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MG TD TF 1500 - chrome costs

Hey guys, I know this is a question dependent on many variables but I would like to ask it any way. to those of you who have had all your chrome parts replated, can you give me a general idea of the cost. I am thinking the radiator shell is the most expensive, I could be wrong. Eventually I will have to get all the chrome parts together to take down to the plater but would prefer not to at this time. To many other projects to be finished. On another note, doesn't mass put their interiors on sale in the spring? I should still be doing paint prep work but don't want to wait another year for the sale.


Rob Welborne

Rob, I think the cost depends on how much work has to be done on making the item to be plated straight. I could be wrong but, I think the labor charges out weighs the plating fee. If your parts are in perfect order, then plating should be at a minimum. My TF grill looks good as far as the chrome goes, but it is dented in various places, so I'm figuring around $700.00 and up just for the grill, possibly a $1000.00. Those who have been through this will have a better estimate. PJ
P Jennings

My windshield and related parts, stantions and smallnuts and bolts was 450.00 this past summer. Grilles as far as I know run from 1000 to 2000 depending on who does it. Franklin is expensive in PA. but they do a great job. For bumpers, I would just buy a set. Small jobs around the Twin Cities start at 100.00 minimum. Lucky for us the cars dont have a huge amount of chrome on them. not compared to some of the stuff from the mid to late 50's American iron..
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Just priced replacement for my radiator shell, in the U.K., and , fully chromed , with logo, etc, about $1400....
I'm beginning to think that I may live with it....
Some smaller bits are cheaper to replace than re-chrome.
There's another discussion of this on the MG Experience Forum...It's discouraging, as the parts replacement/re-chrome prices have gotten out of hand, and car resale values have gone down.....
E.B. Wesson

Rob - However you cut it, chroming is expensive!!!! I don't know that I would agree with the statement that is has gotten out of hand - it has always been expensive compared to other processes. The problem is that chroming is exceedingly labor intensive (not to mention the price of chrome to start with). The part has to be stripped of any finish that is already on it (including the chrome that is there). The part is then buffed to get rid of any surface imperfections. It is then copper plated, buffed; tin plated, buffed again and finally chrome plated. Chrome itself is transparent and it is the tin plating that gives the final product its silvery finish, the chrome is there for protection. When you start adding up the hours that the buffer and platter work on the piece, times the per hour wages, the end cost goes up nearly exponentially.

Something else to think about - you don't want to put a production piece that is purchased from any of today's suppliers right next to a piece that has been reworked by a good plating shop (such as the chrome hinge strip down the middle of the hood) - if you do the purchased piece will look like crap. I did that on our TD when the platter told me that I could purchase the hinge piece a lot cheaper than he could plate it for me. When I put the car together, I promptly took the old hinge piece back and told him that I would pay the price to get it done and then sold the purchased piece.

My suggestion is to decide how much the shiny bits are worth to you, then set aside however much money you are willing to invest in getting there. If you do the plating done is several batches - don't total them up until several years after you have finish the restoration (reduces the chances of a heart attack). Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Great advice David! Plus the gallons of very toxic and regulated chemicals used. The surface prep must be absolutley flawless. Totally hand-made process, very skilled-labor intensive too. Much of the repro chrome is just ghastly- not shaped correctly, wrong screw heads, rusts in weeks, etc. You could start with "internal" parts (rad shell, w/s fame, and leave the outer stuff (bumpers/hub caps/light trim rings) for later, or you could do any time even after the car was completed. That said,there may be a few parts (door locks/handles, the outer hood strip supports) that are just worn out and shot and do need replacing. There were some nice sidelight repros out a few years ago as well, don't know about the current quality. Likewise, Abingdon Spares had some "Lucas" headlight trim rings which were beautiful, don't know if they still have or not. George
George Butz

Thanks everyone,

I really have not looked much at the chrome I have. It has just sat so long most of it looks pitted. I hate to do a full restoration on the car and then use poor chrome pieces. I may just have to plate what I can as I go like Dave said and avoid a heart attack. I already have small strokes every time I order from Moss.

Rob Welborne

Rob, try AAA Metal finsihing in St. Paul, MN they have done some grilles for some of our club members and they are pretty good as far as I know.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Pacific Plating in San Diego ((619) 295-0496; 3033 Jefferson St, San Diego, CA) did just about everything for around $1800. As much as it hurt, I'm realizing I probably got a pretty good deal. The work is done across the border, and they do a fantastic job. Bumpers were $100 each (after I told them that's what I would need to pay for replacements)and they straightened them very nicely. Radiator shell was $250.

J Barry

aih chrome in dubuque, ia. does a great job for a fair price. they have done the work on the last several pebble beach winners. regards, tom
tom peterson

What is the average turn around time for a T series? I know this will vary depending on the work needed, labor for fixing dents, the reputation of the shop -- but still curious. I've had my Harley parts five step chrome plated in California in the past but never a car.

I've heard good things about Paul's Chrome in PA. Not just here but also reading / researching from other vintage car message boards.

Frank Cronin


I dont know you have to big a beef regarding rechroming costs, here in Aus because of anti pollution laws regarding chemical useage prices have increased dramatically. My TF radiator surround that required no repair work was $A750 and with a few other small bits and pieces the bill was $A1000.00.

That $US1800 deal was equivalent to winning the lottery, grab it with both hands if there is another on offer.
G Evans

I had my radiator shell repaired and rechromed together with a headlamp shell and was charged 325 GBP
which given the figures being quoted above seems very reasonable.
Mick 52 TD
Mick Cook

When I rebuilt the TD one headlight was smashed, ripped off the base and had been run over. I didn't know if it could be fixed. It was streached, flattened and badly cracked. The other one had a very small ding in it, nothing major. Paul's Chrome redid both lights. Here's the odd part, the smashed one was only $75 more.
I'm probably having the smashed one redone under warranty, part of the lip to hold the ring on is still bent, and there is a small crack by the screw that holds the rim on.
D. Sander

This thread was discussed between 26/11/2011 and 27/11/2011

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