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Discussion Starter #1
Man, did I ever feel like a PO with that valance last nite! Along with adding the retractor license plate James Bond Style (credit goes to dodgestang for the name, hehe!), I wanted to make the front bumper fit the non-bumper style R-valance. So, chop, hack-n-slash, cut, grind, saw...I literally ruined the poor valance. I was ready to give up on the R-valance and James Bond plate and go back with the stock steel valance. It was looking really discouraging. However, after several hours of fitting, cutting, fitting, cutting...you get the picture, the bumper went on!!! And it looks much better too on my car than not having a bumper.

Today I decided to try mounting the license plate motor. My accounting friend came by last nite and suggested hiding it behind the valance and running a rod across the R-hole so the other end was supported. Excellent idea!! So thats what I did. It worked great. Problem is, it was really hard to get good measurements for mounting it as there is much "slop tolerance" with the valance fitting poorly, loosened bumper brackets and just a general guessing that things will fit the way you plan. So it was really seat-of-the-pants, on-the-fly mounting of the motor and rod and just hoping things would come out right. I cut out some wood pieces for spacers and coated them with epoxy and 'glass, then used them to mount hardware to. Was able to tap and die the rod so it screws into the motor actuator. The other end of the rod turns on a sintered bronze bushing. So far, it rotates the shaft up and down just fine. I need to build the license plate bracket next.

Because the bumper is mounted on now, you couldn't hardly see the two round holes for the brake ducts. So I cut some 3" wooden plugs, tapered them on the grinder, glued and 'glassed them in to plug off the holes. It gives the front end a smoother cleaner look without the duct holes.

When you stand in front of the car, you cannot see the license plate rod behind the bumper. Everything for the plate retractor is hidden well so far. I'll make a grille to bumper filler piece to hide things from the top. You can see the rod from the top in the lower pic below.

Another thing I need to do is replace the stock hood latch support brace with a re-designed one. Since it sits to one side of the latch, its off center and looks funny. So I'll add a second support to the other side, which will support the latch better and add symmetry to the R-hole opening. Plus, the custom supports will allow the license plate to rotate upward under the bumper without interfering with the rotation path.

Still about another days worth of work left, but the flip up retractor idea is working out well so far.

http://pic3.picturetrail.com/VOL25/910966/3513099/65050543.jpg

http://pic3.picturetrail.com/VOL25/910966/3513099/65050546.jpg

http://pic3.picturetrail.com/VOL25/910966/3513099/65050523.jpg
 

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Dan -

You're beginning to give the Ring Bros. a run for the money!! I like what you've done.

I'm also very impressed because at this point in bodywork and such, I'm just REALLY ready to paint Woosie, not try out various custom mods!!! Your car will look very clean & original, wihtout losing the classic Mustang lines - nice work.

Is there a particular purpose to having a retracting license plate, other than a WOW factor? Will the motor be speed sensitive, thus retracting the license plate automatically as you speed up? This will keep the car cooler...

Don't hook it up to the brake switch, unless you put a long delay relay in series (think stop-n-go traffic and the license plate swinging up and down!!).
 

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That NEAT! Looking at your pics I thought about mounting the rod lower and in reverse and at an angle so the plate would lay back at an angle to deflect air into the radiator - but then it wouldn't be the cool James Bond Style plate!

I'd be interested to see how you do your hood latch support. I was thinking about mounting a V shaped rod assembly for support - I'm ditching the big 'Ol heavy hood latch assembly on my I6 coupe.

Happy Wrenching!

Dean T
 

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That is an awesome mod. I hope it all works out as planned. btw... I expect to see a video of it in action when its all done ::
 

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that is sweet . i think that has to go down as a first on a classic mustang lol . might wanna patent that one hehe
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wouldn't go so far as comparing me to the Ring Bros....maybe Chip Foose!?!? :D

Basically the retractor is WOW factor. However, the R-valance looks bad with a license plate hogging the hole. The reasoning is, if it disappears out of the way, the hole looks good. Cops show up, click the toggle and down she comes...legal again, hehe!

The unit is strictly manually operated. When the license plate is in the 'up' position it is tucked just under the bumper which protects it from the wind. You have to flip the toggle under the dash to make it come down. Nice thing is it rotates exactly 90 degrees either way and shuts off automatically. You probably dont want to raise/lower the plate going 80 mph...the wind may tear the plate bracket up!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This plate retracts just the opposite of what you mentioned. It'll rotate upwards underneath the bumper. Nice thing is, the rod is hidden behind the bumper also. So you don't notice anything out of the ordinary unless you look closely...

I'll post some pics of the hood latch supports. I like the V-idea. However, since you are gonna see mine as they are exposed, I wanna use two vertical ones as they will somewhat resemble fangs, hehe!!! Will probably use some small diameter hollow square tubing for the materials.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My partner at work has a digital camera which will record a few seconds of video. I can find out how to use it, then set the resolution down to make the action a little more dial-up friendly. Its pretty boring watching the plate slow motion up and down, but motion is what this project is all about, so to be able to post that would be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Restomod...I don't know of this mod on any vehicle. I just had a brainfart after purchasing the valance. :) Actually, I felt it was more of an achievement getting the bumper to mount up to a non-bumpered valance!

Cruzer...There is NO WAY I can come close to comparing what I've done to my ride vs what you've done to yours!! :: YOU..is da man!!!
 
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