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Discussion Starter #1
...CA.

My GF got a $114 fix-it ticket yesterday.

The car is newly registered in CA and came from a state that didn't require it, so she doesn't have a mount. There are small holes in the bumper already.

1. Does anyone have an extra front mounting bracket laying around they want to get rid of?

2. If not, what the best source besides a dealer for an OEM fit.


I've been looking at a few on EBay, but it is really hard to tell how it is going to fit the existing holes. Also, there is a curvature to the front ML500 06' bumper that might not work unless its OEM shape.

Appreciate any help you might have!

Mercedes Front License Plate Bracket W164 ML350 ML500 | eBay

MERCEDES-BENZ FRONT LICENSE PLATE HOLDER + CHROME FRAME tag bracket mount bumper | eBay



 

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2007 ML 320 CDI
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Boy the price of a fix it sure has gone up. I got the same one about 15 years ago and it was $10.

The mount fits the curve of the bumper. As I recall there are a couple of hooks and the two screw holes. i didn't want to drill mine so I used tie wraps to attach it to the grill. Hasn't fallen off yet.
 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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I think the first one listed is the one you have to have. The chrome second one is optional eye candy to be mounted on the first.

You did check the spare tire compartment? Thats where they generally ship the front plate mount bracket and it will still be there unless a P.O. removed it. Not much point in removing it because there isn't much else one could store there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the first one listed is the one you have to have. The chrome second one is optional eye candy to be mounted on the first.

You did check the spare tire compartment? Thats where they generally ship the front plate mount bracket and it will still be there unless a P.O. removed it. Not much point in removing it because there isn't much else one could store there.
Thanks N4HHE.

No bracket in the spare tire area. I emailed the ebay seller and assures it will fit. It doesn't come with screws, so that will be the next step. But he said they can be easily bought at a hardware store. I know I know, I've heard that one before. Always tough to know exactly what diameter and length of screw will fit properly. Especially to match the existing bumper holes.

I'll report back when I get the bracket and post some photos for others.
 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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For other brands it is pretty easy to find the official parts diagrams online. Only way I know is from a Russian site through Google Translate: 2008 ML320 CDI Front Bumper where it says number 520 is a 4.8x19 sheet metal screw, qty 2. You also need (4) 5x12 screws to mount the plate to the bracket.

Fastenal (thats a link) says the sheet metal screws are $18 for a box of 100 but they don't seem to have store stock anywhere in the USA.

Seriously, you shouldn't have any trouble getting a 4.8 x 19 sheet metal screw. Worst come to worst, go to your M-B dealer. Or use an inch sized screw. You'll get dinged in concours competition but nobody else would know.
 

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2019 X350d, 2017 GLE500e, 2012 ML350BT (sold), 2013 A200 Exclusive(sold), 2009 ML350CDI(sold)
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4.8 x19 is an inch sized screw = 3/16 x 3/4 or #10 x 3/4 if you prefer.

I expect you can get a grab kit from your local $2 shop or hardware store, which will have all relevant sizes needed. Most will already have this on the bench already, just a matter of finding them!
 

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2008 ML320CDI Iridium Silver/Black, NAV, P2 pkg, Sirius, Harmon Kardon. Active Bi-Xenon
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478 Posts
Free site, same as dealers use. Just need credit card for verification

EPC-net Online
 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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Free site, same as dealers use. Just need credit card for verification

EPC-net Online
Thanks! I had not looked past the sign-on/subscribe before to see the details at Why Subscribe? where it says, "Price: For USA models, the EPCnet is offered at no charge."

Had filed that site away for future research into replacing my shock absorbers. I think they are shot (former F-250 rode better, current Prius rides better) but the shocks are not leaking and the dealer doesn't seem interested in pursuing warranty. And I'm not that sure I want another set of the same that failed so soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey guys, I just wanted to report back. I got the license plate bracket off EBAY and it works excellent. $16.90 shipped vs. $80 at the dealer.

Also, the screws you recommended worked well on the existing bumper holes.

I had a hard time securing the plate to the bracket, because then it would block the screw to attach to the bumper. So I opted to install one screw, rotate the plate, affix the bracket to the bumper. Then use magic fingers to reach the back of the plate to finish the last 3 screws. I think I can get some better hardware down the road, but it is good enough for now and no more stupid tickets! Looks to be a $25 fit it ticket if when said and done.

Anyhow, highly recommend this bracket and seller. he shipped fast and it fits ML500 perfect: Mercedes Front License Plate Bracket W164 ML350 ML500 | eBay





 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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I had a hard time securing the plate to the bracket, because then it would block the screw to attach to the bumper. So I opted to install one screw, rotate the plate, affix the bracket to the bumper. Then use magic fingers to reach the back of the plate to finish the last 3 screws. I think I can get some better hardware down the road, but it is good enough for now and no more stupid tickets! Looks to be a $25 fit it ticket if when said and done.
I don't understand your difficulty in mounting the plate. Sounds like you used machine screws with nuts? Looking at the pictures there is extra depth to the plastic casting where the plate screws go. That is done to provide material for self-tapping screws to bite in to.

The genuine article probably has brass nutserts in the plastic to provide threads for the 5x12 machine screws. Machine screws can cut threads in plastic good enough to hold a license plate as long as the screw is enough bigger than the hole its cutting threads into.

You can buy blind nuts in many different styles. A self-cinching blind nut can be inserted from the outside then when the screw is tightened the backside crushes and cinches the panel. For plastic such as this you should put a washer on the backside else it will probably pull through. A disadvantage is that it wouldn't be flush on the outside.

But for a one-off solution like this I'd simply glue nuts on the backside. Take the bracket off. Screw the plate on. Glue the nuts. Take the plate off and put the bracket on, then the plate back on. Use epoxy. JB Weld or most anything will hold the nuts on long enough to install the plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh you are so correct N4HHE.

I should have just used self-tapping screws or any screw that would bite into the plastic. There were no directions other than the stock screw suggestions by others. I took it to the hardware store, where the guy walked me into 4 bolts and 4 nuts. I insisted on washers to make it stronger. Seemed easy at the time, until we got out to the street to assemble it and realized there is no room to get your finger behind there to attached (or even hold) the nuts stable. Luckily we made it work with what we had.

I think I will pull the plate off and use screws instead or glue the nuts to the back. I'm just a little worried the nuts would rip loose when I screw in the bolts slowly.

But, I really appreciate your insight on this. I was in left field apparently.

I'll post pics when it get done for others.
 
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