's what my body shop invoice says.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 07:09 PM
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there's usually some foam under the cover as well - if that's broken or missing it'll loose rigidity and form as well.

H6 VDC OBW, H6 OB Sedan, XT6's, castrated LSi - FWD EJ18
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