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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As mentioned in my touring thread here: Mark's S54 Touring Build

I've designed a low profile license plate frame and mounting bracket to allow a North American size license plate to better fit the contours of the E46 Touring rear hatch. The OEM plastic bracket causes the plate to hang below the recessed area on the tailgate and does not allow for most aftermarket license plate frames to fit.

The new design moves the plate upward so that it fits within the recess on the hatch for a cleaner look. Before and after below:

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This design is made up of a mounting bracket and outer frame. A layer of adhesive closed cell foam is applied to the bracket on the inner side to provide a cushion against the painted surface of the hatch. A layer of the same foam is also applied to the outer side of the mounting bracket to compress between the license plate and bracket for a secure and rattle free fit.

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There has been interest in doing a small run of these parts for other touring owners, so I'm looking at online laser cutting services to find an economical solution. The prototype I built was made from stainless steel and was prohibitively expensive for what most would be willing to pay for a license plate frame. The sets for this group buy would be made from 3/16" thick 6061 T6 Aluminum.

If we can get 5+ people on this group buy it looks like I could offer kits for $60 including shipping anywhere in the continental US via USPS flat rate padded envelope.

This would include:
1x Mounting Bracket (Painted SEM Trim Black with foam layers applied)
1x License Plate Frame (Painted SEM Trim Black)
2x Mounting Bracket Screws (Low Profile Button Head Cap Screws)
4x Frame Screws (Flat Head Cap Screws)

Installation requires:
-Using the license plate frame as a template to mark your license plate for trimming.
-Trimming your license plate using metal shears, sanding disc, or some other method of your choosing.
-3/32" hex key for the two mounting bracket screws
-1/8" hex key for the four frame mounting screws

If you are interested in purchasing a kit, please reply to this thread. If you prefer to do your own painting and would like to receive the parts raw and without the foam pre-applied to the bracket, please specify in your reply.

Lead time to receive the laser cut parts is around 1 week, with approximately another week for me to countersink, tap, paint, apply foam, assemble the kits, and ship.

Here are a few additional photos of the prototype final installation on my own car.
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Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
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I'm in!

Thanks so much for handling this.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, that didn't take long at all to hit 5 people... Looks like this is definitely a go. I'll wait another day or so before hitting the order button in case there are other people that want in. And I'll get a few extra sets just in case.

Thank you everyone for the positive feedback so far.
 

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I'm in!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
It's really awesome to see this level of interest. Thanks again everyone for making the group buy possible.

I'll let this run a little bit longer before I place the order. So far it's looking like 15 should cover it for everyone signed up so far and a few last minute additions. I'll keep you updated when they are on the way. I've ordered some extra foam tape and hardware already so I'll be ready to assemble when the laser cut parts arrive.

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Funny that I never once noticed this before (and I tend to obsess over weird details too) and now ever since your post I can't un-see it and want this badly. Only hesitation I have is that I intended for my stable to all match with an M logo frame (one of my details, heh), and I'm not sure which detail will win out.

But this is a great idea and I am glad that you're making them. TBH I'm happy to buy one even if I end up not using it.
 
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