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Discussion Starter #1
Decided to look at the moonroof drains and the insides of the front fenders while I've got the front suspension apart (replacing axles, hubs and bearings, ball joints, etc, outlined on another post).

Is there some sort of "trick" to removing the 2 mudflap bolts that attach it to the edge of the fender? Got the 2 plastic screws out without much problem, but these other screws just turn without backing out. Tried gripping what I could get a pair of vice grips on on the backside, but still no luck - obviously I'm not gripping the right thing.

Or does it usually come down to grinding the heads of the bolts off and worry about replacing them afterwards?

Suggestions?
 

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Not an expert by any means, nor have I done this myself but all I've ever heard is that you're much better off just grinding the heads off the bolts and finding a new bolt or something to that effect to replace it.
 

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They just thread into speed nuts in the edge of the fender. Doesn't take much rust for the torque on the bolt to break it off and the nut spin.

I remove them violently and destructively with cutting tools, as I have no intention to re-install. They just trap road grime and cause more damage than they prevent.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks - just what I expected, but hoped that the answer would be different! :)

Yea - that gap between the flap and the inner wheelwell plastic is a bad oversight on Subs part - lots of crud can get in there. Will look at sealing that gap.
 

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Decided to look at the moonroof drains and the insides of the front fenders
When you get there, could you take some photos of the area and the outlets, and post them? That might help provide answers to the frequent question of "where are they?" (I'm planning to do the same in the summer; if there's a separate thread entitled something like "Where's the sunroof drain outlets? Here's pics", it could consolidate multiple generations and probably be a great help here.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can do - probably will be a couple more days before I can - have to finish machining up a batch of carbon/carbon brake pads for the endurance car guys (damned dirty job!) and finish up a chain drive diff that I owe to a friend.

On this same line - are there usually any issues in removing the plastic wheel well liner?
 

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Can do - probably will be a couple more days before I can - have to finish machining up a batch of carbon/carbon brake pads for the endurance car guys (damned dirty job!) and finish up a chain drive diff that I owe to a friend.

On this same line - are there usually any issues in removing the plastic wheel well liner?
Not that I've heard. To access that sunroof drain (front door pillar) area, I believe there's one or two plastic push-pin retainers that are removed and that allows the liner to be pulled down. It's still attached at the front, but out of the way. To remove it totally, there's more push-pins and possibly a bolt up front (not sure about the 2nd Gen.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. Looks straight forward enough, but you never know!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will be a while before I get back to removing the mud flap and wheel well liner - need to finish getting the mechanical stuff done first, and I keep getting overloaded with shop work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, during this lull in jobs because of the shutdown ( and awaiting the material do some differential orders that they still want), I started taking the mudflap and fender inner lining off. Somewhat trickier than you would first think because of the stubbornness of some of plastic rivets that hold it in place.

1 - The heads of the 2 screws that that hold the outer side of the mud flap to the fender had to be ground off. Easy enough, except that you have to remember that the bolt and washer will easily get hot enough to start melting the mudflap! Almost made that mistake. Switch back and forth from one to the other every 10 seconds or so to let them cool off. Having a rag wet with water will help. The other fastener is a is a plastic "rivet" that may or may not unscrew easily - mine did, thankfully.

2 - Once the mud flap is off, it is easy to see where the road junk will accumulate:


482058


The next issue is removing the fender inner liner. Most of the fasteners are actual steel screws. and they broke loose easily. There are 3 plastic rivets - one right beside the mount for the brake line, one way up front right behind the bumper, and one just in front of the wheel well opening where the horizontal part of the liner starts. There are 3 rivets that hold a secondary flap in front of the tire, but don't bother trying to take them off, as that flap is attached only to the liner. The one up front comes out easily, but the one just in front of the wheel well doesn't - I finally just chopped it off with a very sharp chisel:
482059


More coming shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got the liner out of the way and cleaned out most of the dirt that had accumulated behind it. The opening behind it goes all the way back to the door opening, and it was packed full - maybe 3 cups of crap.

Here's the moonroof drain tube that started all this:

482070


And here is the area that was full of dirt ( better lit in this picture). Unfortunately , some surface rush has started, so now I will have to remove the rocker panel cover to be able to remove the fender cover to gat at this area to rustproof:

482071


Most likely will have to unfasten the bottom of the fender to do the job properly. Really not looking forward to that, but it needs to be done.

More later.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Removed the liner all the way. The supports for the bumper cover and fender are rusted enough to warrant replacement. Will order them now and get back to putting the rear brakes back together. Will continue on this later - may be another week or two.

At least the inside of the fender looks good! Time for painting and undercoating to keep it that way.

482072


482073
 

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Good photos and details! I'm almost afraid to take those fender liners off to see what horrors are under there. Have you checked the fog light mountings? I think there's a bracket that rusted out behind them because mine are loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Haven't gotten to that yet, but will sometime soon. Right now I'm trying to find replacements for those brackets, and am working on the rear brakes - have to replace the backing plates, the whole emergency brake setup, rotors, and calipers (and hopefully not the hubs and bearings!) so that I can get it back on the ground and able to be moved temporarily out of the way so that I can empty the chip tray in the big lathe!

Edit - I see some surface rust, but ovedrall it looks solid - one more thing to remove and rustproof while I'm in there! At this rate, it will be June or July before I get the car back on the road! :)
 

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I removed the fender shield today and was confronted with this. No wonder the fog light was flopping around...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ouch! Hopefully you can find a junkyard one that is still good.

Was happy to see that mine is basically OK - some simple rust conversion and painting will keep this one going for another umpteen years. No idea what the right side one looks like yet.

482158
 

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Yea that looks easily savable. I suspect I'll have to get creative with the welder and some sheet. I imagine those other brackets will be tough to source too..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yea that looks easily savable. I suspect I'll have to get creative with the welder and some sheet. I imagine those other brackets will be tough to source too..
I believe that your big rusted out piece is part of the bumper assemble - I'll have to check the one I have up in the loft to confirm.

Just checked - yes, it is a part of the bumper. You may be able to find a still-decent one in a junkyard.

Got the brackets ordered fromsubaruonlineparts. Part numbers 57707AE17A and 57707AE18A for the stays. And for the side Brackets 57707AE21A & 57707AE22A It was all of $62 for the parts for both sides and a few plastic rivets. Had a free shipping number, so that was free.
 
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