Snapped numberplate light screws!

larax

Member
I would like to get some help about rear numberplate light screws.
Unfortunately the previous owner didn't care about it. The fact she had 2 broken numberplate light just make me sad.
Anyway I bought 2 brand new and just got it today.
So when I tried to take out the old ones the screw just snapped in half. There was so much rust I wondering how it didn't break by itself.
I just had to put some sellotape on it so it's kinda hold it in it's place. Not good enough tho'..

But there is still 2 broken screw and I can't get them out.
And this was in the better condition.

Anyone can help me how can I take the broken screws out?
Any idea?

Thanks for any advice!
 
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A2Steve

A2OC Donor
You need to change the whole unit. It involves taking the plastic section of the bootlid off. There are 2 small screws holding the whole panel in accessed from the inside of the boot panel.
 

larax

Member
You need to change the whole unit. It involves taking the plastic section of the bootlid off. There are 2 small screws holding the whole panel in accessed from the inside of the boot panel.
Thank you A2Steve. That will be the first thing in the morning!
 

larax

Member
I thought I would give a quick update if anyone will have the same problem.
Saturday I finally had enough time to put the new number plate lights in.

I was following some of the links here:

https://www.a2oc.net/community/index.php?threads/removing-lower-tailgate-trim.19923/

https://www.a2oc.net/community/inde...e-exterior-trim.9895/&highlight=tailgate+bulb

These are very helpful but I try to give some pictures as well in case someone like me never done it before and need just a little bit more of a hint.


First thing I saw when I opened the boot these rusted plastic. I tried to take them off but the screws just snapped because of the rust.

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So I followed the links above.


In my car 2005 1.4 Petrol I had 9 very I mean VERY strong clips. Plus 1 plastic tooth (blue circle) kind of thing what I successfully broke. I already glued it back.
This picture is upside down. The top of the trim where the 4 clips are near to each other.
Tools I used trim removal tool and well taped long screw driver.


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Once the trim is down (like - 15 mins for me) I removed 2 torx screw (blue circle) and the connectors (red circle). Unfortunately I also managed to damage the electrical connector housing for the boot opener but still works fine.
If you accidentally break it no worries the part number is: 4B0 972 623 A

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Now comes the fun part. I started with the trim tool again (either side, I left the middle one the last). Once I was in with the trim tool I helped with a thicker scissors what I tapped well. I was worried to apply any more pressure but I ended up growing balls and did it. It just came off. You gotta be careful not breaking it!


50231
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The 3 clips are even tougher than the one in the trims.


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The easiest part to change the whole unit. :)

After you put everything back you should get something like this:


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I don't know why but I unscrewed the number plate screw which was plastic. I ended up breaking the black one. Now I use some double sided tape which holds it back nicely.

Hope someone can use these little tips too!
 

John L

A2OC Donor
I successfully drilled out a broken screw from the number plate light housing. It saved removing all the trim in the boot and was relatively painless. As long as you go slowly it may save some effort and if not the housing you drill into will be replaced anyhow.
 

Robin_Cox

Member
I have the internal trim off (have done it before), and have managed to undo two of the three electrical connectors - the passenger side one won't release but I'm sure I'll be able to shift it once the next step is done.

However .. the two steel torx screws holding the outer plastic trim in place from the inside are corroded to hell - can't quite get a bit into one and the other is worse - not even a visible hole in the upper surface.

Any suggestions? I take it the numberplate light housings won't come off unless the outer plastic trim is removed?

I'm tempted to get the power tools into action and simply drill the rusted heads off so I can remove the trim then make them good before putting it all back together.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
Robin, spray the rusted screws well with a penetrant and leave for as long as possible. If you can get a spline bit into the rusted head there is a chance it will remove the screws. If still no luck then cut a slot into the head and use a broad flat blade. All else fails then you will either grind off the head or drill off the head. You do need the plastic trim off to do the job properly.
 
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Robin_Cox

Member
I got the Dremel onto them - and - answered my own question as confirmed by @audifan above - it is quite clear once you've got the outside trim off that there is no way for the lamp units to be removed without removing this first as they latch into a pair of slots on the inner surface of the trim. Was also able to wash the tailgate behind the trim.

The screws through the tailgate from the inside normally locate into a pair of plastic tabs that the outer trim piece slides onto. The screw heads were completely gone - no usable material left to slot, nothing to hold with mole grips. Having dislodged the outer trim by popping this off the screwed tabs, I was then able to dremel the tabs until they fell apart, allowing the rusty screws to be removed through the tailgate. I then enlarged the same holes in the tailgate metal to 1/4", and have a pair of ~25mm long 316 stainless M6 bolts with allen key heads which will be inside the tailgate, going into a pair of flanged M6 nuts accessible directly above the numberplate if I ever have to remove the panel again. Wee dab of waxoyl to stop moisture setting up a galvanic cell should do it for now at least. Fingers crossed.
 

GrahamH

Member
Rusted number plate screws are a pain, best replaced by stainless if you can get them out but they are likely to shear off as mine did. This is what I did to repair the lights………

To remove the rusty screw remnants a 7mm-ish steel tube with an inside diameter greater than the screw was fashioned and after starting by hand was used with a drill to cut out around the screw. It speeded the process by drilling small holes into the annulus so formed to help give the cutting tube more bite. The holes then were drilled out to 8mm. Note accuracy of hole position is very helpful.


A2-number-plate-8.jpg



New clear light bulb holders were used, the new steel screws supplied were discarded and the holes drilled out to 5mm.

Rawlnuts are rubber tubes with a brass nut bonded at one end and a flange at the other. M4 rawlnuts, (7.8mm dia x 12 mm long) were obtained along with suitable stainless steel button head screws and nylon washers. The nuts can be pushed into the 8mm holes and will hold the lens unit in place as they expand when the screws are fitted. They can also be glued into place but check everything lines up before making anything permanent. There is not much plastic left around the 8 mm holes so this was re-enforced with chemical metal filler.



A2-number-plate-3.jpg




All then assembled with a smear of silicone grease to help the gasket seal.

A2-number-plate-1.jpg



A2-number-plate-2.jpg

As an alternative If the holes do not line up to be able to use rawlnuts then maybe fill the holes with a strong filler and using the lens unit as a guide drill into the filler for screws.


………...or has been described before, the rear tailgate can be dismantled to get to replace the original light units.


GrahamH
 

Andrew

A2OC Donor
Hi @larax,

Thanks for the pictures will come in useful one day when I have to do this.

A query, have you no emergency pull cable to unlock the boot in the event of no battery power? Just noticed it was missing in the picture of the reverse side of the inside boot trim, a very useful thing to have.

Andy
 

larax

Member
Hi @larax,

Thanks for the pictures will come in useful one day when I have to do this.

A query, have you no emergency pull cable to unlock the boot in the event of no battery power? Just noticed it was missing in the picture of the reverse side of the inside boot trim, a very useful thing to have.

Andy
I must have taken out for the picture but I have it in now. Thanks for spotting. I've double checked it.
 
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