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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 2003 Subaru Outback and damaged the front bumper. I recently got a front bumper cover that needs to be painted. I was wondering does anyone have a step by step guide on how to replace the front bumper as well as supplies I need. I also was wondering does anyone have a good guideline on how to paint the new bumper.

I know I will need to sand the bumper, prime it, match the paint color, paint it, and coat it. Does anyone know where to find reasonable supplies for the painting process?

Thanks,
Andrew
 

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I got it from a strip shop. So the bumper is coated with a black primer and is really rigid. I know the sanding process is going to suck. How is your project going so far? Where did you get your tools and supplies? I have not started yet.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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I have not gotten anywhere yet. I am attempting to source a bumper cover. I was actually planning on having it painted at a shop, but maybe I should do it myself.
 

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Yeah I bet you could find a bumper cover for around $150 at a salvage yard or auto shop. I know taking it to get painted at a detailing shop is around $300 do I feel like buying the paint supplies and doing myself is a better idea, and I will feel a since of accomplishment. Have you found any places that would paint the bumper for cheap?
 

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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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The bumper cover is really quite simple to remove. I've had one of each generation of OBW LTD's over the years (a 97, an 04, an 07 and now a 2012) and have removed the bumper covers on the first 3, for one reason or another. While each is slightly different, they are all basically the same. I really can't get too specific about the 04, since that was a while ago, and 2 cars since.

At the front wheel arch opening, at the seam between the fender and the cover will be a 10 mm bolt or screw to remove. You may have to peel back the inner fender liner to get at it.

Remove the grill. It basically is held in with clips that need to be pried out, or have prongs that need to be pressured towards each other with a screw driver or needle nosed pliers, while you pull the grill assembly towards the front of the car. You may find a push plug or two.

You'll find push plugs under where the grill was. Pry up the centre portion a quarter inch or so, and then pry the whole plug up and out. Along the headlights there may be one or two 10 mm bolts that need to come out, depending on the year.

From under the car remove the 10 or so push plugs (same as the ones on the top).

Now unclip the fog light wiring connectors from the fog lights, if you have them.

The bumper cover should simply pull straight forward off the car.

When you go to install the cover, tape or zip tie the styrofoam bumper filler to the front bumper bash bar, to keep it in place. It may fall off otherwise, and you'll not get the cover to fit.

Tape the edges of the cover with masking tape where it meets the fender seam, to prevent scratching the paint. Remove the tape only when you are ready to push the cover back into place along the fender seam.

Prep the cover for paint with 600 grit paper. The shine must come off the cover and appear dull. The cover then needs to be wiped down with a degreaser, and then just before painting, wiped with a tack cloth.

Auto paint suppliers can mix the colour code for your bumper cover, and put it into a spray bomb, for less than $30 or so. Then just follow the directions on the can. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow thanks for that walkthrough gbrhs. That should help a lot. I am going to pick up some sand paper tonight and get the sanding done part during the week and try to do the paint job this weekend if weather permits....

Do I need to order some spare clips in case the others break when I take off the old bumper? Also do I need a new styrofoam bumper filler or is it already in my bumper cover I have on now?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also I have had trouble finding the color code for my bumper in my manual. Any idea on how else to find the correct color code of the front bumper? It should be easy as it's that standard light gold bumper you see on all the 2003 subaru outbacks
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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Its 89N also known as Titanium Pearl according to paintscratch.com :29:
 

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If you're careful on removing the clips and bolts, you'll be able to use them all again. On a car that's been rusty, you might break off a bolt or two, requiring new bolts and drilling and tapping out the blind nuts on the body, but that's rare.

As far as the styrofoam form, just use the old one, unless its badly damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks gbhrps for the advice. I am going to order some clips because my car is pretty rusty as I bought it used a while back ago from the East coast near the sea. I found a website to order the clips for pretty cheap, but I need to make sure I have the right sizes before I order. I am thinking about just going to an auto store and asking a tech if I have the right sizes that I will need.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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I have not had much luck trying to source a used cover. I was either going to get one from my local dealer which lists the price at $235 + tax or there is a company on ebay that sells non oem covers for $199. These come primed and ready to paint. I think it would make painting it much easier.

Where are you getting your paint? Are you going to try to do any matching?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah the dealership is going to try to overprice you for sure. I would try craigslist or again, a salvage yard or local auto repair shop. Does the one on ebay include shipping?

I am ordering from paintscratch.com. I am not going for an exact blend because since it is the front bumper simply matching the paint color code will suffice to match the rest of the car fender. If you are going to do the same, make sure to order enough paint for the whole bumper. A 12 oz spray can will not do the job. I am suspecting it will take at least a quart.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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My local dealership has an online system where I can order it and it says $235. Since they are not shipping it I cannot see how they can overprice me. $235 is a good price.

I live in souther california and these cars are not that popular out here. car-parts.com lists nothing within 300 miles. I have not tried craigslist.

I just noticed though that the dealer part says unprimed.

The ebay part includes shipping and is primed! I emailed them and they said it is made in Taiwan. Maybe this is a good option. Here is the link.

New Bumper Cover Facial Front Primered Subaru Outback 2002 SU1000133 57704AE05A | eBay
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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Wholly sh!t, I went on craigslist and there are two wrecked parts cars with decent bumpers close to me. I am pursuing....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah the eBay one looks like the way to go to me. That is amazing it includes shipping. Just make sure they have good ratings and no scams.
 
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