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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-21-2005, 03:05 PM
Mapman Mapman is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 134
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci 6-speed
Am I just stupid...

... or is there a secret procedure for removing my rear license plate? I just got new ones in the mail, and naturally I'd like to replace the crappy old ones with them. Front plate was no problem, but the rear is proving to be a real b1tch. After 20 months, the screws were all showing more than a little rust, but the top two came out just fine. The bottom two, however, are proving to be a serious PITA: they just spin. And spin. And spin. There isn't anything visibly spinning with the screw that I can get a wrench on, so that's out.

The manual naturally doesn't cover this seemingly elementary procedure, not even a "to change license plate, go to your BMW Center and let the highly trained professionals handle it, dummkopf", and I'm beginning to get a little bit pissed off. Do I have to tear the bracket to shreds and get a new one, or is there a secret procedure that I have to know before re-attempting this delicate operation?

A quick search tells me that apparently no one else has been dumbfounded by their rear license plate bracket, so I'll just start a new thread.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2005, 03:09 PM
allaboutme allaboutme is offline
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Location: People's Republic of California
 
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Mein Auto: 3x330,AMV8,996GT2
Sounds like the threads are stripped. Why don't you just pull it out if that's the case?
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:11 PM
Mapman Mapman is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci 6-speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by allaboutme
Sounds like the threads are stripped. Why don't you just pull it out if that's the case?
That's what I figured, but it looks like I can't get enough leverage on the cursed things (pliers only - no vise grips in the house).
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:14 PM
allaboutme allaboutme is offline
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Location: People's Republic of California
 
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Mein Auto: 3x330,AMV8,996GT2
Why don't you try tugging on the plate? Maybe that'll slowly loosen them. The screws on the bottom stop at a foam piece... atleast that's what I remember. I'm not sure if you can pull the bottom part out far enough to tap the screws out, but that's something to consider
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:04 PM
Mapman Mapman is offline
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Location: Chicago, IL, USA
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci 6-speed
Stupid or not, I just drilled the damned things out. It seems like the bracket that holds the plate (plastic piece held onto the trunk lid with two screws) has nuts molded inside of it, into which the license plate screws thread. The things must've frozen solid, then broke free of the bracket when I tried to remove them. I was able to drill enough of the old screws out so that I could literally rip the heads off of them. The rest of the screws are still in the bracket, and would not come out no matter what I did to them. Lesson learned.

The new plate is held in by the top screws only for now. I will order a new bracket, then get new stainless screws when I replace the old one. I sure am glad that the dealer could save a freaking quarter by sticking me with 4 ultra-cheap mild steel screws.

All this frustration for a license plate. Thanks for letting me vent.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2005, 08:35 PM
paul_tracyposer's Avatar
paul_tracyposer paul_tracyposer is offline
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Location: Ontario,Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 113
Mein Auto: 2007 328i and 328xi coupe
I had the same problem...the plastic plate holder has the metal nuts squeezed into them,they we seized and when i tried to loosen the bolts the nuts spun in the plastic,stripping them in the plastic frame....i called the dealer and next time in they replaced the front and rear plate holders and used anti-seize on the nuts.


---cg-----
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