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MG MGF Technical - Chrome Inspection bay flaps

Hi all,

I'm just looking to see who would be interested in replacement chrome metal flaps for the engine cover grill. They would be made from mild steel 1.5mm (ish) folded and welded corners, and then chromed. Left and right flap would be identical, but with the hinge cut out piece being reversed so the water bottle flap opens in the same direction as the boot lid.

I am after numbers to get a quote for the fabrication and then chroming. Off my head I would guess between 40 and 70 pounds a pair but a clearer idea of numbers would help me get an exact price.

Changing from plastic to metal, would mean you would have to add rubber / tape to stop the metal on metal vibrating.

Anyone interested? And any suggestions / modifications?
Richard P

Interesting idea Richard. :o) Are you chroming the grille as well?
Rob Bell

Already done that on about 8 cars now :-)

Looks very good
Richard P

First reaction: oohh yes !!, I want a set.
Second reaction: better not, as I haven't got those flaps anymore (left the one above the coolant tank out of the car to check the fluid more regularly; left the one above the ECU out of the car since it doesn't fit anymore with the EFI ECU)

Hi Richard,

Count me in!

Sam Murray

>> left the one above the coolant tank out of the car to check the fluid more regularly <<

How about a flap with a grille in it so it makes casual inspection easier? :o)
Rob Bell

>How about a flap with a grille in it so it makes casual inspection easier? :o)<

Or a piece of perspex cut into it? With neons underneath? ;-)
Richard P

Can you illuminate the expansion tank as a water feature? ROFL

But yes, I guess you could do that Richard - might look interesting. Wire in the lighting to the bootlid lamp circuit...
Rob Bell

>Can you illuminate the expansion tank as a water feature? ROFL<

Now that made me laugh!

OK. It seems like I have about 5 peeps interested, Me, Sam, 3 other ER members, and two spares (ebay maybe), so I will get a price for making 7 sets, and a price for chromining them and come back to you. Hope to have an answer by Tuesday.

Richard P

Has anyone come across anybody who can "chrome plate" plastic?

Sam Murray

kieron from the ER group has, but not sure where. Will email him and see....
Richard P

Here you go Sam

Chrome Co
Electroplaters of Plastics
Paul McArdle

01543 453333
07881 502927
Not sure where they are
Richard P

There are three basic ways to put a layer of chrome on plastic:

1) Cheapest is to rub the plastic all over with a gaphite pencil then eletroplate it through copper, then nickel then chrome. Cheap, but getting an even finish is very difficult.

2) Electroless plate with nickel then electroplate with chrome. Excellent durable finish, but the most expensive. Biggest drawback is that some companies can only work with hexachrome which can stress-crack the plastic. The best companies use trichrome which is much kinder, but more difficult to achieve an even coat

3) Sputter (ie vacuum coat) with nickel then electroplate with chrome. This gives a goodish finish ie about the same as the standard headlamp, at a reasonable price.

The difficulty is finding a company that can carry out all stages to a consistent standard.

Companies I've come across for medium production runs are:

Premier Plating Works, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, 07866 688395

Firma Chrome Ltd, Saxon Rd, Sheffield, 0114 255 4343

Quality Plated Plastics Ltd, Gt Barr Birmingham, 0121 366 7500


Ouch. The quotes are back in. Fabrication 16.65, Chroming 13.50, + VAT times 2 = 70.85.

I think this is a bit too much, will have to think of something else, :-(
Richard P

Chrome plate the plastic originals Richard?
Rob Bell

Make them in aluminium and polish them.
Ken Waring


I like the idea of having the exisitng plastic covers chromed.

Perhaps we could get a quote to have a quantity done?

Sam Murray

Had been thinking about this, before the metal plate idea. Will try and get some costs together and go from there.

Ally ones was also a thought. Will have a chat with the ER lot on Thursday and see the general consensus.

Richard P

Just a thought: could it be that a metal flap would be too hot to open after some serious driving. I've got the (non-scientific) feeling that a metal part will feel hotter than a plastic one.
I just don't want anyone to burn his fingers on the bling part.

This thread was discussed between 25/04/2006 and 04/05/2006

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