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Old 03-30-2008, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Front License Plate Mounting

On my 04 Camry, and many other cars, the the front license plate is mounted so that the lower portion protrudes downward from the bumper into an area directly in front of the radiator air intake. About 3 inches of plate extends below the bumper into the radiator airstream.

I am wondering if this is likely to have any significant effect, and whether it would be worthwhile to:

1. Move the license plate slightly upward so that it is entirely against the bumper and not protruding into the radiator airflow

or

2. Bend the bottom portion of the plate slightly so that it is angled slightly inward

I realize that the plate does not technically increase frontal area. But it must introduce a lot of turbulence. Is this likely to have any signicant, that is to say, measurable, effect?

Harry

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Old 03-30-2008, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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maybe you could mount it so it blocks off air to the radiator.. creating a slight "grille block" effect. the cooling system accounts for about 30% of aerodynamic drag.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think that moving your license plate down over your grille is going to hurt anything, but I doubt you'll see a noticeable benefit from it either.
A license plate is just too small compared to most grilles to have much effect as a grille block.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldn't worry too much about the turbulence issue either. I don't know of any car that tried to direct or smooth airflow through the cooling system. For that reason, the air will be turbulent in front of the radiator anyways. I suppose you could argue preventing every bit of turbulence helps, but it really would be minimal.

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Old 03-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I moved my plate up a bit because it was blocking the lower air intakes to radiator.
Position of plate now lines up better with the bumper, the plate intrudes less into the open air space.

That done, the cooling seems to be improved. Hopefully the aero is just a hair improved but I have no way to test it. Sorry, no pics of this mod yet.

I noticed most modern cars have no license plate bracket, just holes behind the license plate and the screws go thru the plate and right into the threaded holes. So if you want to move the plate you need to use a bracket which screws to two of the existing threaded holes. Then attach plate to the bracket. Harvest brackets from older cars at junkyards. Volvos used 'em through the mid '90's.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The '04 Civic uses a plastic bracket to hold the front plate on.
It screws to the bumper in front and underneath.
By removing the plate holder, turning it upside down and cutting off everything except the top (which used to be the bottom) plate mounting holes.
Then re-mounting it (upside down) the plate now goes under the bumper into the lower grill area.
Doing a little grill blocking and now it's bend backwards so it act less like a flat plow going through the air.
Looks better too.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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move to Indiana
we only got back ones

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