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Discussion Starter #1
Bought an '05 Outback with a Salvage Title in California, requiring a Break and Light Inspection. There is a very very tiny crack in the outer red reflector part of the light and it won't pass inspection, do I have to replace the entire tail light assembly (Item 1 in the link below), or can I just purchase the lens (Item 5)? Can I assume this is pretty easy to put together?

Also, this is the passenger side, should I assume that means RIGHT side here?

2005 SUBARU OUTBACK Parts -


THANKS! I'm a total Subaru newbie, but excited to learn a lot more.
 

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That 'lens only' is what most of us call the taillight assembly. The 'assembly' they are talking about on that page is a complete, plug and play setup. You can buy just the 'lens' and transfer your current bulb, wiring, and the like from your old one. You aren't just replacing the colored plastic outer portion, if that's what you were thinking.
 

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THANKS! That is what I was afraid of, I assumed maybe I could just buy that red part for cheaper, but, of course not, that would mean less cash!

One more quick question, it's only about a $20 difference for lens vs. the plug-n-play assembly, is switching the wiring out going to be difficult enough that I should just get the whole thing?

Cheers!
 

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New wire or not, your biggest challenge is getting the harness plug apart. If things are pretty clean, it may unplug smoothly and easily. If they're dirty and have gone through a lot of significant heat cycles, they may be a bit of a bear to separate. Either way you go, you still face unplugging that connector. The bulb sockets can be a bit sticky too, but are usually easier to get out of the lens. I've not seen Subarus, or most imports for that matter, having issues with the bulb sockets getting brittle and breaking when you try to remove them - like many domestics can. If you're in sunny SoCal, you still might want to check the bulb socket condition before deciding which deal you want to buy.
 

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I had to replace a taillight bulb last year, I recall that the lens assembly came off in about 2 minutes- would have been a cinch to move the wires & bulbs to a new lens.

I don't know what would be involved in threading a replacement harness through the body. I'll just guess that it is more than 2 minutes.

I'd just get the lens and be done with it.
 

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some states legally allow passage with red tape over the crack...never knew that until i saw a friend do it...or he just made it up!?

i'm not going to plug around much but the assemblies come out really easy, not much to it.

if you have to separate any lenses that are glued in place, simply place them in the oven. i can't recall what temp but i've done it before, the glue gets soft and then it comes right apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
haha, those asterisks make me feel like i have some kind of dirty fücking mouth!
 
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