Installing E39 Rear Bumper and Color Matched Side Mouldings
By Jae

This one was probably the worst excuse for a mod ever. I didn't notice it when I picked up the car, but the rear bumper had been repainted and they had done a terrible job! The job was so bad that you could see it in any light and without a trained eye. It looked like water spots. Well, once I see something like that, I just have to fix it. I didn't know that a 2001 bumper was any different from a 2000 when I ordered it, but as it turns out, I was glad I did. Why?

The trim moulding tabs are different between the years. Why they did this, I can only suspect is to force incompatibility in the bumper mouldings so ignerts like me wouldn't have an older car that looks newer. I did have to cut the unchanged MY 2000 front bumper to fit the 2001 mouldings. Nothing a dremel can't fix.

Removing the rear bumper is not as hard as we made it. We removed the rear trim, and loosened the big bolts we found underneath the big holes in the bumper.
Off to the side of the car, we removed the fender liners, and loosened the bolts. We unscrewed the correct bolts. We just couldn't figure out for the life of us how to get the thing off the car!

This is where the big bolts hold the entire bumper housing on to the rest of the car. The stuff to the side is really just to hold the sides flush to the bumper.

A preview of what the car will look like with body color moulding- sort of. I did have to make some cuts to align the 2001 mouldings with my 2000 bumper.

Yes, that's a measly brick. No, it probably wouldn't really keep it from rolling. Yes, it's the South. Love it or leave it, I always say. By the way, got any job openings?

I was sent the incorrect moulding from Pacific. I don't have Park Distance Control (PDC). It was one mistake out of zillions of orders, and they sent me the right parts for free.

Since I had done some work for a local body shop, repainting the replacements was no big deal.

The side moulding really does come off easily. It's safer to use your fingers than a screwdriver or something that may scratch. Open the door and pry your fingers under the edge of the moulding to get it started. DON'T YANK it all off at once. You wouldn't want to bend it. Once started, just slowly work it off.
-Before and after-
Some say that the older style is 'sportier' and I've even read one person who said they think it makes the car look bloated. Ahh well, to each his own. As you may have guessed, I like the look of the new style. It looks cleaner to me. Like the car is not divided. It's one of the reasons I took off the pinstripe.