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Recently moved to a state that requires front and back license plates. I have a '96 Honda civic (old but good), it did not have a front plate when I bought it. There are four pre-made holes in the front bumper, but no screws. I bought the correct sized screws/nuts and went to install the front plate but found a thick layer of foam(?) blocking me from reaching behind the front bumper and tightening the screws with the corresponding nuts.

I don't think leaving the screws without a nut is a good idea because I'm sure just the movement of driving can cause them to become loose or something. I tried googling how to install front license plates for my specific car but was told the same thing which amounted to drilling holes in my bumper. My issue is that I can't reach behind the bumper regardless. The only solution I can think of is to buy screws a size too big and force them to thread into the existing holes, but I'm hoping there's a better solution?

Update

I shopped around a couple car places for screws. I didn't realize this earlier but at some point the screw is the right size to fit into the hole, but too big to fit through the license plate. I had a guy with a riveter help me out to a degree, we got the screws to thread through the plate and into the plastic lining the hole, but didn't quite "bite" into it snugly enough. Driving didn't bother them but a person could pull them out easily enough. Settled for using heavy-duty zip ties right now. We'll see how long those last!

  • Saying is "old but gold". Not "old but good" ! – rana Nov 12 '15 at 17:21
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    I've installed a plate on a new front bumper, and it had screws larger than the holes that cut threads into the plastic. Not sure if your car has a certain "suggested" method, but screwing into the plastic is quite common. – JPhi1618 Nov 12 '15 at 17:55
  • good to know! i guess i'll pick up a bigger set of screws – Struggling Nov 12 '15 at 18:18
  • @JPhi1618 - That's how I'd suggest doing it ... I'd suggest in this case you should write your method as the answer :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 13 '15 at 0:04
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    You can use a riveter, no need to access the back of the bumper. – I have no idea what I'm doing Nov 13 '15 at 8:03
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The front licence plate bracket on a Civic consists of 3 parts. The first is the part your dealing with. Inside the bumper there should be plates with nuts welded to it. Number 4 in the picture, 2 required. The only way to get at it is to remove the bumper fascia (plastic cover). In a civic this is pretty easy. There are only a hand full of bolts and push pins holding it in place.

The second is a bracket that holds the bottom of the license plate. Number 3 in the picture.

The third is a license plate frame. Number 9 in the picture. enter image description here

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  • my car is definitely missing the bracket, but i'll have to see if it still has parts 4 and 3 – Struggling Nov 13 '15 at 21:13
  • so it turns out my car is missing part 3, no bracket on the front bumper at all. It does have the pre-drilled holes that you can see in the picture. However I have no idea about 4 bc I can't reach back behind the bumper to check. I think my only option (unless i want to invest in a new bracket) is to buy screws big enough to thread into the plastic. – Struggling Nov 17 '15 at 17:04
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Here’s what worked for me (I simply fastened the plate directly to the bumper:

Supplies: ‘license kit’ @ four 1/4” x 5/8” slotted hex screws and four rectangular plastic nuts

  • Drill 2 holes into bumper using 1/2” bit, depth only needs to be about 1/2”
  • snap the plastic ‘nut’ into the holes
  • using slotted hex screws, fasten plate
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