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KeithS 10-09-2012 02:49 AM

How To: Install a Factory Roof Spoiler on a Second Generation Legacy Wagon
As part of my continuing effort to get chicks to dig me, I installed a factory roof spoiler on my '96 Outback. While installing the spoiler is not particularly difficult, locating the mounting holes properly on the lift gate can be a little tricky. I snapped pictures as I went along ... maybe they'll help the next guy who wants to install one of these.

Installing the spoiler requires making five holes in your lift gate, treating the holes to prevent rust, sealing the holes to prevent leaks, and finally installing the spoiler. As always, remember information on the Internet is worth what you pay for it. What follows worked for me and will most likely work for you, but I make no guarantees.

Main reference for this write-up is Subaru's Roof Spoiler installation instructions.

Tools required: Drill with 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" bits; Center Punch; Dremel with carbide cutting tip (or rat-tail file); 10 mm deep socket with extension; Phillips screwdriver; two rulers; 5' of string

Parts/Materials required: I would highly recommend getting the three protectors (gaskets) from Subaru (my used spoiler had them attached); Protector Grommets (Lt # 96059AC210 and Rt # 96059AC200); 10" of double-sided moulding tape; Butyl Window Sealer (or similar sealer); Small amount of Primer Paint

Locating the Mounting Holes

Note: Because both the spoiler and your car aren't perfect, the following bolt hole locations are close but not exact. The holes will be drilled undersized and enlarged with the dremel to get them in the right spots.

The two upper holes are located/drilled first, and then used to locate the lower three holes.

Locate the upper holes as shown below. The 17 mm dimension is most critical. The 19 mm dimension is approximate and should be determined by using the actual spoiler. Make sure the dimension from the body crease to the hole is the same on both sides so the spoiler is centered on the lift gate.

Drill the two upper holes, first with an 1/8" pilot hole, followed by a 1/4" hole. Subaru recommends wrapping tape around the drill bit approx 10 mm up from the tip as a drill stop to prevent the drill from damaging the wiring loom directly below the holes.

Locating the three lower holes takes two steps ... one for the left/right location and one for the up/down location

Hang the spoiler on the car by putting the two upper brass pins into the holes you just drilled and resting the three lower threaded studs on the lift gate. Mark the left/right locations of the three studs on the lift gate as shown below.

Remove the spoiler. Using two rulers, mark the up/down location for the two outside lower holes as shown below. The 151 mm hole center-to-center dimension was given in the factory installation directions ... the 45 mm dimension I came up with through trial and error. This pic was taken after I had completed all the holes. In your case, you will be centering the ruler in a 1/4" hole. The string helps center the ruler, and is used in the next step to locate the center hole.

Using a string stretched between the two upper hole centers, mark the up/down location for the center hole as shown below.

Open the lift gate and remove the third brake light cover (2 screws), the third brake light (4 screws) and plastic cover (2 clips) to reveal 3 Mounting Bolt access holes. Close the lift gate.

Drill the three lower holes, 1/8" pilot followed by 3/8" hole.

Drill out the two upper holes using a 1/2" bit.

Test fit the spoiler, using the dremel to fine-tune the hole locations so the spoiler fits properly. The spoiler should be centered on the lift gate, and sit slightly back (approx. 1/8") from the front edge of the lift gate. Tighten nuts on the three lower studs to temporarily mount the spoiler. DO NOT USE THE TWO UPPER GROMMETS TO TEST FIT !!!!! Once you snap the grommets on you're probably not getting them off without breaking them. Carefully open the lift gate to insure the spoiler does not contact the roof at any point.

Finished mounting holes ...

Once you're satisfied with the fit, remove the spoiler. Grind off any burrs around the mounting holes and paint any bare metal with several coats of paint.

Final Test Fit ...

KeithS 10-09-2012 02:50 AM

Mounting the Spoiler

At this point I painted the spoiler to match the rest of the car. Because the spoiler is relatively small, my guess is that a decent job could be done with color matched base coat/clear coat rattle cans. I happened to have a little paint left over from some previous collision repair work, so I moved out to the paint booth and painted it up (also painting a trash can Glacier White for mama ... have you figured out I'm kind of a hillbilly yet, :lol:).

Pictured below are the parts/materials used for mounting the spoiler. The three black gaskets are what Subaru calls the "protectors" and cost close to $50 combined ... try to find a spoiler which has them already on it! The two black plastic "protector grommets" snap onto the brass upper pins on the spoiler ... DO NOT SNAP THESE ON UNTIL FINAL INSTALLATION!!! Not shown is the Butyl window seal (3M Windo-Weld Ribbon Sealer, left over from a project on my F-150).

Gaskets, Butyl sealer and moulding tape ... The Butyl sealer is used to seal the three lower mounting holes, to keep water out of the interior of the lift gate. The two upper mounting holes are outside of the lift gate seal, so sealing these holes is not necessary.

Remove the moulding tape backing and carefully place the spoiler on the car. Snug down the three lower mounting nuts, and snap on the two upper protector grommets. Note the grommets are left/right specific (they are marked L or R), the tabs on the grommets face towards the outside of the car.

Reassemble the center brake light/lift gate trim, and you're good to go ...

monkeyposeur 10-09-2012 08:12 AM

Awesome write up! I'm sure this will come in handy for some folks. Where did you get the spoiler? I swapped over a rear hatch with a spoiler so chicks would dig me. It isn't working.

Stasis 10-09-2012 05:13 PM


Originally Posted by monkeyposeur (Post 4106799)
Awesome write up! I'm sure this will come in handy for some folks. Where did you get the spoiler? I swapped over a rear hatch with a spoiler so chicks would dig me. It isn't working.

It's okay monkey, I dig you <3

Awesome write up, going to be fantastic for getting mine done, sadly the top holes on my hatch have been spot welded over and will need to be grinded off so will get a body shop to respray it all once holes are on (I'm not confident in my painting ability unlike most of you winners :P)

LegacyLou 10-09-2012 08:43 PM

Nice job, The car looks Great,It might even be a Panty Dropper !

KeithS 10-11-2012 12:15 AM

Thanks guys ... I've done a bunch of write-ups on things I've done to my '99 F-150, so it just seem natural to do one for this little project.

Monkey, I got the spoiler on ebay (and paid way too much for it, I might add :lol:)

Stasis, painting is all about practice. I got real confident in my painting abilities when I got a $2000 quote for painting a fender, hood, and bumper cover during some collision repair recently :eek:

It's been a few days now, and while the spoiler looks cool, it hasn't helped w/ the chicks. I'm thinking maybe JDM grill or projectors next, or maybe a little suspension lowering. If all else fails, I can always grow a ponytail ... :lol:

KeithS 10-11-2012 08:52 PM

Link to pics of the factory spoiler installation instructions ...

twisty 11-06-2012 07:30 AM

big thanks for this. gonna do the same to mine soon.

KeithS 11-07-2012 08:26 PM


Originally Posted by twisty (Post 4146352)
big thanks for this. gonna do the same to mine soon.

I hope it helps you out a little. The link a couple posts up w/ pics of the factory installation directions is worth a look if you're an instruction-reading type of guy ...

twisty 11-08-2012 07:21 AM

im sure it will, im more worried about it being skewed on the roof than anything else, and yours seems to be straight with the measurements you laid out. im tempted to go back and make a template from the car i took it from tho.

twisty 11-08-2012 07:39 AM


Originally Posted by KeithS (Post 4111311)
Link to pics of the factory spoiler installation instructions ...

i made them a bit easier to read and put them in a pdf. unfortunately its too large to upload to this site, if anyone wants it ill email it to them.

Grimmrican 11-08-2012 08:08 PM

Mint dude. I'm getting the entire tailgate same color as my car for 50$ with spoiler. So I guess it'll be easier for me lol.

That Guy 2-1 11-09-2012 09:37 AM

thanks for the writeup, probably gonna do this to my hunkajunk

twisty 12-22-2014 06:37 AM


Originally Posted by twisty (Post 4146352)
big thanks for this. gonna do the same to mine soon.

two years later and i still havent done it. i really am a slacker.

Zues Marine 12-22-2014 11:42 PM

wow this is so much better than my write up... i will be using this one to re-do mine on a new hatch here soon ha

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