I've tried a few different tailgate plates for my Jeep JK. After each one, I felt they were incomplete or lacking something. I try to avoid drilling or cutting my Jeep because I like to swap different parts and do not want to be stuck with one specific part. With that being said, I generally feel like the best parts involve some sort of modification of the body or frame components.
I knew I wanted to move my license plate off of the rear corner and avoid it getting ripped off by a rock or tree. I installed the Poison Spyder Tramp Stamp initially on my tailgate. I never fully committed to screwing the license plate into the tailgate because I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go with the look of the back end of my Jeep. I'm not one for running a spare tire on my rigs. Even with my full rock crawler Willys, I've never carried a spare. I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to the parts I put on my rigs. I like trying to keep stuff lightweight and simple. When you are trying to get through an obstacle or trail, I think having a light and simple rig is the best solution. Complicated components have more possibilities to malfunction or break and heavy vehicles are more prone to break drivetrain.
I try to do a lot of research before I buy parts to install. I noticed a few JK's running the Full Metal Fabworks plate kit and knew it was just what I was looking for. It's a simple piece of aluminum stamped and raised to clear the tailgate vent (which I had already removed to install previous plates). The FMF plate has a mounting option to relocate the license plate like most companies offer but it is raised to be able to bolt the plate on without drilling.
It uses existing bolt holes that the stock spare tire carrier previously utilized and honestly the biggest bonus for my needs... it doesn't have any company logos on the plate. All the tailgate plates available that I have seen, usually have gaudy logos cut into the metal. I like brands just as much as anyone but there's something about having a company's logo all over my personal Jeep that bothers me. Like I said before, I like my Jeep to be simple and minimalist that includes looking clean.
I opted to add the Offroad Only LiteDOT plate light kit. It offers a simple solution to add a rear brake light and license plate light to the Jeep after removing the factory ones. The wiring requires tapping into the passenger taillight wiring but it's worth it to stay street legal and have a complete install.
Along with the light kit, I ordered a plate delete plug that installs in the old holes of the factory license plate mount. I don't have any rear corner armor yet (mostly because I can't decide which one to purchase). Another great feature of the Solutions Plate is new plugs for the rest of the unused holes on the tailgate. Again, finishing out the completeness of the kit. I also opted for the raw aluminum finish because I have intentions of color matching the plate to the Jeep. You can order the plate raw or with a black powder coated finish.
Unpacking your new Solutions Plate with hardware and optional LiteDOT kit.
Here's a shot of the back of the Jeep before I started the install, notice the stock spare tire carrier has already been removed to install the previous tramp stamp plate. I also already removed the tailgate vent which you won't need to do if using the Solutions Plate.
Next, remove all the factory components being deleted or replaced i.e. license plate mount, spare tire carrier, and rubber bump stops.
Pull the two inner screws out of the driver side taillight to pull the license plate wiring up and out of the way. Also, remove the metal clips used to screw the plate mount in. After this, you can install the license delete plug you purchased.
Remove the bolts holding the spare tire carrier on and disconnect the factory wiring. You can access this by popping the plastic covers off the inside of the tailgate.
Here is the bare tailgate ready for the new parts to be installed.
If installing the LiteDOT kit, remove the passenger side taillight to access the wiring. Using a test light, make note of which wire is the brake, reverse and running light. You need to tap the brake, running light and ground wire to run the LiteDOT harness. Use a heat gun to connect and seal the wiring connectors included with the kit.
Take the time to run your new wiring harness through the factory wiring grommets to achieve a clean factory look.
My only change I made to the new part was drilling a small hole above the license plate mount to run the LiteDOT harness through to avoid pinching the wires when installed.
I'm super happy and satisfied with the final result. It cleaned up the back of my Jeep and keeps it street legal.
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