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Discussion Starter #1
Since I work in a hardware store with an EXCELLENT fastener section, I was able to come up with a low cost alternative to some of the front license plate mounts that are out there. It took all of 5 minutes to install initially, and when you're ready to go "plateless", it is quickly removed and nearly invisible.
I purchased what are commonly called "well nuts". They're essentially a small rubber expansion plug with machine threads on the inside. When you insert a machine screw into the threads and tighten it, the plug compresses and expands to hold it in place.
All the standard "How-to " Disclaimers apply here. You will be drilling into the grill of your brand new car, so attempt this mod at your own risk. In reality, it's a piece of cake, and virtually impossible to mess-up.

Materials Needed:
View attachment 24255
Qty-2 1/2"x1/4" Well Nuts, 5/8" long (see next pic)
View attachment 24256
Qty-2 1/4"x5/8" Stainless Steel Buttonhead screws. I painted them black so they'll disappear when the plate bracket is removed. I use SS for all fasteners whenever i install anything on my vehicles--I HATE RUST!
Qty-2 1/4" Stainless Steel or Plastic Flat Washers
Qty-1 Factory Licence Plate Bracket

Tools Needed:
1/8" drill bit
1/2" drill bit
1/4" OD X 1/8" OD tubing, about 1" long
Masking tape

1) Locate the plate bracket on the grille. There are 2 tabs that hook over the solid backing on the honeycomb of the grille, along with a honeycomb insert that keys into the honecomb of the grille. If you look at the backside of the bracket, you'll see what i mean. If your dealer installed your bracket at delivery, you'll need to drill-out the pop rivets.
2) Make sure the bracket is centered in the grille opening.
3) Slip the piece of tubing over the 1/8" drill bit, the wrap a piece of masking tape around the tubing so that it fits snugly in the mounting hole in the plate bracket.
View attachment 24257
4) Insert the 1/8" bit and collar into the mounting hole with the bracket in place, then drill a 1/8" hole at each mounting point. If your dealer installed your plate bracket, the holes are already there for you to use as pliot holes.
View attachment 24258
5) Remove the bracket temporarily, then drill a 1/2" hole at each mounting point, using the 1/8" hole as a pilot hole. You'll notice that once you get through the grille insert, that ther is another plastic panel behind it; continue drilling the 1/2" hole through this panel also.
View attachment 24259
6) Clean-up the shavings, then insert the Well Nuts. Make sure that they go through both of the panels.
View attachment 24260
7) Install a flat washer onto each machine screw, then insert the screw through the bracket and into the Well Nuts. As the screws are tightened, the Well Nuts will expand behind the panels and hold everything securely in place.
8) Reinstall your front license plate so you're legal

When you're ready to go "plateless", all that it takes is a screwdriver and about 2 minutes. I recommend reinstalling the screws once you remove the bracket to keep the Well Nuts in place. If you paint the screw heads and washers gloss black, they will virtually disappear into the grille when the bracket is removed.
I used a variation on this method for several years to hold the bug deflector in place on my Ranger, and I never had a problem with it loosening up.
This is a great, low buck alternative to some othe other methods and aftermarket mounts that are available, and it works great.
The hardest part of this mod is finding the Well Nuts, but a good hardware store with an extensive fastener department will likely have them. If you're interested in doing this, and are unable to find the hardware, shoot me a PM and I can throw together a hardware package and ship it out to you for a nominal charge.
Good Luck
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
My pics didn't show-up for some reason. HELP!!

176 Posts
I assume you mean 1/4-20x5/8 for the well nuts and screws. If so, you could get a male to male 1/4-20 adapter and use the GoPro tripod mount to put a camera (or 2) there when the plate is not installed. Smallrig 1/4" Male to 1/4" Male Threaded Screw Adapter (2-pack): Camera & Photo
And one of these to move it's point of view: Professional Mini Ball Head Camera Mount: GIOTTOS: Camera & Photo
As far as pictures go, let me see if I can put one here:

male tripod adapter.jpg

I guess it worked for me. All I did click on the insert image icon and pick one from my computer. It's a relatively small JPEG, I don't know what the size limits for posting are offhand.
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