The Subaru Factory Spoiler Install from Hell
My understanding of factory or OEM parts for vehicles was that they were manufactured for proper and easy bolt on fitment to your vehicle. This saves time in the shop as well as on the assembly line. I received my factory spoiler and some other goodies for my Subaru Impreza 2.5i Wagon in good order from SubaruGenuineParts. It was finished in the same colour as my vehicle and from all indications, it'd be a pretty easy install. Yeah right...
I remember installing a spoiler on my old Subaru being a piece of cake. The spoiler was attached using some industry strength glue onto the rear windshield. All I had to do was clean the surface carefully, place the mounts on the windshield, and wait for them to dry overnight. The spoiler simply bolted on to the mounts and we were good to go. This new spoiler involved having to drill holes into my roof and the thought of that really didn't sit well with me, so I got Mike at my trusted car audio shop, Sounds Good, to drill the holes for me. I guess its easier if someone else does it while you look away.
Following the instructions carefully, 4 holes were drilled into the top of my hatch where the spoiler would bolt down into some pressed in inserts. Well actually, Mike drilled two holes first, but then we discovered that a hole saw was necessary due to the wiring behind the area that we were drilling. So I ran around town for an hour looking for this oddball size. No one had it, so I bought the closest size which was a millimetre smaller and it was $20 frickin dollars for this stupid hole saw bit! We can always dremel I guess. As we started test fitting the spoiler, we discovered that the stupid inserts required some weird insert gun that no one owned. There was literally, no resistance. They just dropped right in and spun around. So here I am with 4 holes drilled in my roof, and no way to attach the spoiler without it flying off because the inserts just float around loose. Great.
We had to think on our feet, and Mike suggested that we drill new holes from the other side and bolt the spoiler down with lock nuts. He mentioned that most spoilers he's seen actually install like that and I'd have one heckuva time trying to find that stupid insert install tool. While talking about this, we actually figured out a serious flaw with the original mounting system. If we bolted it down into the inserts like the instructions had us do, what would stop any scumbag carrying the right sized wrenches from undoing the bolts and taking off with the spoiler. As we found out, pretty much nothing. So once again, I closed my eyes, and Mike drilled two 10 mm access holes into the back of my hatch. They're pretty big holes...
We popped the spoiler back on the roof again and bolted it down using some lock nuts from the backside. After tightening up everything, and tweaking the plastic locking inserts that resided in the other holes, we are now left with a very tasteful factory spoiler. We also made sure that we siliconed good around any of the bar metal surfaces. I might try to find some rubber plugs that will fit the holes later.
I'd like to thank Mike over at Sounds Good in Coquitlam for helping me out. If he didn't, I'd probably be crying in my driveway with some screwed up holes drilled into my roof. So the lesson today is, just because its a factory or OEM part, doesn't mean it will be easy to install.