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Yet another (crazy) front plate solution

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Crispix, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    #1 Crispix, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
    What if I told you there was a front plate solution that allowed you to mount and remove the front plate at will, in mere seconds?

    What if that same solution was completely non-destructive to any part of your MS?

    And what if you could still accelerate from 0 to 60mph in moments, without a drop of gasoline?

    What if that same solution meant that your front plate, when mounted, looked identical to an OEM mount, with the same placement that normally requires drilling holes into the nose cone?

    What if I told you this was all possible, and at a total cost of UNDER $10?!

    You'd say I'm CRAZY! You'd say it COULD NOT BE DONE!

    Well, you're only correct about the crazy part.

    Here's the (after, before? it doesn't matter!) first photo:

    mounted.jpg

    and seconds later . . . or was that seconds earlier?

    noplate.jpg

    Follow up post with details in 15 minutes . . .
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I would totally pay 70 installments of $3.75+shipping+handling for this.
     
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  3. JerryNycom

    JerryNycom Member

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    Suction cups?

    I can hear you typing the post from here!
     
  4. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    #4 Crispix, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
    The secret

    Here's the trick: you have to believe. You have to be a little crazy. You have to go get this for $5.31:

    Amazon.com: Cruiser Accessories 78410 Suction Cups, Clear, 4 pack: Automotive

    Now I know what you're saying, "Suction cups? you gotta be kidding me. That's not stable, that'll fall off. That'll never work!"

    Well, you're probably right. So whatever you do, don't follow these instructions. I'm not responsible for your plate falling off in the middle of the road. It's CRAZY.

    But it's solid. The darn thing won't budge on my car. I drove around today and that plate is stuck like a porcupine in bubble-wrap. Like a wet t-shirt on a supermodel. Like an ICE without gas. Tomorrow is going to be an 80-mile day and I'm leaving it on there.

    After that my front plate goes into the frunk 'cause (and this is the serious part) this solution is really meant for when you park at the airport and need to slap a plate on there to avoid the ticket. Or when you do get the ticket you can put the plate on, drive to the police station, and get the fix-it ticket signed.

    Ok, here's what I did. I used the front plate mount that came with the car. I used three suction cups (the pack comes with four) and put them on like this:

    bback.jpg

    The middle suction cup does not quite fit into the (smaller) hole. I used a 1/4" drill bit to widen that hole a little bit. I didn't even have to use the drill, just twisting the bit between my fingers was enough to shave off enough plastic to get the suction cup through the hole.

    Here's the other side with the plastic fasteners that came with the suction cups:

    bfront.jpg

    The suction cups are solid. Thick and bendy, they seem just right.

    Test #1: do the suction cups suck?


    bcar.jpg

    Yes, they suck!

    The license plate screws that came with the MS are not appropriate to use because they are too long and meant to drill into the nose cone. So I went to Home Depot and got two items:

    1. #8-32 x 3/8" Round Head Combo screws and nuts. Part #27611, green package.
    2. #8 stainless washers. Part #32474, orange package.

    Total cost with tax was under $5.

    I only needed to use the nuts on the top of the plate mount. The bottom two holes are narrow enough that they bite without needing a nut and don't go all the way through the plastic anyway, so no risk of scratching your nose cone. Here's the front of the mount with the plate screwed in:

    wfront.jpg

    Mounting the whole thing on the car is easy. I cleaned the nose cone. I wet the suction cups and placed it on the car:

    mounted.jpg

    It sticks easily and all three suction cups have good placement and adhere completely. Removing the plate is only a little tricky the first time. The suction cups stick pretty darn well, so removal requires a careful touch. I've found it easiest to gently pry the top suction cup off first, then gentle pressure on one of the sides releases the others. I removed and replaced a few times.

    Once the spit dried things got interesting. It would not budge. I drove around, just a quick 10-mile test on city streets and freeway and when I got home nothing had moved.

    So, in conclusion: yes, this is CRAZY. Just to repeat: I'm going to leave it on all day tomorrow for a long day of driving, and I'll follow up here. I expect nothing will change. But again, this solution is really meant for when I need to park somewhere prone to ticketing. Otherwise I'm just keeping the plate in my frunk, next to the porcupine, bubble-wrap, and t-shirt.
     
  5. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    That's genius... Off to Amazon... :D :D :D
     
  6. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    I would so love to do this solution but I remain skeptical of long-term reliability. Weather extremes, temperature extremes, all-day exposure to blazing sun, bumps, jolts, pot-holes, you name it --- the list of things that could possibly dislodge the plate is long. Which cuts my hopes for the viability of this solution short.
     
  7. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    I only plan to use this solution if I get a fix-it ticket. Which in my part of California is unlikely...
     
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  8. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Indeed. If you want long-term viability, use zip ties or just get the nose cone drilled. I'm going to experiment with a long day of driving tomorrow, but that's just to burn it in. I would not suggest leaving this on for days on end because I would worry about extreme weather or even just sun and heat. After tomorrow's run, I only plan to stick it on when parked on the street downtown (meter maids, ugh) or parked at the airport. Or after I get a fix-it ticket.
     
  9. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    It's the perfect solution for that scenario. Exactly the type of solution I was looking for. I just ordered the suction cups and they'll be here Saturday. Thanks for the idea. :)
     
  10. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Ok, did the 80+ mile drive today, lots of freeway, and the suction cups still suck! (That's a good thing.) The plate mount has not moved at all.

    So the experiment is over and I'm taking it off now. As a result of the successful road test today, I'm keeping my little invention for the scenarios mentioned above. Too bad my HOV sticker solution was a total failure, but that's another story.
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    "Pictures or it didn't happen."

    Please install a GoPro next to the plate and another point at your speedometer so that we can see proof positive of this accomplishment. ;)
     
  12. TheAustin

    TheAustin Model S: P2009 P85

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    After seeing this post, I ordered the suction cups and mounted my plate the same way. I've tested it on a 100-mile drive from the eastern end of Long Island into New Jersey and back, and they work. So, thanks for the great idea!

    However, that was in the fall, during much more temperate weather. I'm not 100% confidant that they will hold on as well in the cold (sub-arctic) weather that we're experiencing now (cold weather makes plastic/rubber more rigid, and could cause them to lose suction quicker). I don't even want to try it, however, if I get pulled over, I'll put it on if that gets me out of a ticket.

    If anyone would care to do any long-range cold weather testing on this concept, please let us know the results.
    Thanks :)
     
  13. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    When the suction cup material deteriorates, I suspect they will not stick very well. I don't think this is a good long-term solution.
     
  14. Chris Naps

    Chris Naps Member

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    Indeed - What about rain or snow? And hot and cold? I know suction cups handle differently in whether. I just don't want to drive down the road and have my license plate fall off the car... Just want I wanted.. to get pulled over for not having a license plate because it fell off. I rather just keep the license plate on the inside of the car on the dashboard.
     
  15. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    I don't think it was ever meant to be. It was my impression these were simply to stick it back on temporarily to get the "Fix-it Ticket" signed off. After that, back in the Frunk it goes. ;)
     
  16. Caloncho

    Caloncho LongerTelomeres?

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    I still consider this idea crazy but genius. Not eternally permanent, but a nice park-n-slap solution.
    Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my plate was screwed in to the nose cone at the Syosset SC and is
    now one less thing to worry about. :smile:
     
  17. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Just to chime in: I've been using this solution now for several months. The front plate goes on whenever I park on the street or go through the airport. It's working extremely well. I normally only put it on while parked outside, but sometimes I'll drive around for the day with it on. Rain has not been an issue. The convenience factor is very high.

    If/when the day comes that the suction cups do not seem to adhere as well as they used to, I'll just order another set.
     
  18. tliving

    tliving Member

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    Not to be a downer on things, but have you considered what would happen if those suction cups didn't work? That license plate flying through the air at 70MPH impacting someone's shiny new Tesla behind you? I don't think people can responsibly drive with a solution like that.
     
  19. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Never mind that it acutally works and is completely reliable. But you are entitled to an uninformed opinion.

    And who would drive with a front license plate frame that's not welded to the nosecone? After all, the bolts could come loose.
     
  20. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    What airports give you problems with no front plate?
     

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