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MG MGA - Zinc Plating

The time has come replace/renovate many of the MS nuts and bolts under my car that are visibly rusting, paint protection seems to have had little resistance to the UK weather.
I don't really want the replace option since in my experience the quality of the steel is poorer than the original.
So has anyone any experience in DIY zinc plating using the various zinc plating kits on the market or even set up their own system -how good were the results?
J H Cole

No experience with DIY plating, but, I sandblasted all my original bolts and took them to an industrial plating house. Very happy with the results and they didn't charge very much.
G T Foster

I've used the Eastwood plating kit on hardware and small clips. Results were just OK, I found it to be slow and a bit tedious to use. Hardware to be plated needs to be clean, clean, clean. Sandblasting and Muriatic acid. If you have a lot to do, go with GTF's comment and have them done in a bulk process by a professional plating house.

G Goeppner

I have recently replaced all the setscrews on the under wing (fender) splash panels with stainless steel ones for the same reason. I replaced the plain and spring washers with stainless steel ones too. They cost very little and will always look better than the mild steel ones.
You can get stainless steel setscrews and the special oval washers for the wing mounting screws too and that is a job I intend to do next winter.
Colyn Firth

I was lucky enough years ago to have all my MG parts cadmium plated,really cannot beat it. But I suppose it is almost impossible or cost prohibitive today.I also have the Eastwood kit and agree with George,too much work to do all parts.Clean them up yourself and find someone who does it,and have them clean them again and plate. If they have deep rust pits or much rust in the threads they sometimes don't come out nice,thats why you need to send extras.
gary starr

forgot picture

gary starr

That has got to be the coolest bunch of swag you could ever find under your Christmas tree!

FR Millmore

One of my concerns over new fixings such as the bolts for the suspension pivots that have to work fairly hard is their strength. Some of these bolts may be high tensile and in the past bolts I've had from Moss such as those for hub to disc started to go plastic when torqued up. Others are not critical so maybe they can be new. The problem with the plating companies is that it's difficult/expensive to have them treat a small quantity only.
J H Cole

I forgot to clarify that I only intend to change the bodywork fixing screws for stainless ones.

They are not strong enough for suspension or engine use

Colyn Firth

Thanks,it was a jig saw puzzle for sure.I had bagged everything and when I decided to plate I had to measure them,note what the head markings were and where they went. Then they came back I had to match them all back up to the list.At this stage of my life I don't know how I did it! When I did them it was a $1 a pound $50 minimum. A MGA does not have 50 lbs of parts that need plating.
I think you guy's in the UK can find zinc platers easier than we can here,I have read in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics that some of the places that powder coat motorcycle parts also do zinc plating,it makes the powder coat last longer.
gary starr


I too am looking for a UK place who can Zinc plate my old nuts & Bolts.

I've had this process done in Perth, Australia about 5-6 times. Last time in 2010 cost me $50 (about 35) for 2kg

The kits look promising but the cost of getting it done professionally seems reasonable (if they don't loose your parts)

In Perth the tiny parts I give them in a zip lock bag and they go into a small barrel along with the larger parts or are individually wired to prevent loss.

I never sand blast first, as this deeply pits them. I use one of those special gold is coloured wire wheels which are designed for rust removal. Then the acid as part of their process does the rest.

2kg of steel can take me 10+ hours to prepare though. Tap and Die each nut and bolt it very very tedious.

If you find anywhere in UK (London), I'd be interested to know, as I don't think chrome platters offer this service.

Mark Hester

Mark, most chrome platers also do zinc plating and if you do a google search I think there are a few in the London area. The thing to be careful of is avoiding a zinc 'flash' coating that is not very durable.
J H Cole

"Sandblast" is kind of a generic term, and Mark is correct, that can leave a surface looking rough. I always glass bead blast, very nice surface results.

G Goeppner

I hear you can use a rock tumbler to clean them also.That way you can do them in your sleep!
gary starr

This thread was discussed between 27/07/2012 and 31/07/2012

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