Removing the rear bumper on a 2001 Chevy Silverado can be quite a chore. These bumpers are known to rust and the bolts are not zinc-chromated. Bolts will rust and will not come loose in many cases. When considering replacing the bumper, it is a good idea to soak all the bolts in rust penetrate and test all the bolts to ensure they will come loose. If not, it is necessary to cut them off with a torch or cutoff saw. It is not easy to estimate how many bolts and what type needs replacing until the project is underway.
Things You'll Need
- Set of sockets
- Set of wrenches
- Common screwdriver
- Can of rust penetrant
Look at the bumper from the bottom side to familiarize yourself with the location of all the parts. The bumper has a main support above the tow bar to which the whole bumper attaches. On both sides of the bumper attached to the bumper and support plate is an attachment plate with a support bar. All of these must come off when removing the bumper. Look at the point where the bumper attaches to the frame. There are three bolts --- two bolts one above the other and one forward. Removes these plus the two large bolts in the lower center of the bumper inserted upwards from the bottom that run into the tow bar.
Disconnect the license plate harness connector. Remove the two large bolts in the lower center of the bumper using a socket. Remove the three bolts securing the bumper to the frame. Lower the bumper to the ground.
Remove the rubber pads on the top of the bumper by squeezing the tabs under the bumper where the pads have clips that pass through holes in the top of the bumper. Lift up on the pad, while simultaneously squeezing the tabs. The new bumper will not likely come with anything but the chrome steel part. Everything else sells separately so transferring the parts is the least expensive. It is easier to transfer parts immediately to the new bumper to keep their placement fresh in your mind.
Tap the lip on each license plate light socket and push them through the hole in the bumper. Remove the plastic guide for the spare tie handle by tapping it with the screwdriver and hammer.
Remove all the bolts in the bumper support brackets and the side support bracket except where it attaches to the lower bumper support plate. Leave them on the plate to make them easier to transfer.
Remove the bolts securing the bumper to the lower support bracket. Transfer the lower support bracket complete with bumper support and side support brackets to the new bumper. Loosely tighten the bolts.
Install the bumper by inserting the three bolts in each support bracket through the frame and loosely tighten them for now. Hold the bumper in position where it is equally distant on both sides from the body and level. This may involve help from someone else. This can also be done by tightening the three support bracket to frame bolts just enough to hold the bumper in place but allow movement. When the bumper is straight and level, tighten all the frame bolts.
Insert the two large bolts through the lower center of the bumper and into the tow bar and tighten them firmly. Tighten all the bolts in the support brackets.
Install the rubber pads by aligning the tabs with the holes in the bumper top and press the tabs down until they snap in place. Connect the license plate light harness connector.