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Information from around the internet:
(Some comments have been edited slightly to improve readability, provide context, and skip extraneous information. Take everything here with a grain of salt, as some people below contradict each other.)
YBajaSteve wrote: ↑Wed May 19, 2010 4:43 am I've seen the rear quarter panels under the cladding, and the sheet metal is not smooth; it's kind of like how the metal inside the bed isn't smooth either, like this:
so you would have to do a lot of work (make new panels pretty much) to even begin to make it look presentable.
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showth ... p?t=685485
Chris N: "Is your paint clear coated completely under the cladding? We had that mystic blue sport Baja and under the cladding it seemed to get a lot lighter in color and the clear didn't even come close to covering all the way down the door panel."
BajaNut: "Yes, complete clear coated under the cladding."
fdg008: "If I ever had the time and inclination, it would be an interesting project to Outback-ize a Baja by trading the front bumper cover and cladding... ditch the fender flares... I assume the doors and front fender sheet metal is all the same...
Biggest issue would be how to manage the cladding from the rear doors back to the tailgate... and the rear bumper cover is probably unique...
Still, it might look nice and clean... no deep scallops or bulging fog light clusters... a nice base to make an STi-ish Baja... hmm...."
Flowmastered87GL:"Regarding how the rear fender looks without the cladding though- it would take a lot of custom sheet metal fab to make that look smooth. If you are really worried about the cladding trapping dirt and salt, just clean it out after each winter. You may have to buy new clips each time unless you are careful and don't break them."
BajaNut:"I did find out from the body shop that some of the clips that hold the cladding to the body are a one-time use only clip and they break when the cladding is removed."
https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/to ... g-removal/
gbhrps: "Pulling the bumper cover is no problem, but has anyone figured out how the rear dog leg panel between the rear wheel opening and the rear door comes off, without breaking it or its fasteners?"
Legacy777: "If it's the metal piece I'm thinking of, it has to be cut off, and a new piece welded in."
Lpasco: "I think there are ~8 white clips that hold it on. You're talking about the plastic panel on the rear quarter that's around 1'x2'. If you're talking about the little one that is 8 inches by 6 inches or something like that, then it has just clips, but the plastic breaks easily on that so be careful."
gbhrps: "I experimented today, taped up a shortened putty knife to prevent scratches, and pried the plastic cladding a bit. With the rear door open, I pried out the top section of the dog leg cladding (measures about two inches wide by 10 inches tall and an inch and a half thick) from the door opening side until I heard a pop, and saw a short white male plug spring free from a female plastic plug receptacle set into the metal body of the car.
At that point I slapped everything back into place, since it appears that getting the plastic cladding off isn't going to be such a pain after all.
The lower cladding on the rear dogleg can be pried up from the rear door side. There are 3 plastic plugs that will come out with the cladding, and then slide the top of the cladding towards the wheel opening to free it at the top. Its bottom can only be removed if you take off the rocker cover skirt first, which I didn't do. I was able to swing the cladding down out of the way and wire its top to a wheel stud (tire was off).
By the way, the rear bumper cover has a 10 mm bolt up into the body right at the wheel opening. One other 10 mm nut can only be removed from the side of the rear bumper cover, if you remove the rear floor panels, the rear tailgate opening floor garnish, the lower side panel over the wheel well, and finally the rear side storage compartment between the rear wheel well and the tail light.
Interesting enough you'll find that those cars with the sunroofs have the rear and side drain tubes meet behind the rear wheel well, join together and exit through the body, draining out between the bumper cover and the body."
It's also my personal understanding ( I may be misinformed) that many parts from a 3rd Gen Subaru Legacy will fit the Baja, including the front quarter panels and the entire door, both of which are bereft of cladding on the Legacy.