Rear license plate bolt replacement

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Wiyosaya, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    I have a 2006 Prius, and I have had one of my rear license plate bolts snap off. So, I need to replace it.

    I looked at a youtube video that shows how to take off the rear cover which does not seem that hard, and from what I can tell in the video, it looks like the license plate bolts are accessible from the inside after the cover is open.

    Can anyone confirm this? I would hate to go through all that work and not be able to get at the bolts. As far as I can tell, it will be easiest for me to get inside like this rather than drill from the rear. Even if I did need to drill from the rear, it seems like it would be easiest to have access from both sides.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Just trying to picture what's broken. Originally there was a hole in the hatch lid, and on the inside a tack-welded nut. You put on the license plate, then pass a machine screw through it's mounting hole, the hatch lid hole, and screw it into the tack-welded nut.

    Assuming it's like that: what's broken: did the tack-welded nut break loose, or the machine screw's head snapped off?
     
  3. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    It is the machine screw head that is snapped off.
     
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  4. Susie Derkins

    Susie Derkins New Member

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    I have the same problem, did you ever find a fix? On my car, the bolt head is snapped off and the remainder of the bolt is rusted in. Tried using an easy-out but it did not work because the remainder of the bolt seems to be some kind of impenetrable space age alloy. Watched some YouTube videos on hatch handle repair and there doesn't seem to be easy access to the bolt from the inside. Stuck at this point, may not ever be able to move to another state.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Maybe research "bolt extractor". You center-punch the bolt remnant, drill a small pilot hole, then drill the appropriate sized bolt extractor bit into it. It has reverse direction, aggressive thread, that hopefully bites in within the pilot hole, and spins the bolt remnant out.

    I've found you have better luck if you go one size larger than the recommended pilot hole size (usually there's a table with the bolt extractor kit, or you can find tables on the 'net.)

    The main issue I found is to get a decent centre-punch roughly in the middle of the bolt remnant, and a pilot hole that doesn't drift off to the side too much.

    If you remove the rear license plate every time you wash your car, put a drop of oil put on the threads, this doesn't happen. I know, hindsight... Also, reinstall the bolts temporarily, fully in, while hosing the car, to avoid water ingress.

    With a bit of prying off of interior panels you get at the other side, the tack-weld nuts on the inside, but there's no big advantage: I would still drill from the outside, keep the mess and shavings out of the car.
     
  6. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    Mine was a plastic bolt, so I was able to drill through the center of the bolt and then drill progressively larger holes until the bolt basically fell apart. It only happened because I used the wrong thread size in the first place. Once I got it out, I used M6 x 25mm stainless bolts for all the license plate bolts. The right thread size works wonders. ;)

    If you can find carbide tipped drill bits, these might work. One way that I have seen is to drill a hole through the center, then fit either an extractor or a screwdriver in there. My guess is that the bolt that is in there is not the right thread size and that is why it is stuck as that is what happened to me.

    There are lots of how to videos on YouTube. I would see if you can find one that is appropriate for your situation.
     
    #6 Wiyosaya, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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