License plate screw removal-anchor is spinning - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 10:43 AM
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License plate screw removal-anchor is spinning

Does anyone know the best way to remove a seized license plate screw...One rear screw is stuck in it and I cannot get it out. The anchor just spins around.
Also what is the correct size/pitch of screw to go in those holes?
I know it would have to most likely be metric in maybe a 5 or 6 mm.
The holes look a little rough anyway, like the prev. owner just made something fit that was sae and not metric. I kinda want to put my plates on and drive this thing...lol
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 11:03 AM
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Cut the old plate away to give you access to the bung or whatever it is called, spray with PB blaster to try and loosen things, then grab the bung around the outside with channel locks and try to unscrew the screws? You could also pull out the trunk liner to see if you can access things from the backside or look up from below the car to see if you can access things from there.
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 12:27 PM
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old plate is off....prev owner just pulled it over the one he could not get out. The one was only ever put in half way and is prob. the wrong thread pitch, as it is jammed in very tightly. I have already tried channel locks and lube, but it is hard to get a hold of just the anchor and not the screw as well.
i will keep working on it...I know this is common on imports as they use an actual finely threaded screw and metal anchor, instead of domestics which use a coarse threaded/self tapping screw and plastic anchors
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 08:24 PM
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grab either the outside collor or inside with vice grips, then take a drill bit and just drill the outer head off of the nut zert. dont drill all the way through the panel. The zert will come out the back side of the panel. Then just replace it, but you will need a rivet gun designed for nut zerts. I'm guessing, but I think they are 5mm. If you are lucky the auto parts stores will have the zerts, or it may be easier to just go to a body shop and ask them if they will sell you the proper one. You can also install the zerts by using a long bolt with a nut and washer. thread the nut onto the bolt, then install the washer then thread the assembly onto the nut zert. Put the nut zert into the hole, hold the bolt head then tighten the nut onto the zert until it is solid tight against the panel. Put new bolts in for your plate, but put some anti seaze on them so they dont rust and stick themselves to the zert again.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:22 PM
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Thanks for the info....Got in to it from the back and was able to remove the entire anchor...now off to the dealer to get a new one, and prob some spares too.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 09:52 PM
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same problem

Did you just pull the trunk lining bacK? i have the same problem (bought car from merc dealership) but was able to get enough screws in to hold but one will not go all the way in and i am bout to sell it. great post..
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 09:16 AM
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ARGH!

George already said it, but,

This bugs the poo out of me as there are proper fasteners provided by MB for license plate attachment.

Salesmen and used dealers are the biggest culprits.

Those little threadserts are replaceable, and available at the dealer. I have replaced a few. Use sharp flush cutting side cutters to remove the metal from the back of the insert. Now the insert can be pushed out the front (license plate side). I use the proper thread bolt and a few washers. Lube the washers so they can spin. You have to compress the insert (think pop rivet) to get it to stay in. The hard part is it wants to spin when you tighten the bolt. I hold the insert from the back by gently gripping the back of the insert with pliers. Be careful as they are SOFT aluminum. Nor you can use the proper metric threaded stainless fasteners.

There is a proper tool to install these inserts, the dealer should have it, if you wish to have it done.

Last edited by nhmercracer; 09-29-2010 at 09:39 AM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 12:01 PM
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I would point out also, that if you take the time to get it out yourself, any proper body shop will have the right insert and the proper tool to put it in, and will probably not even charge you anything to do it. I know that ours wouldnt.
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 01:46 PM
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I would drop a tip ($) on the tech for a freebie like that.
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 10:09 PM
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I got mine out the same way nhmercracer was recommending....side cutters easily cut away the aluminum insert..
I just removed the 4 trim panel retainer pins (2 on each side/corner) and was able to access the back side of the plate area. I just but a nut and bolt in there for now, but will be going to the mb dealer to get the right stuff..

Any idea what size/type of fasteners are used for the front plate...
I found 5mm bolts work fine in the back, but they didnt seem to work in the front. I did not want to force anything into the front because it was plastic and could be damaged beyond repair..

I did find some small bags the owners have left in the armrest, 1 bag has some kind of mat hold down clips in it, and 1 has 4 screws in it that say "registration plate fasteners"...but they are very small screws and I did not want to use them for that. I guess I will go see what my local dealer has...if i can ever get there during business hours.
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