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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Forum members (including myself) have been concerned about drilling the front bumper to mount the front plate. I asked the dealer to not mount the front plate bracket until I figured out an alternative.

I decided to mount it directly to the front mesh grill, although there is some concern about blocking the air flow to the radiator. I monitored the coolant temp during some pretty demanding on-track driving and had no problems with coolant temps. I'll continue to monitor this during the summer here in Utah's desert where air temps regularly are over 110 degrees F.

It's easy to remove the front grill, at least on the SLK55. The 55's mesh is held in place with 6 small clips that capture the wire frame around the mesh insert -- 3 on top and 3 on the bottom. I assume, but do not know for sure that the 350's grill is similarly mounted.

Just make a loop of wire or coat hanger and thread it through and back out of the mesh at one side of the grill and gently pull it out. Better yet, you may want to thread 2 wires through, one near the side and the other near the center and pull them both simultaneously. Then pull off the other side.

You can then mount the factory front plate bracket directly to the mesh with some bolts. You may need to shape the bracket somewhat with a file to fit the contour of the mesh and where it overlaps the bumper, depending on your bumper design.

Just snap the mesh with the mounted plate bracket back into the clips when you are satisfied with the mounting.

Hope this helps.


 

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SLK350 AMG Sport
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334 Posts
Thanks for the posting.

Did your front plate bracket have holes to mount the plate to it? Mine does not have any holes to mount the license plate to the bracket. What type of screws did you use? It looks like you used a frame also, is this true?

Thanks again for sharing. This will look much better than mounting it to the bumper.
 

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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes -- no holes.

Yes, you are correct -- there were no holes in the bracket for the plate. I got some black self-tapping screws from our local ACE Hardware and drilled some appropiately-sized holes in the plastic to mount the plate.

I used an inexpensive thin metal black frame from Checker Auto. Had to use a metal frame that would bend slightly to match the curvature of the plastic bracket.
 

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slk 55
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366 Posts
Hey SLK55er, thanks, did exactly what you said and it looks great...although I broke one of the clips while pulling the grill off...most likely because I pulled one end at a time instead of both ends simultanously as you suggested. Guess I didn't do exactly what you said :) Looks like the grill may be specific to the '55...the part number sticker on the back had an AMG insignia on it.
 

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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
BTW - I have run hard on a racetrack at over 110 degrees F and made it through the summer heat in the desert near Las Vegas and had no overheating problems.
 

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2007 SLK55 AMG
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176 Posts
Thanks slk55er. I'll be picking up my 55 in three weeks :D and have been agonizing over taking the chance of not mounting the front plate. If I decide to put it on, your method looks great and I'll do it that way.
 

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'05 SLK 55
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104 Posts
After two and a half years of no problems without a front plate I managed to get my second ticket in as many months (thank you Fairfax County PD). Well the $25 fine is no big deal, but the $67 processing fee (true highway robery) that goes with it got me so fed up I finally did it. I could not bring myself to drill into the bumper so I took SLK55er's advise and mounted it to the grill. An hour later, a bench grinder (along with a whole bunch of aluminum powder), and four bolts I had a very modified plate mounted to the front of my SLK. I grinded everything that I deamed unneeded off. All that's left is the state name, the actual plate numbers and the stickers on the top. The "celibrate Virginia's 400th aniversery" wound up as powder on my garage floor. If any officer pulls me over again I am going to turn it into a free speach argument, pulling out the native american card (not really) and saying virginia is way more than 400 years old:). Will post some pics later.
 

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2006 SLK 350
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Just curious. Were you moving when you got the ticket or was your car parked? Were you stopped for some other violation or just the missing front plate? I often wondered if a person were approaching a cop car head on whether the cop car would do a u-turn just to give them a ticket. There are SO many cars in my neck of the woods without front license plates that the cops would have a field day if they seriously wanted to cite anyone. I've been meaning to check out what our fines are for the missing front plate. May be worth it if it's only $25.00 (and no processing fee) because the SLK (and most other cars) look so much better without the plate.
 

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'05 SLK 55
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104 Posts
A grinder will work wonders

Well, after my last ticket I bit the bullet and mounted the front plate using SLK55ers advice. Worked like a charm. I ended up having to take a grinder to the bottom part of the plate to shave off about 3 inches. Then drilled two more holes to mount it in the grill with 4 bolts. It does not look great, but it is really not very noticable and most important it saves me from getting any more tickets (plus I did not have to drill into the bumper or make any perminate modifications to the car). Here are some pics to show you how it looks.
 

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05 slk350, 02 maxima, 02 accord, 99 expedition, 95 eclipse
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142 Posts
Man your all just a bunch of rookies, this is what I do. I carry a broken, run over front plate (doesn't even belong to a mercedes) in my trunk with my front plate. The reason why is just in case I get pulled over for not having my front plate. When I do get pulled over this is my story "my front plate fell off while I was driving. I do have my plate in my trunk." now option 1 depends on your location and the location of your mdz dealer. If you're close to or heading in the direction of the dealer just let them know you on your way to the dealer to order a new one and you can show them the broken one, so they know you aint lying. Second option which depends on what time of day and works on the weekend cause the mdz are closed. You use the same story you just let them know that the mdz is closed on weekends, so you won't be able to order your plate from the dealer until the next business day.

This worked in my previous cars and I haven't had to use it with slk so far but as you can see I'm prepared.

It also helps if you run over your actual plate, looks more convincing if it looks like it was damaged some how.
 

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'05 SLK 55
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104 Posts
Oh, I tried every excuse in the book, including I used to be a cop (true). Fairfax County PD don't care. They get points for writing the ticket, even if it gets tossed out in court. For that trick to work for me, I would have to take the morning off to go fight it in court (my time is worth more than the price of the ticket).
 

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SLK350 (Wife's car)
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135 Posts
I personally wouldn't be happy with the number plate being in the way of the airflow to the radiator. The airflow may be sufficient in most driving conditions but surely on a fairly hot day climbing a very steep hill the plate could be an obstruction to the air intake for the radiator causing overheating.

Is it worth the risk?
 

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2005 C230K Sport Coupe 6-speed! And now a 2011 GLK 350 4Matic in Palladium Silver!
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1,122 Posts
tnsr35, what will happen when you run out of new cops? Driving an SLK stands out alot more than your average car. Once a cop pulls you over, he will remember you.
 

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05 slk350, 02 maxima, 02 accord, 99 expedition, 95 eclipse
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142 Posts
whosdis, so far I haven't gotten pulled over with the slk. I've even gone through check points and they don't tell me anything about my front license plate.

But base on my other cars it has worked. In fact I got pulled over once in the same day by like 5 minutes apart with my eclipse and both cops let me go. All they usually tell me is get it fixed asap.
 

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350slk 2005
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195 Posts
is it ok to put the front plate on the dashboard inside the car?
is this legal, as long as it can be visible front the front. Thanks.
 

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2006 SLK 350
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1,614 Posts
is it ok to put the front plate on the dashboard inside the car?
is this legal, as long as it can be visible front the front. Thanks.
I suppose it varies from state-to-state, but from things I've heard/read, putting a plate on the dashboard is better than nothing. You might also think about having a good excuse, like: "The license plate mount is broken and I haven't had a chance to get a new one." In most cases, the officer will probably just give you a courtesy warning (and perhaps a small fine. In my state, it's $10.00) and insist that the plate be mounted on the front bumper in the near future. Hopefully, you won't get stopped for the same infraction because it would be hard to explain why the plate is still on the dashboard.

I've always thought that putting a license plate in the front windshield looked a bit "tacky," especially on a fine sports car. If it were me, I'd put the plate under the front seat or behind the seats, so that it was readily accessible if the officer asked for it.
 

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AMG Forums Moderator
SLK55 (2006) C36 (1995)
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3,288 Posts
is it ok to put the front plate on the dashboard inside the car?
is this legal, as long as it can be visible front the front. Thanks.
In Cali, putting the front plate in the dash is legally the same as not having one at all, and depending on cop to cop, it could be worse as they will ticket you for 'no front plate' and for 'blocking vision'.

Plus if you get in an accident it's nice and sharp....AND the cameras will STILL see it...

Not to mention the front plate in windscreen thing is more for civics et al.
 

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AMG Forums Moderator
SLK55 (2006) C36 (1995)
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3,288 Posts
Can we trim the plate itself widthwise to fi into the width of the grill?
any advised? Thanks
legally no, but i've trimmed both rear and front plates before and not been stopped.
 
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