OT: Can I drill plastic auto bumper?


Pardon the nickel/dimer ...
I got a replacement license plate bracket for '94 TBird front bumper from a junkyard. Fits the curve of the bumper, but the mounting holes are a little off.
Bumper is plastic, like all the new ones. How much trouble would I get into if I just layed out a new set of 4 holes (behind the bracket) and drilled 'em? Each is only about .5" from the original hole.
TIA, Will
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wrote:

You'd get into a lot of trouble by the bumper police. I have heard judges handing out harsh sentences. One guy was sentenced to 30 days in the electric chair.
Hank
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Was he formally charged? Did he have a paid attorney, or a proton defender? I hope it was a plastic electric chair. Did he have time to call the governor, and ask for his sentence to be conducted? that might depend, if it was an electron year. Was the judge very negative that day?
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The new holes are probaly too close to old ones. There is a steel bracket behind the plastic to hold the bolts and it is likely more than 0.5 " wider than hole.
Otherwise - the plastic may crack when you tighten the bolts if you don't use cushioning on both sides. Get some rubber washers for both inside and outside of the plastic.
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Why not just drill new holes in the license plates?
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:58:25 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"
in

How would that help in mounting the " license plate bracket "?
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:58:25 -0800 (PST), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"
in

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Thanks. That is a thinking man's response.
I was in a hurry, failed to mention, orig. bracket was fastened with plastic push-points that expand when you push 'em in. I got a handful from a dealer. Still wouldn't hurt to put rubber washers behind 'em if I can find any the right size.
Will
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:44:34 -0600, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

you putting the rubber washer on the outside, with the "push-clips" going through the washer before going into the bumper?
If you do that, the clip will be able to move in the plastic bumper and it will eventually pull out. The expanding push clips are designed to go into the bumper plastic and seat the flange tight against the bumper, so when the screw is inserted it is physically held tight to the bumper and is not able to wiggle/wear/fall out.
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 23:22:53 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Well, it was an idea. :-)

I got the bracket off a junkyard 'Boid of unknown vintage, maybe a '95. Looked the same, fits the curve of the bumper. Mount holes off a little.
Original was mounted only with the push-pins, 4 of which I got from the dealer. If he gave me the right ones, I dunno why they won't hold OK -if- I can drill the holes.
I can get to the back of the 2 holes in the bottom: not the top. Right now the problem is the idiot weather, we are under siege again. Not practical to climb under the beast and dither the damned silly thang.
Thx, Will
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not Some have thicker plastic where the plate mount fits, but again, MANY do not.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

How about making a license plate adapter? These things are spendy but I just wanted to show you examples. http://tinyurl.com/yesdtrq A guy could make a workable one out of a couple pieces of strap iron or heavy plastic probably.
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mounting holes "Half inch off" is not exactly what I'd call a replacement item.
chances are,the front "bumper" is just a thin plastic COVER and the screws will not hold. the real bumper is beneath the bumper cover and maybe behind some styrofoam (or crushable plastic honeycomb) too.
He might consider using those captive nuts,that are set by a POP-rivet tool. then thread some bolts into them.
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Jim Yanik
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Before you drill anything, I would go to the dealer's parts department and see the drawing of exactly how the system is supposed to work.
Having the holes a half an inch off suggests to me that you have more problems than mounting the license plate. Perhaps you need to adjust the bumper or tweak the brackets holding the bumper to the frame.
My recollection is that the holes for the mounting of the license plate bracket are square where the plastic things pop in to accept the screws.
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Roger Shoaf

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On Wed, 23 Dec 2009 20:41:32 -0800, "Roger Shoaf"

Perhaps the best solution would be to buy the proper licence plate adapter for the current bumper.
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Being the cold of winter, I'd be concerned about the plastic cracking, if you were to drill and then try to force in sheet metal screws.
Can you get behind the bumper? If you can reach up behind, you may be able to drill clear holes, and then use stainless bolt and nut. My part of the world (NY State) they salt the roads to excess, and everything rusts. Which is why I said stainless.
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On Thu, 24 Dec 2009 05:30:58 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

All he needs to do is what the car manufacturer did. Drill two appropriate sized holes to stick the plastic (they won't rust) push pin gizmos into that hold the thing in place. Everyone is trying to turn a simple 10 minute project into a refurbishment of the space shuttle.
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On Thu, 24 Dec 2009 05:30:58 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

All he needs to do is what the car manufacturer did. Drill two appropriate sized holes to stick the plastic (they won't rust) push pin gizmos into that hold the thing in place. Everyone is trying to turn a simple 10 minute project into a refurbishment of the space shuttle.
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On Dec 23, 12:13pm, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

For the meager $$ involved, save yourself the agony and just get what you need from a dealer. Look at the schematic, drawing, whatever, at the parts department while there to see how it all goes together to make sure you get the right fasteners to make it work. It is silly to turn a 10 minute job into a 1 hour exercise to save a few pennies., especially when the probability of success is near zero.
Joe
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Last time I did that for my '94, I paid my $, they ordered from warehouse, I came back and they handed me a '97 Bird part that did not fit. That wasn't the only time.
Local dealer can't even tell from the diagrams they are using. My impression is that Ford is not-at-all worried about supporting parts needs for it's 15 year-old beasties.

True. It didn't size as pennies, 'tho. Traditionally, they want an eyeball and a testicle for any parts that commonly get banged up (front trim, headlite lens, etc). Some parts are no longer available for my '94.
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