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#1
Old 03-01-2014, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
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Is it hard to add a front license plate frame to a car?

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Illinois requires a front license plate, this car was given to me by my dad in Florida, which doesn't require a front plate.

How hard is this to do? I've got a basic tool set, but the car is kept outside. I'd really prefer not to drill into the front bumper, if that's required I'll take it to a shop.

I've seen various kits sold by auto stores, will they do the job? Above all, I don't want the stupid thing to fall off just because I wanted to save a few $$$.
#2
Old 03-01-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Illinois requires a front license plate, this car was given to me by my dad in Florida, which doesn't require a front plate.

How hard is this to do? I've got a basic tool set, but the car is kept outside. I'd really prefer not to drill into the front bumper, if that's required I'll take it to a shop.

I've seen various kits sold by auto stores, will they do the job? Above all, I don't want the stupid thing to fall off just because I wanted to save a few $$$.
I doubt that you'd have to drill into the bumper, or make any other modifications yourself, just to attach a front license plate. I've never owned a PT Cruiser, but so many states require front plates that it seems unlikely to me that there wouldn't already be some provisions for attaching one.

Examine the underside of the front bumper and see if you can find any screw holes, and ask the parts department of a local Chrysler dealer if there's a license plate bracket available for your model.

Last edited by erysichthon; 03-01-2014 at 03:44 PM. Reason: grammar
#3
Old 03-01-2014, 03:53 PM
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When I moved to OH from TN back in 2004 I had to have front plates for the first time. Basically the front bumper already had the holes, but they had to punch through with the screws (it took all of about 5 minutes - I think now it was something I could probably do myself, but I didn't know that then).

It should be easy to do. Look closely and see if there are tiny little divots on your front bumper - those are the ready-made holes.
#4
Old 03-01-2014, 03:58 PM
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I didn't want to drill into my bumper either, so I got one of those license plate mounts that screw into your front towing eye.
#5
Old 03-01-2014, 05:33 PM
ftg ftg is online now
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I had an under-bumper mount for my Mazda 323. For a long time it just held a flag plate. When I switched to my Corolla, I tried moving it over. There are bolt holes under the bumper but they were too far back. So I hopped down to the auto parts store for a longer model. They didn't sell anything like it! Can't find it on Amazon or anywhere. (Not sure what key words to use, for one thing.)

The manual says to screw it on. There are small dimples to show where they go. Don't want to do that. Hoping to move to a state with front plates. Oh, well.
#6
Old 03-01-2014, 05:37 PM
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Yeah, you can get a bracket designed for your car to hold it. You can also do a budget DIY job with some L-brackets from a hardware store.
#7
Old 03-01-2014, 05:40 PM
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How hard will vary somewhat with different models of cars and with how secure you want it to be. For those who aren't confident they can evaluate the suitability of, and then install, an aftermarket kit, I think a factory-designed bracket/kit from the dealer is the best bet. Most of them are not very challenging to install, although some require drilling. The dealer can install it if desired.
#8
Old 03-01-2014, 05:42 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 17,831
Fun Fact: Duct-tape is not approved for securing license plates in my state, as it is considered, "temporary" (or some such term).

I'm not telling you how I know this.
#9
Old 03-02-2014, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,584
Try a junkyard (auto recycling center). You're in a 2-plate state, so all the wrecked PT Cruisers will have the original plate bracket you need. The body didn't change much over several years, so they probably used the same bracket for several years of Cruisers.
#10
Old 03-02-2014, 04:21 PM
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Fun Fact part II; zip ties to a grill will get you a ticket in New York for being non permanant also.
#11
Old 03-02-2014, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Illinois requires a front license plate, this car was given to me by my dad in Florida, which doesn't require a front plate.

How hard is this to do? I've got a basic tool set, but the car is kept outside. I'd really prefer not to drill into the front bumper, if that's required I'll take it to a shop.

I've seen various kits sold by auto stores, will they do the job? Above all, I don't want the stupid thing to fall off just because I wanted to save a few $$$.
I ordered a frame from my car's manufacturer. There were notches in the lower lip of the bumper that it clipped/screwed into. Your car may have a similar frame available. All I needed was a screw driver and maybe a ratchet.

A hint, make sure you order all the pieces. I ordered the frame first, but it didn't come with the clips and screws/bolts, so I had to go back and order those as well.

Last edited by runningdude; 03-02-2014 at 04:36 PM.
#12
Old 03-02-2014, 06:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Goob View Post
Fun Fact part II; zip ties to a grill will get you a ticket in New York for being non permanant also.
Even the heaviest zip ties get eaten by sunlight in less than a year. That's true of bungee cords as well, but simple sunscreen can extend the life span by about a year.
#13
Old 03-02-2014, 09:43 PM
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Here ya go.
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