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Removing Tail Light + Removing Rear Bumper Cover

Old 30-Jul-2008, 03:05 PM
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Thumbs up Removing Tail Light + Removing Rear Bumper Cover

So it looks like there's no guide here on how to replace your tail lights or to remove your rear bumper - which I discovered that to remove stock tail lights on the 03 Civic Sedan you had to remove the bumper cover.

I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, the pictures I took should be easy to figure out (I hope anyway), I highlighted the parts that you have to remove (screws, clips, etc) in green circles.

You'll need your basic tools,

flat head
socket set
maybe one of those S screw drivers

So here goes

Remove screws from the rear wheel fender. This is where your mud guards will be installed if you have them, or where they should be if you don't have any. I don't have any mud guards. There's about 3-4 screws you'll have to remove. Do this for both sides.

Pop open your trunk. Near the bottom corners of your trunk opening you'll see an oval like plastic cap covering. You'll have to remove these. You should be able to just easily pop them out. Maybe yours already fell out like it did for one side. Once you pop it open you'll see a screw there.
You'll need a socket wrench to remove this screw.

Now you're ready to take the bumper off. It's best if you get someone to help you with this. I'd also reccommend putting some cardboard under the bumper or left over carpet. Something to preven your bumper from getting scratched in case it falls to the floor when you finally take it off.

There are 2 plastic clips underneath the bumper cover that you need to remove. My bumper did not have these, I believe the person that worked on my car to install my rear lip may have removed htem and lost them or broke them and never bothered to tell me. Anyway I don't know exactly where they may be located but it shouldn't be hard to find.

To remove the bumper there are about 8-9 clips on the side starting where the rear wheel area is. Just slowly tug/pull and the clips should disengage from the bumper. Once you've removed the bumper place is somewhere safe.


So now you're ready to remove your stock tail lights. Below the stock tail lights you'll see a bracket with 1 screw and 2 nuts. One is holding your taillight to the bracket, and two of them are holding the bracket to the body.
Remove the screw holding your tail light to the bracket.
Now for the other two nuts,I'm not sure if you need to completely remove them. In my case, they were so rusted that as I was unscrewing them, they broke the damn screw off. So I'd suggest just unscrewing the nut just a bit to allow you to wiggle the bracket around.

Now we're ready to remove the tail lights. We need to remove the inner trunk liner to get to the outer tail light. So you'll see this plastic looking screw that fits a flat head. Unscrew this and pop the liner out.

With the liner pulled back you can see that the outer tail light is held by 3 nuts. Unplug the bulbs from your tails and remove the nuts. Voila you are now free to remove the tail lights.

Finally we have the inner tail lights that need to be removed. This one is the easiest one of them all. Since your trunk is open, you can easily see that there are again 1 nut and 2 screws holding your inner tail lights to the trunk. Remove these nuts and unplug the bulbs and your inner tail lights are free to be removed.

And there we have it my friends. To put everything back together just reverse these steps.

If you need any clarification please don't hesitate to ask. I'll try to help you out if I can.

Last edited by buddhafest; 30-Jul-2008 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 31-Jul-2008, 12:54 AM
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Great write up and pictures to go along with it, thanks!
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Old 22-Aug-2008, 09:59 AM
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great job! very detailed
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Old 22-Aug-2008, 10:07 AM
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Thanks. Glad I can be of help for future visitors.
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