I decided it's time I put on CloudKiller's front license plate. Instead of drilling or gluing the factory mount, making my mounting decisions irreversibly permanent, I ordered The Platypus License Plate Mount, from @CravenSpeed.
Installation is easy
- pop off the tow hook cover
- screw in the extension
- attach the riser to ensure the license plate clears the sensors
- attach the license plate frame to the riser
Total time to install, around 10 minutes.
There is a sensor wire zip-tied to the back of the tow hook cover. The cover will pop-off when prying from the left-hand side. Don't force it out; it will come off and out gently if you let it. While I wouldn't classify this as risky or invasive, you do need to be careful when freeing the cover, so you don't unintentionally damage the wiring.
With the tow hook cover removed, I detached the sensor wire from the back of the cover by snipping the zip-tie. With the wiring free from the cover taped the metal connector and tucked it back into the porthole.
After the installation was complete, I got to thinking that water or other debris could penetrate the bumper in a way it couldn't before; that got me worried. My brain began racing, fixated on all the things that could go wrong, which brought me down a dark path of overthinking everything.
While I'm sure everything would have been fine, I wasn't willing to leave well enough alone. I needed to do something to stop water from getting into this now open hole.
As my mind raced around the track of insanity, I made a pit-stop along fragile psyche row. It was here where I begin going crazy over all the ways this new license plate frame could flex, resulting in a scratch to the bumper. After several minutes into my OCD nightmare, I realized this too would need to be addressed.
More doing, at the Home Depot
A quick measurement revealed the tow hook cover is about the same size as an 11/2" IPS pipe which is something I knew I could work with.
Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to be a plumber
I ran to Home Depot and bought an 11/2" Fernco cap. Because Fernco caps are rubber, and weather-resistant, I knew I could fashion it into a grommet which was going to fit the porthole nearly perfectly.
I drilled a 3/8" hole into the cap, slightly off-center, using a paddle bit. I used a paddle bit because I knew it would penetrate the rubber, creating a contoured hole which would easily fit around the hex tow hook extension.
I then used an X-Acto knife to shave some of the cap sidewall off, near side of the hole; this contour helped the cap fit the shape of the bumper.
This simple solution covers the porthole, making it hard, if not impossible, for water or other debris to penetrate the opening. With the cap ready, I pressed it over the hex extensions and reassembled the license plate holder. After inspecting the installation, I concluded that this simple DIY grommet is likely a better seal than the original cover, so my mind was put at ease.
As mentioned, I was also worried about the license plate flexing due to wind, car washes, someone touching it, etc. Because the license plate is so close the bumper, it could cause scratches if the frame flexed about half an inch. To be fair to Craven Speed and the Platypus, the cast license plate frame is very sturdy, and unlikely to flex, unless someone kicked it. Sadly, covered in this post, I have issues and needed to do something about a potential flex.
While I was at @HomeDepot buying my Fernco, I also bought clear rubber stoppers with self-adhesive. To attach the rubber stoppers, I cleaned the license plate frame with rubbing alcohol, let it dry, and then set the stoppers on the side of the frame closest to the bumper.
As you can see, if the plate were to flex the rubber stoppers would make sure there's no metal to paint contact, which lets me sleep better at night.
Here's the final product
The Platypus looks great a fulfills my need to add a front license plate to the CloudKiller. Thanks, @CravenSpeed for making a great product, and @Tesla (@elonmusk) for making a customizable, fantastic, fun to drive, car.
The Platypus License Plate Mount is a lovely, well-built product, albeit incomplete and a little on the expensive side. If Craven Speed produced a grommet to cover the tow hook porthole and threw a couple of rubber stoppers in the box, it would be perfect.
I'm not saying that Craven Speed should give away free grommets with the Platypus, but they should manufacture one and sell it as an optional accessory. With the Platypus being a multi-functional license plate mount which is compatible with many vehicles, I believe there's a need for a "one-size-fits-all" grommet. An optional grommet would provide peace of mind to those individuals who overthink things. It would also make an already excellent license plate frame even better.
All that said, I'm super happy with my purchase, and think this is an attractive solution to mounting a front license plate. The installation is simple and doesn't require maiming the bumper. If you have a car and are need a front license plate mount, consider picking up The Platypus License Plate Mount; you'll be happy you did.