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Sto 'n Sho Aftermarket Front Plate Holder Install (+ pics)

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by nitzmahone, May 12, 2018.

  1. nitzmahone

    nitzmahone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Like many others in "front plate required" states, I've been back and forth about how I plan to handle the front plate mount. My initial gut was to just leave the front plate off altogether, but my wife's been hassled by the police for license plate issues on my previous car, so I've been "strongly urged" ;) to come up with a legal solution.

    I really dislike the Tesla-supplied adhesive plate mount. It breaks up the unique front fascia- one of the sexier (IMO) features of the car, and it seems like it would be difficult to clean around. I've looked at a couple of the different louver-attach solutions, but I've had bad experiences with people wrecking my front plates before when "parallel parking by Braille", and I don't want to find out the hard way how resilient those louvers are. I'm not opposed to drilling into the car/bumper, so long as the holes aren't readily visible. This led me to the Sto 'n Sho SNS145 - it appears to be a long-time choice of the car show crowd, since it allows for easy removal of the plate and bracket for cleaning/display. I have no affiliation with this manufacturer/reseller, just liking what I got...


    Pros

    Finished look: I'm pretty happy with the finished product. It leaves the front fascia shape much more visible than the Tesla-supplied mount IMO. I'll probably add a plate frame for a more polished appearance. It looks a little crooked in the straight-on picture, but that's just because I was having trouble getting straight-on with my phone camera. It's pretty easy to align properly, and it is indeed mounted straight.

    Installation ease: Two needle-point bolts go through the mounting plate into the skid plate on the bottom of the car just behind the bumper, and a spring-loaded pin with a pull-ring is used to install/remove the plate bracket as needed.

    No interference with radar/ultrasonic: TACC/Autosteer and the parking sensors all still work great when the plate is installed.

    Ease of cleaning: So long as the sprung pull-ring keeps working, removing the plate for cleaning/detailing should be brain-dead simple. They do mention it's important to lubricate the mechanism and slides occasionally, probably more so if you're driving on salted roads a lot.


    Cons

    Vertical clearance reduction: It technically reduces the air-dam vertical clearance by about a half inch, but I doubt this will be any problem at stock height. If I do something that clips the plate where it sits, I've probably got much bigger issues.

    Ease of stealing the plate: I don't really care about this one either- if someone really wants to steal a license plate, getting under the car and looking at the pull-ring vs just yanking on an adhesive-mounted plate or unscrewing one mounted "normally" seem like about the same amount of effort.


    Unknowns

    Range effect: If the aero wheel caps are really worth a 5% range boost, I could see this plate bracket eating that up and maybe more. OTOH, I so rarely need anywhere close to my full range, it's not really a concern for me.

    Resiliency of the skid-plate mount: I'm most worried about this for the "parallel parking by Braille" crowd. The skid plate is pretty thick burly plastic, but it is still plastic... If there are problems later, I can just attach a metal doubler to the back of the skid plate and attach the bolts into it.

    StoNShoModel3_Installed_Front.jpg StoNShoModel3_Installed_Underside.jpg StoNShoModel3_Installed_Oblique.jpg StoNShoModel3_Removed_Closeup.jpg StoNShoModel3_Removed_Distant.jpg StoNShoModel3_Installed_Side.jpg
     
    • Informative x 5
    • Like x 4
    • Helpful x 1
  2. jamnmon66

    jamnmon66 Member

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    Apr 10, 2018
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    Location:
    Brighton, CO
    Interesting. I like it!
     
  3. jamnmon66

    jamnmon66 Member

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    Location:
    Brighton, CO
    It looks like the upper part of the bumper sticks out further than the plate but it's hard to tell. Can you confirm?
     
  4. nitzmahone

    nitzmahone Supporting Member

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    59
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Take a look at the last picture- the "lip" is pretty much even with the top front of the plate, and will probably be exactly even once I add a frame of some sort...
     
  5. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf My dog's breath smells like dog food

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
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    2,083
    Location:
    NJ
    You may have sold me on this. I’ve been driving without the front plate for 6 weeks now and have been wondering how long I can go without being pulled over. The location of this mount barely detracts from the look of the front fascia at all, so it’s very tempting.

    As for issues with others parallel parking in front of your car, I don’t think that should be a problem. The bumpers on most cars would meet the front bumper of the Model 3 several inches higher that where this mount is located.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. farrell

    farrell Member

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    Mar 6, 2016
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    Location:
    sacramento,ca
    I ordered one ty for the info
     
    • Like x 1
  7. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
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    2,221
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Looks great, thanks for posting! Very helpful.

    When you think about the effort that goes into making those cars (cars in general) as aerodynamic and efficient as possible, it is pretty nuts to have front-plate requirements... /rant
     
    • Like x 4
  8. FullThrottleDv

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Near Portland, Oregon
    I have ordered one as well, based on your review and looking at some of the other methods.. Thanks
     
  9. Pinot.Noir

    Pinot.Noir Member

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    Feb 28, 2014
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    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    We are going with no plate for now. I'll order one of these if my wife ever gets a fix it ticket.
     
    • Like x 3
  10. sroh

    sroh Member

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    Sep 10, 2017
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Looks like a slick solution. Thanks.

    Any insight into impact of plate blocking the vent?
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
  11. Fusion

    Fusion Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
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    Location:
    San Francisco
    Looks awesome! Just crazy how much brackets are sold for today.
     
    • Like x 3
  12. nitzmahone

    nitzmahone Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I forgot to mention that as one of the "unknowns", but I live in a pretty temperate climate, so I'm not too terribly worried. There's should be plenty blowing around it...
     
  13. sitter_k

    sitter_k Active Member

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    Location:
    Toronto (GTA)
    I need a motorized one please!
     
  14. Mishakim

    Mishakim Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Alternatively, I feel like with a majority of states, including most of the states with the highest populations, and all of Europe, requiring them, the car makers should design more integrated / aerodynamic mounting solutions in the first place.
     
  15. gbrgbr

    gbrgbr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
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    Location:
    texas
    installation requires drilling two holes apparently. ?how difficult
     
  16. tashtibet

    tashtibet Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    fort collins, colorado
    how about a group buy program?
     
  17. P=VI

    P=VI Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2018
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    23
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks for the write up! I have one of these on order.
     
  18. rhaekar

    rhaekar Member

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    Nov 9, 2017
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    Location:
    San Diego
    Do you just pop the plastic rivets off to get the nut underneath the plastic shielding?
     
  19. 355rockit

    355rockit Member

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    Apr 9, 2016
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    211
    Location:
    San Marcos, CA
    When 'Sto n Sho' released the mount for the Jaguar F-Type the manufacturer did a 10% off group buy for us on Jaguarforums. Maybe they would do one for the Model 3 for TeslaMotorsClub.com if asked.
     
  20. derekmw

    derekmw Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I would never put a plate on my car even though it's required, but just curious...I think that looks really odd being positioned so low. Has anyone tried the tow hook plate mounts on the M3 yet? I wonder if that may look a little better compared to this one.
     

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