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Old 09-18-2000, 10:56 PM
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This is going to sound like a trivial question to all you MB owners who're troublshooting tranny problems or blown head gaskets, but where do you mount a front license plate on a stock MB bumper?

Just bought my first, a '72 280SEL. The thing runs like a top and is in great shape. Problem is, the cops out here in California are sticklers for that front plate. The existing bumper has wide slots that look like they're for a European style plate.

Now I'm no idiot--I could easily rig up something that would hold the thing on there, but my rigged version would be ugly, rattle like hell, and in general do a disservice to the aesthetics of this otherwise beautiful auto. Does anyone know of any aftermarket part that will match up U.S. plate holes with a German bumper?

Many thanks, and thanks to all who gave me advice on my potential purchase of the dead '73 450SEL last month. I passed on that one, and for just a few hundred bucks more landed the 280 I'm happily driving now.

I got a good deal on the 108 because it exhibited a very loud clanking noise everytime it hit a bump. I checked here and found that such a noise was usually related to struts/shocks, so I decided to buy the car anyway knowing that I may be in for a $400-$800 replacement. The owner cut a good deal due to the problem.

Got it home and it turns out the problem was a combination of two things--one, the tire jack was loose in the trunk (causing part of the clank) and two, the driver's front shock was missing both nuts at the bottom. They may have vibrated off at some point, so I still plan to have an MB mech look at it to make sure there wasn't something unusual that caused this. I secured the jack, replaced nuts, and now the car drives fine.

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Old 09-18-2000, 11:50 PM
Robert W. Roe's Avatar
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Lehigh Valley PA
Posts: 1,330
Chasmo, glad to hear you got a nice MB. Welcome. I'm no advanced mechanic by any means, but I love to learn about what makes my car "tick". Anyway, I'm not familiar with the front plate mounting on your particular car, a 108 body, but I've read that this body style is pretty common in California junkyards. Perhaps some asking around will get you a proper front bracket with the right mounting hardware. You could also try Partshop on here .. who knows?

I took my front plate off of my 1984 300SD, because Pennsylvania does not require a front plate and I thought the chrome MB symbol the PO had was a bit gaudy. Also, I wanted to have less of a target for police laser and radar. For some reason, it left four holes on the plastic cladding on my front bumper.

Anyway, welcome, and enjoy your 280SEL.
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Old 09-19-2000, 12:05 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430

Welcome to the Shop. I know what you mean about the front plate. All I have are the wide slots, but no bracket. I think you could just bolt the plate, with an appropriate MB frame, through those slots, but I have never tried. Even though we are required to display both plates here in CA, I haven't tried to locate a sutable fixture yet. Someday, maybe I will, until then the front plate resides in the trunk.

Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5
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Old 09-19-2000, 06:41 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 97
You can buy an adapter from any Mercedes parts store. I got one for my 380se for about $16. I can't remember where I got it, but I ordered it off the internet.
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