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Old 11-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! I can't remove my license plate...

PO must have used loctite on his threads. One stud broke off during removal.

Despite grabbing stud with a pliers and trying to force out screw, it just spins.
Have used snips to cut away as much of old plate as possible.

Can I easily remove stud by removing trim panel? Some of plastic snaps on wagon door are recessed - look tough to get at.

Any advice is appreciated
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wouldn't be anything new if PO would use SAE bolts on metric car
Drilling the bolt head off and than trying to remove the rest with vise grip would be a good start.
This is not an easy task and sounds like you already lost some threaded studs.
Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cut out the old plate by using metal cutter. Grab the base where the screw seated. Then grab the screw to loose the bolt, that will work before you should cut the bolt head. I think Kaj is right, wrong SEA screws and you have already loosen the base. I do not think the PO will use locite to seal the screw. You can retap the threads after the screws are removed.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just went through this. The screw fuses to the nut in the wagon lid. I had to loosen the inner liner of the tailgate and try to reach in to grab the integrated "nut". I think it was 7mm or so. Long story short in the end I did not get the screws out You need two people one to hold the inside wrench and somebody on a ladder to turn the screws!
I soaked it some penetrating oil and left it for another day!
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd grind the heads off the screws instead of damaging the plate, replacements are expensive (unless of course you already have new ones). The studs are swaged in place, if they already started to spin you may be able to reseat them but you'll have to get the screws out. You can buy new ones at the stealer and that is easier than retapping them, at least IMHO.

FWIW I had one like that when I bought my car, too. Why people don't think about it instead of just jamming a screw in and keep on crankin', I sure don't know. Morons, I suppose.

Good luck and congrats on the new ride, Andrew.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One advise after getting the screws out -do yourself a favor and buy stainless steel screws.
Home Depot has some selection, while I have big ACE story in the county that specialized in industrial/marine stuff with big selection.
I buy SS bolts for looks, since corrosion in my neighborhood is non-existent.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What you really need is to coat the threads with some never seize grease.
Due to the bimetallic corrosion between the different types of metals involved.

Last edited by E320Estate; 11-14-2009 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E320Estate View Post
What you really need is to coat the threads with some never seize grease.
Do to the bimetallic corrosion between the different types of metals involved.
Have to agree with E320 Estate, it's the bimetalic corrosion - I mistaked the white corrosion for loctite. I have tried grabbing the stud with visegrips and the screw just turns round and round without coming out. The stud is already loose and spinning.

Guess I'm taking off the interior trim to remove stud?

This type of stuff is so annoying when you're used to a W126....
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew_falky View Post
Have to agree with E320 Estate, it's the bimetalic corrosion - I mistaked the white corrosion for loctite. I have tried grabbing the stud with visegrips and the screw just turns round and round without coming out. The stud is already loose and spinning.

Guess I'm taking off the interior trim to remove stud?

This type of stuff is so annoying when you're used to a W126....
Well, the 210 did steal the election from the 126, that darn supreme court...oh, sorry, thought we were in OT for a minute.

I wouldn't pull the interior trim until you have a new stud to install...unless you plan on leaving it torn apart. I suppose you can try to re-swage it, but you'll still have to get the screw out. BTW, there isn't anything on the inside you can grab, it looks more like a rivet than anything else. It just has this little shoulder of metal on the inside that is swaged out to hold the stud in.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, the 210 did steal the election from the 126, that darn supreme court...oh, sorry, thought we were in OT for a minute.

I wouldn't pull the interior trim until you have a new stud to install...unless you plan on leaving it torn apart. I suppose you can try to re-swage it, but you'll still have to get the screw out. BTW, there isn't anything on the inside you can grab, it looks more like a rivet than anything else. It just has this little shoulder of metal on the inside that is swaged out to hold the stud in.
Do I have to swage the new stud/rivet in? Was never able to swage the rivet in my 126's window regulator and can't see this being too much easier. If I can rest the stud on an anvil I'm sure I could do it.. but while it's attached to the car I don't know...
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