2015 Mustang GT: Front Plate Installation
February 10, 2015
Most states require a front license plate to be displayed by law. Not surprisingly, California is one of them. Personally, I'm not a fan of front plates, but my objections are based mostly in aesthetics.
I was asked to take our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT to the dealer to have them install the bracket and plates. My reply was, "Seriously? I can do it myself in 10 minutes. And I'll actually take the care to mount it straight and centered."
I can't tell you how many crooked plates I see on a daily basis, and it's somewhat maddening.
I walked out to my backyard, drill in hand, along with bits and some painter's tape. I fully expected to have to locate and center the plate myself, as I did when I owned a 1998 SVT Cobra. That experience also prepared me for a rather difficult fastening process that involved a very large plastic pop rivet, for which I had no tool. Back then, I used a few Vise-Grips to rig a rivet gun.
As it happens it was far easier than I had anticipated, once again proving an old adage I gleaned from an ex, "99 percent of the stuff you worry about will never happen."
The Mustang had two little dimples (awwwwww) to locate the screws for the mounting bracket. I test fit the bracket, taped it in place and stepped back to see if it was indeed centered and straight, unlike my state-of-mind in the pre-Earl Grey morning. Yup, straight and centered.
I drilled 1/8th-inch pilot holes with ease. The screws were also included (points awarded to Ford). The bracket went on without fuss, as did the plate. Beginning to end, both plates took a mere seven minutes. I left the tools in the trunk as I also volunteered to install the plates on our BMW i3, but once I started into that, I realized that BMW had not included the screws and their bracket had some extra plastic bits on the back that looked like they were supposed to be removed in order to mount it flush. Feeling as though my daily good deed had been accomplished, I suggested that the i3 get the install done at the dealer (plus, I still hadn't been caffeinated enough yet).
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 2,422 miles