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The Tri-Camry Family
2001 Toyota Camry
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There had been a thread on mounting the license plate on the front of the new 2012 Camry. Either you have to screw into the fresh paint, buy an expensive OEM bracket, or throw the front plate away. In Texas, I have to run a front plate on the bumper, not the windshield, no questions ask. But I didn't want to drill into the bumper. Luckily, the dealership never messed with the front plate during make-ready/pre-delivery. Later, I received the two plates for the car and came up with a way to mount it without causing damage.

After a little brainstorming and development, I came up with an idea for a mount that shouldn't damage the bumper or paint can remove later on the future. This will only work on smooth surface with quality paint, not on textured bumpers.

Disclaimer: Neither TN nor I are reasonable for injury or damage to yourself or property when performing this mod.

Materials:
1/4”-20 Elevator Bolts (2)
1/4” washer (2+)
3/8” washer (2+)
1/4”-20 nuts (2+)
3M Emblem/Molding Form Tape (the gray one)

Tools:
Masking/painter’s tape
Cutoff wheel/bolt cutters
Marker
Wrench
Scissor

First, this is how the assembly of all the parts will appear. Slide the 3/8” washer onto the elevator bolt, 2 or more to space it if needed. Then slide the license plate and any plate frame you might want onto the bolt. Then finish it with the 1/4” washer and nut. It should look similar to the picture I drawn below.



Go ahead and just place the assembled mounts onto the bumper. (Be careful not to scratch the paint) Adjust the number of washers to space the plate correctly and make sure everything is tight. Don't forget that later, the 3M tape will add about 1/16" more spacing between the plate and bumper.



Once you’re satisfied with the fit, mark the threaded shaft of the bolts with tape or paint to cut off the excess in front of the 1/4 nut. Disassemble everything and cut of the extra length of the bolt. (Tip: run a nut down the thread to the head of the bolt. Once you cut the bolt, removing the nut will help rethread the end of the bolt.)



Paint the bolts as needed to prevent rust. Next, lightly sand the center of the elevator bolt head. This will help insure that the 3M stick well. Cut a piece of 3M and stick it onto the heads. Then trim the excess tape around the bolt head for a clean finish with a scissor.



Reassemble everything onto the license plate. (I add two more 3/8" washers to space it further because of the frame.)



Tape and mark the location to mount the plate. The Camry has two dimples and I placed it there. Be sure to clean the area, free of wax, dirt, and grease, for a secured mount. Peel off the red release plastic on the 3M tape and press the bolts firmly onto the bumper.



Make sure that the plate doesn't rub on the paint.



Once the plate in held in the desired location, remove any marking tape from the bumper and clean the area. Then remove the nuts, plate, and washer leaving just the mounts on the bumper. Check to make sure that the 3M tape has not lifted up and press the mounts firmly onto the bumper. The 3M tape should hold it.



Once the mounts are secured, reassemble everything in order and finish the plate with chrome acorn/cap nuts and frame for a clean look. :thumbsup:



Overall, I spent about $10 for all the materials and is holding firm after a month. This is the same tape used to hold body moldings and emblem so it should last for years. Again, I searched everywhere on the web and I couldn’t find anyone else that has done this. If you don’t feel comfortable with this method, I understand. Just sharing another options to those who hate to drill into new bumpers. And you every most to a start that don't required a front plate, you can remove the mounts the same way to de-badge emblems.

Another DIY for the Gen 7 section but will work on almost all vehicle. :chug:
 
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The Tri-Camry Family
2001 Toyota Camry
Joined
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is it still holding up?
It's holding up fine. Nice and stiff. :thumbsup:

drill it, done. The plate will cover it anyway.
I have mounted plates that way to several vehicle. I know it covers the holes but there are a few people that have try to mount their front plates with zip ties or leaving it on the dash to avoid putting holes in the bumper cover. This mod is an alternative to that. If we ever move to a state that don't required a front plate or sale the car, I can just remove the mount, clean of the tape, and it's as good as new. :)
 

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Joined the dark side. :D
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8,837 Posts
^ Screw is the best. Sure you make 2 holes in your bumper but it's only two and it's minor and mostly it's secure. While all other method isn't as secure so shake and vibration will scratch and many other damage to the bumper, and worse it could brake lose and fly off.
 

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The Tri-Camry Family
2001 Toyota Camry
Joined
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1,175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^ Screw is the best. Sure you make 2 holes in your bumper but it's only two and it's minor and mostly it's secure. While all other method isn't as secure so shake and vibration will scratch and many other damage to the bumper, and worse it could brake lose and fly off.
I understand that this method is not preferred by everyone. That goes the same for all mods like debadge emblems or blacking out trims. Sure, maybe 4-5 years down the road when the paint is no longer showroom good; I'll run two stainless screw into the dimples on the bumper cover. For now, I'll test this out. I still can't get myself to drill into a good bumper.
 

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Stock? Blasphemy!
06 Rav4 v6
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878 Posts
my worry would be that an automatic car wash, or even just driving fast would rip it off. you might not go to them yourself, but if you go to the dealer or some other shops for maintenance, they may run it through one as a courtesy for you, and i guarantee they won't check if your plate is still there on the way out.

i used to run w/ no front plate here in houston, and never had any issues with it. in fact i was on my way back from corpus late one night, and i had cruise control set at 95 mph. not a typo. i rounded a bend and my high beams caught the glint of a state trooper's light bar right as i clicked them off (and hit cancel on cruise). i coasted back towards the limit of 65, hoping... but he lit me up. he could have easily written me tickets for no front plate, clear corners with blue-ish bulbs, and of course speeding, but i didn't argue one bit when he said i was doing 82, and that was the only thing on the ticket. :D

another time in my miata (again, no front plate then), i was pulled over and given a warning for going 58 in a 55 (REALLY? i was the SLOWEST car on the road!) by another state trooper. no mention about no front plate.

spoken to a few officers - some family, some neighbors, some customers... they say it really depends. they can't pull you over JUST for a missing front plate, but if the cop's in a bad mood or you give him/her a hard time, you can bet they'll slap a "no front plate" charge onto the ticket as well. if you're polite and cooperative like i was, they probably will let it fly, especially if they can tell you're working hard to have a nice-looking car, such as a classic or hotrod or something.

on my current car i just don't care about appearances as much anymore, so i drilled it in w/ 2 stainless screws. of course this has the opposite effect when driving through one-plate states like louisiana, since the cops instantly know you're an out-of-stater... :/

edit: is it good or bad that in the second pic in your post, the FIRST thing i noticed was the reflection of your gen4.5 camry? ;)
 

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Stick On License Plate? Why Not use Screws?

Why not use two sheet metal screws on the front bumper of the 2012 Camry to mount the license plate and frame instead? There are two small pilot holes in the bumper at exactly the correct location that are normally covered with paint. I only bought a license frame that came with the mounting screws. It took a couple of seconds to screw the frame and plate into the two mounting holes and the plate is on securely. No need for nuts and bolts and washers and tape!
:laugh:
 

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2012 Camry SE I-4
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2,263 Posts
Why not use two sheet metal screws on the front bumper of the 2012 Camry to mount the license plate and frame instead? There are two small pilot holes in the bumper at exactly the correct location that are normally covered with paint. I only bought a license frame that came with the mounting screws. It took a couple of seconds to screw the frame and plate into the two mounting holes and the plate is on securely. No need for nuts and bolts and washers and tape!
:laugh:
OP doesn't want to drill. Read his post:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/3...ate-mount-no-drill-no-damage.html#post3769276
 

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Sooner or later, that tape will give way and the plate will go flying... perhaps down the center of your hood and/or into your windshield, perhaps into the car behind you. Personally, I think this is a dangerous idea. You can always get 'plugs' and paint them the color of the vehicle if you decide to go naked on the bumper.
 

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423 Posts
Just my $0.02:

I've used a "Marson" brand plastic rivet gun into plastic bumper cover here in Rust Belt. Harbor Frt sells rivets but I have no info on their gun. Best would be to combine both acrylic adhesive trim tape and rivet?

Ohio requires two plates, despite legislation to eliminate front. Its an easy revenue source for some suburban PD's IME and it gives 'em reason to stop and inquire if they don't issue ticket!

Ohio -used- to give you a new steel plate with your license renewal. Now, with no reduction in fees, will give you a ticket if plate rusts! New plate costs another couple of bucks, so keeping original plate finish intact is good to minimize this additional "tax".
 

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2013 Camry XLE
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I watched the video and looked at the site. No where does it say if it's actually legal. IIRC the are a bunch of states where this just wouldn't work. Although IMO if it accurately shows your tag numbers I don't see why anyone should care except for "revenue makers".
 

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Joined the dark side. :D
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I understand that this method is not preferred by everyone. That goes the same for all mods like debadge emblems or blacking out trims. Sure, maybe 4-5 years down the road when the paint is no longer showroom good; I'll run two stainless screw into the dimples on the bumper cover. For now, I'll test this out. I still can't get myself to drill into a good bumper.
Here are two things I though I could do to help my car............

1) Car cover fabric. My car was nice and clean and no garage, lucky me there is a thing to help me protect my car from the harmful sun and rain....... the car cover.
------ the rain go through anyway
------ and when the cover is dry, the wind help it grind against my car paint with micro stand in between...... perfect persisting sand paper.
------ lastly, I have to take it off every time I use my car. Very annoying for no benefit.

2) Clear bra. It was expensive but my new baby deserves it.
------ expensive
------ hard to remove with all the sticky glue
------ it shrinks and look ugly
------ sure it protect the paint under it....... so when remove, my car got a nice tan line and it's not sexy.

It would be much better if I didn't buy these two things. I went out of my way and buy expensive stuff that made things worse. Screw it, I use my car as is. No more nanny-ing my car.
 
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