How-To: Front Plate Holder Removal
First, go to Autozone and buy some nylon push-in fasteners.
You need two that have a head about 1/2" - 5/8" in diameter; about as big as the head of the rivets that hold the plate holder on.
Get some Duplicolor spray paint to match your Ranger's paint, as well as a can of primer (trust me, you want to use the primer.) Poke two "X" shaped holes in a piece of cardboard, and push the pins through them, but not all the way (so you can paint the sides of the head, as well as the face.) Prime and paint the two fasteners following the directions on the spray can, using many thin coats to avoid runs. Allow 24-48hrs for the paint to dry thoroughly, or else you'll end up with thumb-prints in the paint when you install them.
To remove the plate holder, first remove the front plate if there is one. If you reach behind the bumper you'll be able to feel where those two rivets come through the steel portion of the bumper. Its a tight squeeze, but with a little effort (and probably alot of grease on your hands) you can grab the back of the rivets with grip-lock pliers. This step is important because otherwise the rivets will spin when you try to drill them.
Put a metal-cutting bit in your drill, and SLOWLY drill through the center of the rivet. You want a bit that is 1-2 sizes larger than will fit into the hole in the center of the rivet. Drill until the head of the rivet pops off. Repeat for the 2nd rivet and remove the plate holder.
Now, if the shank of the fasteners you painted are larger than the rivet hole, simply push them in and you are done. In my case they were not, so I found a small nut (it was the nylon-threaded nut that came with the hex-headed license plate bolts I had) to fit the shank, reached in behind the bumper and threaded it on firmly. I used my knuckle to hold the fastener in to avoid pressing a fingerprint into it.
Result: No pesky plate holder that I never wanted in the first place.
New problem: I'm really jonesing for an upper and lower speed grille. 8)
Disclaimer: Do not remove your front plate if your state requires a front license plate. Brian Wowak accepts no responsibility for damage to your property or person caused by attempting this modification.
2003 Edge Reg Cab 2x4 3.0L 5M 8.8LS - Red
1991 Miata - British Racing Green Special Edition (3716 of 4000)
Last edited by KLC; 12-03-2011 at 01:47 PM.