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 ...