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Discussion Starter #1
Received the batch of parts from csfiend, which included the front bumper assembly.

This is NOT a complaint about what I received from him (all of the parts look excellent, and he actually drove from Minneapolis to Madison to help shorten our trip!), but a "heads up" on a potential problem that others need to be aware of.

Much of the inner support is rusted - only surface rust for the most part from what I can see without taking it all apart, but with a hole in one place. Tapping it with a small hammer sounds like it is still mostly solid, but only after going the rust removal route will I be able to tell how thinned down it is. It might be repairable and still perfectly usable, but I will not know until then.

I would bet that this is common to all of these cars (and newer ones), and would advise everyone to have theirs inspected and replaced if necessary - rust in this component will severely degrade the ability to absorb impacts. Obviously, this will be more of a problem in wet areas and where salt is used, and may actually be worse in the rear bumper since that area will most likely see more of the stuff that is slung up from the tires.

Once I get the bumpers off of the Legacy sometime in the next few weeks, I'll have a better idea about how common this problem may be, and will post again.
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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can you zoom out a little on that.

seen plenty of rust on the minor steel under the bumper cover. ...on the car and in the brackets that hold the bumper cover on.

the mounts for the plastic beam are strong stuff though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What exactly do you want to see? Can get a picture later today - need to get a lathe programmed and running first.

Lots of minor surface rust on some of the non-structural sections as well, but nothing that couldn't be taken care of with a wire brush, rust remover, then rust converter, and a good dose of high-zink paint. New replacements are not all that expensive, but I know nothing about the quality of non-Subaru components of this type.
 

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just looking for some pics zoomed out from what you got.

are they any aftermarkets,? some of the things I need I am just going to try to fab up before I buy something OEM.
 

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Meh, that beefy bumper beam is only there to pass the 5mph crash test here in the US (which is only concerned with how much damage the car gets). In other markets (where they still have safety crash testing), they just have a bracket to hold the cosmetic bumper cover on.

IMHO Of all the parts of these cars that tend to rust out (I'm looking at you, rear subframe), the bumper beam is one of the least concerning from a safety aspect.


When I fixed up our '04, I ended up getting 2 bumper beams (one with the bumper cover, and another with the core support). Both of them, and the one that was on the car, were rusty. I think all the fog light bolts broke off in them. I treated with some POR15 before I put them back together, but I didn't worry about it beyond that.
 

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I for one have bought 2 new rear subframes for my present cars.

I had one for my wagon project, that I had sitting in the corner waiting.

_______

and then when I was on a 200 mile round trip with my sedan the subframe collapsed leaving the right rear passenger tire leaning in at the top.

(still able to drive,...at least to get home)..... had someone install the one I had,..

needed the 2 eccentric bolts large bolts at alignment time. 901700122 (OEM paid about $4 each).

______

and then I bought another for my wagon.

______

I think I may keep the sedan another year. then part out / into different cars.
(only 113,000 miles now, head gaskets done,.. interior still great,.....just rust rust rust,....it had a harder life before I got it.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The original pics are of the horns that are to the outside of the mounts. The mounts actually are rust free so far, but were these left untreated for a couple more years, the rust would undoubtedly spread to the mounts as well.

From a safety aspect, I can speak with at least some experience, as over the decades I have have to design, build, and crash test formula car crush structures that have had to pass FIA sled tests - that is a real eye-opening experience, and tends to make me real paranoid about structural issues like this! :)

As to the crashworthyness of these when rusted enough, you would find that even a diagonal minor tap would make them fail, possibly allowing the offending car then hit the car front structure and cause a lot more damage than if there was no rust.

In a square/almost square frontal, if Subaru did their job correctly, the whole box structure should start to fold at about the same force level that the dampers start collapsing - essentially adding crush length - which will reduce the initial stresses that the main car structure will see. If these collapse too early, the forces into the main car structure will increase, causing more damage that should have happened.

Will dive into this piece in more detail sometime later - which with my schedule, will most likely be near the end of the winter.

As to availability of aftermarket pieces, Rock Auto has some in stock at the moment. I would expect that they are a common replacement item.
 

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on my wagon the cross bar that is welded between the mounds and is supposed to stay with the plastic beam came right off with the rear bumper cover.

the good news, the bumper mounts with the plastic beam seem like I could pound on them with a sledge hammer.

and even on my more rusted sedan....the main structure of the car has like no rust. (despite how the painted body looks with its fist sized rust holes).

so maybe if I cut all the rust away I can make something like this... with doors,...(and 165hp/ torque and a 4EAT,.
..a lot stronger then $10,000 wimpy side by sides)_

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now THAT would be a fun project! :)
 
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