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Old 04-08-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
saturnsctwo
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Default rear license plate light

i have a 01 sc2. my rear license plate light is out, but i can't get the screws out. they must be rusted in. i guess they screw into steel or something because these just ain't comming out. i stripped the hell out of them & messed up the lenses too. can i just replace the whole light assembly? how does that come apart? i see 2 bolts in the deck lid behind the lights, & i guess they hold the light assembly in place? just for the record, i would love to find the guy who designed it so the screws rust in & hang him by his balls...
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: rear license plate light

another thing, since i don't ever want to open those lights again, was wondering if anybody ever used l.e.d's in the license plate light assemblies. if so, how do they work for you? are they bright enough?
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: rear license plate light

why not just either get a drill bit and carefully use it to take the head off then use a pari of pliers to twist the screw out, or buy those cratsman stripped-screw removers that cut into the stripped head to get them out
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by JarredW
why not just either get a drill bit and carefully use it to take the head off then use a pari of pliers to twist the screw out, or buy those craftsman stripped-screw removers that cut into the stripped head to get them out
stripped head remover? what does it look like? these screws are counter sunk in the plastic lenses, so they're hard to get at. i can't believe i got to go through all of this just to remove 2 god dam license plate light screws! i can drill the screw heads off, but i don't think there's enough left to grab onto after i do that. these screws are really rusted in place. i had a good grip for a while of them with a screwdriver & could'nt budge them. what a biotch!
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: rear license plate light

I had to change mine a month ago and what a pita!

I used the screw stripper and then replaced them, no big deal. My car is older than yours though so I think the desing back therew ould be different..
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by agoldslsaturn
I had to change mine a month ago and what a pita!

I used the screw stripper and then replaced them, no big deal. My car is older than yours though so I think the desing back therew ould be different..
you used that stripped screw remover? how does it work? are your license plate lens screws counter sunk in the clear lenses? they are hard to get at..
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: rear license plate light

I guess you can compare it to bolt cutters. I didnt have thestrength in my hands to be able to do it (I type too much ) so a friend helped me.

They are sunk in though, I believe your car is more rounded in the back end since newer model, but its ridiculous how complicating they made it. BTW I highly belive mine were the orginal bulbs, so it took 10 years for them to finally go out...
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: rear license plate light

the stripped screw remover looks like a regualr phillips bit except it has blades when when turned dig in the screw head. it doesn't matter it its counter sunk or not. it may actually work better than if it was a regular screw
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by JarredW
the stripped screw remover looks like a regualr phillips bit except it has blades when when turned dig in the screw head. it doesn't matter it its counter sunk or not. it may actually work better than if it was a regular screw
i find it hard to believe that anything's going to get these screws out, but i'll look into these tools tomorrow. who in the hell designed this thing like this anyway? i figured the screws screwed into plastic making the job a piece of cake, but NO!, it has to be a god dam bitych! if i don't get the screws out, i'll just have to replace the whole light assembly, & am wondering how it comes out if i need to go that route. the car's in prestige condition, & i don't want to mess around too much there, slip with a tool & mar the paint. that would be a disaster!
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: rear license plate light

today i decided to try to drill out the screw heads, & i was able to. then i used a small pair of vice grips & was able to remove the frozen screws. man were they tight like they were welded in. on the new screws, i used silicone grease on the threads so they don't freeze up again. i finally installed the new light lenses. all is well in saturn land now...

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Old 04-09-2006, 10:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo
today i decided to try to drill out the screw heads, & i was able to. then i used a small pair pf vice grips & was able to remove the frozen screws. man were they tight like they were welded in. on the new screws, i used silicone grease on the threads so they don't freeze up again. i finally installed the new light lenses. all is well in saturn land now...

that works, you might want to get one of those screw removers because i have found that drilling only works good on counter sunk screws. glad you were able to get it off with out out changing the whole housing
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by JarredW
that works, you might want to get one of those screw removers because i have found that drilling only works good on counter sunk screws. glad you were able to get it off with out out changing the whole housing
ya, i said "screw it" if i messed up the light assembly trying to drill out the screw heads, then i replace it as i was going to just replace it anyway. so i saved myself some money. i'm still going to buy that stripped screw remover set as i always run into this problem just about everywhere...
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Ok, so I am having the same problem, and am wondering if anyone knows where to get the replacement... I've been looking but haven't been finding much... Oh, and I'm currently running led's for all bulbs except the headlights, and they're nice and bright...

Last edited by SpydudeSC2; 11-15-2015 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Just a small suggestion.... consider swopping the standard screws out for stainless steel. Never have rust issues again.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpydudeSC2 View Post
Ok, so I am having the same problem, and am wondering if anyone knows where to get the replacement... I've been looking but haven't been finding much... Oh, and I'm currently running led's for all bulbs except the headlights, and they're nice and bright...
well this thread is 7 years old & then they still had them on the oem parts shelf then, but now maybe not. try a bone yard if they ain't available anymore...
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: rear license plate light

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Just a small suggestion.... consider swopping the standard screws out for stainless steel. Never have rust issues again.
this will be what I do next.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Spydude,

I know yours is an S series. My 2 sons have an S series and an L series respectively. We haven't had issue with the S series licence plate lights, but we have with the L series. Like the other poster it was the dreaded rust on the screws. They were crossed headed screws and they just simply rounded.

What I found out was that on the L series, you have the 2 flat lenses which are screwed onto the trunk. The bulb holders are plastic and clip in from behind. I was bale to remove the bulb holders from behind, without disturbing the lenses BUT all I found was that the PO had never really maintained them and the bulbs had blown whilst in the holders as well as corroded in.

The L series set up is you have the plastic power connector which plugs into the plastic bulb holder. That clips in from behind.

There was no way I could separate the plastic connector from the plastic bulb holder, they were just too far gone. Whilst places like Rock Auto show the connector, no-one shows the bulb holder. Only to be expected with a defunct car brand.

Although we are in Florida, the L series is a northern car and it has rust around it, with things being seized. More fool me for not spotting that earlier.
Anyhow so on a trip to the junk yard earlier in the summer, I managed to get a pair of good lenses plus the wiring loom with rust/corrosion free license plate lamp holders & connectors. Now we have cooler weather down here, I intend to splice in the wiring and replacement holders and the car should be good again.

I think you will only get replacement lenses and bulb holders from the junk yard now.
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Old 11-18-2015, 01:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: rear license plate light

funny we're talking about this as I just noticed one of my license plate bulbs are burned out, so into this thing I go again. the last time I think I used anti-seize on the screws. we'll see if that helps get them out. if they freeze I will try that bladed screw extractor mentioned in this thread as I don't feel like drilling again & I don't want to mess up the plastic lenses which were replaced the last time as I don't think they will be available new this time. it was 10 years ago when I did this last as this is a 2006 thread....

the screw heads are rusted so it could be another problem...
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by JarredW View Post
the stripped screw remover looks like a regualr phillips bit except it has blades when when turned dig in the screw head. it doesn't matter it its counter sunk or not. it may actually work better than if it was a regular screw
did this work for you?
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: rear license plate light

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
Just a small suggestion.... consider swopping the standard screws out for stainless steel. Never have rust issues again.
do you know what size screws these are? would like to have them available when I try to remove the steel screws..
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