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Old 08-12-06, 02:03PM   #1
Dave _68_gto
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Default Preping a bumper for plastic chrome????

I have a painted fiberglass bumper for a 68 Firebird that I want to prep for plastic chrome. What steps and material would I need to do to get this bumper ready for chrome? Thanks In advance Dave
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Old 08-12-06, 06:00PM   #2
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For all practical purposes* fiberglass cannot be electroplated with copper, nickel and chrome. As an alternate you can have it vaccum metalized which is a very thin layor of aluminum deposited on the substrate and then for protection it is covered with a clear coat of paint. The durability of this finish will only be as good as the protective paint job. Uncoated the very thin layer of alum will rub off very easy. This process is how they make plastic parts in model car kits look like chrome, but on these piticular parts they typical do not clear coat them.

* technicaly you could spray fiberglass with a conductive paint and then electroplate it with copper, nickel & chrome. A similar process is done on baby shoes but instead of "chrome" the baby shoes are typically electroplated with brass and then coated with a clear coat giving it that gold look.
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Old 08-12-06, 06:19PM   #3
Strelka Built
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Welcome to Pontiac Zone. There is a paint process available that looks like chrome, Mirra Chrome by Alsa Corp.
http://www.alsacorp.com/products/mir...a_prodinfo.htm
For a low buck option they also have Killer Chrome in an aresol can for $30 each.
http://alsacorp.com/products/killerc...cans_price.htm
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Old 08-12-06, 08:50PM   #4
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Thanks for you responses. Thanks Mark for the welcoming me. I really like the work you do with the valve covers. I will order a set when I finish with the work on my Firebird. I decided to mini tub, back half , chrome moly cage and many other upgrades to the car. It got really expensive quickly.
I've been on the site a while just haven't posted.
I want advise on how to sand and prime the bumper. I wanted to know the best technique and supplies to remove the old paint and prep the bumper for chroming. I saw the site, http://snschrome.com/ on the web. I wanted to do the prep work, to save money and also learn how to do the work. Then have SNS do the chrome work. Thanks again Dave
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Old 08-12-06, 11:08PM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the info on snschrome. That is what this forum is all about, so we can learn.
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Old 08-14-06, 10:14AM   #6
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From looking at the website you provided, I am thinking you would just have to strip it and not prime it since that is part of their proprietery process. I would suggest contacting them and see what they say. I would think they should be helpful since most likely they would rather not strip it either. If you do sand it yourself, be very careful if you use a DA or any power sander to get off the old paint and primer. It can be very easy to sand in a bunch of waves into fiberglass! BTDT
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Old 08-14-06, 12:27PM   #7
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The wording "chrome" can often be misleading. In this case it appears this is a vaccum metalizing (or similar) process and not actual electroplating of metal layers of copper, nickel and chromium on the substrate.

I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with it, but again this process is only as good as the protective layer of paint that protects the VERY THIN layer of bright shiny aluminum applied to the part to make it look like "chrome".

When you open up a model car kit some of the parts look "chrome" plated.... but they are not.

There is a good explanation of vacuum metalizing here:

http://www.muellercorp.com

Last edited by Steve C : 08-14-06 at 01:10PM.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:20PM   #8
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Thanks Steve for that clarification. I was wondering about that. It is my understanding Edelbrock uses similar VPD technology for their Endurashine finish.
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Old 08-15-06, 05:51PM   #9
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Thanks Steve I emailed the Mueller company. Thanks to all that answered. Dave
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Old 08-15-06, 06:25PM   #10
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FYI, I posted the Mueller website only because they had pictures and a good explanation of the process. I know nothing about the company itself.
Length of the part to be finished might present a issue.


Here are a few others of interest:

http://www.specialitychromeplastics.com

http://www.autoinstruments.com

hrrp://www.classiccomponents.com

http://www.astroelectroplating.com
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