Rusted, broken license plate bolt. Advice needed, please. - Honda Element Owners Club Forum
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
JiminE
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2006 4WD EX-P MT
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Rusted, broken license plate bolt. Advice needed, please.

I got my E a month ago and now that I have plates I tried to put them on when I noticed that one of the two bolts on the rear is rusted and broken.

So, I drilled it out a little and used my screw extractor. That broke off in there.

Now what?

I tightened the remaining screw so the plate doesn't jiggle around but I don't think that will last and then I'll have a floppy plate scratching my lower lift gate.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
Island E
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Machine shop. You won't be able to drill out the screw extractor. They might have the tools to do this a different way.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
slimerdogs
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If you can't extract the EZ out you are going to have to use one bolt or remove the nut out of the back of the door. If its broke off flush I don't know if you can get to the back side of the nut but if you can sonetimes you can loosen the EZ out that way.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
JiminE
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Thanks for the suggestions. I don't want to pay for it but I guess I'll have to consult a machine shop, ie: a professional.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:34 AM   #5
ApriliaGuy
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a carbide bit will drill out the extractor. Get one 3/16".
After the extractor/hole is drilled out you'll need to tap it to M6x1.0 so the screws match. 1/4-20 will work if you don't care about matching screws.

You can go quite a bit oversize and insert a plastic license plate nut if you need to.

Good luck, have fun!


If you decide to have somebody else do it, try an autobody shop first.

Will
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
JiminE
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Thanks a bunch!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #7
GaryS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApriliaGuy View Post
If you decide to have somebody else do it, try an autobody shop first.
Excellent suggestion!
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
ApriliaGuy
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also, I've had good luck "breaking" broken taps and extractors out of holes. Use a hammer and small center punch. They'll shatter/split or otherwise break and can be removed piece by piece. PITA yes, but worth it in many cases.

"Next time" advice:

Use as big a drill bit and extractor as possible. Use good "made in USA" stuff, not the peanut butter steel stuff from Home Cheapo, Harbor Freight, Sprawl Mart, AutoZone, etc. Good ones are hard to find, but are worth it.

Be sure to use Stainless screws for mounting the new plate, and dab a bit of RTV silicone (or caulk) on the threads before installing. The RTV will keep the screw from loosening due to vibration and keep the threads from sticking/rusting together. I use the same trick on the screws that hold the front bumper and those plastic panels under the engine.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
ApriliaGuy
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you're not the only one....


see this thread for more info:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=49740
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
lmontfort
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I too broke a bolt from my rear plate - I simply purchased a plastic license plate holder from pep boys:

http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/9220867/

I first removed the inside panel of the tail gate so that I had access to back of the tail gate. I then drilled through the license plate bolts so that I could insert a bolt through it. I inserted the 2 bolts into the license plate holder and then through the drilled out bolts on the tailgate. Then threaded lock washers and nuts from the inside of the panel.

Warning: If you got big fat hands this is a pain in the but. Get your wife, girlfriend or small child to hold the nut while you tighten the bolt down.
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