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Hi all: I know front license plate threads have been done to death - but I have one question before I decide which style to go for. Coming from the MINI community, there were many posts about potential frame damage resulting from anyone "tapping" into a plate which was screwed into a tow hook. Is anyone worried about this here, or should I just go for it?

Thanks,

J
 

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Just ordered/installed one fomr one of the site sponsors (mower axle) and I was suprised at the thickness of the "plate" backing the license plate; overall sturdier than i would have expected.

My main concern is the screws that attach the plate are exposed 1/2 cm behind the backing plate and a good bump could send them into the bumper. Adding rubber "feet" sold for furniture might add some protection but I think it would take a pretty good bump to cause damage, and that same force would not be kind ot a stock setup either.

I am happy with the prurchase and the location of where the plate is positioned.
 

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Hi all: I know front license plate threads have been done to death - but I have one question before I decide which style to go for. Coming from the MINI community, there were many posts about potential frame damage resulting from anyone "tapping" into a plate which was screwed into a tow hook. Is anyone worried about this here, or should I just go for it?

Thanks,

J
I don't see how it would be different from running around the track at excessive speed with a tow hook sticking out the front.
 

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I ordered a Rho Plate.

At the local independent garage, saw a white 944 today with a Chevy V8 and a few other mods so the owner is already thinking differently. Well his thought process on the front plate was to take a picture of the actual plate and then printed it just large enough to fit on the front bumper. The picture plate is smaller than the actual plate but quite legible. Then he laminated it and attached it to the front bumper center. Not sure what he used but that laminated picture of his plate was solidly on the bumper.

The mechanic was nice enough to walk me through the changes to the car since he did most of the work but I was more impressed with how the owner solved the front plate problem. Wish I had taken a picture of it.
 

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I bought this plate from US Mill Works and am really happy with it: US Mill Works

I had a different bracket before that, but over time it would spin loose and no longer look level, and I took it through a car wash once which was a big mistake. The plate was grabbed by the brushes on each side of the mount and bent forward. This one is no problem through a car wash, and hasn't spun on me yet. I also like that I can remove it and reinstall it without tools, which I do on track days. Here's a pic from the site. There is some ability to adjust the mount location and I'm told the big holes are there to just make it lighter:

 

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I bought a similar one from a forum member that was very nicely done for about half the price. I can't find the thread but here is his email:

ROLF STUMBERGER [[email protected]]
+1. Bought one from this member about two months ago and I'm happy with it. The mounting plate is ABS, rather than metal (the rest of the mounting hardware is either aluminum or steel), but it seems durable enough and it's lightweight. The price was right for satisfying traffic-cam happy WA's need for front plates. The only mod I made to this kit was to cut the license plate mounting screws by a few millimeters to keep them from protruding too far past the license plate and prevent them from scratching the bumper in case of an impact.

I suppose if collision damage is a concern, the ABS plate on this one would probably break away before any frame damage would occur, so this might be a better solution than a metal plate mount. NAPA parts stores sell replacements for the ABS plate mount that comes with the kit for a few dollars if one gets destroyed. Just my 2 cents on that thought.
 

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The Millworks looks nice. I like the fact that it's easy to put back into position and doesn't knock loose easily as I keep hitting it when washing the car.

-Moto
 

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The Millworks looks nice. I like the fact that it's easy to put back into position and doesn't knock loose easily as I keep hitting it when washing the car.

-Moto
+1 on the Millworks tow hook bracket. I installed the bracket this weekend and the fit and finish is outstanding – all machined aluminum and stainless steel components. Brad is a pleasure to work with and even offered me a promo discount since I found out about Millworks through the Planet-9 forum. If you go their website and input "planet 9"; you should see the discounted price.
I would prefer to not run a front license plate at all but it is the law (Colorado). This is a neat solution which does not damage the front bumper and can be easily removed in seconds.
 

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Great timing for the resurgence of this thread as I just found out that I have to move to NJ from PA and will need to put a front plate on my Cayman and Merc... bummer, but happy that these solutions are available. I'm probably fine with mounting the standard bracket on the Merc since its just transportation, but not on my Cayman.. since its my Cayman :eek:
 

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I was pulled over about 80 miles East of Dallas on Interstate-30 last week. We drive out to the Winnsborro area a few times a month.

Cruise set at 72 mph (speed limit is 70) and was passed by a red mustang (prob going 75-80) while approaching the DPS on the side of the road. I thought nothing of it and assumed when he pulled out he was going after the Mustang. Nope, pulled me over for no front plate. Give me a written warning.


Rant - I'd bet a $1k I was pulled over because I was in a Porsche. I haven't seen ny others out in that area before, and even though it's black, it sure sticks out next to all of the trucks. We also noticed at least 20% of the cars that passed us while being pulled over didn't have front plates. I would have loved to start mentioning how I wasn't speeding and there are cars in what looks like unsafe condition speeding down the road and he decides to pull over the one car that can pretty much out-stop and out-handle everything else on the road, but I haven't heard any stories of friendly cops in East Texas, so I knew there was nothing to gain.

Anyway, I've been looking at options for the front plate, since even though a ticket (if I get one) will be dismissed, it still might involve traveling far from work and take up time.

There are great options, most mentioned on this site. The problem for me is they tend to push $100, which (although nicely made) made me want to design my own, until I found one for $39.50 delivered. The plan is to keep it in the front trunk while in Dallas (where no one cares), and install it before venturing out of the city. I emailed the vendor this morning, should be here in a few days. I'll write up a small review, but if you do a search for "JCS License Plate" you'll find reviews on other forums.
 

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I finally had the chance yesterday to use the tow hook setup I purchased. good thing, as I saw the same trooper in the same area as before. It's rare to drive out in East Texas without seeing police presence.

Anyway, the setup is simple, with the bolt being the most significant piece. I attached some pictures. Basically I installed the bolt into the tow hook area, and tightened (just a bit) with a 5/8 wrench. I then installed the washer, plate backing, rectagular washer, lock washer, and bolt. Tightened about as tight as I could, then installed the plate. The plat screws are too long for a stand alone plate, would probably work well with a plate frame, but that's another reason to be pulled over!

The idea is to loosen with the wrench, and turn the assemble about 8.5 times until it's unscrewed, leaving the plate attached. This works well, but you don't want to move the plate assembly much, as it will start to unscrew the lock washer, which would require removing the plate to retighten and align once the large bolt is tight.

One picture shows the plate mounted offset to side, the other centered. I drove with it offset to the side yesterday, reaching about 80 at points, with no issues. I'm sure it could handle much higher speeds without issue. With it centered on the bolt, even more!

For needing this one once a week or two, the design is simple and effective. The US Millworks unit has a compression fixture that keeps the plate super tight to the bolt, which I think is a better setup, but it's also about $60 more. If I needed a plate full-time, I'd probably just bolt to the bumper OEM style, or buy the US Millworks model.

I'm very happy with this product. The real cost is in the main bolt. You can find more info by searching JCS TOW, or e-mail the person "[email protected]"

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