Chrome on rims

Wheels, hubs and tires
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pan620
Posts: 66
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Location: Kansas

Chrome on rims

#1

Post by pan620 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:42 pm

A friend wants to re-chrome his wheels on a nice 53 fl, what is the correct way to have them done so they are not to shiny? Thanks Dave



steve_wood
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Re: Chrome on rims

#2

Post by steve_wood » Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:54 pm

Okay, now you've got me curious. Were the chrome-plated parts in 1953 significantly less shiny then they are now? Or is that the parts, especially rims, were not perfectly smooth when they got plated? This would make them somewhat less than perfect in appearance I suppose....

steve

Ripley/Fla
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Re: Chrome on rims

#3

Post by Ripley/Fla » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:12 pm

I'm not sure what you want, but chrome is clear. You are looking at what's underneath. You could try LIGHTLY sandblasting the nickel coat for a 'satin' look.

108
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Bikes: 1948 FL 74in Panhead Chopper , 1958 Zundapp Citation 500
Location: Indianapolis

Re: Chrome on rims

#4

Post by 108 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:50 pm

I think what you want is, the original rims were plated over steel that received only a very quick, course buffing before, a/o, no copper layer was used under the nickle. Either way would leave like sand scratches showing through the chrome. But why pay good money for poor chrome locally? You can probably get that cheaper by just buying new import repop rims from a catalog.

Cotten
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Location: Central Illinois

Re: Chrome on rims

#5

Post by Cotten » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:54 am

Pan620!

Just a word of caution,
The hardware is only original once.

If the machine is a truly 'nice' un-altered machine, it could be greatly compromised by vanity-driven disassembly and reassembly of any major elements such as the wheels, much less the savage treatment of re-chroming.

Please sit your friend down and watch a few PBS "Antiques Roadshow" episodes, and maybe he will reconsider.

Scrub them with a ball of aluminum foil and detergent if they are really too crusty.

...Cotten
Last edited by Cotten on Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

FlatHeadSix
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Re: Chrome on rims

#6

Post by FlatHeadSix » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:42 am

Pan620

I think the "not too shiny" your friend is thinking about refers to the spokes and not the rims themselves. The spokes were cadmium plated which usually aged into a dull silver colored finish after a bit. The AMCA has made an issue about the originality of restored wheels and will deduct points for chrome spokes, they will also deduct for stainless spokes unless they have been bead blasted to dull the finish and simulate cadmium. Chrome rims have been an option since the 30's and are exactly that; chrome. Chrome is shiny, if the steel has not been buffed to a mirror finish before the plating operation you will have shiny scratches, but its still shiny.

mike

pan620
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Location: Kansas

Re: Chrome on rims

#7

Post by pan620 » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:10 pm

Thanks for the replys, the bike has been restored to about 90 percent orginal,the rims are in ok shape but they really bother him as they are not "new looking". Cotten, I have already tried to talk him out of not restoring it as it was a really nice 60,s re do of a orginl machine, but no luck so I took it apart last winter and painted, powder coated, and rebuilt the entire machine. So the chrome should be shiny not more of a dull chrome?? Thanks Dave

FlatHeadSix
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Re: Chrome on rims

#8

Post by FlatHeadSix » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:13 pm

Dave,
As I mentioned above, the rims should be shiny, the spokes should be cadmium or equivalent (duller, not so shiny).

I don't think anyone has ever been docked any points because the chrome on the rims was too shiny, assumming of course that chrome rims were a correct option for the model and year of the bike.

mike

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Re: Chrome on rims

#9

Post by john HD » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:19 pm

i think if the bike were ridden regularly the too shiney would not be a problem.

i know mine get dirty awfully fast!

john :D

partshunt
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Re: Chrome on rims

#10

Post by partshunt » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:58 am

One thing I remember about original rims, the chrome rims on panheads was decent, however, the centre of an original rim is dull or frosty in apearance. It leads me to brlieve they polished the rims after lacing and didnt bother with the centre area where the spokes are positioned. I'm reffering to the highest point in the drop centre where the spoke nipples enter. I would try to duplicate that by glass beading the center especially, then have the plater polish only the area away from the spokes to achieve a shiny finish leaving the centre frosty....Joe

pan620
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:28 am
Bikes: 62 Duoglide, 48 Pan, 1990 FLHTCU
Location: Kansas

Re: Chrome on rims

#11

Post by pan620 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:52 pm

Thanks for the tips I will pass them on to him.

58flh
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Re: Chrome on rims

#12

Post by 58flh » Fri May 31, 2013 12:30 pm

I agree with the other post-(forgot the Mans name!-Apologies)---I think if the bike is 90%-original--then DO NOTHING to the rims!--Get a used-set & let him chrome them!,& keep the originals for the next-time he enters a judgement!--I bet he wont touch or do anything to screw-up a piece of HISTORY like that!--My-2---RICHIE 8) Remember guys the things I saw my pop do at the clubhouse as a kid/-I mean cases here there,everywhere--cut the hinge right off the fender Stuff like that!--The olny difference was there was PLENTY to go around the world twice!--Them fays are & have been gone!--You saw the rise of case prices in the mid-80s!--We must preserve our history of these beautiful bikes for us & our KIDS & thier KIDS!.Parts is tuff to come by!--I APPRECIATE a unmolested Bike as much as the next!--is mine original???--NO-its HD but a 1958FLH motor in a 1949-frame--HD rims-(still running original star-hub set-up!-no bering upgrade!)-Hd tranny--& tins & innards.--Its .030 over & stock FLH cam I put back in! :D --I forgot after a decade of diff.-grinds under my ass!--The FLH with stock-8.5 to 1-comp.--Really Works well in the HILL dept. for me .At 2-up On a very steep grade I had to shift to 1st.-3/4 of the way up!--The FLH cam I roll on her in 2nd--all the way up & riding 2-up on a stock 74-inch,1200!.So its a FRANKENBIKE!--& I love it!--Hell I love all early kickers!---Enuff GABB!---RICHIE 8)

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