- May 03, 2009 8:05:13 pm
I take no responsibility whatsoever in the event that you damage your vehicle. Keep in mind that you are performing this at your own risk, while this write up simply serves as a guide on how to remove your bumper and tail lights.
You will need the following tools:
Phillips screwdriver, flat headed screwdriver, 10mm wrench or socket wrench.
Removing the rear bumper
Step 1: Disconnect your battery (picture not necessary).
Step 2: Open rear hatch and unscrew the 2 screws holding down the bumper (this will help to loosen the bumper).
Step 3: Remove the bolts on each side of the car using your 10mm wrench. These are located directly behind the rear wheels.
Step 4: Remove the plastic retainers that are holding the rest of the bumper into place. There are 4 of them altogether; one on each side of the car under the bolts that you just removed and 2 more located near the muffler under the bumper. To remove these take the flat headed screwdriver and begin to wedge the bottom of the retainer apart. Once you have completed this simply wiggle it out by doing so in a back and forth motion. Be very careful as to not break these pieces (it can happen very easily). Should you break them you can always secure the bumper back the way it was with zip ties.
Step 5: Now that you have removed all the screws, bolts, and retainers the next step is to remove your bumper. In order to do this start at the edge of the bumper where you first removed the bolts. Carefully begin pulling the bumper, while doing this you will hear a series of cracking sounds, don't have a heart attack just yet because this is a normal process when removing the rear bumper (and the front bumper for that matter). Continue pulling until you have worked your way past the tail light. Next do the same exact thing on the other side of the vehicle. Once you have done this to both sides the bumper should simply pull off...be careful as not to scratch it up when taking it off the car or when placing it aside to do the rest of your work.
Removing the tail lights
Step 1: Remove the compartment in the rear by pushing away from you on the tab (picture not necessary).
Step 2: Release the wire harness mount by pulling straight back on the mount.
Step 3: Disconnect the tail light harness by pushing down on the release tab and pulling away at the same time. OEM tail lights release tab is located on the top while the TYC release tab is located on the bottom.
Step 4: Using your 10mm wrench, remove the 3 nuts holding the tail light in place. Simply loosen them a little with the wrench and remove them the rest of the way with your fingers. Also make sure you get a good grip on the nuts so they don't fall inside of the car.
Step 5: Using both hands remove the tail light by pulling straight back (Unable to get a picture of this).
Installing tail lights
Step 1: Guide tail light into the empty housing area. Be sure to align the mounting studs through the 3 holes.
Step 2: Use one hand to hold the tail light into the mounting holes while using the other hand to screw the nuts back on the mounting studs (put the nuts on finger tight at first and then tighten it down with a wrench later). This will ensure the tail lights are secure in their place and won't fall onto the ground.
Step 3: After tightening the nuts with the 10mm wrench, be sure to plug the tail light harness back into the plug of your new tail lights.
Step 4: Connect the wire harness mount back onto the mounting stud. Be sure to install both tail lights before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Connect the battery again. Right after you do this be sure to perform your function checks on the tail lights while the bumper is still off. Make sure the brake light, reverse light, turn signals, hazards, and parking lights illuminate. If everything checks out good then you are ready to move onto your final step, installing the rear bumper.
Installing the rear bumper
Step 1: Carefully line up your bumper to your car. What I recommend is aligning the center of the bumper first. Push in a little until the bumper clicks into place. Next begin snapping the bumper back into place. Once again you will hear a series of cracking sounds when installing the bumper...this is normal. Continue snapping the bumper into place until you snap in the edge of the bumper that you first pulled off when you removed the bumper. Before snapping this part into place be sure that the fender lining is on the inside and the bumper is on the outside. Do the same exact thing to the other side of the car.
Step 2: Install the bolts into the holes. Tighten them into position, but be sure not to overtighten them.
Step 3: Install the 4 retainers back into their holes to completely secure the bumper into place. If for any reason you may have broken one of these then use the next best thing, zip ties.
Step 4: Install the 2 screws back into their places. Once again be sure not to overtighten them.
Lastly, be sure to pick up all of your tools so as not to lose them or run over them by accident and cause any damage to your car or tires.