2008 Pontiac G8 GT: Let Me Get This Straight, Part Deux
May 06, 2009
Yesss! The front license plate of our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT is square and true to the world.
And it only took 5 minutes...
...after I made a trip to Pep Boys...
...where I spent only $2.16 on a pack of 3/16" pop rivets...
...because I already had the required tools (3/16" drill, pop rivet insertion tool).
And it turns out that Pontiac (or Holden, or GM -- all are correct answers) did attempt to make this process idiot-proof. But their approach obviously wasn't idiot-proof enough. Dimples might still be a good idea.
You see, the plate holder has these notches in it; one on each side and one in the bottom-middle. They nest neatly up against the contours of the bumper. Only an idiot could fail to see it and line them up properly. Ahh.
Our idiot must have seen the error of his ways at one point. The ill-placed right-hand rivet shows evidence that he thought about drilling it out and trying again. Why he stopped, we can only speculate. Maybe he had no spare rivet. Perhaps his boss chided him for spending too much time on the car. Maybe he went to lunch and didn't get back to it. We'll never know.
All I had to do to remove his rivet was grab a 3/16" drill bit and drill it out. I was then free to pivot the plate holder on the remaining "good" rivet until it nested up against the body contours. I then verified the dimensions and squareness before drilling the new hole. Together, both operations took less than a minute.
You can see how far off our friend really was with the plate holder swung down again. Would you believe a full 1/2-inch? (green arrow = new hole.) That much clearance gives us plenty of meat for a soild connection.
Aside: The ragged third hole came from the screw that holds the plate to the plate holder -- it's a bit too long.
Inserting a new pop rivet is a cinch if you have a pop rivet insertion tool. I do. They cost less than $20 at Home Depot, Harbor Freight or others. They have "a thousand and one uses"-- as long as those uses involve pop rivets, that is.
Since my trip to Pep Boys yielded a 5-pack of rivets, I added another to the lower middle hole.
Done and Done.
Seriously, this is not rocket science. Anyone with a pulse and a few tools should be able to do it correctly.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 20,735 miles