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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Bumper Removal

Time:

30 min

Tab:

$850

Talent:

**

Applicable Models:

Porsche 981 Boxster (2013-15)
Porsche 981 Boxster GTS (2015)
Porsche 981 Boxster S (2013-15)
Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
Porsche 987 Boxster (2005-12)
Porsche 987 Boxster S (2005-12)

Parts Required:

Front bumper cover

Hot Tip:

See if a good body shop can repair your front cover

Performance Gain:

Cleaner looking car

Complementary Modification:

Replace shocks, install center radiator
101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your Porsche Boxster. The book contains 312 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 950+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Boxster owner's collection. The book is currently available and in stock now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Unless your Boxster was stored in a time capsule when it was purchased new, it's highly likely that you will have at least some type of cosmetic damage to your front bumper cover. The amount and depth of the damage is, of course, completely dependent upon the care of the driver. The Boxster that I picked up as the project car for this book was cheap, had been abused, and the front bumper cover wore all the scars of the car's previous life. That said, the inner wheel wells of the car were damaged even further: I was able to save and repair the front bumper cover, but the wheel wells required complete replacement.

The first step is to jack up the front of the car. Loosen the lug nuts on your wheels prior to jacking if you are planning on removing the wheel well liners. The next step in removing the front bumper cover is to remove the screws that attach it to the top of the chassis (see Photo 1 and Figure 2). To remove the trim panel and expose the actual screws holding the top of the bumper to the chassis, turn the plastic screws (Figure 1) 1/2 turn and remove them. The plastic trim panel can then be removed, exposing the screws securing the bumper (Figure 2). Next, you need to pull out the side marker lamps. Behind the side markers you will see the small screw that needs to be removed (see yellow arrow, inset of Figure 5). There is also another screw that needs to be removed that is located right next to this one, near the edge of the wheel well that screws upwards to the sky (red arrow, Figure 5). Then, disconnect the temperature sensor that sits in a small hole near the front grille on the right side of the car. The temperature sensor is a small device with a wire attached to it that looks a bit like a very short pencil (see Figure 1). Finally, remove the screws that attach the bottom of the bumper cover to the car (Photo 3 and Figure 4). With all of the hardware disconnected, the bumper cover should slide right off with a few strong pulls.

The front bumper cover is an insanely expensive part ($600-$950 depending upon whether you have a regular or 'S' model). As an additional tip, I found that the Boxster 'S' bumper was virtually identical to the normal car except for the cutout for the center radiator. If you wish to save several hundred dollars on a replacement bumper cover, see if you can find a non-S version, and then cut out the insert yourself, as I did in Pelican Technical Article: Center Radiator Installation.

Removal of the wheel well liners is not quite as easy as pulling off the front bumper cover. First, remove the two road wheels. The wheel well liners are attached using plastic rivets which must be pried out one-by-one. Photo 4 and Photo 5 show the location of these rivets. It is not necessary to remove the suspension strut in order to replace the liners, but if you're planning on replacing your shocks anyway, then now would be a good time to do it.

When installing your new wheel well liners, be sure to purchase the small little mud flaps that attach to the front ends (1997-04, PN 996-504-503-00 and 996-504-503-00). These are often missing from years of abuse. The 2005 and later Boxsters have a different wheel well design that is actually three pieces instead of two, making for a much easier installation.

Start in the front trunk by removing the black plastic cover piece near the front hood latch.
Figure 1

Start in the front trunk by removing the black plastic cover piece near the front hood latch. Four small fasteners hold this piece in place. Simply rotate them a half turn or so to loosen them up and remove them. The inset photo shows the temperature sensor that you need to remove from the grille.

With the front black plastic cover piece removed, you can see some of the screws that hold the front bumper cover on to the chassis.
Figure 2

With the front black plastic cover piece removed, you can see some of the screws that hold the front bumper cover on to the chassis.

Underneath there are a few more screws that attach the bumper cover to the chassis.
Figure 3

Underneath there are a few more screws that attach the bumper cover to the chassis.

This section of our project car was really ugly.
Figure 4

This section of our project car was really ugly. It's difficult to tell from this particular photo, but the damaged piece hanging down (yellow arrow) is actually part of the inner wheel well liner (see next photo). A poorly executed paint job resulted in the wheel well liner being painted body color: it's normally black. The bottom left photo shows one of the plastic rivets that are used to attach the wheel well liner to the chassis. The photo in the upper right shows a new wheel well liner with the small rubber lip / flap attached. These flaps typically get a lot of abuse and are often missing entirely from the car.

This photo shows some of the various fasteners that are used to attach the inner wheel well liner.
Figure 5

This photo shows some of the various fasteners that are used to attach the inner wheel well liner. The brakes and shocks have been removed for clarity, but are not required to be removed in order to replace the liner. Some are plastic rivets that are easily removed with a crowbar (green arrow, lower right). Others are plastic nuts that simply require a socket to remove. The photo in the upper right shows the two wheel well liner pieces and their shapes. The photo on the upper left shows the screw behind the side marker that must be removed in order to remove the front bumper cover (yellow arrow), and the receptacle for the screw that must be removed from inside the wheel well (red arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
leon Comments: How different is this to removing the bumper on a 1998 Porsche 996 911 c2 coupe? I have a small leak just infront of the left front wheel and need to inspect it further.
February 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is similar, some minor differences.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
specwar6 Comments: Thanks guys this was the perfect advice for me reattaching the plug to the headlight assembly. I removed only 4 screws/fasteners and I was able to slide in the headlamp unit and make sure the connection is proper and secure.
As a bonus I was able to fix a loose connection on my windshield wiper hose!
November 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nato Comments: What is the newest OEM boxster S bumper that a 1998 986 base can take?
September 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bobbypie Comments: i have noticed that the base of the door, drivers side is wet through on the outside carpet/material I have had the inside of the door sealed but it hasn't done the trick. Someone mentioned that it could be one of the drainage holes at the front or back of the hood is blocked. I'm not sure where i look to check this. Any help would be appreciated ;
March 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: In the cowl, locate the lowest spot, then look for a small drain hole. It may be blocked with debris. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bobbypie Comments: when removing the inner wheel well, do i use the crowbar under just the rivet or the rivet and what looks like a washer?
March 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See fig 5. It shows the center rivet being pulled out with the crowbar. You can also use a trim panel tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mutleymeadows Comments: I can hear a vibrating noise and can feel it too behind the driver side front air dam. Any ideas please what this might be please 2001 Boxster 2.7
February 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a loose body panel or air duct. Inspect the fender liner, bumper and front suspension of the vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matg Comments: Further to my earlier comment-I removed the fender liner and found the cable-got trunk open. Found out why no electrical solutions worked-inside door lock switch was on-saw red light when got battery boosted.

logical that can't unlock trunk when doors are locked.

Advice to any owners who have similar problems.
March 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Matg Comments: How can I access the emergency front hood release. I found it once, let it go, and it pulled back so far I can no longer get at it The battery is dead, and I have tried all kinds of ways to get it open using a booster. Its a 2000 s model, and doesn't have the later post in the fuse box for applying a booster.tried a booster through the cigarette lighter, and to fuse-row 3, fuse 3. no luck! Need to get bumper cover off, but can't get at top screws. Any alternative to sawing the bumper cover to get at the cable?
Can I get the fender liner off without removing the wheel? Key, of course, is in the trunk.
March 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The emergency release is located behind the wheel well liner. You'll have to pull it back to access it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
80xer5antar05 Comments: Does the Front Bumber come off easy and without doing anything to the Wheel wells? I just want to replace / paint my front grills and clean around. Going by the photos it looks easy untill it gets to the wheel well part. Do I need to do this part?
October 23, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You do no thave to remove the liner. You will have to remove any of the wheel well liner fasteners that attach to the bumper, most of the front ones. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
grille changer Comments: Further to Gary's comment [June 8, 2011]. I recently removed my grilles with the bumper off and found it was easy to remove them without breaking them. I replaced them rather than attemopt to paint them to achieve the OEM look.

There are no seprate clips to hold them in place - they just clip into place in four places.

However, I guess the reply to your post was in the context that someone might want to attempt remove them without having first removed the bumper and in that context, I would agree that it would be practically 'impossible' to remove them without breaking them.

P.S. If you were planning on replacing them and had the replacements with you as a reference, you *might* find that you could cut out the old grilles and maneuver in the new grilles through the opening but I haven't tried it so try that at your peril! If it didn't work, then bumper removal is really not that big a deal.
June 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mandrew Comments: Wayne, the temp-sensor you spoke about, is this for the temperature reading on the dash, or is this a sensor for some other aspect of the drivetrain?

Reason I ask is, I plan on installing DRLs in front of it and didnt want to cause any misreads by some crucial aspect of the "system".

Thanks for your work, your book is flat-out invaluable.
April 17, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This front temp sensor is used for the climate control system to figure out what the ambient air temperature is outside. If removed or disabled, it will affect the heating and cooling system for the passenger cabin but should not affect engine performance. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Alex Comments: Would these instructions work on a 2011 Boxster?
January 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, that vehicle is different. You could use it as a general guide. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: I would like to remove the two front grills on my 1997 boxster for cleaning and repainting. Does this require removal of the front bumper cover? How are the grills held in their openings?
June 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure you need to remove the front bumper to replace and/or clean the two grilles. They snap in from the inside of the bumper, and I don't see how you could remove them from the bumper without breaking them. For reference, these two part numbers are 986-505-552-01-01C (black left) and 986-505-553-01-01C (black right). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
marshinct Comments: In figure 5, you show a pry type tool that looks like a nail puller being used to remove some fastenrs. Where can I get the tool and do the fasteners pull straight out?
November 16, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's a simple pry bar that is available at any tool store or Home Depot. It's quite useful in situations like these. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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