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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i pkg #11 (Premium with no Eyesight)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just bought a 2018 Outback and would like to add the bold side molding. I'm wondering if it's easy to install, or should I have the local dealer do it?

Has anyone installed this themselves? How was it? Can you pick the installation height you like?

Also, should I get the Subaru OEM molding or maybe the SportWing stuff?
 

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2018 2.5 premium.
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I just bought a 2018 Outback and would like to add the bold side molding. I'm wondering if it's easy to install, or should I have the local dealer do it?

Has anyone installed this themselves? How was it? Can you pick the installation height you like?

Also, should I get the Subaru OEM molding or maybe the SportWing stuff?
Car needs to be warm, best done on warm day, side of car facing the sun and also warm moldings. Many kits come with template for height, or measure one installed at dealer. Measure from handles down and cladding up.. You must use masking tape first, and make sure tape is straight, no dips or wiggles. Put it were the top edge of the molding falls you you have good visibility when following the tape edge.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i pkg #11 (Premium with no Eyesight)
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Discussion Starter #3
Car needs to be warm, best done on warm day, side of car facing the sun and also warm moldings. Many kits come with template for height, or measure one installed at dealer. Measure from handles down and cladding up.. You must use masking tape first, and make sure tape is straight, no dips or wiggles. Put it were the top edge of the molding falls you you have good visibility when following the tape edge.
Did you do it yourself?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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I have no experience putting these on, but I got my 2018 Touring with the side molding as an option. It makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of the vehicle. My wife's Forester doesn't have the side molding, and my Outback looks so much nicer with it.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i pkg #11 (Premium with no Eyesight)
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Discussion Starter #7
I ordered the Subaru OEM side molding from Heuberger.

My dealer applied some kind of paint protection on the car (no, I didn't pay for it). I'm wondering what I need to use to remove this stuff to prep the surface before applying the molding. I'm thinking just the normal wax remover sold my body repair supply shops would do it.

Any ideas?
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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Assuming they're similar to the ones used on the 4th Gen, they're actually pretty easy to install, once you decipher the included directions. The included directions quite frankly blow chunks. It's not so much the wording, but the diagrams used, which are about as useful as using a 1/4 inch ratchet to change a light switch. Most of the install directions for their accessories are horrible, making the install seem more awkward than it is. (Maybe they're written for a 6 year old to follow, I don't know, but there's something wrong with them, and this from somebody with a 150+ IQ).

They take what should be a simple installation, and create a full fledged job out of it. Having done them, I could install them practically blind-folded, sans the directions.

You can probably install them right over the paint protection. The edge/lip of the moldings have a soft flexible rubber gasket, that should contour around that sort of thin coating. The coating will also keep them from scratching the paint, should they get dirt between them and the fender and vibrate/move.
 

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2018 OB Limited 3.6R, Magnetite Gray/Titanium Gray
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DIY and save some money

BSMolding purchased from Sportwing for $127...perfect Subaru color match. Watched video on youtube. Good luck.
 

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I ordered the Subaru OEM side molding from Heuberger.

My dealer applied some kind of paint protection on the car (no, I didn't pay for it). I'm wondering what I need to use to remove this stuff to prep the surface before applying the molding. I'm thinking just the normal wax remover sold my body repair supply shops would do it.

Any ideas?
Mineral spirits is what most pros use before molding appl, or painted or decal stripes. Available cheap at HD. In a pinch I have used fast dry alkaline enamel reducer. NOT the reducer for the new urethanes. Do before putting guide tape on. don't want tape absorbing mineral spirits and staying wet with it for a long period of time on paint.
 

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2018 OB Limited 3.6R, Magnetite Gray/Titanium Gray
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DIY and saved some money

I just bought a 2018 Outback and would like to add the bold side molding. I'm wondering if it's easy to install, or should I have the local dealer do it?

Has anyone installed this themselves? How was it? Can you pick the installation height you like?

Also, should I get the Subaru OEM molding or maybe the SportWing stuff?
I followed the Sportwing instructions where the masking tape is placed 8" from the door edge, and the installation went smoothly. I borrowed my wife's hair dryer to warm up the door panel.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i pkg #11 (Premium with no Eyesight)
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Discussion Starter #13
I don't like the recommended placement on the door. It seems too low to be effective against door dings. Has anyone put these on a little higher?

I'm going to check where other car doors would make contact using my other cars. I already have a small ding caused by a (moron) driver of a Lexsus ES350, so that's a good reference point.
 

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One the 4th Gen, 8-10 inches above the more substantial cladding places it nicely at the widest portion of the door. - Which where the instructions that came with my after-market pre-painted moldings.

For a 5th Gen, I'd measure maybe 18" up from the lower door edge so that the molding resides at the widest portion of the door, where it slightly bows out. (That should be about half way up the large dent prone area of the door skin). That should provide the best protection against door dings from less than careful drivers who just throw their door open without a care in the world. I don't have a 5th Gen to check the measurement, and that 18" is approximately based on the placement on my 4th Gen, and the height of the lower panel cladding on mine.
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 111,000+ miles
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Most people I run in to that want to do this kind of thing themselves want to do so because they are too cheap to pay someone to do it for them. Now that statement will be perceived in a negative way in the minds of many who read it but ultimately for me it comes down to liability. If you screw it up it's on you, if a professional screws it up they are on the hook to fix it.

For me there is just something with adhesives that are intended to be permanently bonding on top of a clearcoat paint finish, I just don't want to mess with it myself even though I'm perfectly capable of performing said DIY installation task.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i pkg #11 (Premium with no Eyesight)
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Discussion Starter #16
One the 4th Gen, 8-10 inches above the more substantial cladding places it nicely at the widest portion of the door. - Which where the instructions that came with my after-market pre-painted moldings.

For a 5th Gen, I'd measure maybe 18" up from the lower door edge so that the molding resides at the widest portion of the door, where it slightly bows out. (That should be about half way up the large dent prone area of the door skin). That should provide the best protection against door dings from less than careful drivers who just throw their door open without a care in the world. I don't have a 5th Gen to check the measurement, and that 18" is approximately based on the placement on my 4th Gen, and the height of the lower panel cladding on mine.
Yep. I've been studying the factory placement to try to understand why they did it that way, before I decide on a new placement. Their chosen height may be because they believe most people like the appearance of it lower on the door. The factory placement is almost exactly half way (50%) between the top of the lower cladding and the big contour feature in the top part of the door. The molding is sloped downward (about 3/8") towards the front, so it maintains the same 50% for most of the length of the front door. Their placement makes sense, as this is probably the most aesthetically-pleasing position.

I have determined that for the best door ding protection, the optimal location is approximately 3" above the factory location. I determined this by measuring the position of the ding I got from the ES350, checking the contact point of the door on my 2010 Mazda 6, and checking the contact point of the door on my other with my other 2018 Outback.

Now, the problem with raising it 3" overall is that it is no longer centered between the top of the cladding and the door contour feature in the top of the door, so it looks a little "off" (aesthetics again). It would need to be angled downward slightly more than the 3/8" of cardboard pattern, to maintain the new ratio. Raising it 3" results in a under/over split of about 64%/36%. I probably will also need to angle the rear door molding a little more. So, I'm going to drop the front by about another 1/4" to 3/8", then tape it on the car temporarily and take a look.
 

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I have at least 5 visible dings on the doors on our 2017 Outback. My wife parks at the designated stall at work and in 1 year she accumulated more dents than we had on all our vehicles in 20+ years combined.
I strongly believe that Outback sheetmetal is way thinner than it should be.
I paid CAD $300 (USD $220) for OEM molding and installed it yesterday. Factory template put it way to low, so I tried to lift a template 3" up first. Looked at it for 20 minutes and did not like it, proportions were off and it looked like Λ even the bottom of the molding was straight line. So I ended up raising it only 1.5 inches from OEM template position. Not sure about protection, 4 out of 5 dents are an inch below the door handle which is higher than my first OEM +3 inch position.

Bottom line: Not worth it.
A) I am not sure I like the look
B) Protection is marginal at best
It looks better in real life than in pictures though, less visible.
 

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I got the side molding put on by the dealer when I purchased my 2018 OB. I ordered this after seeing how many hits the molding took on my 2005 OB. If all cars were created equal then the molding would be great (remember the chrome molding on every car in the past?), however, I've noticed that with trucks, SUVs, and all sorts of other cars, the door shape and height really make molding useless. No matter where you put the molding there is going to be a truck next to you that will hit above or below the molding.
 

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I had the dealer install the OEM molding on my new 2018 Touring. Color match is perfect and the install is included as part of the warranty on the vehicle..
 

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