Excessive Panel Gap Between Rear Bumper Cover And Rear Quarter Panels – 2015-2018 Ford Mustang

Excessive Panel Gap Between Rear Bumper Cover And Rear Quarter Panels – Built On Or Before 26-Feb-2018
29 March 2018




2015-2018 Mustang

Issue: Some 2015-2018 Mustang GT350 vehicles built on or before 26-Feb-2018 may exhibit an excessive panel gap where the rear bumper cover meets the rear quarter panels on either side of the vehicle. This may be due to the method used to fasten the rear bumper cover to the vehicle.


Action: Follow the Service Procedure steps to correct the condition.



Description Quantity Part Number
GT350 Rear Bumper Cover Kit 1 JR3Z-17N775-A

Warranty Status: Eligible Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage Warranty/ESP coverage limits/policies/prior approvals are not altered by a TSB. Warranty/ESP coverage limits are determined by the identified causal part and verified using the OASIS part coverage tool.


Labor Times

Description Operation No. Time
2015-2018 Mustang GT350: Replace The Side And Outer Rear Brackets And Install Compression Wedges Following The Service Procedure Includes Time To Remove And Install The Rear Bumper Cover (Do Not Use With Any Other Labor Operations) 182107A 1.7 Hrs.


Repair/Claim Coding

Causal Part: 17K835
Condition Code: 07


Drive Tool Name
1/4″ Power Tool
1/4″ Ratchet
1/4″ 3″ Extension
1/4″ 6″ Extension
1/4″ 7 mm Socket
1/4″ 8 mm Socket
1/4″ 10 mm Socket
1/2″ Power Tool
1/2″ 21 mm Socket
1/2″ Torque Socket Accutorq
7 mm Wrench
Medium Trim Tool
13/64″ Drill Bit
Rivet Gun


Service Procedure

  1. Remove the rear bumper cover. Refer to Workshop Manual (WSM), Section 501-19.

(1). To assist in removal of the bumper cover, allow the vehicle to reach room temperature if possible. Removing the bumper cover when it is cold may increase the possibility of breaking the retention clips during removal.

(2). Once all fasteners have been removed, disengage the clips holding the bumper cover to the vehicle as follows:

  • Apply slight upward pressure on the bumper cover and pull outwards from either side of the vehicle to disengage the clips along the sides of the vehicle.
  • Apply slight upward pressure on the bumper cover and pull rearwards on the bumper cover to disengage the clips along the rear of the vehicle.
  1. Remove the side brackets and outer rear brackets that were clipped to the bumper cover. Refer to WSM, Section 501-19.

(1). It is not necessary to remove the center rear bracket.

  1. Install the revised side brackets and outer rear brackets.

(1). Make sure the fastener holes in the side brackets are centered in relation to the fasteners that go through them. (Figure 1)

(2). Make sure the tabs on the outer rear brackets are properly inserted into the holes in the body of the vehicle when installing these brackets.

Figure 1


  1. Use the provided templates to drill a 13/64” hole in each side of the bumper cover.

(1). To locate where the holes should be before drilling, align the cutout corner of the template with the notch along the front edge of this part of the fascia. (Figure 2, right side shown)

Figure 2

drill a 13/64” hole

  1. Using scissors or a pair of side cutters, trim the tabs off of each side of the rear bumper cover. (Figures 3 – 4, left side shown)

(1). These tabs are located just outboard of the holes drilled in Step 4.

(2). Do not trim these tabs completely flush. Only trim away enough to allow the compression wedges to fit into the proper place in the bumper cover with no obstruction. (Figures 3 – 4)

Figure 3

trim the tabs off


Figure 4

trim the tabs off

  1. Using the alcohol swabs provided in the kit, clean the area on both sides of the bumper cover where the compression wedges will adhere.
  2. Install the compression wedges to the bumper cover.

(1). Remove the backing from the double-sided tape on the compression wedges and install them into the bumper cover.

(2). Insert the rivet through the holes in the bumper cover and the holes in the compression wedges.

(3). Fasten the rivets with a rivet gun, holding the compression wedge in place to make sure each one is seated and the double-sided tape adheres properly. (Figure 5, left side shown.)

Figure 5

Install the compression wedges

  1. Loosely fit the rear bumper cover back onto the vehicle by snapping the bumper cover attachment tabs to the outer rear brackets first, then the side brackets.

(1). Do not strike the bumper cover with force when attempting to snap it onto the brackets. This may bend or damage the clips or tabs on the bumper cover or brackets. Only firm, steady pressure is required to engage the bumper cover onto the clips. If it seems like more force is required, this is an indication the clips or tabs on the bumper cover or brackets may be bent or out of place.

(2). While installing the bumper cover, listen for audible clicks indicating the bumper cover tabs have been properly seated onto the clips on the brackets. The bumper cover clips should be heard when engaging on both the rear outer brackets and the side brackets.

(3). If the bumper cover cannot be easily fitted onto the vehicle, remove the bumper cover and make sure the side brackets and rear outer brackets are properly positioned. It may be necessary to loosen the brackets and shift their position slightly to allow the tabs on the bumper cover to better line up with the clips on the brackets.

  1. Align the top hole of the compression wedges to the hole that is present on the rear outer bracket. An assistant may be necessary to lift up on the bumper cover to allow the holes to line up. Using the provided bolts, install one on each side. Start the bolts by hand, but do not tighten. (Figures 6 – 7, left side shown)

Figure 6

Align the top hole of the compression wedges


Figure 7

Align the top hole of the compression wedges

  1. Once the bumper cover is loosely installed, visually align the bumper cover on the vehicle for the best appearance and fit. While having an assistant lift up on the bumper cover, tighten the bolts installed in Step 9 to 1.5 Nm (13 lb–in).

(1). If the panel gap between the bumper cover and body is still excessive, this may be caused by bent or broken tabs/clips on the bumper cover and connecting brackets or mis-positioned brackets.

  1. Finish the installation of the bumper cover following normal WSM procedures. Refer to WSM, Section 50119.

29 March 2018



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Last update on 2019-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2019-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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