8274 License Plate Mount
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Short Cuts
by: Terry L. Howe


License plate mounted on fairlead
License plate mounted above the roller fairlead
License plate mounted on bumper
Old location of plate on bumper

Four wheeling can be real rough on license plates. Typically on Jeeps, the front license plate is mounted on the bumper with the lower edge hanging over the bumper. Eventually, the plate gets hit by a rock and it gets ripped up or scratched. After a while, the plate may get ripped completely off and lost or damaged so badly it needs to be replaced. I've always had this problem with front plates.

One solution I've seen is to cut the edges off the plate so that only the numbers and letters remain. This makes the plate as wide as the bumper, so there is no edge hanging over to get damaged. While the plate is still legible, is probably not legal in any jurisdiction.

If you are lucky enough to have a Warn 8274 winch, there is another approach that is legal. The 8274 winch mount has enough room to mount a license plate above the roller fairlead. The advantages of putting the plate above the roller fairlead is it will not block off air flow to the radiator and it will save the plate from damage from rocks.

To mount a license plate above the roller fairlead, you need to loosen up the roller fairlead. Slide the lower edge of the plate behind the roller fairlead and tighten it up. There should be enough clamping force between the mount and roller fairlead to hold the plate in place.

There was enough clamping force between the roller fairlead and the winch mount to hold my plate in place, but I took it a step further. The two upper bolts for the winch mount did not fall in the area around the numbers and letters of the plate, so I drilled the license plate so the bolts would run through the plate. Drilling out the plate in this way is probably not legal, but I figured most peace officers would overlook this since the plate will be less damaged, legible, and firmly mounted. The top edge of the plate I bent down slightly over the top of the winch mount to keep it from getting snagged.

I first saw this trick on "Big Daddy" Jerry Panek's CJ-7 of Predator Four Wheel Drive.


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