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Q: are those solid pieces?
As above, 50% infill (honeycomb)...

The upright supports would be fine at 25% I'm sure but I want the mounts to be pretty solid...
 
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UPDATE: Great News!

My dealer just got back to me... (They have been very supportive of this project, Ask for Jeff @ Porsche Waukesha)!

Anyway, the trim panel is pretty simple to remove. No Tools required. Just get your fingers between the bumper and the upper lip and pull down firmly. Once you pop it down you can then pull it forward and out from the bottom. (...and the panel is only about $102 if you somehow mess this up!)

The really good news is, not only is this simple to remove, but that it also has a smooth surface on the back side! This will make it very easy and secure to screw in our little plate mounts from behind the panel!

Trim Panel Frontjpg.jpg
Trim Panel Rear.jpg


I'm going to get started on reworking the design of my mounts so they can easily accept a couple of screws from behind. I'm also going to make a variant of the mount(s) which can be used to precisely align the associated drill holes.

I'm not planning on any changes to the supports, so if you are thinking of printing those, there should be no reason for them to change.
 

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Darn nice of you to share your work w/all but.........sorry, gota ask, in WI you need a front plate?
I've owned/driven Pcars in WI for 30 years......never put a front plate on.
I'm here in Mad-town but my cars are driven all over the state.
Side.jpg



Like many folks here on the forum, I wanted a way to temporarily mount my Front License Plate "when needed". I certainly don't want to drill holes in my front bumper to mount a plate. I am also not a fan of the tow hook plate mounts (I have this for my M4). I think they look pretty clunky and non-symetrical on the vehicle. So, here were my design goals:

1. A Removable License Plate mount
2. Easily/Quickly removable/installable requiring no special tools or process
3. Mounts on vehicle centerline in basically the same place as the Porsche mount.
4. No permanent changes to vehicle if possible. Minimal, otherwise.
5. Unobtrusive when removed.
6. Will not interfere with vehicle cameras or sensors.
7. Solid and Structurally sound when installed (even at "Autobahn" speeds).
8. Will not scratch or damage the vehicle when installed
9. Capable of supporting a license plate transponder (EZPASS) as well as the license plate itself.
10. 3D Printable and requiring no special attachment hardware.
11. *** VHB Mountable Variant for more permanent VHB tape (removable) attachment (also without drilling any holes).

After spending several days with a contour gauge, digitizer, and digital angle gauge/protractor ... and a bunch of test prints and tweaks along the way, I have something I am very happy with! I am providing the 3D Print Files at the end of this message if anyone else would like to take advantage of this design. Here are some photos and notes:

Here are the four basic pieces which make up the mount. The mount consists of 2 mounting blocks (left/right) and two upright supports (left/right). The vehicle requires a different left/right pieces as the bumper is raked a bit to either side as it wraps around the vehicle. (At the point the supports get installed, it is raked approximately 3.2 degrees back on each side). So, the "mounts" and the "supports" both have compound curves to accommodate the flow of the bumper:

ou will note that the mounts and supports have six hexagonal recesses in them to perfectly accommodate (and hold) a 1/4-20 stainless nut. I put a small bead of black plastic epoxy behind each nut after I firmly seated them. This will simply keep the nut from backing away from the front of each hole when they are not tightened down (plate dismounted).:



(Although I prefer metric fasteners, I used SAE bolt sizes since I have a very complete assortment of 1/4-20 black and stainless bolts and nuts. I expect 6mm hardware will fit as well)



The next thing I did was to put an adhesive backed fuzzy strip of Velcro on the back of each support. I then trimmed the sides of these strips with a razor knife so they fit the supports perfectly. I specifically sized the mounts to have about 1mm of distance between the support and the bumper when mounted (without the fuzzy Velcro). So, adding the soft Velcro strip fills this gap and provides a nice soft surface between the support and the bumper.



Also, the precise fit of the support w/Velcro provides a smooth contact area for the plate to push straight back on when at speed. This ensures very little torsional loading on the actual mounts attached under the bumper. Basically, at highway speeds, the plate would effectively stay in place without any mounts at all!

So, here is my car with no front plate or mounts installed at all (for reference):



...and here is my car with just the little mounting blocks installed. You will note that they coexist nicely with the front camera and a few other items in that little grill area. If you didn't know they were added, you would probably never notice them.



...and a close up of the mounts as installed:



Here is the vehicle with the Removable Plate installed. Note that it only takes two screws and a screwdriver to mount the plate!



A close up side view to show the fitment:



..and here is the Porsche Bracket temporarily (green Tape) mounted (for comparison):



Although you can mount your license plate directly to the supports, I also decided to laser cut a piece of 1/8 inch black acrylic to use as a backing plate to increase rigidity. While I was at it, I cut an alignment tool to help ensure the mounting blocks were perfectly centered. The tool uses the same ridges on the grill for alignment as does the Porsche front plate mount:



If you are going to print these yourself, I would note the following: Print them with ABS, as PLA is not intended to stand up to direct sunlight (it will "migrate") ...and the following installation tip: Use the alignment tool (or empty supports) to manually position the blocks when you attach them to the black plastic grill. Don't try and attach them using the supports and a plate pre-mounted. If you don't get the plate perfectly mounted to your supports then you risk not having the mounting blocks optimally seated. Seat the blocks first. The holes in the US License plates are actually a little larger than 1/4 inch so there will be a bit of play in the plate to align it AFTER the blocks are firmly attached. Get the blocks firmly seated and attached in the proper location first (use the alignment tool) - then worry about the supports and plate later.

UPDATE: See Notes in posting BELOW for updated adhesive recommendations. As far as adhesive goes, I was initially going to use silicone. Silicone provides a pretty good "stick" and can generally be removed later without damage to the surface. Since the design of the supports hug the bumper profile nicely, there is very torsion on the mount and most of the force would be straight back. This incurs very little "challenge" to the adhesive. That being said, I decided to use a more permanent "plastic epoxy" since the little mounting blocks ended up being so unobtrusive when installed. IOW: I don't think I would ever need to remove the little mounting blocks so I decided to go with a more permanent, robust, adhesive: https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-84145-Permapoxy-Black-Plastic/dp/B00THUUVSU

Since I went through all the work to get the compound curves of the bumper laid down, and the design already has a 1mm gap to accommodate the fuzzy Velcro, it was a quick step to modify the supports to accept VHB tape for folks who want a more permanent plate attachment solution (instead of the Porsche bracket which requires drilling). The VHB tape essentially fills the same gap as the fuzzy Velcro so the support dimensions are basically the same. VHB Tape holds very well and is generally removable as it can be slowly (and CAREFULLY) peeled away from a surface without any damage. The VHB supports are also a bit shorter as they don't require attachment to any mounting blocks. So, if you want to try a "VHB Tape" mount, I have also included those print files as well. NOTE That virtually NOTHING sticks to a Ceramic Coating, so if you want to try a VHB Tape mount be sure a buff the coating away first if you have it (then reapply after attaching the supports). VHB should stick fine to naked PPF though...

I have attached the following set of files:

1. 3D Print Files (STL) for the mounts and supports

2. Optional Laser Cut Files (DWG, DXF) for Plate Bracket and Alignment Tool

3. 3D Print Files (STL) for the shorter VHB Mountable support variant

If anyone has any questions about the design, or desires more detailed installation information, please let me know. If you print and use this design please also let us know. Suggestions are also appreciated!

Update: I'm curious how well the epoxy will stick to the little black grill under the bumper. (If its made of polyethelyene then I might need to try a different adhesive). My epoxy is currently curing and I should be able to get a better idea of its relative holding capacity sometime tomorrow.
 
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Darn nice of you to share your work w/all but.........sorry, gota ask, in WI you need a front plate?
I've owned/driven Pcars in WI for 30 years......never put a front plate on.
I'm here in Mad-town but my cars are driven all over the state.
Side.jpg
Yes, Wisconsin "requires" a front plate. However, I don't have one on my M4 or my i8 and I've never had any issues - but I always keep the "spare" plate and mount in my trunk just in case...

https://www.greenbaypressgazette.co...07/20/yes-must-front-license-plate/103827750/
 
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UPDATE: (For those who have been following along...)

I've finished the new mounts. Tweaked the fit and worked in a hole to accept a screw (w/washer) from behind the panel. I printed one test mount (without any holes) and I'm really happy with the new fit and alignment! There is even a little lip on the mount which now snaps over the lip on the trim panel.

I'm currently in process of printing the final version of my new mounts. They should be done in about 6 hours. I expect I will be able to confirm the new mount design tomorrow morning!
 

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UPDATE: Great News!

My dealer just got back to me... (They have been very supportive of this project, Ask for Jeff @ Porsche Waukesha)!

Anyway, the trim panel is pretty simple to remove. No Tools required. Just get your fingers between the bumper and the upper lip and pull down firmly. Once you pop it down you can then pull it forward and out from the bottom. (...and the panel is only about $102 if you somehow mess this up!)

The really good news is, not only is this simple to remove, but that it also has a smooth surface on the back side! This will make it very easy and secure to screw in our little plate mounts from behind the panel!

Trim Panel Frontjpg.jpg
Trim Panel Rear.jpg


I'm going to get started on reworking the design of my mounts so they can easily accept a couple of screws from behind. I'm also going to make a variant of the mount(s) which can be used to precisely align the associated drill holes.

I'm not planning on any changes to the supports, so if you are thinking of printing those, there should be no reason for them to change.
Very interesting. Could you please share the part #?
 
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Very interesting. Could you please share the part #?
The part number is going to be different depending on what options (Night Vision, InnoDrive, etc) your car is equipped with. The part number on the trim panel for my car (fully optioned) is "9J1807823L OK1"
 

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The part number is going to be different depending on what options (Night Vision, InnoDrive, etc) your car is equipped with. The part number on the trim panel for my car (fully optioned) is "9J1807823L OK1"
Thanks! I had seen the cutouts for both the radar sensor and the IR camera, and since my car has the same options I figured it’s likely the same panel.
 
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UPDATE: Good To Go!

The updated mounts work great! I've completed the install and put everything back on the car. No surprises!

The updated files are attached (the upright supports have not changed). Please refer to the first message in this thread for a discussion on the supports and how to apply fuzzy Velcro to them to protect your bumper.

You will want to get two #8 x 3/4 inch screws to attach this mount (stainless if possible). Take the screws and insert them into the mounts from behind (as they would be screwed in) and work them back and forth with an electric screwdriver 10-12 times so they will cut the required threads into the mounts. If you do this fast enough the screws will actually get warm/hot and help melt/reform the ABS plastic for some very nice threads! In any case, you don't want to be "cutting your threads" during the assembly of the pieces!

There is a new alignment tool which I laser cut out of acrylic. However, I have included a printable template (STL) if you want to 3D print it. Sit the alignment tool in the little gap at the top of the trim piece as shown below. Place the mounts firmly on either side and fully seat them (Make sure you use the correct mount on the correct side of the panel!). Then use some masking tape to mark the outside edge of each mount. Do this carefully and ensure you have exactly 7 inches between the mounting holes in the mounts when firmly seated (the photo below appears to show them a bit wider due to perspective):

Install1.jpg


Then, very carefully, using a drill bit which is just large enough to easily slide through the screw hole, use the mounts to make the pilot hole for each screw:

Install2.jpg


Then remove the mounts and make each hole a little bit wider so the screws will not try to "thread" with the panel. We want the hole just large enough so the screws rotate freely. They should only bite into the mounts (not the panel). This probably isn't a big deal as the panel is so soft in comparison to the mounts. Note that each hole will butt up against a rib in the panel so if you want to make the hole a bit larger, be sure to work a bit more against the rib so it doesn't force the hole off-center. I'm probably making way more of this than is required...

Once your holes are done, you can use a couple of small nails to confirm their placement/alignment:

Install3.jpg


If everything is good, you can then use the screws to attach both mounts:

Install4.jpg


If you are going to use glue (which probably isn't really necessary), you can now unscrew the mounts, apply the glue, and re-screw the mounts back down to clamp the glue. I'm a "belt-and-suspenders" kind of guy so I used the Infinity SuperTAC 500 hotmelt glue to do this.

Here is what the panel looks like from behind. Note the proximity of the left screw head to the support and also both to the upper edges of the panel. I really wanted to use a washer behind these screws but it was so close to the supports/lip that it would have ended up causing more problems than any benefit it might provide. I didn't want to move the screw hole any further down in the mount as it would also leave less "meat" for us to screw into or have to make the mount larger.

Install5.jpg


The panel is even easier to install than remove, just slide the top center "fangs" up and back behind the center mounted camera, and push on the panel to seat the snaps. Done!

The new mounts also have a little lip at the top to also help hold them in place. I'm guessing that you don't even need to use the screws to attach these mounts as long as you use a decent adhesive. I think the hotmelt glue is about as good as it gets (great gap filling) but there is also a Loctite Cyanoacrylate (superglue) just for Poly plastics.

I think I'm pretty much done here. We do have a milk jug in the fridge (similar poly plastic as the trim panel) and I'm looking to do a little "destructive" testing with the hotmelt poly glue sticks and the loctite poly glue to see how much abuse the bonds will take. Once we empty the jug, and I run some tests, I'll report back. If the hotmelt is as good as some folks say it is (the bond is stronger than the material itself) there might be no need to remove the panel at all to add the screws!
 

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OK - I'm working on another attachment for this "mount system"...

I want to be able to mount my MyLaps Race Transponder on the front of the car to get some lap times at my track. Now that we have these nice little mounting blocks under the bumper, why not use them for other things as well? :)

So I measured the dimensions I needed for my MyLaps Transponder bracket and I figured I might as well add another vertical hole or two so folks could install a 1" RAM ball mount as well. By doing this, you could mount other things like a GoPro video camera on the front bumper as well.

My test print is running now and (assuming I don't run out of filament) It will be done in the morning. Here is what the print looks like:

FlexiMount.jpg


The forward facing surface is face down on the print bed. The "D" ring is on the top edge of the bracket as we don't want to descend below the mount points and obscure the front camera on the car. The little raised blocks on the sides hold the structure far enough away from the bumper so it doesn't touch it (unlike our plate supports which hug the bumper). The four horizontal holes are for the zip ties typically used to hold a MyLaps Transponder bracket. The hole running vertically through the center of the mount will hold a 1/4 inch bolt or rod which can be used to connect a 1" RAM ball mount (for a sports camera). Of course, you can use the holes for anything you want... The square void area is simply to reduce the weight of the bracket and the amount of plastic being used. I'm printing with a 25% infill which I expect will be fine for the final product. If I think the structural integrity is compromised by the vertical hole running all the way through the mount I may eliminate the portion running through the lower part of the bracket.

You will also note the "main" mounting holes are oval shaped. ABS Plastic has a tendency to shrink a little after printing and I wanted to make sure we would still have good mounting hole alignment. (US license plates - as used with the license plate supports - have a little bit of wiggle room built in as the plate holes are slightly larger than 1/4 inch). Since this structure is going to be a fixed width, we need to include a little margin for "shrinkage". Call it the "George Costanza" factor... ;)

Anyway...I'll post the STL print file for the "FlexiMount" once I confirm the design is good.

If anyone has other suggestions for stuff to mount up front, or changes to this mount, just let me know. (...and no, a trailer hitch is NOT appropriate...)
 
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So, I tested the "Flexi Mount" and I think the vertical hole is too close to the bumper to be useful. Its certainly too close to fit a 1" RAM ball mount...

I removed the vertical hole from the "MyLaps Transponder Mount" so it looks as below:

MyLaps Mount.jpg


Then, I worked up another mount just to support a 1" RAM Ball. This should accept any GoPro, sports camera, or basically anything which can use a standard RAM mount:

RAM Mount.jpg


...and there are also a couple of 12mm standoffs which can be used between a License Plate Transponder (EZPass, IPass) and the mounts already attached to the car. The 12mm standoffs allow license plate transponders to be attached to the car without having to use a license plate (or the license plate supports). They simply keep the transponder far enough away from the car that it doesn't touch the bumper:

Standoffs.jpg


Here are the updated full set of files (inc the original mounts, standoffs, etc):
 

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OK, got some photos... Here are the above mounts as mounted:

Here is the MyLaps Race Transponder Mount (without the MyLaps bracket/transponder):

Race Transponder Mount.jpg


Here is the MyLaps Race Transponder Mount (with the MyLaps bracket/transponder):

Race Transponder Mounted.jpg


Here is the RAM Mount (for GoPro etc). NOTE - NOT intended as a vehicle tow point ;) :

RAM Mounted.jpg


Here are the little standoff blocks in use to mount a License Plate Toll Transponder (EZPass, IPass, etc) without having to mount the Plate itself:

Toll Transponder Mounted.jpg
 
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As I wasn't getting 100% reliability with my windshield mounted toll transponder (IPass, EZPass), I ended up mounting my "License Plate Transponder" to the front of the car for my last 1400 mile trip. (Using the Transponder mounts above). Even though the windshield mounted transponder was inside the appropriate "hatched" zone, I still got rejected at a couple of toll booths. Anyway, although I got 100% reliability, I noticed the front view (parking) camera was slightly occluded. The Transponder mounts (above) were just a bit too low...

I redesigned the Toll Transponder Mount, the MyLaps Race Transponder Mount, and the RAM Ball (GoPro) Mount to lift them up about 1/2 of an inch. I also generated two different Toll Transponder Mount types (A & B) so you can choose ones that avoid (A) or hug (B) the bumper (like the plate supports). If you use type B, be sure to add some fuzzy Velcro to the back of the mounts to protect the bumper.

Although the larger "bracket" style mounts may look a little "ungainly" here, Note that they are only about 7 inches side-side.

(The license plate mount (supports and mounts) have not been changed)

Toll Plate Transponder Mounts (A):

Toll Plate Transponder Mounts (A).jpg


Toll Plate Transponder Mounts (B):

Toll Plate Transponder Mounts (B).jpg


MyLaps Race Transponder Mount:

MyLaps Transponder Mount.jpg


RAM Ball (GoPro) Mount:

RAM Ball Mount.jpg
 

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Thanks for all of this work, @evanevery! It's a fantastic solution.

I used your files and did a few things differently based on both my situation and your comments. I printed in ASA filament rather than ABS--mostly because I wanted to use one of my preferred brands and they didn't have black ABS immediately available. ASA has high strength and temperature resistance, so I think it fits the bill nicely for this application.

I also printed the mounting blocks and the 'arms' at different infill values. I did the mounting blocks at 50% as recommended, but the arms at 25%. I suspect this will be OK. If not, hey, I can always print a new set at 50%.

IMG_0932.png

(also printed a set for a fellow forum member)

Appreciated the tip to use something to keep the nuts in place. I didn't have epoxy, but I used some all-surface gorilla glue that is supposed to be able to glue metal to ASA.

IMG_1008.png


IMG_1002.png

The alignment tool was definitely handy, and got everything lined up perfectly. I did the belt-and-suspenders hot glue + screw mount per the earlier post (though since I had to go out and buy hardware I got black screws)

IMG_1003.png


The final result was everything I'd hoped for! I went with all-black mounting hardware (hex head 1/4"-20 bolts)

Added the 1" fuzzy velcro to the 'arms' of the mount

IMG_1009.png


And then replaced the trim piece in the center of the front bumper
IMG_1006.png


Those mounting blocks really do look like they belong there.

The final result is great!

IMG_1012.png


IMG_1010.png


As advertised, it looks like a permanent solution when mounted, and is barely noticeable when removed. Mission accomplished! On to the RAM ball mount for some great camera angles!
 

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Absolutely brilliant solution to a problem Porsche should have figured out. Thanks @evanevery! for all your hard work and sharing the ark files.
I used PETG filament for the mounts and brackets so hopefully it will hold up well.
Did anyone have any luck using the Loctite to avoid removing the center panel?
 

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