Go directly to: Front License Plate Bracket Prep
Commonly known as “Mud Flaps”
My first viewing of Mopar 82215022 Molded Splash Guards (sold as a set of 4 with mounting hardware) for the Classica and Lusso 124 Spiders today! Thanks for posting PureAdrenaline.
Even Mopar’s online Accessory catalog never had an actual photo of them, so it is great to finally see what they look like and apparently he’s already installed them on his red Lusso, stating:
Mud flap install simple on front…uses existing holes…back requires 3 holes to be drilled on each flap…still a very simple job…unless you have a small drill you will need to remove the rear wheels…
I bet he meant to say fender rather than flap 😉
He later added:
You are correct…holes are drilled on the car…but not into metal…all plastic so rust will not be an issue…
The larger guards on the bottom of the first photo (with 3 holes) are for the rear. I’m not sure why these guards reportedly don’t fit the Abarth model*,
but I would imagine that Mopar already has guards for that model in the works. I also wonder if guards will soon be available in painted colors (as MX-5 guards are), or will only be available in black.
Anyways, now that installed splash guard photos have been posted (shown below; nice set of wheels by the way!), I think these guards are subtle enough to blend into the design without matching color paint on the backside (and they’re half the price of painted!).
I’ve purchased a set of splash guards from my dealer for my Classica!
I paid less than $71 for the official 124 Spider splash guards with my Mopar discount, and you should be able to get close to this price at some of the online sites selling Mopar accessories.
Finally had a chance to install the splash guards…
- (4) Poly (POM) rivets are provided for the front guards, because the fasteners you are removing won’t accommodate all of the extra thickness of the guard.
- The holes in the rear guards are undersized for the (6) included black HDPE-coated aluminum rivets, but it’s an easy task to enlarge the holes, since you already have your 13/64″ drill bit mounted in your drill to drill the holes into the fender well (which is indeed all plastic, so no need to be concerned with rust).
- Holding the rear splash guards in place, I found a sharpie pen to be an ideal way to mark the hole locations.
- I too found that only the rear wheels needed to be removed, as turning the steering wheel full-left for the left side and full-right for the right wheel gave me plenty of room for the rivet gun.
- I hope I never have to change the side marker light bulbs (you actually have to change the whole assembly), because the riveted front splash guards make the job of pulling back the fender wells to access the rear side of those lights much more difficult, although I hear that if it is pushed rearward (with some force to deflect the large spring tab) and the front is pulled and rotated out, the lamp assembly can be removed without rear access.
* Apparently, the front guards fit fine on the Abarth, but the rears do not (as shown below ⇓ ), and unless you want to do some modifying (which also results in them being smaller and less effective), I would hold off.
Reading through the installation instructions, it’s nice to know that a rivet gun is needed ahead of time to install the rivets for the rear guards, as one is already in my toolbox. However, I just realized that my regular rivet gun may not work for the black poly rivets provided for the front guards as the:
- shank diameter is too large (3/16″)
- tool “clasps” meant for aluminum shanks may break the poly shanks?
I’ve now ordered a plastic rivet tool (like the one shown in the instructions) for the front guards. Good to know ahead of time, rather than wasting shop-time with the wheels off and no tool to complete the job. 😉
I think I would consider just buying a few black aluminum screws to use in place of those rivets, rather than paying $26 for a rivet gun (unless you already have one). That would make the splash guards removable too, in case you ever need to change the side marker light.
Jacking up the 124 Spider
In order to remove the wheels, I had to purchase a trolley vehicle jack along with a frame rail protector pad, since unlike the OEM jack that has a slot to accommodate the frame rail, the crushing weight of half the car would bend the frame rail using a normal jack. More on jacking up the Spider here.
Side note: Advanti wheels 17×7 ET 40mm (14 lbs each)…Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires 205/45-17 tires (20 lbs each)…H&R springs (1.75″ drop front, 1.5″ drop rear)…Eibach front and rear sway bars…stock shocks
Front license plate bracket
I’m glad my toolbox contains the needed rivet gun, as I already needed it to install the front license plate bracket on my car a few months ago. That was one project I didn’t want to do, but I plan on driving the car a long time in my home state that currently requires front plates, so I relented and drilled the 5 required holes and riveted the bracket into the front fascia with the supplied black HDPE coated aluminum rivets.
There are reports of some lazy dealers skipping the entire install process, and simply driving the license plate screws through the bracket, and into the fascia (as seems to be common for the rear plate). NOTE: If you click on the photo below to view the enlarged version, you’ll see where two larger holes are also supposed to be drilled, but it appears that many dealers are skipping drilling those holes which accommodate the primary rivets, so there’s a good chance a car wash could rip the bracket off of the fascia (except we don’t use car washes 😉 )
The instructions for mounting the bracket (including drill bit sizes) are actually molded onto the backside of the bracket, as are clips to hold the 5 included rivets. Make sure you use the 2 primary (larger) rivets in the 2 larger holes (8 mm) that you drill into the fascia where small ●’s are molded in, and then the 3 smaller rivets utilize the smaller holes (5 mm) which are identified by 3 subtle dimples in the fascia.
The dimples at the top of the bracket accept the standard license plate screws, which are ¼-14 x ¾” self tapping screws.
I’ve read how some users are hanging the plate in the grille using tie-straps to avoid drilling holes into the fascia, but I feel strongly that would not be a good practice, since the airflow for the radiator, transmission cooler, turbo intercooler and the crucial ram-air inlet for your engine’s filtered combustion air may be somewhat inhibited or blocked. Remember, the vehicle has been designed and wind-tunnel verified with the factory chosen location of the license plate in mind. Others are using brackets that screw into the tow-hook opening, which is at least on the opposite side of the grille from the ram-air opening, but aside from the plate looking worse there than the factory intended location (in my opinion), the altered location of the plate still raises the question as to how air-flow is affected.
One no-holes solution was offered by muserltd (Stelvio) after I wrote this article (see first comment below) and is worth consideration in my opinion for installing in the factory location, but without the factory bracket, holes and rivets. The neoprene rubber license plate holders are used by dealers (while you test drive their vehicles) by hanging them out of the trunk.