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      06-16-2014, 12:45 AM   #1
nemith
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DIY: Magnetic Front License Plate

Magnetic Front License Plate



Having the beautiful front end of a Msport I just couldn't drill through the front bumper to install the front license plate not to mention it hangs down way to low, there is not much room for a USA style license place up front.

Since the police in Denver like to give tickets in certain spots I decided to make the front license plate snap on with magnets and can remove it when I decide to.

The entire process was pretty easy, although you will be taking off the entire front bumper so it's not for the faint hearted.

Magnets
I got my magnets online from K&J Magnetics

For the license plate bracket I used DX04B-N52

For the bumper side I used DX01-N52 although if I were to do it again i would do something thicker like 1/8" with a little bit more pull force. One day I will go back and stack on some more magnets (increasing their power) just for extra peice of mind.

You can see the pull force in lbs on the K&J website, you don't want them too strong as you don't want to remove them by hand, but not to weak that it will fall off while driving (if you choose to do that)

I have driven with the plate on the front at 80+ mph with no issue, but I want something a bit stronger for better piece of mind. I usually just leave the plate off and add it when i am parking somewhere where they like to give tickets.

Step 1
Affix magnets to the license plate bracket from the factory
First I cut down the stands of where the lower stock license plate mounting screw holes were at with a dremel.

I then used plumbers epoxy to both build up and affix the magnets to bracket. Make sure to follow the angles of the bracket and make sure they are flush with the sides

Once you are done it should look something like this.



After added PlastiDip:


Add some paint to make sure the magnets and expoxy don't rust (mine did) and you may want to spray some Plastidip onto the back as will to make sure it doesn't rub and ruin the paint on your bumper. I have a clear bra as well which helps with this.

Step 2
Remove the front bumper cover
There are some other DIYs on this subjet and didn't get any good pictures. It is useful to entirely remove the wheel arche plastic covers although you don't need to. There is a lot of screws but pretty straight forward. You play want to add a couple of grease pen marks to the bumper and body before you remove it to make sure you line it back up properly as there is some play around the headlights

Note: A towel on the ground will help to make sure you don't scape against your garage floor.

Sad faceless F30:


Step 3
Glue Magnets on the inside of the bumper
Once you have the front bumper cover off place it somewhere warm to let the expoy set right. It should look like this.





First place your license plate bracket on the front of the bumper cover. Use the holes and guides on the bracket as guide. Then place the smaller magnets on the back of the cover. They will snap into place if you have the polarity right.

Add all four magnets this way without glue and make sure everything is lined up correctly. Then one by one remove a magnet, add epoxy, and place the magnet back down. I also built up the epoxy on the back and sides to make sure it didn't move. Repeat the process for all four magnets. Doing one at a time means that we ensure the alignment.

For the epoxy I just use standard two tube mix epoxy.





Let the epoxy fully set before continuing. Follow the directions on your epoxy.

Step 4
Reinstall
Reinstalling is just opposite of the removal. Make sure everything lines up correctly and don't forget any screws.

You are done, you should now be able to snap on the license plate when you need and and easily pull it off when you don't!

Last edited by nemith; 06-17-2014 at 10:43 PM.
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      06-16-2014, 09:06 PM   #2
shawnsheridan
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That's pretty sweet.
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      06-16-2014, 09:42 PM   #3
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I totally thought about doing this the other day. Thanks for this, and the excellent write up. I'm mixed between this and the hideaway option
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      06-17-2014, 08:19 AM   #4
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Awesome inventive solution well done
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      06-17-2014, 02:29 PM   #5
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Nice mod! I don't mean to be a downer but won't those magnets start to leave scratches on the front bumper when the bracket has been put on and taken off enough times? Especially based on the sound of the impact when it makes contact.
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      06-17-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamouz627 View Post
Nice mod! I don't mean to be a downer but won't those magnets start to leave scratches on the front bumper when the bracket has been put on and taken off enough times? Especially based on the sound of the impact when it makes contact.
Not if you have a clear bra.
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      06-17-2014, 10:29 PM   #7
nemith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamouz627 View Post
Nice mod! I don't mean to be a downer but won't those magnets start to leave scratches on the front bumper when the bracket has been put on and taken off enough times? Especially based on the sound of the impact when it makes contact.
There hasn't even been marks in the clear bra. I have since added PlastiDip to the back of the magnets for added protection (and it no longer looks like shit)


It snaps a lot harder in the video because 1) I was doing it one handed so i could film it with the other. Usually you'll "snap" it on with two hands have a lot better control 2) It sounds louder that it really is in person.

After about 5 months of use (use it about 5-6 times a month)



If you were really anal you could get stronger magnets (on either side) and add glue some foam to the magnets on the plate side.

Last edited by nemith; 06-17-2014 at 10:47 PM.
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      09-25-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
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Do you know how much space was available behind the bumper? I know there is some impact foam behind it, so maybe it doesn't matter.. Is there enough room to put 1/4" magnets on the back? Was there a reason you chose to go so thin with 1/16" or even the 1/8"?

Trying to decide what magnets to order for my 428i GC, and prefer not to take off the bumper twice. Plan on putting 4 1/8" N52 in the factory front mount, those almost fit perfectly in the circles on it. Since i can't go much thicker on the front, I wanted to go for 1/4" behind the bumper.

Thanks!
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      10-01-2015, 11:08 PM   #9
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Well done! But wouldn't it be easier to just go with the front tow hook license plate mount?

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      12-03-2015, 02:40 AM   #10
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This is how all plates should be on anyway. People could just unscrew them if they really wanted them. I don't even use the front plate but after the next ticket, I'm considering this one...
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      12-04-2015, 07:58 PM   #11
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I like it, I would probably add some microfiber material on the magnet for bumpers that don't have clear bra. I doubt it would interfere with the magnets.
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      12-04-2015, 08:39 PM   #12
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wow, dude!! totally awesome !!
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      12-08-2015, 05:59 PM   #13
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i wonder if these will do?

http://www.harborfreight.com/10-piec...ets-67488.html

dan
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