Author Topic: ReChrome  (Read 1065 times)

acbrock

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ReChrome
« on: April 15, 2024, 21:35:52 »
Hey, I know this is discussed all over this forum but I also know prices and companies change frequently, especially those last 4-5 years.

Has anyone done a full ReChrome Lately?  I am just trying to gage a Ballpark Price.  I am in Los Angeles.  Sort of sounds like I will get a better price and maybe quality mailing everything out of California because of all the environmental laws they place on companies that Chrome....

Any thoughts would be helpful.  I have emailed a bunch of the companies I found on this forum but so far have not heard back.  I was about to put my windshield back in and realized all the chrome around the windshield is not accessible unless the windshield is out.  So just trying to decided if I want to chrome now and in a couple years.  Man getting that rubber back on the windshield is proving to be a BATTLE!!
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

dirkbalter

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2024, 22:32:40 »
I have used both of the ones below. (I can drive there which eliminates the shipping hassle.)
 
http://www.chromadorainc.com/
https://www.mjb-chrome.com/

The first one is quiet reasonable and imo very good. The second one is 3 x more expensive and perfect.

PM me if you want details.
 
Dirk
66 230 SL
70 280 SEL
53 CHEVY 3100
18 C300 COUPE
05 HD FLSTNI

larryled

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2024, 16:36:55 »
Try Al’s Plating in Fort Worth; they did a good job on some Trim Rings for me.  Graves Plating in Alabama does outstanding work and expensive, but they may have closed shop?  Larry L.

mdsalemi

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2024, 18:00:07 »
Graves Plating in Alabama does outstanding work and expensive, but they may have closed shop?

Graves Plating closed down about a year ago.

I think most of the chrome platers I used over the years--the bulk of them during the initial restoration including Graves, one in Canada, and others in Michigan have closed. (Everything on my car was re-chromed except the little fresh air vent louvers.) That's the bad news.

The good news is that the need has not gone away and there are still plenty of shops around the country that can help you.

As an FYI while CA leads the nation in environmental laws, there's a lot on the books about plating and it applies nationwide due to EPA regulations, not state. The rules apply to the toxic chemical, the effluent/waste, and the air. So, everyone must be in some compliance in the USA.

One USED to be able to go across the border to Tijuana and get, well, a "Tijuana Chrome Job" but remember you get what you pay for, usually at least. I don't know if this is still done--you may know better than me. I do know that there are still places that do this, I just don't know if many Americans in SoCal drive across the border with car parts to be plated.

BTW in terms of pricing, over 25 years ago chroming everything was probably a $15-$20K job. In 2021, just the rechroming of the parts for my hard top was over $2K. It's never been inexpensive.

You need to stop emailing the shops and call them instead. That was true then and probably still true today based on the lack of response. My suggestion once you narrow down a few promising places is don't say, "I'm not looking for a show chrome job" thinking you can save money. Most shops have a certain quality standard. Let them explain their process and see if it fits your need and budget. Learn about the processes: do they do a copper strike? How much cleaning? Single or double strike of nickel? There's a lot to it...
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
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acbrock

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2024, 18:30:29 »
Wow ok thanks for all the info.  Pricey! 
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

Cees Klumper

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2024, 18:33:11 »
Last weekend I spoke with a guy at a classic car event who showed his restored '66 Mustang. The plentiful chrome on the car was incredible. He explained that almost all of it was aftermarket, as that was much cheaper than getting the original pieces re-chromed.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
1968 Ford Mustang 302 V8
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600
1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
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acbrock

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2024, 20:46:31 »
Interesting. I never even considered that option...
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

Lorsar

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Duncan200

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2024, 00:01:48 »
My thoughts would be that nothing reproduction fits quite like the original and speaking from experience, some “finessing” would be required.

I was advised to reuse anything original because, “they don’t make them like they used to”.

Doug.
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mdsalemi

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2024, 14:16:10 »
My thoughts would be that nothing reproduction fits quite like the original and speaking from experience, some “finessing” would be required...I was advised to reuse anything original because, “they don’t make them like they used to”.

Some finessing as it were may also be required in any major restoration even with original parts. My restorer spent a LOT of time with some items such as the grill surround, which was an OEM part.

That VEP "kit" for USD $6K is a complete bargain (if it is any good, of that I cannot speak to) compared to taking the exact same set of parts from your own car and sending them out for re-chroming. It's such a bargain that if I were doing my restoration today, (even if I had all the original chrome trim) I'd probably buy the kit and use what I could. If there were some pieces that didn't work or fit, I'd then resort to re-chrome of what I have.

Having spoken with VEP in person, and seeing a lot of their products at PagodaFest in Chicago, I can say they are pretty good at what they do and I don't think they would be offering substandard quality parts. They are pretty passionate about their work.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
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wwheeler

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2024, 15:27:44 »
I am redoing ALL the chrome on my '60 220SE coupe (Ponton) and there is an amazing amount on that car. From my experience, buying new quality chrome parts is less expensive than having the same part replated. In the case of cast pot metal, the result is usually better with new. Replating pot metal is hit or miss.

I have received quotes form several quality shops mostly in the South and Midwest and the shop rates vary between $75 and $125 per hour. That being said, your final plating bill will also vary dramatically. One of the biggest variables is how much time was spent on hand finishing. To make the parts wave and defect free requires hand finishing. No way around that and it is expensive. The better the finish, the more hand labor.   

That kit from VEP seems to be an incredible value. I too would give it a shot and see what the quality is like. I doubt it is at a concours level. But for most, maybe more than good enough.
Wallace
Texas
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Cees Klumper

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2024, 15:57:15 »
In rechroming discussions I always have to think back to 1977 when I had a ton of parts of my 1976 Yamaha motorcycle chromed, and I mean a ton, from body panels to every single spoke from the wheels, the kickstand, center stand; everything I could think of other than the frame itself. It cost me $30 ... (that would be $155 today according to google). This was in Drachten, Friesland, The Netherlands. I always hear environmental regulations have driven up the cost, but I have to wonder about that.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
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Pawel66

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2024, 16:45:27 »
I am redoing ALL the chrome on my '60 220SE coupe (Ponton) and there is an amazing amount on that car. F

I am redoing chrome on 220SE too... take a look... it is not all, only 4 pictures allowed...
Pawel

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VikDasor

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2024, 19:59:36 »
I had all my exterior chrome done (except the front grill)and just got it back in January. Cost me just over £4300.
The job has been done well. But also remember these old parts are only original once. When I started to refit the parts I then realised that some parts had been heavily coppered and chromed. Although it was finished to high standard but I was struggling to fit them back on. After discussing with the chromers with what had happened they happily sorted it all out.
My point is if you are going to the chromers then make sure you take measurements of thickness of your metal with a digital vernier calliper and tell them that you want it back to the same original spec or otherwise you may struggle to refit some parts.
Best to go to someone who is recommended on this site and have worked on pagodas before.
Vik Dasor
1966 W113 230SL
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wwheeler

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2024, 21:28:06 »
That is actually a good point that Vik. makes. Platers will often time over plate is more is NOT better. Usually too much copper at the ends is the culprit. Parts like this will not fit back together properly. Some like the grille shell may not matter as much. But having a discussion with the plater about which parts must fit back together is a good preventative.

Yep, that's a lot of chrome Pawell. I don't see the exterior lower and mid body trim as well as the front and back glass surrounds. Those are the most fun to fit!  My plater stripped those down the brass and then I hand fitted on the body. Then sent back for final finishing. Luckily, I am 90% through it already. Not lucky for my wallet though!     
« Last Edit: April 17, 2024, 21:32:40 by wwheeler »
Wallace
Texas
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'60 220SE W128 coupe
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acbrock

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2024, 12:21:01 »
Thanks for all the info.  I must say never doing anything like this before I had no idea the Chrome would be sooo expensive.  But sounds like if you do it, it should be done right!  So... I am going to get the car all back together and enjoy this summer and super research the chrome and live to fight that another day!  Seems like if I do all the chrome and have it all off, time for a Paint Job too!  Ouch.  Gotta get the kids out of college first!  Thanks!
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

mdsalemi

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2024, 12:40:10 »
In rechroming discussions I always have to think back to 1977 when I had a ton of parts of my 1976 Yamaha motorcycle chromed, and I mean a ton, from body panels to every single spoke from the wheels, the kickstand, center stand; everything I could think of other than the frame itself. It cost me $30 ... (that would be $155 today according to google). This was in Drachten, Friesland, The Netherlands. I always hear environmental regulations have driven up the cost, but I have to wonder about that.

$30 today (or the then equivalent in guilders) wouldn't even pay to issue the invoice for the work, much less do anything. Any kind of decorative chrome plating involves a lot of hand work, and labor costs something. Even in 1977 $30 wouldn't buy you much of anything in terms of labor. I had a car painted for $50 at the same time...but I did all the masking and sanding and prep work, and even gave the shop the paint. All he did was perhaps wipe down the car, load the sprayer with paint, and shoot.

Those days are long gone.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

dirkbalter

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2024, 14:35:22 »
I had all my hard top pieces re-chromed a couple of month ago. 23 pieces at $ 2350 at my preferred shop. (Price and looks). All the parts were done in house and it took about 2 weeks.
From what I am told, some shops collect a bunch of parts parts and send them to China or similar for processing. (Long waiting times to be expected in that case.)
Dirk
66 230 SL
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mdsalemi

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2024, 16:51:05 »
...all my hard top pieces re-chromed a couple of month ago. 23 pieces at $ 2,350...From what I am told, some shops collect a bunch of parts parts and send them to China or similar for processing. (Long waiting times to be expected in that case.)

$2,350 Sounds good and about right for the hard top chrome. I let my restorer handle mine (as he was doing the entire hard top) and I think mine was somewhere between that and $3K, all done locally in Detroit. Your two week turnaround is what stands out.

Would not surprise me one bit if some places send parts to China (or some other destination outside the USA) as there is a lot of labor involved and labor is cheaper there than here. I guess one can always ask, and if they won't show you the back room, that's a clue! There's a lot of book printing going on in China, too, and similar kinds of related back office work in places like India. Heck, a lot of medical groups use radiologists in India to read XRays...
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

brucenator

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Re: ReChrome
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2024, 19:48:56 »
Try checking https://www.mbclassics.de as they have a lot of MB chrome parts in stock and cheaper then some rechroming.
g
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