Rusty screws

Flyer

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Last night, I decided to replace my number plates with new ones I bought just before the GTG (mbclub specials!). Unfortunately, three of the four screw heads on the front one were rusted away :crazy: . As I applied pressure with my phillips, the screw head just disintegrated.

How do I remove them now? There is some screw head there, but it's impossible to get a purchase. I've applied some lubricant (not WD40, stuff I use on my bikes), but they are locked solid.

Should I try and drill them out (get to use my shiny new RotoZip!), or is there a better way?

Cheers

Andrew
 

kid-jensen

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Flyer,

There's a good chance they are hardened, so be prepared for a long grind!

If the heads are broken off, why can't you remove the numberplate and get some Molegrips on the bits of screw remaining......or am I missing something here?
 
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Flyer

Flyer

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Unfortunately, there is enough of the head there to prevent removal of the plate. The bit that's gone is the bit where the phillips would bite!!

I've tried to turn them using long-nosed pliers (don't possess molegrips), but they won't turn. Hmm.

Cheers

Andrew
 

andy_k

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being as you've got the remains of the screw head there - i'd use it as a guide for drilling into - drill rather than grind - it's more subtle :) and you'll need holes for the new screws to go into. start with a small drill and work up - you'll reach a point where the old screws just disintegrate around the drill bit leaving the holes to mount the new plates

Mole grips may well move the screws if there's enough of the head for them to grip on to so it may be worth investing in a pair - soak the screws with WD40 beforehand and give them a few taps with a light hammer to weaken any corrosion.

HTH

Andy
 

Simon

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How about grinding a slot in the screw head? That way you could use a regular bladed screwdriver.
 

fuzzer

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Why not try and take off the lining of the boot lid and try and turn the screw from behind? Its worth a try ....
 

GrahamC230K

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Originally posted by fuzzer
Why not try and take off the lining of the boot lid and try and turn the screw from behind? Its worth a try ....

Front dude.
 

fuzzer

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I did actually mean from behind , there might be more of the screw thread back there for you to get a better grip on and twist it enough up to let you finish the job off from the front.

Or , just take out the small metal posts that are on there behind the plate with the thread in them , seal up the holes and use stickey pads :D
 

Steve Riley

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Why not try and take off the lining of the boot lid and try and turn the screw from behind? Its worth a try ....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Front dude.

Very, very, very long screwdriver? lol
 

Simon

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Try tightening the screw, it just might just turn a bit thus releasing the thread.
 
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Flyer

Flyer

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Well, that was easy! As Simon advised, I got my trusty hacksaw out and cut a wedge big enough to get a flat screwdriver in, got a few turns on it and used pliers to remove them the rest of the way. Of course, one of the buggers proved a little more difficult, but they all came out in the end.

The next question is: do I drill holes in the new plates, or use the nice sticky pads that Fancy Plates sent with their screws? How effective are the pads?

I think I'll tackle the rear plate tomorrow :D :bannana: :p .

GDC: Who would that be then? Someone we know?

Cheers

Andrew
 

Paul

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Never tried the pads myself, but I would imagine you only get one chance to stick the plates. So be very carefull.

If you do use the screws again it might pay to put some copper grease on the threads to prevent them corroding again.
 

Shude

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I used sticky pads last time I changed my plates, they were fine, in fact the old plates were held on with sticky pads from day 1 (stealership delivered like that). The old plates very nearly snapped when I tried to remove them, you get a couple of good surfaces for those pads to stick to and they're excellent.
 

fuzzer

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Stickey pads ..... who needs nasty screw holes...:bannana: :bannana: :bannana: :bannana:
 
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Flyer

Flyer

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Yep, I think I'll use the pads. I'll give the backing a good cleaning and degreasing tomorrow (I think I was a bit over-enthusiastic with the lubricant :D ).

Cheers

Andrew
 

Sp!ke

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I've just gone through exactly the same issue.

One screw was stuck solid. When I finally thought I'd cracked it it turned out that the whole screw post and the locking nut were both turning also. :(

In the end I had to get my trusty dremel out, cut the head off the screw so I could get the plate off and then cut the whole post arrangement off altogether. The new plate is now on, held on by three screws...goto get a new screw and post from dealer at next opportunity.
 
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Flyer

Flyer

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Crikey, at least mine came out without damaging anything else :confused: . Any reason you didn't go with the pads, Sp!ke?

This could be a warning to anybody else with their number plates screwed on. Check your screws! (and nuts ;) ).

Cheers

Andrew
 

RichardM

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I went with the pads from fancy plates, no problems at all and they are stuck firm. My original dealer plates were also held on with pads.
 

Paul

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My sister-in-laws A-class also had a screw that on the back plate that just turned along with the nut that it screws into.

Took my brother a good hour to muck around trying to remove trim from inside tailgate, and get mole grips onto the nut.

And this was on a 2yr old car! I reckon Andrews advice is something we should all remember.
 

VikJ

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I've got black plastic plate holders on mine. They look pretty good.

mb4.jpg
 

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