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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Junior reversed into a pole while learning to drive and as a learning experience I want to have him help replace the rear bumper and bar. The bumper cover was a little cracked and deformed but I was surprised after removing the cover to find that the reinforcement bar is quite dented.
Checking online I see they run about $75-125 for a used one so figured its worth it to replace it.
However I cannot find any information anywhere on how to remove the existing one. There are 6 bolts that come off easy enough but I cannot get this thing to budge which makes me suspect that there is hidden welding somewhere I cannot see. Comparing the bar installed to pics of ones removed from wrecked cars online I don’t see any obvious difference but there must be something I’m over looking.
If someone has a detailed assembly diagram or has previously done this I’d sure like a helping hand on this.

Update:
Upon further inspection I’m beginning to suspect the issue is the fact that the bar was bent inwards. I think this flattening of the bar is forcing the struts outward and is jamming the mount points against the bolts and holding things in place. I don’t have anything that can pry it loose and there isn’t enough space to insert a jack or other tool to pop it free.
The only option I can see is to cut through the reinforcing bar itself to release the tension and see if I can then remove it. I’m concerned that the mounting struts may still be welded in place even if I do this and I still can’t get it off.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, but the view is largely occluded by the exhausts and their mounts. Feeling around I can’t obviously detect the backs/heads of the mounting bolts but there’s a lot of crud built up back there.
I haven’t as yet tried jacking it up for a better look but I do have an endoscopic camera I’ve been looking for an excuse to try.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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My 2019 has only two bolts and a nut per side to attach the bumper, but I see earlier models have multiple ways of attaching.

This thread might be of help.
https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/how-to-remove-rear-bumper.9389/
Post 17 of the thread mentions ....
Here are some things that were confusing which I wish someone else posted:

1. There's a screw on the inside of the wheel well that screws into the bumper. Use a 10mm socket on this one. (This is not the one that you can see on the rim of the wheel well. It is on the inside of the wheel well and screws to the top of the bumper cover.)



edited below with correct link for 2010 bumper (not the cover)

This thread is for a 2010.. p. Looks like just 3 bolts per side.
https://www.subaruforester.org/thre...ns-2010x-daily-driver-dog-hauler.72689/page-7
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses so far but just to be clear everyone. I know how to take off the bumper cover.

The photo attached shows what I’m trying to get off is the reinforcing bar itself. Not the bumper/plastic cover.

That was relatively straightforward to remove and 5 minutes with a heat gun repaired the damage to that.

For reference the bumper cover on this 2009 Forester 2.5 Premuim is held on by 6 plastic press pegs along the bottom edge (2 on each quarter panel and two on the rear edge) and one grommet in each wheel well near the top. There are also 2 x 10mm bolts under the tailgate area. You don’t need to remove the rear lights for this. Cover pops off pretty easy once clips are out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My 2019 has only two bolts and a nut per side to attach the bumper, but I see earlier models have multiple ways of attaching.

This thread might be of help.
https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/how-to-remove-rear-bumper.9389/
Post 17 of the thread mentions ....
Here are some things that were confusing which I wish someone else posted:

1. There's a screw on the inside of the wheel well that screws into the bumper. Use a 10mm socket on this one. (This is not the one that you can see on the rim of the wheel well. It is on the inside of the wheel well and screws to the top of the bumper cover.)



edited below with correct link for 2010 bumper (not the cover)

This thread is for a 2010.. p. Looks like just 3 bolts per side.
https://www.subaruforester.org/thre...ns-2010x-daily-driver-dog-hauler.72689/page-7
Yep this is very helpful. I think my conclusion is correct that the bar is being held on by pressure against the bolts as the nuts came off easily but the thing is still wedged in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update. After cutting through the reinforcement bar I was able to remove it from the body. The support bolts were bent outward slightly as I suspected and needed a little work to realign them so the new bar would fit.

The other problem I seem to have is the door ajar sensor seems to think the tailgate is still open even when it's locked. I checked the actuator and it works if I flip it closed with a screwdriver but when using the lock button or remote it doesn't seem to close all the way. I ordered a replacement and we'll see if that helps.
 
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