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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just bought a 1998 RAV4 to tow behind our motor home and yesterday I started to install the base plate for the tow bar (it's the metal part that joins the tow bar to the frame). In order to install it I found out I need to remove the front bumper cover, which looks like a piece of cake, but there are two small plastic pieces (one on each end) that hide each end of the bumper cover that need to be taken off. I tried getting one off thinking it's just a matter of pulling it off in the right direction, but that didn't work. After looking more underneath the wheel well I found a nut I took it off, but that didn't help.


What is the trick to getting those two end pieces off? Do I need to remove the entire inner wheel well cover? What are each of the specific steps?


Any help will be greatly appreciated and if anyone has pictures as well it would be even more appreciated.


Thanks.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum. Question: does your RAV4 have flares?. If so, where the end of the flare are. Their is a screw (on each side) that is a little difficult and sometimes doesn't want to cooperate. You'll need a flexible socket adapter. I think its a 12mm or 14mm. If you don't remove these two screws, it'll never come out. Remember to disconnect the two yellow signal lights.
 

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I am unsure if there is a difference, IIRC there is, but I have taken off my bumper cover on my 97' twice today and yesterday. It's a piece of cake once you figure it out.

Here is what mine has:

Per side
- Two screws in the fender wells(one facing approximately parallel with the ground and one perpendicular facing the ground)
- A bolt hidden behind the fender well at the top corner of the bumper cover

As a whole
- Three plastic screw/press in retainers directly below the grill
- Three bolts on the bottom front, one in the center and the other two on the outer edges


Once you remove these, slowly pull the cover away from the bumper. Once it gets far enough away that you can reach behind it, unplug the bumper lights and finish pulling it off.

As I stated earlier, I think there is a different between yours and mine, but this gives you an idea. Look online and you should be able to find an exploded view of your bumper. I also recommend getting a Haynes/Toyota repair manual if you intend to keep the car and work on it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mensajero, it does not have the flares.

aws140, I'm pretty sure I removed the two screws you're talking. As for the bolt that's hidden, I'm not sure about what you're talking about. I did find a nut, which I removed, which appeared to be a nut that holds the top clip that holds the small plastic piece that hides the end of the bumper cover, but that didn't do anything.

I am pushed for time right now, but tomorrow I will post a picture of this small plastic piece I'm talking about at each end of the bumper cover just to make sure there's no confusion on what I'm talking about.

Thanks to both of you.
 

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mensajero, it does not have the flares.

aws140, I'm pretty sure I removed the two screws you're talking. As for the bolt that's hidden, I'm not sure about what you're talking about. I did find a nut, which I removed, which appeared to be a nut that holds the top clip that holds the small plastic piece that hides the end of the bumper cover, but that didn't do anything.

I am pushed for time right now, but tomorrow I will post a picture of this small plastic piece I'm talking about at each end of the bumper cover just to make sure there's no confusion on what I'm talking about.

Thanks to both of you.
That would be best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Unfortunately I left the car where I went yesterday so I can't take a picture of it, but the shop manual I received today did have a picture as seen below.



The end pieces I talked about that I need to remove are marked with red lines pointing to them. And, the picture shows that three nuts and one screw have to be removed (see right side of picture to see where the three nuts are located), but the thing that's weird is: The picture makes it look as though the end pieces are screwed to the bumper cover, but I'm sure they were also screwed through the fender metal (can't remember for sure).

I know once these two pieces are removed I can get off the bumper cover without a problem. So now seeing the picture, I believe the nuts and screws as shown in the picture are all that has to be removed, but my problem is getting to the two nuts I haven't removed. Does the whole inner wheel well cover have to be removed or does it have enough flexibility that it can be pulled out of the way without being destroyed?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I looked at the car yesterday and it looks like the picture is right. It looks like those end pieces are only attached to the bumper cover and, other than removing the bottom screw, it looks like all I have to do is take off the bumper cover and those end pieces will come off with it.

Can someone verify the above paragraph is correct?

Thanks.
 

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hmmm you can remove your front wheel and the bottom part of your fender liner to access the bumper. (Thats how i replaced my turn signal bulbs. So am guessing you can also remove those fender flares).

Am curious as to how the front reinforcement bar would fit on a pre facelift version.
 

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Yellow: Yup, those are the only screws on the sides after removing the 3 on the front reinforcement.

Green: I had no idea The bumper had 4 screws under. This might be the reason why my bumper has a play.
 

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@neodagzph I see.. But while it holds the splash guards, it also acts as an extension holding the bumper in place. Mine were all cracked due to multiple accidents. LOL Kaya pala.
 

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Hello all:

To perform body work on the driver side front fender, i wanted to remove the front bumper cover. And, thanks to this post, I did it.

I'll add that in addition to these, i had to remove:

- a plastic phillips screw that is similar to the piece below with a phillips screwdriver. This plastic phillips screw connects the bumper with "a plastic backing in the tire area".

- three similar plastic anchor phillip screws from the top after you open up the hood that connects the bumper to the body

So in summary, i needed a 10mm wrench socket (a tool with leverage) and a mini (to avoid removing front tire) phillips screwdriver for the task.

Cheers.
 

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