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Guest Message by DevFuse

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2013 Front License Plate Mounting


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28 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

How many people have their front license plate screwed directly to the black plastic trim on the front bumper? That is how my dealer attached their advertising "plate". I prefer a little "substance" behind (and in front of) my front plates to keep them from getting all bent to $h!t or sandblasted from road sand in the winter. Now I know some of you don't need a front plate (bully for you), but I have no real qualms about front plates if they are in nice shape.

I was just going to forget about this since I have satisfied myself, but today I saw a silver Escape from a dealer other than mine and they had their advertising "plate" mounted noticeably lower than mine was. That made me wonder what is the intended location by Mother Ford. There is no front licence plate bracket in the online parts listing for the front bumper components. However, there are two "dimples" in the black garnish in the center of the front bumper that appear to mark where the dealer should drill to mount the front license plate if needed. The problem I have with that, is that these dimples are not spaced correctly for U.S. plates. NIce!

The photos are in the following order:


Ford dimples and dealer drilled holes (note that the dimples are farther apart than the holes in a license plate).

Where my plate hangs with the original dealer holes.

Where my plate would hang according to the dimples (before I realized they were too far apart, and where the Escape I saw today had its plate hanging).

Universal license plate bracket from the local auto parts store.

Tapping threads in the garnish to use M6 bolts (sheet metal screws save you the price of a tap, but I already had the tap).

License bracket mounted to garnish with stainless steel bolts.

Plate and clear plate cover attached to bracket with stainless steel, hex-head sheet metal screws (yes I know ANY plate cover is illegal in Minnesota).

Attached Files









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#2 OFFLINE   ajcomputer

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:50 PM

The other set of dimples are for European plates; they use the same bumper for the Kuga sold over there. There were actually two sets of dimples there. The dealer drilled the right ones. :)

Edited by ajcomputer, 01 October 2012 - 06:51 PM.


#3 OFFLINE   Escapism

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:09 PM

Attached File  Titanium Ginger Ale 1a.jpg   729.17KB   63 downloads

Ha-ha. yeah, the dealer stuck their crappy free advertising on the front of mine. You can see it in this picture barely. At least they located it correctly. I just got my new front plate frame in today so I will have to post pics. my new rear frame hasn't come in yet. I have already taken a heat gun and removed their stupid vinyl advertising that was on the rear hatch.

#4 OFFLINE   Escapism

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:12 PM

Attached File  Titanium Ginger Ale desktop final.jpg   158.69KB   52 downloads

And another with my son sitting in it. He just got his learners permit not too long ago. And yes, I let him drive it(a little bit).

#5 OFFLINE   transitman

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:21 PM

I believe there are anchors behind the top holes your dealership drilled. When I added a chrome plate frame and stainless screws it felt like it was a good tight fit, more than just a 1/4" of plastic. I hope by just drilling and tapping the plastic, you haven't weakened it.

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#6 OFFLINE   inswva

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:51 PM

I just got my plates today. I screwed the plate right into the plastic using the existing dimples. It didn't make me very happy but we have to run a front plate in Virginia. I'm going to fashion a proper plate mount in the very near future. And, as noted, Ford doesn't offer a factory front plate mount for the '13.

#7 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:54 PM

The other set of dimples are for European plates; they use the same bumper for the Kuga sold over there. There were actually two sets of dimples there. The dealer drilled the right ones. :)


I see by Google Images that the European plates have slots for mounting rather than round holes. However, I doubt that a wide plate like that will fit the front center piece on U.S. cars because of the "strakes" (for lack of a better word) outboard of the plates. Click on my last photo...there is no way a European plate will fit in that space.

#8 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:59 PM

I believe there are anchors behind the top holes your dealership drilled. When I added a chrome plate frame and stainless screws it felt like it was a good tight fit, more than just a 1/4" of plastic. I hope by just drilling and tapping the plastic, you haven't weakened it.


I thought long and hard about what I was doing. It sure didn't seem to me that there was anything other than the black garnish that the OE screws bit into. That's why I went with M6 bolts. If they do pull out (you would have to purposely be trying to tear the plate off with both hands), I can just go up a size in diameter with screws, SAE bolts, or M8 bolts. I really hated that cheap look of no bracket. I kind of like what they did in back with the large rubber bumpers at the bottom of the plate to keep the plate elevated off the paintwork.

I also have to figure out how to use the MultiQuote button properly.

#9 OFFLINE   inswva

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:17 AM

I believe I'm going to go with something like what's pictured below. Mounting holes should line up with the dimples and the plate screws into the mount.

http://www.autoparts..._shopping_feeds

Posted Image

#10 OFFLINE   haywire52

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:37 AM

Pillboy I like that bracket. What auto parts store did you purchase it from. I live in Canada but very close to the U.S border. I would like to get one before my escape gets here soon I hope .built Sept 27.

#11 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:15 AM

The company is Custom Accessories Inc. Their website has a retailer locator: http://www.causa.com/

You find their stuff at most auto parts chains (O'Reilly's, AutoZone, Advance Auto) and Wal-Mart (although they did not have this particular part, they carry other stuff from this company).

I'll warn you that the plate mounting holes in the bracket are off by about 1/8" (I don't remember if they are too close together or too far apart). The holes in the clear plastic cover (which is also by Custom Accessories) line up with the plate perfectly. The bracket is made in Viet Nam and the cover in China...someone's SAE/metric converter needs a little tweaking. I just finessed them a bit with my Dremel. The plastic it is made out of if fairly durable (bot brittle) and should last.

#12 OFFLINE   haywire52

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:34 PM

Thanks for the info and link. I'am going to the race in Charlotte next weekend and I will try to get one while I'am there. Nice to know before hand that I will have to tweak it a little.

#13 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for the info and link. I'am going to the race in Charlotte next weekend and I will try to get one while I'am there. Nice to know before hand that I will have to tweak it a little.


Who do you root for in Nationwide?

#14 OFFLINE   haywire52

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:53 PM

Elliott Sadler in Nationwide also when he was in Sprint. All the way back when he drove for Robert Yates. Davey Allison was my first driver. In sprint the man almost everyone hates Kyle Bush.

#15 OFFLINE   ajcomputer

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:12 PM

I see by Google Images that the European plates have slots for mounting rather than round holes. However, I doubt that a wide plate like that will fit the front center piece on U.S. cars because of the "strakes" (for lack of a better word) outboard of the plates. Click on my last photo...there is no way a European plate will fit in that space.


Hmm, might not have been for European. Shouldn't have been as specific I guess. I was just going from what I remembered while doing prep's on them, there is a SSM on them specifically saying to use the ones closer together.

#16 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:51 AM

Hmm, might not have been for European. Shouldn't have been as specific I guess. I was just going from what I remembered while doing prep's on them, there is a SSM on them specifically saying to use the ones closer together.


It remains a mystery. Maybe they altered the tooling for this piece for U.S. specifications, but overlooked removing the European dimples.

#17 OFFLINE   nobracket

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

Good day,( First post)

Does any one know how to remove the plastic fascia that the front license plate is to be mounted on, I would like to take it off to drill holes for a mounting plate (as shown below). Thanks
Posted Image

Edited by nobracket, 18 October 2012 - 05:06 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   Tazzel

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

why is everyone thinking a bracket is nessessary, I just screwed it in to the existing holes both front and back. Are you thinking over time that the wind will strip the bolt holes?

#19 OFFLINE   pillboy

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:00 PM

I hate having the front plate all beat to hell...bent from car washes, dented and nicked from flying road debris, etc. The plate just screwed to the bumper also looks cheap...like there is something missing. Just the way I am wired...and used to having things...cars had front license plate brackets for decades...the bracket was usually on the window sticker as a N/C line item. Some accountant found a way to save 5 cents worth of plastic. Hope he got a big bonus.

#20 OFFLINE   nobracket

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 06:25 PM

I hate having the front plate all beat to hell...bent from car washes, dented and nicked from flying road debris, etc. The plate just screwed to the bumper also looks cheap...like there is something missing. Just the way I am wired...and used to having things...cars had front license plate brackets for decades...the bracket was usually on the window sticker as a N/C line item. Some accountant found a way to save 5 cents worth of plastic. Hope he got a big bonus.


It was supposed to be included free in Canada, but was not. (the front hole spacing is wrong for B.C. plates.

Strangely enough the hole spacing on the back is correct for B.C. plates........so they do know.