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(Yet Another) Permanent Front License Plate Solution (works for European plates too)

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by gctseng, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. gctseng

    gctseng All around good guy

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    #1 gctseng, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
    Not wanting to drill holes into the nosecone to install the Tesla provided front license plate holder (LPH), I decided to look around on the forums and ultimately came up with my own approach. In the interest of saving other people some time, I'll summarize what I've found first, then people can scroll down to see what I ended up doing.

    1. Zip-ties
    Cheapest, fastest way to get the plate on (may have worked to satisfy "fix it" tickets).

    2. J-Bolts:
    YouTube Video
    As I wasn't going to use Tesla's LPH, this wasn't going to work for me. Basically, the J-bolt hooks in the grill and then you secure the LPH to the grill by using the nuts that come with the J-bolt. Probably one of the cheaper solutions (well, there's the foam, but you can use electrical or duct tape--and who doesn't have duct tape?!?--if you don't want padding) and one I'd go with if I wanted to use the LPH.

    3. Toilet Flange Bolt
    Filed-down bolt, inserted with washer and nut securing bolt to the grill.
    I didn't have a toilet flange bolt. :tongue: Seriously though, I would have also had to get additional hardware (scroll down in the post, including more bolts/nuts, aluminum plates) to mount the LPH as I just didn't want to buy more hardware.

    4. Using Blind Fastener-Well Nut
    A compression type fitting.
    I didn't have the right size (i.e., I just found a pair I had lying around), although the one I had was as big as I could get to fit through the honeycomb. Was not secure enough for me in the end. Also, uses LPH. The way the mount works, one could just have the license plate mount directly to the honeycomb with 4 of the assemblies. Hmm.

    5. Using Magnets:
    No Holes Drilled License Plate Holder Project
    I've already gotten in trouble from the SO for spending too much time on "projects', and pulling off the nosecone was probably another project I shouldn't undertake.

    6. And yet another solution (mine).

    As with many others, I decided to mount the front license plate to the front honeycomb grill. However, I didn't really want to use the front license plate holder Tesla gave us, as it seemed bulky. I ended up "fabricating" my own out of an electrical junction box mount (basically bending the part where the bracket attaches to the stud). The interesting thing is that the junction box mount method will work with European plates as they can be "expanded" because the mechanism is a telescoping assembly.

    IMG_3754.JPG IMG_3755.JPG IMG_3758.JPG
    The excess lengths on each arm that were cut off were later attached to the front of the bracket so the license plate could be attached directly to the bracket (see the 2nd picture of solution 2). I also had to file some of the sharp corners down:
    IMG_3753.JPG

    With the bracket made, it was time to attach it.

    1. At first I thought I would use a compression nut assembly:
    IMAG0558.jpg
    Result?: Not secure enough. The expansion of the rubber was not in the right place, and I was afraid it was going to break the plastic in the honeycomb.

    2. Remembering that others had used toggle bolts (and J-hooks), I cut off the end of two bolts (so they wouldn't be so long and pierce the back radiators in the honeycomb),

    IMAG0559.jpg IMAG0561.jpg IMAG0562.jpg
    Result?: A secure mount. Now we'll have to see if the bracket holds up.

    Per this http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/9552-Front-License-Plate-Solutions?p=295936&viewfull=1#post295936

    "The lower grill provides airflow for the cabin climate control and not the battery cooling/heating. He said that the battery's vents are located in the opening to the right and left of the lower grill. Just an FYI as this was the first I had heard this."



    -EJ
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. Are there any issues with blocking air to the heat exchanger?
     
  3. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Curious for Texas drivers, by law we have to have front plate, what does Tesla provide to make sure you can display the plate?
     
  4. Longhorn92

    Longhorn92 MS VIN #10103 (40 kWh)

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    I asked this when I picked up my car a few months ago, and the Tesla folks said that there shouldn't be a problem, so I mounted my front plate similar to @gctseng, except I'm not talented enough to fabricate my own, so I used a Skene bracket (medium size). It's been about two months since I mounted the license plate in front of the grill, and I haven't had any heat issues yet.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tesla will mount a front license plate holder for you, but it requires a couple holes drilled into the nose cone (and the license plate is a little high in my opinion at this location), so some of us have opted for a Skene bracket as I mention in my post above. Also, the Skene bracket comes with two screws as well, but I chose to use zip ties to secure it to the honeycomb grill instead of the screws.
     
  5. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Got it--thanks fellow Longhorn. Hook'em.
     
  6. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    @texex91: Tesla will happily drill through the nosecone to mount your plastic license plate holder. I thought I could do better though. I googled this forum and found a youtube video showing an installation using 2 J bolts that I wound up going with. I've been using this for 3 months now and it is fine.

    Tesla Model S Front Plate - YouTube
     
  7. Longhorn92

    Longhorn92 MS VIN #10103 (40 kWh)

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    I'm jealous that you are still in Austin!
     
  8. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Don't be--everyone and their mother has moved here, and continues to move here.

    Totally changed--to me has lost it's uniqueness. Traffic is a complete nightmare--with 150 people PER day moving here, it's no wonder.
     
  9. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    Are you back from Singapore?
     
  10. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    With no new roads being built too.
     

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