The instruction section is undergoing a major revamp. Please bear with me.
The instructions on this page cover the process for fitting our Custom Plate Brackets and Kingpin Number Plate Covers. Please read these instructions carefully before commencing installation on your vehicle. Click on the appropriate link below:
- LAKIN Custom Plate Brackets™ (with or without covers.
- Kingpin Covers (when fitted without our brackets.)
- Instructions for specific circumstances/vehicles.
There is a link at the top of each section (denoted by an arrow) to allow you to download a printable copy of each set of instructions. These require Adobe Acrobat reader to display. If you don't have this program installed, you can access your free copy by clicking on the button below:
Prior to installation, be sure to check that all the contents of the kit are present and that the kit matches your vehicle. Please follow these instructions and contact me if you're not sure how to proceed.
Use the isopropyl alcohol swabs to thoroughly clean the rear surface of the number plate in the area of the tape. If the special instructions are missing from your kit, click the yellow triangle to read the special notes on the use of the isopropyl alcohol and 3M Command™ Tape.
Attaching the LAKIN Custom Plate Bracket to your vehicle:
- Your plate brackets will have labels to tell you which is the FRONT or REAR of the vehicle. The label will also have an arrow to indicate which side should face up. This label should always be visible when the bracket is fitted to the car. i.e. it faces OUT.
- If the curvature of the bracket doesn't match your vehicle exactly, the bracket can be gently flexed to either increase or decrease the degree of curvature. This is best done by placing the centre of the bracket over stable surface covered with a thick layer of padding and pushing gently on the outer edges.
- If there is more than one set of mounting points on your vehicle, check which ones are to be used by matching the holes in the bracket against the mounting points on the car.
- In some cases you may find your bracket has mounting holes (or extra mounting holes) which don't align with the dimples in the vehicle's bodywork. These will have been provided as alternatives to the factory mounting points, as I believe they will provide a more secure fitting.
- The extra holes will be spaced to be within the footprint of the smallest regular plate available in Australia, so the holes you drill in the panel should never become a nuisance if a smaller plate is fitted subsequently.
- You are free to use whichever mounting points you prefer.
- Fit the appropriate nylon spacer (A) to the threads of the mounting screws. (These can vary in thickness on different models and, in some cases, are not required.)
- Some brackets will be supplied with pads of double-sided tape (B) to provide extra security in unsupported areas.
- Remove the protective film from the tape pads and, taking care to prevent the taped areas contacting the body of the vehicle (or your fingers), tighten the screws to the point that they hold the bracket accurately (but not fully tightened).
- Next press the taped areas against the vehicle. Apply firm pressure for 30 seconds before leaving the bracket for at least 30 minutes before tightening the mounting screws completely.
- If the mounting points on your vehicle have speed-nuts or plastic threaded inserts, or if they are holes or dimples in plastic bumpers, your bracket can be easily attached using the self-tapping screws provided in the kit.
- Some vehicles have metal threaded inserts in the mounting points. If this is the case, you will find the appropriate threaded screws in your mounting kit.
Note: Take care not to over tighten screws that thread directly into plastic fittings.
Now that your LAKIN Custom Plate Bracket is mounted securely to the vehicle, your number plate can be attached to the bracket.
- Clip-on plate frames must be assembled to the number plate before it is secured to the bracket. You will find BUTTON-HEAD screws for each plate in your kit. Place the assembled frame and plate against the plate bracket, align the holes in the plate with the threaded inserts in the bracket and secure the plate evenly.
- If you are fitting our Kingpin Screw-on plate frames or covers, you will find COUNTERSINK-HEAD screws in your kit. These hold both the frames and the number plates to the bracket.
- Place the number plate in the cover and align the holes in the plate with those in the cover.
- Place the cover and plate assembly against the plate bracket on the car.
- Accurately align the whole assembly with the plate bracket and tighten the screws progressively, being careful not to over-tighten them.
(Note: Over-tightening these screws may cause the plastic cover to crack and/or distort the moisture seal.)
This short video will give you an overview of the installation process as well as demonstrating the finished product.
If the video won't play here, you can also view it on YouTube.
- Be sure NOT to over-tighten the attachment screws. They must be nipped up just tight enough to hold the cover neatly. Too much tension will distort or crack the covers.
- These instructions are for fitting Kingpin cover without our LAKIN Custom Plate Brackets™. If you are using our brackets, please follow the instructions in the above section.
Packed with your covers you will find a selection of fittings as shown in the diagram to the left.
Check to see which of the holes in the number plate are used to hold the plate to the car.
If these holes coincide with the holes in the Kingpin cover, follow Instruction A below. If the holes in the cover align with vacant holes in the number plate, follow Instruction B.
- Remove the existing self-tapping screws holding the number plate to the vehicle. Fit the long screws with the black Philips heads through the holes in the Kingpin cover, then through the number plate and into the vehicle.
- Occasionally the number plate is attached with machine thread screws into threaded fittings on your vehicle. If these align with the Kingpin cover holes, the long self tapping screws will not be suitable. In these instances we recommend using our "Piggy-back" screws, shown to the right.
- The M6 screw fits the threaded fittings on your vehicle. The smaller, black countersink head screw attaches the Kingpin cover into the back of the larger screw. These are available from this link.
- Insert a plastic screw grommet into each of the holes in the number plate (push in from the face of the plate towards the vehicle) and use the short screws to attach the cover.
- You may find it necessary to use the spacers (from the fitting kit) over the existing screws which hold the number plate to the vehicle, in order to space the plate away from the body, as the cover attachment screws protrude slightly from the rear of the plate.
Full Size Euro Covers:
- In order to fit the Kingpin covers to the full-size Euro plates, it is necessary to drill a 6mm (1/4") hole in each of the two top corners of your number plate. Use the cover as a template to mark the position of these holes.
- It may be helpful to place masking tape over the surface of the number plate before marking and drilling.
- Once the holes are drilled the cover can be attached in the same manner as our other covers by following the instructions above.
- There is a video with a section showing the holes being drilled in a full-size Euro number plate this link. The section you need starts at approximately the 2 minutes 35 seconds point.
- I believe the Kingpin Prestige number plate covers are the best engineered covers available in Australia. However, unlike the LAKIN Custom Number Plate Brackets, they are a mass-produced product. The nature of the production process makes it possible that there will be small flaws in the plastic mouldings.
- As part of the sales process, I inspect each cover and polish out what I consider to be unacceptable flaws. I discard covers which I determine are not fit for sale.
- However, close scrutiny is bound to reveal small scratches or other flaws. Please bear in mind the fact that these 'flaws' will not be detectable once the cover is installed on your vehicle. Note - The lenses have a dull finish to reduce their reflectivity in order to comply with Australian transport regulations. The slightly 'cloudy' appearance of the lens is NOT a manufacturing flaw.
Notes for Special Situations.
- Important Instructions for the use of 3M Command™ Strips.
- Removing front plastic mount from Volkswagens.
Important Instructions for the use of 3M Command™ Strips:
- If your bracket is provided with 3M Command™ mounting strips it is vital that you follow these directions. Do not remove the protective liners from these strips until you have read this page.
Applied correctly the 3M Command™ adhesive will form an aggressive bond, while allowing you to remove the plates easily if necessary.
This first step is best carried out before you mount the bracket to your vehicle.
- Form the number plate to exactly the same curvature as your bracket. Use ONLY gentle pressure to do this - the plates are easy to over-bend. Aim to have the area that contacts the adhesive perfectly smooth.
- Thoroughly clean the rear surface of the number plate where it will touch the tape. Wipe the area finally with the isopropyl alcohol swab to remove any oil or finger prints. DO NOT fit the plate to the bracket yet.
- Now fit the LAKIN bracket to your vehicle and make sure you're happy with its positioning and security before the next step.
- Check that the tabs of the Command™ strips are properly located in the recesses provided and that they are NOT causing the surface of the strip to bulge.
- Remove the red liners from the Command™ strips; align the number plate with the upper holes, WITHOUT allowing it to touch the adhesive strips.
- Loosely attach the plate with the screws in the upper holes, just enough that it's held in alignment with the bracket.
- Now you can allow the plate to contact the Command™ strips. Press firmly over each one for about 30 seconds.
- Leave the whole assembly for an hour before finally securing the screws.
- NOTE: If you're fitting Prestige covers to your plates, fit the plates by themselves first, as described above. After waiting an hour, remove the screws and attach the covers.
Replacing the standard VW front adapter with your LAKIN bracket:
The bracket you’ve chosen for the front of your vehicle is designed to replace the existing plastic adaptor. The plastic adaptor is attached to the bumper panel with four plastic plugs. The plugs each have a central pin, 5mm in diameter, which must be pressed out to loosen the plugs.
The pins are most easily removed using a flat faced punch less than 5mm diameter (or a nail with the point filed flat). Sometimes the pins are quite tight and it may require a short, hard shock with a hammer to dislodge them. Alternatively, you may find it easier to drill them out with a 5mm drill bit.
Once the adaptor is removed the LAKIN bracket can be fitted. It is held in place with screws and screw grommets which fit into the existing 8mm diameter holes in the bumper panel.
- Check that the bracket aligns correctly with the holes in the bumper and that it has the correct degree of curvature. If necessary, adjust the curvature by gently flexing the bracket evenly over a padded object until you’re sure it will fit neatly.
- Take the screw grommets, spacers and screws from the fitting kit. Plug each screw grommet into its hole. Assemble the screws and spacers to the bracket and align them carefully with the screw grommets. It may help to have a second pair of hands for this stage.
- Carefully start each screw into its grommet and tighten them evenly.
Once the bracket is fitted, the number plate and cover can be attached following the standard instructions.