Wow! I think yours looks the best of all of them. (Maybe it's just the car.) I have to hand it to you, that is one clean bend on that front plate, you are a master craftsman! I'm afraid I would fold and crease my Virginia plate if I did that! I don't feel a need to reinvent the wheel, I just want it to look the way I want it to look, and yours seems to fit the bill. I like the look of the first video ok, I'm not crazy about how the 2nd one turns out, especially after seeing yours hide the hardware completely. Maybe it is the addition of that black plate frame too. Not sure, probably a combination of all three things. I could live without the bend in the plate, but . Great job!
Mind sharing your secret sauce? Which one did you copy and where did you make the improvements?
Thanks. Glad you like it.
Here is what I did. I'm an ex-Mechanical Engineer (retired now) so I went a bit overboard on this
I started with the a BOZZMOUNT MG bracket from Slybrackets (the first link), specifying the smaller 1/4" x 1/2" grill opening version https://www.slybrackets.com/store/#!...617/category=0
, and the Mercedes curved license plate frame Black curved slimline license plate frame
I really like this bracket. It's very well thought out from an Engineering perspective. The bracket mounts the license plate/license plate frame further from the grill than I ended up with, and it's designed for a flat plate so the attaching screws end up at a bit of an angle on the curved license plate holder, but screw caps can cover this. It would probably work, as is, for most people. However I wanted it tucked in closer to be as unobtrusive as possible. So I did the following mods.
1. Bent all the bracket parts to approximately match the curve of the Mercedes curved license plate frame. The secret to bending the parts, including the license plate, is to find something with a suitable curve to bend them around (it doesn't have to be exact). I used the wide curved arms of an armchair we have to help bend the parts around. The only hard one was the 1/4" square tube bracket cross member which required leaning on it pretty hard to get it to bend. That one I used the edge of a garden hose reel, as the armchair arm wasn't sturdy enough for the extra force needed. The end result was slightly more a vee than a curve, but it's hidden from view in the final assembly.
2. Instead of the 1" long spacer/screws that screw through the grill openings, I used the two extra 1/2" un-threaded spacers that come with the bracket and two purchased 5/16-18 screws to secure the bracket through the grill openings.
3. This got the bracket to where I wanted it but the legs of the L-brackets that hook through the grill stuck out to far, preventing the license plate reaching the bracket. Cutting the L-brackets would have meant I couldn't use the 1/4" cross member, which provides useful extra stiffness, so I made some spacers to go between the L-brackets and the back of the grill and screwed them onto the L-brackets. I'd have liked to use aluminum, but only have some rudimentary tools, so I used wood, sprayed with multiple coats of outdoor paint. Hopefully these will hold up. Making these as thick as possible, while still allowing the L-bracket/spacer to pass through the grill openings, moved the legs of the L-bracket back just far enough to be behind the bracket.
4. The 1/4" cross member normally sits behind the bracket frame but with my modifications now had to fit inside the bracket frame, and it was about a 1/4" too long. So I cut a little off either end.
5. Cutting the ends of the 1/4" cross member reduced the depth of the threaded holes on either end, so now the screws that go in those holes were too long. So I cut these down in length a bit. I could have purchased shorter screws.
6. Here's where I really went crazy
. Everything now fitted and the bracket was pretty firmly secured. However I'm a bit of a perfectionist and felt the bracket could be just a bit more rigid. So I got some Neodymium magnets https://www.apexmagnets.com/3-4-x-1-8-countersunk-ring
. Be careful with these. They're very strong and can pinch skin as they snap together or to other metal. Keep away from children. definitely not playthings. I attached two of these, with screws, to the slot in the wide bracket cross member just inside the mounting screws, using small nylon spacers that I cut to size, to center the screws in the slot. I then glued two more magnets to matching positions on the back of the license plate, so the back of the license plate is held firmly against the bracket by the magnets. To get the correct position for gluing the magnets, I let the license plate magnets attach to the bracket magnets then assembled everything, then used two more magnets on the outside of the license plate to locate where the other magnets were. Then I stuck tape around those magnets to mark their location, disassembled everything, put magnets where the tape indicated on the outside of the license plate, then located the position of those magnets using more magnets on the inside of the license plate, and marked those magnets position with more tape. I'd left the license plate magnets attached to the bracket magnets so now I just put a thin layer of glue on the faces of those magnets, and glue on the inside of the license plate frame where indicated by the tape, removed the tape and assembled everything. I then replaced the two magnets on the outside of the license plate to hold the license plate frame firmly against the magnets behind it, while the glue set. I let the glue set for 24 hours then removed the magnets on the outside of the licence plate. I used Loctite Marine Epoxy just because I happened to already have some. Oh and I used Loctite 242 (available at Home Depot) thread locking compound on all threads to prevent anything shaking loose (already had that too). So now the bottom of the license plate/license plate frame is attached to the bracket, the top of the license plate and the top of the license plate frame are screwed together, and the license plate is held firmly to the bracket with the magnets. If i'm ever in a wreck the only thing guaranteed not to be torn apart is my license plate mounting
7. Not a mod exactly, but I went with a specialty license plate that has white lettering on a black background, instead of the standard black lettering on a white background, as I think this blends in better.
8. The Mercedes curved license plate frame came with screw caps but they were a bit thick so i went with these instead 12/12 Snap-Caps - for #10, #12 & 1/4" screws | Pro-Dec
9. Almost forgot. The license plate frame doesn't touch the car but, just in case, I edged it with a soft rubber edging strip https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
That's it I think. If I was doing it again I might try and do it from scratch rather than use the slybrackets bracket, although I do like how it works.
if you have any questions, just let me know.