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Number plates...to screw or not to screw

 
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Fast3000
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:58 am    Post subject: Number plates...to screw or not to screw Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Managed to get some new no. plates done from Sytner with the logo and Alpina text - woohoo!

they are also printed on a metal backing. Question is do I use adhesive pads as the car is now or do I screw....i dont believe there are any existing holes at the rear boot lid... Concern is that metal plates wont hold with adhesive pads....the acrylic ones just about do! Advice welcome. Thanks
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v8 ego
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like screws and only re-use them where they have previously been used.

Just make sure you get proper number plate tape (it's cheaper to buy on a roll than pre-cut strips) and use plenty of it.

I am sure you won't but don't do what a former owner of my Father-in-law's old Lotus Carlton did and use silicone sealant. When he took the number plate off it took a number plate-sized lump of rusty steel out of the boot lid with it.
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Number plates...to screw or not to screw Reply with quote

Fast3000 wrote:
they are also printed on a metal backing.


Under no circumstance screw these to any metal part of your car if they are indeed as you say, metal (likely aluminium alloy): they are dreadful things and cause bi-metallic corrosion, a basic physics principle. Also, they're so sharp, any vibration of the plate relative to the bodywork will cut through the paint finish. They were fitted by Sytner to my B3S when I took it over, and they're now in a metal skip where they deserve to be, and the hatch was corroded beneath the damned thing and the bugger had left a perfect outline of itself where it had worn the paint away at the edges! Luckily the hatch was replaced by Sytner under warranty.

Adhesive pads: plenty of, to stop them moving or contacting any metalwork EVEN THROUGH PAINT. My experience of sticky pads is, however, mixed. OK on flat painted surfaces, lousy on non-flat or those with the black plastic numberplate mounts: they keep falling off those foundations, and all mine ended up screwed.

I have contacts in other dealerships who cannot believe these thin alloy plates are supplied by a main dealership: they're a known, physically proven, hazard to your car. Tread carefully!
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PerryGunn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Number plates...to screw or not to screw Reply with quote

ade and liz flint wrote:
Adhesive pads: plenty of, to stop them moving or contacting any metalwork EVEN THROUGH PAINT. My experience of sticky pads is, however, mixed. OK on flat painted surfaces, lousy on non-flat or those with the black plastic numberplate mounts: they keep falling off those foundations, and all mine ended up screwed.

Rather than pads, I tend to use external automotive trim tape (3M by preference but others work too) to mount number plates. It sticks to metal, paint or plastic without any problems and I've never had an issue with it detaching or leaving any marks on the paint when removed.

Before mounting plates I always thoroughly degrease both surfaces and ensure that I use plenty of tape with a continuous strip along the top edge and another down each of the sides to try to prevent water getting behind the plate. I then put several vertical strips along the rest of the plate.

If I need to remove a plate, I use a length of nylon fishing line to cut through the foam core of the tape and then remove any residue using Tardis and IPA.
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Metrics
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a contrary view - I'm a big fan of the metal plates and bought 2 sets for each of my Alpina from Sytner. The quality of the finish and longevity is far better than acrylic. Plus they have the Alpina and Sytner logos for originality.

I never use screws, only tape and it doesn't fail. On the rear plate I make sure the tape is applied close to the outer edge so vibrations and boot slams don't cause the plate to contact the surrounding paint.

My F10 front plate curves to follow the contour of the bumper - the sticky tape holds it perfectly.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Number plates...to screw or not to screw Reply with quote

PerryGunn wrote:
ade and liz flint wrote:
Adhesive pads: plenty of, to stop them moving or contacting any metalwork EVEN THROUGH PAINT. My experience of sticky pads is, however, mixed. OK on flat painted surfaces, lousy on non-flat or those with the black plastic numberplate mounts: they keep falling off those foundations, and all mine ended up screwed.

Rather than pads, I tend to use external automotive trim tape (3M by preference but others work too) to mount number plates. It sticks to metal, paint or plastic without any problems and I've never had an issue with it detaching or leaving any marks on the paint when removed.

Before mounting plates I always thoroughly degrease both surfaces and ensure that I use plenty of tape with a continuous strip along the top edge and another down each of the sides to try to prevent water getting behind the plate. I then put several vertical strips along the rest of the plate.

If I need to remove a plate, I use a length of nylon fishing line to cut through the foam core of the tape and then remove any residue using Tardis and IPA.


Do this it's the gold standard
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Fast3000
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice above. Going with automotive adhesive tape for rear for sure. Will inspect the front to see if that will work..
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PerryGunn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fast3000 wrote:
Thanks for the advice above. Going with automotive adhesive tape for rear for sure. Will inspect the front to see if that will work..

It should work fine on the front of an E46 - my Roadster S has a curve on the front plate carrier and, before fitting the (plastic) front plate, I left it overnight, face-down, with the edges on wooden blocks and a weight in the centre.

This created a gentle curve in the plate allowing it to conform better to the shape of the plate holder and avoided any tendency for the ends to try and pull away from the holder while the trim tape reached full strength (takes about 24 hours IIRC) - trim tape is so strong that I doubt if it would have been an issue but it cost me nothing to curve the plate so thought I'd do it...
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Fast3000
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Perry awesome to see you still have the Alpina Zed.
I took the rear plate off last night only to find two rubber gromets that look like they will accept plastic screwes....the adhesive tape will still be useful though...
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PerryGunn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fast3000 wrote:
Thanks guys. Perry awesome to see you still have the Alpina Zed.
I took the rear plate off last night only to find two rubber gromets that look like they will accept plastic screwes....the adhesive tape will still be useful though...

Yes, the rear of the RS has these as well - I still wanted a screwless look though, so I attached a plastic plate holder using plastic screws and then mounted the plate onto that using adhesive tape. You can't see them but I added a couple of soft pads to the rear of the plate holder (one at each edge) to act as a cushion if the ends vibrated and contacted the paint


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hap
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be good to see the finished plates
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Fast3000
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went with no screws in the end...looks much cleaner...used plenty of padded auto automotive tape!
Cheers all. dance2
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hap
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pics pls
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