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MG MGF Technical - chrome headlight

There was a thread some time back where someone had spoken with a company that could re chrome the headlight reflectors, I think there was talk of doing a batch.

My car is nearly up for its mot again and last year I managed to get away with buying a new bulb (made no difference but the garage was content with the extra 8 they made).

Thanks
Timothy

Yes, I remember that thread too - not sure what happened? Unfortunately Geoff Smith, who did mine, passed away this summer - but I think that there was something about a specialist in the Midlands who could offer this service?
Rob Bell

Having at last fitted new headlamps to Jackie's F (which has just turned 10) the old pair are going begging if anyone wishes to experiment with re-silvering...
David Smith

I too have a pair of reflectors awaiting a re chroming service! The car pased its MoT again on the orginal lights in August so no panic (yet) to get them re-done and swapped over....
PA Beet

Was there also a thread about someone fitting Fiat Punto units to the MGF? Or did I imagine that, I certainly can't find it in the archives.
Ken Waring

Ken,
Was that Dave Monks whose F was totalled recently by the unlit remains of a boy racer peugot discarded in the fast lane of the A3 after midnight?.... Dave?
Charles

You could be right that it was Dave - but I hadn't heard about that accident??! :o(

Ken, yes, Dave did replace the dip beam with projectors from a Fiat Punto (or MG SVR if you like ;o))
Rob Bell

I hope Mr Monks is in one piece. Did Dave leave any notes on the mod for public consumption? I thought this would be a good way to solve the lighting problem but if you can't see parked cars.....
Ken Waring

The company that "chromed" my TF's side-vent surrounds were " Dual Metallising " in Birmingham.
They were done using a method called " Vacuum Metallising ", this is not true Chrome plating but looks the same, IMHO. I was told that it was'nt as tough as "proper" chrome, but the vents are coming up for their fifth winter and are still as good as when first fitted. They were laquered(which could lead to heat problems on a lamp-bowl?), but, on a lamp-bowl, as they would be protected by the glass this may not be necessary.
You would have to supply the item in bare plastic, the TF vents were a nightmare as I had to remove the OM paint and the finish is only as good as the surface of the plastic. On a lamp-bowl I would imagine half an hour with T-cut would remove any chrome residue, less if you "Trophy-ise" them.
This company were very helpful, and I had no problems with them dealing with my one-off order.Not sure about a web-site, but the phone no. is: 0121 708 2748.

P.S. if you want to see an example of " Vacuum Metallising" on plastic, pop down to your local Undertaker and check out the Coffin handles! :o))














Roy Bridge

It's worth a go Roy!

Ken - have a look in the general archives. There were some comments and pictures...
Rob Bell

I posted a thread during July in connection with headlight reflectors. I have been in touch with Dual Metallising who indicated a willingness to help. They understandably suggested dealing with a 'pair' of reflectors rather than the one which I had. I have as a result since July been trying to make up a pair. I tried but could'nt make contact with someone who reportedly had a number of reflectors available for refinishing. However, this last weekend, thanks to the generosity of a member Dave Smith, who not only gave me the headlight units but personally delivered them to me, I now have the pair of reflectors to enable me to go ahead. Once I have had the job completed I will report on what the results are and the associated costs.
Geoff Smart

I have a chat with Geoff before he left us. He said they were very fragile and prone to break in the post.

It's might be worth taking extra care over the packing.
Chris

Geoff, have a chat with Mike Hankin - he's also working (in parallel!) on this project...
Rob Bell

Hi All,

Been reading this thread with intrest as my car has just failed mot on both headlights. I guess reading this I wll hvae to invest in two new lamps. Could someone advise who sells these at a reasonable price please?

I did also notice that on the MGOC parts web site under the MGF lights section they list reflectors at 46.95 http://www.mgocaccessories.co.uk/acatalog/MGF_LIGHTS.html

Are these replacements?

Steve
sc sylvester

I think that is D-eflector rather than R-eflector unfortunately :(

HTH :)
Tony

The cheapest I found was a MGR breaker in Norfolk that was about 120 Inc delivery and vat. I did find out about a few second-hand but on for about 20 less and as I could not verify the age did not seem worth doing considering they might also have gone or soon go misty.


Timothy



Tony, Yes it does help thanks, now I have read correctly you are correct!!!!!

I guess the only way to go is new headlamps
sc sylvester

Don't all hurry and buy new headlights. I might have news within the next week or so of the costs of refinishing a pair of reflectors. I am appreciative that this means dismantling and reassembling the headlight unit. However, the cost of refinishing will be a lot less than new headlights which I believe is 240.00 or thereabouts.
Geoff Smart

Hi Geoff, It is not a problem to strip headlight down, especially if it saves me a few quid.

Please can you keep me posted. Although car has run out of test I am prepared to park up for a week or so.

Thanks in advance.

Steve
sc sylvester

Hi Geoff,

Any further on with this rechroming?

Steve
sc sylvester

Hi Steve.
Have today spoken with Dual Metalissing who are returning reflectors today. Oncw I receive them I'll report on finished article and price etc. and in event everything is ok they will be pleased to take the job on for members! Back soon!
geoff. s.
Geoff Smart

Can't spell once!
Geoff Smart

Great work Geoff! Let me know the details as soon as you've confirmed everything, and I'll update my webpage. :o)
Rob Bell

Thanks for the kind comments Rob. I have today received back from Dual Metallising Ltd. two reflectors as good as new (possibly better!). The company will be prepared to 'replate' a pair of reflectors for 70.00 plus VAT but including return carriage. Their address and other details are as follows:-
Dual Metallising Limited,
Unit 12/14 The Business Centre,
James Road, Tyseley,
Birmingham, B11 2BA
Telephone 0121 708 2748

I have dealt with Peter & Colin (mainly Peter) who are both extremely helpful. Goodluck with the headlights!
geoff.s.
Geoff Smart

Brilliant Geoff! :oD

Will put the details onto the site :o)
Rob Bell

Rob - one brief addendum. The company did state that when receiving the headlights they would prefer that the remittance of 82.25 payable to Dual Metallising accompany the reflectors.
Geoff Smart

Ah - better add that to the webpage then! Thanks Geoff.
Rob Bell

Nice one Geoff, thanks for the info.

Did they give any indication of turn round or is it best to give them a call?

Steve
sc sylvester

Hi Steve,
My delays were experienced as a result of initially only having one reflector. However, as mentioned earlier Dave Smith kindly helped me with some old lamps which enabled me to make up a pair. However, I suspect that the turnaround time will not be very long as they have now prepared a jig upon which they mount the reflectors. Have a word with Peter - he is very helpful!
geoff.s.
Geoff Smart

Hi Geoff,

I have spoken to Peter, very nice bloke, and yesterday stripped out my headlights.

I now have the reflectors stripped out, without breaking anything. Peter did tell me to give them a wash in hot water & a bit of wahing up liquid.

I have done that & the chrome plating has come right off back to the black plastic, without to much effort.

Is that normal?

Steve
sc sylvester

Well done Steve. I did damage one reflector mount when dismantling the headlight unit. It has however mended ok. I did'nt try to clean my reflectors before I sent them. I imagine that Peter knew what he told you would achieve. Your detergent must be bloody good stuff. Don't wash up without wearing rubber gloves! I look forward to hearing the results when you receive the reflectors back refinished
Geoff. S.
Geoff Smart

The silver finishing of the headlamps are incredibly fragile by the time they've oxidised to the extent that you have to replacement, so I wouldn't be too worried Steve. I am sure that Peter et al will stripping back to bare plastic in any case! ;o)
Rob Bell

I can confirm that the silver coating is very fragile. I have a spare pair of reflectors and saw a little black spot. I gave it a gentle rub and suddenly I had a big black spot!

As a word of caution folks, be very careful when disconnecting the reflectors from the mounting in the headlight assembly. There are two ball joints on the reflector. Attempting to discount these and so remove the reflectors from the headlight assembly needs a lot of force. However it is also possible to break the headlight unit mounting points instead on pulling the ball joints out. So be very careful when trying to disconnect the ball joints!

Thanks Geoff for all your efforts, a fine service to the MGF community!

Just one point however. Do these guys put a coating over the new reflective coating to ensure we do not have to go through this process again in 8 years time.

Cheers

Patrick
PA Beet

Hi All,

Sent reflectors to Peter Monday morning, arrived Tuesday back with me this morning, what a service!!!!

Great job done. Will hopefully rebuild tonight and back for retest on Friday.

Lets hope it will now pass the mot on headlights!

Steve
sc sylvester

Patrick I can't comment whether the reflectors need any additional protective coating. Roy Bridge who made an earlier posting on this thread had had his side vents refinished by Dual Metallising five years ago and said they were as good as new. He had however laquered them. If new headlights are made as per the originals this method of refinishing should still be a more economic proposition for mgf owners.
regards,
geoff.s
Geoff Smart

Geoff Smith was laquering the head lamp bowls he was re-silvering. I am sure that Dual Metallising will tell us whether they are doing the same as this, as well as sealing the plastic substrate, is essential for the long-term viability of the mirror-like finish in the long-term.
Rob Bell

Hi All,

Have refitted reflectors tonight & before I put the glass on I though I would give the DEFLECTOR a quick wipe to get finger prints off.

With this the chrome has come off slightly in one place!!!!

I don't think it does, well I hope not, but does the DEFLECTOR play any part in the beam or are they purley chromed for cosmetic reasons????

Steve
sc sylvester

Which bit of the head lamp assembly are we talking about? Not sure what you mean by deflector?
Rob Bell

Hi Rob,

The piece I mean is the oval plastic cover with two hole in which the reflector attaches to by 4 screws.

I have read somewhere, Scarlet fever web site, were these are colour coded to car so I guess pay not part in the headlight beam.

Booked in for retest tomorrow so guess I will know if it fails.

Steve
sc sylvester

Ah, that outer trim bit? Yup, don't worry too much. MG Rover painted this black for the MGF Trophy 160 LE so clearly it isn't that important for beam pattern! :o) And yes, you can easily colour code it, as many have done (Andy G and Scarlet Fever were the pioneers on this modification!)

The vital components are the reflector bowls, and for the dipped beam, the diffuser glass.
Rob Bell

Hi All,

Headlight passed with flying colours and are well brighter!!!!

Just hope the rechroming lasts!

Thanks for everyone's input and I would highly recommed Dual Metallising for a very speedy service & a quaility job.

Steve
sc sylvester

This thread was discussed between 13/10/2006 and 24/11/2006

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.