20

License Plate

By
q20v
1340

Rear License Plate

Jul 11th 2014
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Sean reported difficulties with the rear license plate mount. More specifically, the blind threads in the bracket had rusted leaving little to work with. He ended up McGuivering a fastener system which worked, but I'll try and bring it back to OEM with a new plate mount (if I can find one).

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Blake, I was talking about the threads of the plastic mount, not the ones in the trunk - q20v July 13th 2014
I'll have to make a trip out to Kemptville in the next few weeks. It will also be good to see the new garage! - q20v July 13th 2014
Don't forget, I have all the trim and innards for the trunk lid! - booneylander July 13th 2014
Your license plate work has always amazed me! But which one are you referring to as the blind threads? the ones that hold the plate holder on? - ripcurl July 12th 2014

This is one of those little projects that you think will take 15-20 minutes, but end up taking about 5 hours. Once everything was disassembled, as above, I figured I'd install the new lights in the housing and bolt that to the car. Done... Wrong.

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Rust

There was a bit of surface rust starting behind the licence plate and light mount. I could have easily installed the new parts and forgotten about the rust, but I knew it would come back to haunt me.

There was rust around the square holes where the light wires pass through the trunk lid, and small bubbles starting in various locations. I scraped at the bubbles with a screw driver and then hit them with a wire wheel. I wire wheeled the rust around the square holes as well. Keep in mind this is like a person with an Outdoor Ed degree trying to perform open heart surgery. I suck at body work.

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After masking the area, I sprayed everything with Primer and then VHT Caliper paint. I heard they use that stuff on the space shuttle, so it should be good enough for an Audi trunk lid.

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I ordered new light assemblies from ECS Tuning. These mount into the light bracket (pic 2), which then mounts to the trunk lid.

We are talking about small hardware here, so it makes sense to have someone with small hands do the work. Myah and Sarah are always willing to help, so they went to work. Sarah mostly just pushed her stool around the garage.

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I thought I was home free at this point. Just slap this assembly onto the car and plug in the lights.

The connectors on the car were rotted and wouldn't work, no matter how much contact cleaner I applied. Pic 2 shows the car and light connectors.

Pic 3 is a 2-pin weather proof connector I happen to have kicking around. I used 2 of these to replace both connectors for the car and lights.

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Strip your wires, crimp the connector end on and solder, and install the plastic housing. Repeat for both sides of the car, and for each light.

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Now we have light and no more rust! The plate bracket covers almost all of the black paint. About 1/8" is visible on the sides.

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LEDzzz have been ordered. And no, I didn't mask the rubber. - q20v October 24th 2014
no ledz yo!??! :P did you mask off the rubber before painting! man, you're detailed. - ripcurl October 6th 2014

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With the car now mobile, the girls can finally play in the garage again.

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