So this weekend I nailed my license plate bracket on a notorious taillight killer, seeing as this was the 2nd time it happened I took to the garage to find a way to move my license plate and make it street legal.
The gun lock and zipties looked great and all...but...
To remove the license plate holder first take off the license plate then use a 7mm socket to take out the bolts holing the plate itself on. The top 2 will require an extension for whatever drive you're using, I used a 3 in extension on a 3/8 drive. Removing the lower 2 bolts is tricky because the bumper is in the way, aftermarket or stock. The lower left bolt is easy and can be reached by a ratchet, but the right one requires a little finesse, I just used a pair of pliers and some patience.
Once I removed the holder I used a 1/4 inch bit and drilled 4 marked holes for the license plate. To find where you need to drill just bend your plate around the corner and mark it with a sharpie, be sure to mark the center of the holes.
Disconnect your battery, remove you rear taillight, and then disconnect the power leading to the lights. Once you've done that remove the lights themselves.
Once everything is removed, go ahead and drill the holes, but do not drill the lower right corner of the plate, it leads into a little reinforcement box that you can't get into, 3 bolts is more then enough to hold it on.
Any 1/4 inch bolt can be used and fits perfectly in the plate's holes. Once you drill the holes put the license plate on and fit in the bolts. Reach inside the hole where the taillight used to be and using a wrench hold the nuts in place while you tighten the outside bolts. Go as tight as you want for the outside (driver's side) bolts, but the right bolt should only be taken as tight as you can get it without bending the metal, past the outside sheet metal there is a piece of reinforcement that leads into the cavity, over tightening the bolts compresses the metal and dents the outside.
Making it street legal is the fun part. Take apart the OEM license plate holder so you can get a hold of the light and the reflector attached to it. To mount the light I took the reflector off the light and drill a hole in the brake light housing. For this part I had to use a 1/2 inch bit, being as that was the largest I had, but the light is slightly larger. I do not know the bit size needed, but a dremel would be the perfect tool for this part.
After I managed to get the light inside the brake light housing and drop outside, I put the reflector back on a secured it, The hole I managed to create with a 1/2 inch bit was perfect to get it stuck in place. The final thing that must be dealt with is the wire from the light. I doesn't need much wiggle room, but for the brake lights to fit back in place I made a cut about 1/4 of an inch from the hole for the reverse light and but the wire in place.
After that just reconnect everything you disconnected at the beginning, and voila, no more rocks can jump out and get ya
This is how the light drops through the taillight
(I'll try to get a better picture tonight, this was in my garage with the headlights of my jeep on so it doesn't look like much)