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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from a Noobie!
I have a 2006 750i (bought as a certified pre-owned a few months ago), and stumbled upon this site while trying to find replacement plug-in license plate nuts for the rear license plate (which was an unsuccessful hunt, by the way).

A few days ago, the rear license plate was stolen from my car while it was in a mall parking lot. I live near the Mexico border, and such an event is not uncommon, as stolen U.S. plates are a hot commodity for use in Mexico. Here, you are more likely to have your plate stolen than high-dollar rims! What did shock me is that it appears the theif just pulled the plate and everything attached to it, directly out of the car, without unscrewing the bolts. The whole assembly was gone...the plate, dealership frame, bolts, and three of the plastic plug-in nuts. Obviously, I didn't have the opportunity to witness the event, so I'm going on assumption, based on the fact that everything was missing. The only thing left behind was ONE plastic nut, which did not have a screw in it.

Some pictures:
before:


after:


Note the remaining nut in the lower right corner:


With the nut removed from the car, and sitting on the bumper:


Close-up of the nut:


I'm shocked that this is designed the way it is, as it does not appear that the nut is secured to the car at all (i.e. it doesn't appear to expand with a screw in it, and there's nothing to keep the entire assembly from just being pulled straight out of the holes in the trunklid).

Anyone want to volunteer to try and pull the plate off their 7-series, and see if my theory is correct?

Finally, I will eventually need to put plates on the car again. Anybody have any insight as to where I might find replacement nuts (preferrably with some kind of security feature which will not allow the plate to come off so easily)?

Dean
 

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E65/E66 Helper Man.......
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1,511 Posts
i'm sorry to hear about your trouble... the best advice would be to get screws with a special type of tool required, opposed to a phillips or flat head... secondly, you may not want to do this, but drill the screws into the actual trunk... this way the plate will sit very close to the trunk, and it will make it very hard, if not impossible, to pull off.... lastly, you can go to a local auto security store and have them add a sensor behind the license plate and tap it into the factory alarm, so if the plate gets pulled again the alarm will sound...

in the end, if they want it they will get it... but these steps can help prevent it...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, Sir. I've got the nifty set of screws now, which require a special tool for installing/removing. However, the BMW plastic nuts will still just slide right out of the trunklid, no matter how high-tech the bolt is.

Of the eight cars I've owned, this is the first one from Germany, and the first one that has a license plate setup as goofy as this. As much as I dislike the idea of having to go through this whole mess again, I think I have no other (reasonable) alternative than to just buy another set of these plastic nuts from the dealer and take my chances.
Maybe JB Weld them into place before screwing in the bolts?
 

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I have an antilaser/radar transponder mounted to the top of my license plate, and have some familiarity with the rather insubstantial license plate mount. The tag pulls out of its mounting plastic very easily. The couple of times I have had to run through a carwash (touchless of course) I have had to reinsert the license tag when it has come loose, left hanging on by the transponder wires. Unlike you, I have not been smart enough to realize this had an engineering solution...it had just been filed in my life file as "occasional inconvenience". As you work on the solution, please continue to share.
 

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The White Knight
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Yes, Sir. I've got the nifty set of screws now, which require a special tool for installing/removing. However, the BMW plastic nuts will still just slide right out of the trunklid, no matter how high-tech the bolt is.

Of the eight cars I've owned, this is the first one from Germany, and the first one that has a license plate setup as goofy as this. As much as I dislike the idea of having to go through this whole mess again, I think I have no other (reasonable) alternative than to just buy another set of these plastic nuts from the dealer and take my chances.
Maybe JB Weld them into place before screwing in the bolts?
I have a set of those special screws and allen wrench & all I have to say is don't loose that wrench or you will have no choice but to do what someone did to remove your plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a set of those special screws and allen wrench & all I have to say is don't loose that wrench or you will have no choice but to do what someone did to remove your plate.
Bear in mind, whoever stole the plate did not break/snap/pop anything to accomplish this....those plastic nuts just slide in and out, causing no damage. I'm imagining this low-life grabbing each side of the plate frame and just sliding the entire assembly out and running off like the bandit he/she is. The type of bolt is irrelevant, because they were gone with the theft, too! :D I betcha the theif knew this in advance and targets BMWs for this quick and easy way to snag plates.

And thanks for the sound advice about moving away from the border. Thanks to your helpful thoughts, I will be moving to Santa Barbara in April. (you bunch of wisecrackers need not know that I was going anyway, and that way you can take the credit).

I'm going to explore the idea of using drywall anchors, if I can find one shallow enough that would accept a license plate screw.
 

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President
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this reminds of my boys car, white 750i, he rolls exactly like that, no plate nothing

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Or you could just drive around with dealer plates...
The thought crossed my mind...

But I took this lemon of a situation and tried to make the best lemonade I could, and ordered personalized plates ($41 as opposed to the $18 I was going to have to pay anyway, just to get basic replacement plates). I've never had personalized plates before, so its kind of a cool novelty for me right now.

I dig this forum, and I'll invest some time into getting some better pictures of my car to share with the rest of the class. :bigpimp:
 

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I would be more worried about any damage they would do trying to get the plate off if it didn't just slide off. I would think it would be cheaper to replace the plates every so often then fix scratches that could occur.
 
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