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Thread: WRITE-UP : DIY License Plate Rear Cross Member Relocation Mount

  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    WRITE-UP : DIY License Plate Rear Cross Member Relocation Mount



    Being that the all new Jeep JL Wrangler is designed with a license plate holder that's a part of the rear bumper itself, the question of where to mount the plate becomes a problem especially if you choose to run your JL bumperless. Back in the day, the easy answer would have been to simply relocate it to the center of your spare but of course, the JL now has a backup camera there. Sure, you can make it work anyway and I did briefly by positioning the plate above the camera but... that just looked weird to me and so I started looking for a better solution.

    Working off of an old idea that I had come up with years ago for my JK's, I decided to find a way to mount the plate onto the rear cross member using recycled parts, some nuts and bolts I had laying around and strong tie that I bought at the hardware store for .88Ę. It may not be the prefect solution but if you're interested, this DIY write-up will show you what I did.

    What you will need
    • (1) 20-Gauge 1-1/4" x 9" Simpson Strong-Tie
    • (2) 1/2" - 1/4" x 20 Bolts
    • (2) 1/4" x 20 Nuts
    • (2) 1/4" Washers
    • (2) 12 x 1.5mm Nuts
    • (1) 3/4" - 1/2" Bolt
    • (1) 1/2" Toothed Nut
    • 16mm Socket
    • 3/4" Wrench
    • 7/16" Socket & Wrench
    • Ratchet
    • Center Punch
    • Drill
    • Unibit
    • Bench Vice
    • Ruler or Tape Measure
    • Sharpe Marker

    For those of you who are interested, you can buy license plate light bolts here:
    Rupse 2pcs License Plate Screw Bolts

    This is a shot of what you'll need to make your own rear cross member license plate mount. The black bracket you see was originally mounted to the driver side frame rail and sandwiched between the J-hook. The one bolt next to it was originally used to secure the factory bumper to the bottom of the cross member. I decided to recycle both for this mod.


    Instructions
    1. Take a 20-Gauge 1-1/4" x 9" Simpson Strong-Tie, locate the center of it and then make 2 marks 2-1/2" on either side of it using a Sharpe marker as shown in this pic.


    2. Using a Sharpe marker, draw a line from the mark you made and then draw a parallel line 3/4" from it as shown here.


    This is what your Simpson Strong-Tie should look like all drawn up.


    3. Place your Simpson Strong-Tie into a bench vice with one of the inner lines positioned at the top edge of the vice jaws.


    4. Bend the Simpson Strong-Tie in your bench vice as shown and then repeat on the other side.


    5. Remove your Simpson Strong-Tie from your bench vice and then clamp it back in place, right up to one of the outer lines you drew eariler. Again, use your vice to bend the Strong tie so that it's parallel with the center portion of it.


    6. Locate the small existing hole closest to the outer bend and then measure 7" out from the center of it as shown in the pic below.


    7. Use a Sharpe marker to locate the center point, 7" across from the other existing hole.


    8. Use a center punch to mark the point you made in step #7.


    9. Use a unibit to drill a 1/4" hole through the point you just center punched as well as the small existing hole on the opposite side.


    This is a shot of what your new rear cross member license place relocation mount should look like when done.


    10. Take your old bumper bracket, place the index tab into a bench vice and bend it a bit so that it's no longer sitting at a 90į angle.


    11. Slip the recycled bolt through the bracket and place a washer on top as shown. The washer is needed to help level things out between it and the buckle in the middle of the bracket.


    12. Locate the factory mount hole with the built in washer on the bottom of the cross member and thread the bolt onto it.


    13. Use a 16mm socket to secure your bracket in place.


    14. Using a toothed nut and small 1/2" bolt, secure the license plate mount you made onto the recycled bracket. A 3/4" wrench will be needed for this job.




    15. Using 1/4" x 20 bolts, nuts and washers, secure your license plate to the mount you made. A 7/16" socket and wrench will be needed for this job.


    And that's all there is to it! You now have your license plate mounted onto the rear cross member of your Jeep JL Wrangler and with enough room to install frame rail D-ring mounts once they become available. Here are a few pics of what everything will look like once everything is installed.

















    Please let me know if you have any questions.


    Let There be Light on the License Plate
    ADDENDUM 04/26/18

    Ever since I removed our Jeep JL Wrangler's factory rear bumper and relocated the license plate on to the cross member, I've been meaning to install a light for it. Being that the factory license plate location was in the bumper and the wiring for the light was already there, I figured it would be a piece of cake to do and it was. Recycling the wiring on the factory bumper, I simply cut off the plug for the light, soldered on a couple of license plate LED light bolts and just like that, my licenses plate is now illuminated at night again.

    For those of you who are interested, these are what I got for lights:
    Rupse 2pcs License Plate Screw Bolts

    And, here's what they look like installed.




    Finally, what they look like when on.








    A few pics outside at night.


    And yes, they put out a crazy amount of light for being so tiny!







  2. #2
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJL's Avatar
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    Looks clean!


    Sent from my iPhone using JL Wrangler Jeep Forum mobile app
    2012 Jeep Jk - 37ís
    2012 Jeep JKU Rubicon - 40ís
    1975 Jeep DJ5

  3. #3
    Simplicity is elegance. Love it.


    Sent from my iPhone using JL Wrangler Jeep Forum mobile app

  4. #4
    Fresh Catch
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    Looks good nice and neat and tidy, unfortunately here in Canada we canít get away with no rear bumper.

  5. #5
    Been Around the Block MrGiant's Avatar
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    Nice, it now appears much higher (which is good in the rear)

    Sent from my [device_name] using JL Wrangler Jeep Forum mobile app
    Mr.Giant - '92 YJ, Flat Black
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  6. #6
    Caught the Bug
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    I like the look and i'm sure evo or other has/will have plugs ready for the frame rails or a bumper delete solution.
    V6 Diesel JL SWB???? If available in Europe!

  7. #7
    Hooked Onlyone's Avatar
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    Awesome! Thanks for the pics Eddie. I'm going to go ahead and take my bumper off.
    2018 JLUR SOLD
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    Soon-2-door JLR Turbo

  8. #8
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlanderJL View Post
    Looks clean!
    I agree! Wish we had done this before going to Moab!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Gearhart View Post
    Simplicity is elegance. Love it.
    Thanks. It's the way we've been running our JK's for years and I'm happy to see it still looks good on a JL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Diggers View Post
    Looks good nice and neat and tidy, unfortunately here in Canada we canít get away with no rear bumper.
    That's a bummer.

  9. #9
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGiant View Post
    Nice, it now appears much higher (which is good in the rear)
    If nothing else, the departure angle is now significantly higher

    Quote Originally Posted by frenchjk View Post
    I like the look and i'm sure evo or other has/will have plugs ready for the frame rails or a bumper delete solution.
    Yup, what we're hoping to get sooner than later are frame rail d-ring mounts like what we have on our JK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onlyone View Post
    Awesome! Thanks for the pics Eddie. I'm going to go ahead and take my bumper off.
    LOL!! Please be sure to post up pics

  10. #10
    Fresh Catch RockingK's Avatar
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    Clean

    That is a reclaim/recycle success story, congratulations.... you just lowered your carbon footprint and made a bad ass JL badder

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