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mhaywood

Powdercoat Vs. Rechrome For Bumpers?

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I am thinking about refinishing the bumpers on my '48 D-24. Rechroming is way out of my price range at this point so I thought about powder coating them instead. I have a great powder coating shop practically next door and I can get great service. But I am worried about the adhesion of the powdercoat to the old chrome. Will the metal need to be blasted clean or can I etch the chrome with something? I have seen terrible results from people covering up chrome with paint, but I think the devil lies in the prep work. Any input? I was thinking about a chrome-look color choice on the powdercoat.

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Powder coating will stick to the old chrome if the chrome isn't flaking off or damaged in any way.  It's all in the prep work, the bumper should be in pretty good shape to have good results. The powder paint is positively charged and the bumper would be negatively charged. (or vice versa)  Any flaw could show up. 

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Got pictures of your bumpers? I would rather have some slightly shabby chromed bumpers rather than powdercoat. To me, painted bumpers belong on new cars and even then, I don't like them. Keep checking ebay as decent bumpers appear occasionally. My' 53 Plymouth has original chrome on the bumpers and I plan on leaving it that way. Maybe put aside a set amount of money each month until you have enough to chrome the bumpers. That way there is not a huge one sum payment to come up with. Just my two cents worth although in Canada pennies are no longer used. Nickel is our lowest denomination now.

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In general terms the main cost in chroming is in the polishing, to get a nice perfectly flat surface for the copper/nickel/chrome the steel must be striped of the old plating then ground and polished to a mirror finish.........and THIS is what you pay for........this is a labour intensive, dirty, heavy job and to get a decent powdercoating finish I would think that you would need to have a similar finish, maybe not the mirror finish that chrome requires but very close....... so I would suggest getting a quote from both and do a comparision.........as for leaving the old plating and just powdercoating over it I'd be surprised if the powdercoaters would even consider that an option.......my Oz 2cents.........lol.......andyd     

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Any powder coating shop will bead blast most any part even it is just bare metal. The metal needs a "tooth" for the powder to bond properly. Bead blasting will not remove the chrome, just rough it up some so the powder will stick better.

 My buddy has a shop and has powdered lots of parts for my car and I have seen the "almost chrome" powder he uses. It does not look like chrome. It does look more like polished aluminum . He always preheats the parts, then applies the chrome powder, then when it is still hot, applies two more good coats of shiny clear powder.

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Maybe I need to start by trying to polish what chrome is left. The bumpers are straight with no dents. Just minor surface rust. No big flakes coming off, yet... Does anybody have suggestions on what product to use for chrome restoration?

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 My buddy has a shop and has powdered lots of parts for my car and I have seen the "almost chrome" powder he uses. It does not look like chrome. It does look more like polished aluminum . He always preheats the parts, then applies the chrome powder, then when it is still hot, applies two more good coats of shiny clear powder.

What does your buddy charge per bumper? Chrome is so expensive these days that might be the only practical option for some people. Including me. The bumpers on the Worlds Rustiest 42 Dodge coupe are in pretty sad shape,and I'm not sure I have the patience to do all the brazing and grinding needed to fill in all the pits.

 

I had both bumpers done for my 48 Ply coupe a few years ago,and it came to 630 dollars for just the two bumpers without bumper guards and with no shipping involved. Since the bumers were both smooth,unpitted,and not bent,I thought this was a outrageous price before everybody started telling me what a good deal I got on them.

Edited by knuckleharley

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Maybe I need to start by trying to polish what chrome is left. The bumpers are straight with no dents. Just minor surface rust. No big flakes coming off, yet... Does anybody have suggestions on what product to use for chrome restoration?

Try krinkeled up aluminum foil. Wad it up into a ball and scrub with soap and water.  Works wonders on old chrome.

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I had both bumpers done for my 48 Ply coupe a few years ago,and it came to 630 dollars for just the two bumpers without bumper guards and with no shipping involved. Since the bumers were both smooth,unpitted,and not bent,I thought this was a outrageous price before everybody started telling me what a good deal I got on them.

 

It was a couple of weeks ago and now I forget the site I checked, but I want to say that an estimate on rechroming just the rear bumper for a 1955 DeSoto Firedome was at least $900.

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Aluminum foil with a twist...I use 0000 steel wool with phosphoric as the wetting solution..it will dissolve the rust and transform the pits to inert substate (if sealed) at that time I use the metal foil to deposit metal into the pits and transform the pits to a filled deposit of shiney metal..then wax heavily..

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

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The outfit I would use for powder coating manufactures powered parachutes. I have seen their work and it is outstanding. Since they are my neighbors he is only going to charge me $10 each to do some trailer rims next week, I just need to sandblast them beforehand. As far as the bumpers go I plan to use your suggestions to rejuvinate what's left of the chrome. If I'm unhappy with the outcome I will probably try the powdercoat option. The problem is that once I start powdercoating parts, I will want to do the taillights, then the door handles, and then who knows where it will end...

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There are also some good commercial chrome polishes for sale in most automotive stores.

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There are also some good commercial chrome polishes for sale in most automotive stores.

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Whoops on the quote. I am pretty far from the polish stage at this point.

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The outfit I would use for powder coating manufactures powered parachutes.

 

Please explain powered parachutes?

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powrachute.com is their homepage. I'm not smart enough yet to post a link...

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It was a couple of weeks ago and now I forget the site I checked, but I want to say that an estimate on rechroming just the rear bumper for a 1955 DeSoto Firedome was at least $900.

WOW! That's scary.

GlennCraven likes this

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Let's try this again...

Thanks! I would have no problem living with that on any of my cars.

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  "Uncle Bob's" a mighty fine looking car ! 

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You've got a good looking car. This is just my opinion but I think you would take away some of the car's panache by powder coating the bumpers. I had mine rechromed for about $300 each. The problem is the environmental impact agency is putting a lot of restrictions on rechromers. A lot are going to Mexico where there are fewer restrictions.

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Thanks for the compliments. Today I'm going to try some phosphoric acid and some elbow grease and see what happens.

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