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DIY: Front License Plate Bracket Removal!

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2018 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by Bubz!, March 2, 2011.


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    1. TRWXXA

      TRWXXA Member

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      My '16 Ex came from an out-of-state dealer and has the front license plate bracket. Haven't decided what to do with it yet. I generally don't mind having a bracket, as I have a company logo tag I can put there. But why is the front bracket on the Explorer so HUGE? Doesn't seem to be made for the standard North American size tag.
       
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    3. explodrsport

      explodrsport New Member

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      Hey folks!

      For anyone with a '16 and interested if the procedure is the same, it is! Although there are 3 holes instead of 2. I just did it to my '16 Explorer Sport tonight, and it took about 60 seconds to do it. I didn't even need a flathead screwdriver, it just pulled right out. But for those who may want/need some extra leverage, the flathead screwdriver would definitely help. :)

      All you need is a 7/64 inch drill bit. Once you're all done, you'll see there are 3 perfectly clean 1/4 inch holes behind the bracket from mounting. The drilling was really easy -- pokes right though.

      I still need to order trim retainers, but I wanted to make sure I knew the size of the holes before ordering. Confirmed the 6.4mm retainers (1/4 inch) are the right ones!

      Pictures (and a video) below showing: the '16 bracket on, a video of me drilling a 7/64 inch hole, confirming the 1/4 inch holes behind the bracket with a 1/4 inch drill bit, and what it looks like after.

      HUGE thanks to Bubz! for starting this thread!

      DRILLING VIDEO



      BRACKET ON (3 RIVETS - SIDES AND LOWER CENTER)
      [​IMG]


      RIVET (BEFORE AND AFTER DRILLING 7/64 INCH HOLE)
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]


      AFTERWARDS (1/4 INCH HOLE CHECK, CLOSE AND FAR SHOTS)
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: March 28, 2016
    4. Tier1Terrier

      Tier1Terrier New Member

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      Has who has done this painted the trim panel fasteners (flat exterior side) to match the color of the paint?
       
    5. Tier1Terrier

      Tier1Terrier New Member

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      sorry for the double tap.
       
    6. Prince_Polaris

      Prince_Polaris Active Member

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      It's the same on my 98 explorer, however someone removed it! Since I live in maryland I'm required to have a front license plate so I've bodged a horrible job of sticking it on there without the mount, and it's scratching up my bumper :(
       
    7. Bubz!

      Bubz! Member

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      I did this. Bought some fasteners and painted them with the Ford Touch up paint. Didnt hold up.

      I ended up buying 2 packs of bumper plugs prepainted. Expensive but well worth it.

      I have 1 more White Platinum if anyone is interested.
       
    8. GraceS

      GraceS New Member

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      Hi, I am interested. I called the company if they will sell me 3 because they are expensive and only need 3 for the platinum but they only sell pair. Thanks in advance.
       
    9. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum.:wave:

      Peter
       
    10. GraceS

      GraceS New Member

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      Thank you. Have been reading since last month. Finally got my front license plate removed.
       
    11. Eltee

      Eltee Elite Explorer

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      Sorry to reply to your post after almost 3 years but I just ordered that same plate holder and had a couple of questions. I have not received the new plate holder or removed the OEM one yet.

      Are the original holes from the OEM front plate holder threaded? The attachments that came out with the OEM holder appear to be a type of expanding retainer similar to the ones used to hang things from drywall. I just want to be sure that the new, smaller plate holder is secure.

      Are the rivets used with the OEM (see pic) available as a part and installable w/o special tools? Think similar looking drywall expanding fasteners might work?

      THANKS

      ExpPlateRivers.jpg
       
      Last edited: March 3, 2017
    12. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      That was from my 2014 Sport and its long sold so I kinda remember that those holes were not threaded they were just pressure fit snap in style. Those clips look very familiar, when they press in does the center pin push up level with the head?

      I remember drilling mine out as opposed to pressing in a pin.
       
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
    13. Prince_Polaris

      Prince_Polaris Active Member

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      Well, for me, I ruined my plastic thingies trying to get them out, because at first I thought they were screw mounts. Therefore, I just hunted down some bolts, nuts, and washers, and screwed my plate holder on that way. it was a little hard to get them on, but I managed to screw em tight and it's held on for quite a while!
       
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    14. 2012 WHT PLAT X

      2012 WHT PLAT X Member

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      Hi where did you buy the bumper plugs? What size did you need? Thanks
       
    15. BradleyFord

      BradleyFord Member

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      Where did you purchase the prepainted bumper plugs from? I need 3 for my white 17 Ex
       
    16. koldrid

      koldrid New Member

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      Just installed mine and at first I thought it was expensive but they did a good job at matching the paint and the finish on the plugs. Way better than I would have done making my own.

      https://www.bumperplugs.com
       
    17. BradleyFord

      BradleyFord Member

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      I really want to do this to my Ex but it's illegal in WA state and my buddies that are state troopers say that's one of the first things they look for when pulling people over.
       
    18. Steve in CA

      Steve in CA New Member

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      In looking at Bubz!'s photos, I come to realize my front plate holder is installed upside down (retaining tabs on top, plate scews on bottom). I'm starting to think I got a truck built on Friday.
       
    19. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That's the way mine is installed.

      2017 Platinum7.JPG
       
    20. Zmtnbik

      Zmtnbik New Member

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      I did this a few months ago.
      I purchased the clips at Lowe’s, item J3

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Then painted with Ruby Red touch up paint. I used 3 coats
      [​IMG]

      Installed. They have been installed for about 3 months and survived winter driving in the mountains, without any issues.
      [​IMG]
       
    21. rok8man

      rok8man New Member

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      I followed the instructions and now I am front license plate free as well. The front looks so much cleaner now.
       
    22. GalpinFan1221

      GalpinFan1221 New Member

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      That looks great! If you want to remove the scratches, try using Meguairs NewFinish.
       

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