6/2/2006: Rechroming Parts

I’ve been researching chrome for some time, knowing that eventually I’d have to spend some serious money on making my car’s shiny bits shine again.

I’ve also been collecting as many parts as I could, to try to find the best originals that I could. My latest road trip yielded the last few parts I was looking for, including some good bumpers.

So, on Thursday I finally dropped off a large batch of parts to be chromed at Allied Metal Finishing, a nearby shop which was recommended.

Many of these parts are “pot metal”, which is a soft casting material that is particularly prone to corrosion and pitting. These pits need to be laboriously cleaned out and filled (with solder, usually), which makes repairing these parts expensive.

Here are some of the items I sent out:

And the complete list (for reference):

2 tail light body
1 rear view mirror bezel
1 "FIAT 1500" badge
1 ashtray body
1 ashtray "shelf"
1 trunk latch
2 bumper spacers (long)
2 bumper spacers (short)
1 nose (above grille) trim piece
1 air vent
1 trunk lock body
1 trunk lock cylinder
1 door lock button (solid)
1 door lock button (hollow)
2 interior door handle 
2 license plate light covers
2 wiper escutcheon
2 wiper nut
1 gas lock body
1 gas lock cylinder, cover, pin
2 license plate holder mount
2 exterior door handles
2 front signal light body 
2 trunk trim "spear" + 4 screws
1 handbrake lever
1 handbrake rod
2 front bumper horn
2 rear bumper horn
1 front bumper
1 rear bumper

The total bill for this is pretty shocking. It’s labor intensive and environmentally nasty work, so I guess that’s to be expected.

Hopefully the results will be worth the expense.. We’ll find out in late july. I do have a few more things that will need to get chromed eventually (windshield frame, for instance), but I think this is more than enough for now.