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Chrome plating plastic

Bertocchi

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I have noticed that during restoration of many e9 Coupes the grilles on the hood and front fenders are painted a mat black? Is there a reason for this?
Mine appear to be plastic and I would like to rechrome them. I found these guys in a Google search; http://www.mmmetalizing.com/services.html.
Does anyone else have an interest in doing so?
 

steve in reno

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I used these guys 5-6 years ago.
www.cvvacuumplaters.com

Located in Canada.
Reasonable cost.
I suggest that you get all of your pieces done at the same time. Seat rail blocks, headrest hole plug, armrest cap, side grills, and hood grills. I am sure I have forgotten some also.

I had a very good experience with their product and service.
No affiliation!
steve
 

jmackro

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I have noticed that during restoration of many e9 Coupes the grilles on the hood and front fenders are painted a mat black? Is there a reason for this?
Generally Coupes painted in lighter colors (e.g., silver and white) go with the matt black grilles, while coupes in darker colors go with chrome grilles. I'm no authority, so I would expand Bertocchi's question into two follow-on questions:

1) Did the factory originally supply black grilles on light cars and chrome on dark ones? Were the matt black grilles a different p/n than the chromed ones?

2) If "yes" to #1, is there a chart anywhere that links paint color to grille finish?
 

Bertocchi

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I have observed that CSLs have black grilles? It was my thought that rather than having the plastic rechromed it was easier for restorers to just get out a spray can and paint the grilles? Makes the cars look CSLish?
 

m_thompson

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I believe that the original plastic grills were chrome plated. This would involve a coating of electroless copper and electroplating nickel and chrome. Most of the restoration shops sputter coat aluminum on plastic. Aluminum is common for interior parts, but there may be some issues with the durability of aluminum on an exterior part. Maybe coating it with clear epoxy would protect it?

I have a new set of black grills for my Nachtblau coupe. Some day I will get them plated/sputtered.
 

HB Chris

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Also, the black grilles are not flat black, only after much exposure do they become flat. Original is gloss or very near it.
 

Bertocchi

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From what I have read the process is not a plating process per say. A Chrome foil is actually vacuum formed over the intended piece. I would imagine heat is used during the process? The company I referenced also installs a protective clear UV coating on their pieces.
 

CSteve

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You guys read my mind, or what's left of it. Today I dropped my grilles and vents at Metal Master in Frenchtown NJ. Highly recommended by some muscle car guys.
I had originally gone around and around with company in MA who would do eight pieces for about $300. Turned out it was interior chroming.

Jim at Metal Master has explained in detail why traditional chroming of plastic vents with their angles and curves is difficult. He is going to nickel plate them after working them over in a series of prep steps. Total cost for the four pieces: Around $500. Thats at least $100. less than buying from Mobile Tradition. And I know what kind of chroming process I am getting.

But I want reactions from anyone who has experience doing this or knows something about the process. I believe they have a web site, not sure. Metalmasters in Frenchtown NJ. I will look them up.
Thanks for any advice/warnings,

Steve
 
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