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How to rechrome the grille?

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How to rechrome the grille?

Post by bwdz on Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:36 pm

So the grille surround is some crappy fiberglass plasticky job. The finish on mine is wasted so how did the factory apply this chrome look to this material since it isn't metal? How do I refinish it?
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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by Hotrod on Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:20 pm

Saw this on tv.  They might be able to rechrome yours.

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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by David V. on Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:16 am

As hotrod mentioned, you can likely find a few places that do "spray chrome". However I've also been considering giving 3M chrome vinyl wrap a try. Some of the finishes on modern wraps are very impressive.
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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by bwdz on Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:22 am

I've seen some paints as well, not the old spray chrome that looks like silver, but some new ones that are a 3 part process. What I am wondering about is how did they do this to start with? It seems like everything on this car was very crude and basic so I can't imagine that it was a very complex process. There's a couple of guys I have seen that pop up on other message boards that worked for CR so I will see if I can hit them up and ask.

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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by Hotrod on Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:15 am

I guess I should have added that link was for a article on My Classic Car about Paul's Chrome.  The video shows some fiberglass parts that they chromed.  They impregnate the fiberglass with something that makes it conduct electricity.  They then electroplate it with copper, which is the normal base for chromed parts.  After that, the process is just normal chroming.

The chrome paints on the market are very interesting, but it's my understanding they require special equipment and training to get right.  They do look just like chrome, but they are only as durable as regular base coat/clear coat paint.

The chrome vinyl wraps could be worth trying, but the compound curves on the grille surround might be tricky.  I'll be watching if someone gives it a try.  I did see pics of an original Healey that had the entire body chrome wrapped.
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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by bwdz on Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:38 pm

I emailed a guy who used to work at Classic Roadsters back in the day to see if he knows what they did as I assume it had to be relatively inexpensive and simple, hopefully. I will also check with my buddy at the prototype shop to see what they do as they make a lot of one off parts from fiberglass and like materials and probably have to chrome some of them. Mine is so bad that it will have to be sanded smooth so I may be able to reveal the different coats that went into it to analyze the original process. I have a spot that is chipped real bad and it sort of looks like a white primer which is part of a 3 step process I read about but they made it seem like it's new so I don't know how it would have existed in the 80s when these things were made[img][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][/img]

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Re: How to rechrome the grille?

Post by David V. on Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:10 pm

From the wrapping videos I've seen it seems like the wrap would be doable. Either way I will be trying it for another project I'm working on soon (56 dodge truck grille).

Hotrod I know which healey you're talking about. Believe it or not that is not a chrome wrap. The guy re-made an entire healey body out of aluminum and polished it to a mirror finish.

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