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MG TD TF 1500 - home chrome plating

Been thinking ahead about ALL the bits and pieces going to have to be replated. Looked at a kit or two on-line and see that they're in the $500 - $600 range for something that'll do most all the parts. If I have to send them out I think the price will be out of sight. Time to do tham isn't an issue (I'm retired), and I'm sure I have the necessary ability (with some practice), but is it a feasible thing to give a shot at? I've read a bit about it, and it seems like surface prep and attention to detail are the major keys.

Any thoughts on DIY systems?



Chrome plating involves a lot of toxic chemicals... and is also a black art for the pros.

With firstworld councils now so wary of health issues its getting impossible to buy lacquer paints, its not gunna be easy hiding your work in progress.


I have had lots of plating done by local firm. They are one of the few sub contractors I have used that I have felt genuinely sorry for. Some people seem to think that you can take the most battered, cracked, headlamp shell with stripped threads, and after being plonked into a chromium bath - hey presto you have a pristine lamp. Platers are skilled in plating - not metalworking. We all know that preparation is the most important part when painting a car. This is doubly the case with plating. I took all my parts down to the platers and asked him to remove the chromium. I then repaired each bit, knocking out dents, silver soldering cracks etc and finally ploishing with 1000 grade emery cloth. They then went back to the platers for a final polish on a buffing wheel before being plated. The finish is superb and because I had done most of the time consuming work the costs were very reasonable. If you have the time that's my recommendation.

Happy New Year

Jan T
J Targosz

Chrome plating involves the use of very dangerous chemicals (cyanides I believe). There will be restrictions on their supply, use and disposal. These are designed to stop the users body organs from failing. DIY plating is usually only possible for nickle, cadmium, zinc etc.

Where we live, the best chrome shops are those that do the Harley stuff, so you can just imagine who the owners of these shops are!!

But they do the detail work including total resorations, that many other shops either refuse to do, or do lousy jobs.

Gord Clark
Rockburn Qué.

Gordon A. Clark


Small part plating is not all that bad. Yes, you do have to be careful with the chemicals, but most of the kits come with very specific safety information.

I have been plating bolts and small parts for a couple of years. If you have the time to take it slow and follow the safety and environmental issues, doing the small parts can be fun.

Anything more than a headlight probably is difficult for a home shop. As the T's don't have all that much small chrome pieces, it may not be worth it. I originally got into it for small motorcycle parts.

Now, for my B. I zink plated all of the fasteners that originally came plated my self at home.

Here is one place to get advice.

Here is where I get most of my equipment. A search of the Web will also bring up instructions for building your own setup's
Bruce Cunha

Hi Tom,
The real "trick" with chromeplating is in the preparation. I do all my own preparation,including the final buffing stage, but then hand the item to be plated to a reputable chromeplater.I have just completed a detailed article on all aspects of the preparation methods/techniques on MG brasswork ready for the Octagon Car Club's Bulletin magazine probably for the February issue,2006.Might help you.
Rob. Grantham.
Rob. Grantham

I have used a home system for plating small parts. There are non-cyanide versions available for home use that are less toxic, but I would still want to use the system in a garage or basement. Some of them are not actually chrome plating, but look very close especially on small parts. I can e-mail you the name of some suppliers if you are interested. One big problem with chrome plating, you need a BIG rectifier to plate anything over a few inches. By the time you get done buying the electronics and the solutions it is not worth it to do it at home. Small parts are a different thing.
I just want to reinforce earlier comments, if you do the prep work on pieces to be plated first and take the time to get out dents, gouges etc and then buff the surface ,it will cost you much less. I did the prep work on 2 headlight buckets and the total cost to replate was $250.00
Robert Silverman

This thread was discussed between 28/12/2005 and 04/01/2006

MG TD TF 1500 index

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