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Under the nose cone license plate mount

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by jbruce, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    #1 jbruce, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    After looking at many options for mounting the dreaded front CA license plate, I did some measuring and figured out a way to mount it under the front nose cone. Here are the the steps with photos below and the end result. I'm pretty happy the visual menace of the ugly U.S. plates is minimized and I did not have to drill holes in the front of the nose.

    1. Remove the nose cone.
    2. Test fit your license plate directly to the inner bumper support and see where it would need to drop through the bottom of your nose cone and sit flush with the part of the bumper cover that divides the lower grill. In my case this meant a slot approximately 1-1.25 inches in from the back most edge of the nose cone.
    3. Clamp your nose cone to your work table so you can safely cut a slot in it for your plate to go through. In this case I used a 2x4 with a cloth diaper laid over it so I would not scratch the nose cone and I would have a disposable surface that I would not worry about cutting into later.
    4. Sketch out the slot you want to cut on the inside of the nose cone. In my case it was approximately 1.1 inches from the back edge of the nose cone and slightly wider than the license plate which lined with the end of a very slight lip on the back of the nose cone on each side.
    5. Drill holes that will form the end of each slot. I started with an 1/8 in pilot and then a 1/4 in hole for the 1/4 in slot width. I could have gone slightly wider to make it easier to get the plate through later.
    6. Tape or mark lines between your hole edges to lay out the slot.
    7. Dremel the slot from hole to hole. If I still had access to a mill, this would have been much easier and cleaner to mill.
    8. File or sand down your edges.
    9. Double stick or drill and mount your plate directly to the inner bumper support. I also put foam tap on the back of the plate to protect the places where it contacts the bumper cover.
    10. Assemble the nose cone to the car sliding the plate down through the slot as you get it close to the car. You may have to bend the plate a bit temporarily to get the plate through the slot as you are bringing the nose cone towards the car.

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  2. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    For starters just post the final photo. Needs to be a jpg, ideally reduced in file size to around 400mb.
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  3. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    Yeah, this forum software is not as friendly as others I've used. I have to mess around with is later when I have more time to edit photos in another program. All the photos show up for me but they are very large. Is there a best practices posted somewhere for using photos here?
     
  4. LMB

    LMB Member

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    I hope you get the pictures to work! It sounds complicated. I used J-bolts as per many threads: easy and no permanent mods to any car parts. Does your method give a better result? (Asked without an attitude, just wondering.)
     
  5. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    The result hides the plate further. I was extremely detailed in the steps but it takes about 30 min. Its all about technically displaying the plate but minimizing its aesthetic impact on the front end.

    [​IMG]


     
  6. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    I tried downsizing the images. I hope they view easily now.
     
  7. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    I like the look -- kinda like European plates but not as wide. Is this legally acceptable in California?
     
  8. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    So this plate is velcroed to the white bumper with the top part of the plate housed in a slot cut across the nose cone. Thus about half of 'California' is blocked from view (dealer surrounds do roughly the same). Thus this plate can be yanked off the vehicle easily, say before one were to remove the nose cone. It could also be bolted to the bumper for more security. Do I have this correct?

    Compared to the stock plastic mount this is flusher, higher and makes the plate appear more wide-angle (more Euro). I like it.
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  9. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    #9 jbruce, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
    Its not attached to the white bumper cover at all. Its attached to the (black) metal inner bumper support under the nose cone. You can drill and screw it or double stick tape to the metal. I'm using Permacel tape which is used in machine shops to fixture parts to mill tables. It only releases with rubbing alcohol. Its not going anywhere if you yank on it. You can still see the dmv.ca.gov on the bottom of the plate so there is no question its a CA plate.

    Thanks! I'm glad you like it. If only we could have the more elegant and readable Euro plate style instead of the ugly buck teeth style U.S. plates. Every time I take Euro delivery of a german car I like to leave the Euro plates on for as long as possible before having to switch over to the ugly U.S. plates. I'm almost tempted to get a residence in a country that uses euro style plates so I could run them all the time. You see EU and middle eastern registered cars running around Beverly Hills all the time and the plates look much better.
     
  10. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    #10 wycolo, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
    > Its attached to the (black) metal inner bumper support under the nose cone. [jbruce]

    Need some sketches to clarify this. Equivalent (!) mounting would seem to be a tapered wood strip under and across the plate up against the white bumper, with a pair of 3/8 in bolts going thru all three. Then as long as nose cone is (barely) removable, these guys can remain until State issues new-design plates. Personally, I like the look of shiny carriage bolt heads holding a license plate in position. :smile:
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  11. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    The inner bumper support is much more robust than bolting to or through the bumper covers or grills. Also, there's no reason the have to harm the white bumper cover. Permacel or two screws into the bumper support to the top of the plate will hold it very securely. You then have to flex and bend the plate a little to get it to drop down through the slot in the nose cone when you are re-installing the nose cone. Maybe when I get some time I'll shoot a video of the nose cone being assembled so its clear how it all goes together.
     
  12. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    This is a nice approach. I really don't know why Tesla didn't design the nose cone to accept a plate internally, perhaps behind a removable clear rectangle on the nose itself. This would allow for frontal plate display, while preserving the shape and contors of the nosecone. You could then opt for this nose cone variant if you lived in a state that required a front plate. The standard nose cone would be used for states that did not require a front plate. It seems like that would be a much more elegant solution than just mounting a flat piece of metal on the face of the rounded nose cone. I can only surmise that it would not have met the legal requirements in all states?
     
  13. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    Yes, I agree that encapsulating the front plate under a nose cone with a clear panel would be awesome. The nose cone is such a simple molded part that it would be easy for the aftermarket to devise such a solution. It may be technically illegal to have the plate under clear plastic but realistically no one enforces that with current clear plate covers. Citroen put the front plate under a plexiglass nose cone in the 70s SM.
    citroen-sm_1602279c.jpg

    For that matter you could make an aftermarket nose cone which replicates my placement and you could secure the plate to the back side of the nose cone.

     
  14. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    Yes I had mentioned the aftermarket possibilities in a Teslaccesories thread, and I was hoping they would produce such a nosecone. But the latest I have seen from them (now EVAnnex) is a grille-style nosecone.
     

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