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Was just talking to my 86-year old Mother Saturday night and she told me she had gone to CVS to get her medications, and as she was slowly backing out of her parking spot, a 70-something year old man’s vehicle suddenly appeared behind her - and they collided: her passenger-side rear bumper struck his passenger-side front bumper. My son sent me pictures and it’s not *that* bad : no taillight or trunk damage, but a basketball-sized double-“dimple” in the bumper cover (and who knows what else behind it).

Does anybody have instructions for removing the bumper cover on this vehicle? It has the V6 engine, plain Jane model. Is that the 3.5L engine in there? I’ve got Helm manuals for all my cars, but my Mom certainly doesn’t. I pulled the *front end* off my ‘97 Taurus once years ago and it was fairly easy, but as soon as I say that there will be some hidden fastener somewhere on this Impala requiring some crazy tool I wouldn’t have during my visit.

Also - I’ve never tried this before, but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to punch the dent back out (maybe with the help of a Harbor Freight heat gun on a lower setting)? Then, of course, it’ll need re-painting, but I just can’t see putting a lot of money into this - even though the rest of the vehicle is in good shape and, at only 80k, the engine still has plenty of life left in it.
 

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Removing the rear bumper cover is fairly simple on this car. You will need 7mm and deep 10mm sockets and ratchet, and a pry tool (recommended) or flathead screwdriver. There are 4 retaining clips (2 on each side) that hold the fender liner to the rear bumper cover, these can be pried out with your pry tool. At the bottom, there is one 7mm on each side. You can now pull back the fender liner to reveal the one 10mm on each side at the top front corner of the bumper. Inside the trunk, the rear sill plate needs to be removed (pull it straight up), giving access to 4 10mm nuts going across the back, that are threaded on studs coming through the rear body panel. Remove both tail lights, they're held on with wing nuts. Pull back the carpet in the trunk and remove the 2 10mm bolts on each side that run through the quarter panel into the bumper cover. Finally, underneath the car by the license plate area, there are two more clips which can be pried out with your pry tool. The bumper can now be pulled off the car. It may get hung up a little on the studs that run through the rear body panel. A little jiggling and some force will get it off. Once off, there is an electrical plug that runs the tag light. This can be quite difficult to undo, as dirt gets into it over the years. I've found a pocket screwdriver or pick tool is handy to pry the locking tab loose before trying to pull the 2 plugs apart, which can require an excessive amount of force.

In my professional experience, bumpers that have been "popped in" never truly look right once they've been popped back out. If you're going for "not perfect but better than it was," then go ahead and pop it on out. Hell, pop it out anyway just to see how it will look. But at our shop, we nearly always replace bumpers when they've been dented like that.
 
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