Subject: Front License Plate Filler Strip
Back in May, my '97 318ti Sport came with the typical front trim strip with
the BMW lettering on it. Connecticut being a two plate state, I asked for the
front license plate trim strip and associated hardware. In Connecticut some
cars (not sure of the criteria) are legal driving without a front plate. My
dealer, and in the future others, claimed there was no such thing. Not true.
After a post to the digest, I received many conflicting responses (all
correct in there way). Craig Wiswell furnished the number for the non
lettered trim strip. I gave Craigs numbers to my dealer.
Today, five months
later, I picked up the parts (at no charge) from my dealer. In the meantime,
I decided not to mount them. After looking at the pieces, the following
describes several ways to go about mounting the front plate. These are the
ways I didn't do it. Feel free to do it your way.
Here we go.
Parts, depending on which way you elect to go.
Buffer strip (stock) 51 11 2 265 636 you have this item
1 each Buffer strip (non-lettered) 51 11 2 265 632 $20.25 retail
1 each Plate holder (metal) 51 18 1 908 062 $17.75 retail
6 each Screw 51 18 1 821 830 $ 0.30 retail each
2 each Insert nut 51 18 1 852 299 $ 0.25 retail each
4 each Body nut 07-12-9-925-735 $ 0.15 retail each
Quick and dirty (cheap). Remove (it just pulls out) the stock trim strip.
Look at the back side of it. Cut out (I would use a hole saw) the marked
~9/16" holes that are ~ 7" apart. Reinstall the strip and mark the hole
center points on the air dam. Remove the strip. Drill 8mm holes and push in
the insert nuts. Reinstall (make sure you center) the strip. Mount the plate
with two of the above screws.
This is how I would do it. The lettering of the stock strip makes the plate
stick out slightly more. This is an advantage if you are using a plate holder
(chrome or black) frame piece. Remove (it just pulls out) the stock trim
strip. Look at the back side of it. Cut out (I would use a hole saw) the
marked ~1 1/8" holes that are ~ 9 1/8" apart. Reinstall (make sure you
center) the strip. Install four body nuts on the metal plate holder. Mount
this to the trim strip holes. The body nuts for this were present on my car.
Puncture the trim strip through the top two plate mounting holes with a
pointed tool to accommodate the upper license plate mounting screws. Mount
the plate. I would use a four hole black Mercedes-Benz frame part # Q 6 88
0007 $21.00 retail. The same item in polished stainless steel is Q 6 88 0005
$27.00 retail. Although the BMW accessory catalog shows the four hole version
of the same items, only the two hole versions are available. Neither the MB
or BMW ones come with the lexon protector common with aftermarket sellers,
such as AutoSport.
Same as method two using the non-lettered trim strip. This strip comes with
the 1 1/8" holes already cut out.
Thanks go to all that helped in the above. Since I did not actually do any of
the above the following note may apply, if you run in to problems. One mark
of a craftsman is his ability to recover from a screwup.
Ron_at_unofficialbmw.com, FLI BMW, FLY BMW, Marlborough, CT
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