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Bumper chrome tarnish


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I just got my '66 Galaxie convertible repainted, but now my otherwise unblemished bumpers look faded by comparison to the new paint. Oxidation over the past 50+ years is the culprit I'm sure. Any suggestions about how I might bring back some of the original shine?  Steel wool? Polishing compound? Buffing with metal polish? Any advice much appreciated.

1966 Ford_1.jpg

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Since the chrome layer is quite thin, use the least aggressive polish you can to start- Wenol, Mother's or Blue Magic (is that even still made?). If that don't brighten it you may have to go for a more aggressive white or even a red compound to cut the haze and then go thru finer polishes and wax.

 

Even then replating may be the only thing that brings it back. Good news is if the bumpers need no heavy work a replate will be simple. Note I did not say "inexpensive".

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I think this is the best:

SIMICHROME POLISH 1.76 Ounce Polishing Paste BEST POLISH 390050 TOOL

Amazon, Ebay, I buy it at a local guitar shop.

 

If it is a fresh paint job the place where you will have trouble is at the rain tracking spots, where water has run off body seams and gaps like the trunk and hood channels. To get a shine in those places is hard and will probably need replating.

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So common to see, new paint makes it sparkle and then everything else looks a little off. Kinda like wearing a new suit with shoes that need a good shine.

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I have been using Quick-Glo  on some old chrome stuff and it works pretty good. It has a wax in it to clog the rust pits for a while and fine abrasive to clean the oxidation and rust staining off.

Comes in "fine or original?"and something more abrasive,which is what I would buy next time..

Not cheap ,but small container does alot..

I believe Jay-boy Leno did a spot on it..May be worth a view..

"Jay leno chrome polish "or Quick-Glo and you will find some vids.

 

 

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Not cheap. I have a 600 mile drive coming up Tuesday and I think I am going to put some windshield time into thinking about the origin, usage, history, and personal experience with that phrase.

 

Since I wrote the first reply I was out in the garage. I clay barred (now there's a throwback) the rear bumper of my '60 Electra, then realized the dog chewed my tube dog Simichrome and https://stutzmansguitarcenteronline.com/

hasn't been open to get a new tube. Life in the COVID world is not always easy...

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9 hours ago, TerryB said:

So common to see, new paint makes it sparkle and then everything else looks a little off. Kinda like wearing a new suit with shoes that need a good shine.

 

I agree with Terry, The chrome becomes more noticeable both for better or worse against the new paint.  

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Bob, if you don't have a chrome money jar or drawer, might be time to start one!

 

Learned that trick from an old car mentor many years ago. He also told me when he started eating lunch at his desk the chrome fund really took off.

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The aluminum foil and coke sounds dumb, but it works, lots of wax after.

 

I was surprised the prices of these trade in places, like "Bumper Boys" they exchange your bumpers.  Not great when you want bumpers done for a Graham, but on my 65 Ford Falcon they were reasonable and work was good, not perfect but nice driver chrome.

 

http://www.bumperboyz.com/contact-the-auto-parts-anodizing-re-chroming-experts/

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The great thing about 65-66 Ford bumpers is that they are an utterly simple design and as such are easy to replate.

 

Based on friends' experiences, I have reservations about the current quality of Bumper Boyz work. My go-to has always been Tri-City Plating in Elizabethton TN. Depending on where Bob is, he may find a competent plater closer than CA or TN.

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22 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I think this is the best:

SIMICHROME POLISH 1.76 Ounce Polishing Paste BEST POLISH 390050 TOOL

Amazon, Ebay, I buy it at a local guitar shop.

 

If it is a fresh paint job the place where you will have trouble is at the rain tracking spots, where water has run off body seams and gaps like the trunk and hood channels. To get a shine in those places is hard and will probably need replating.

I like simichrome. Here is a before and after with about two minutes of polishing.   It won’t take beat up chrome and make it new, but it does take what you have, and after cleaning, polish up nicely. 

3F8F741B-C66E-4195-A32E-04CAE241496C.jpeg

F699E7CE-409D-4333-9E85-5B89064383E6.jpeg

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7 hours ago, rocketraider said:

The great thing about 65-66 Ford bumpers is that they are an utterly simple design and as such are easy to replate.

 

Based on friends' experiences, I have reservations about the current quality of Bumper Boyz work. My go-to has always been Tri-City Plating in Elizabethton TN. Depending on where Bob is, he may find a competent plater closer than CA or TN.

 

My friends experiences were not the greatest with Bumper Boyz work either.   

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18 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

My friends experiences were not the greatest with Bumper Boyz work either.   

 I guess that some people expect absolute perfection at driver-car prices

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I do not have any first hand experience with these low price chrome platers, for a driver, I thought it might be a good option. 

 

They must stand behind their work?  They have been in business for 25 years. 

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Low priced chrome plating peels off. That's what it does. Better to leave it alone than do that. It is also likely to be a different type of chrome, the color of which tends to look more yellow than blue.

 

I have been hearing horror stories about the outfit mentioned earlier for most of my life. They work on exchange wherever possible, and ship the bumpers to Mexico to get the job done cheaper. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with Mexican chrome, but when you are going for the lowest possible price in plating it just isn't going to turn out well.

 

In the mid 1990s I was having coffee with a custom car builder and two sign painters, both of whom had formerly worked in the plating industry. I was wanting to get a bumper chromed for my daily driver, and the conversation turned to a car in the parking lot with 6 month old chrome peeling off of the bumpers. The hardest and by far the most time consuming part of chrome plating is the prep work, and the prep work is what makes it last. The advice of those two guys who had done plating work was unanimous. ALWAYS get show chrome. If you cut corners on the prep, it will not last. Yes, I know the prices have spiraled out of control. Yes I know you practically need a second mortgage these days, as I just had some chrome plating done. It doesn't change anything. All chrome work is ludicrously expensive, even bad chrome work, and throwing a bunch of money at a half-assed job that will be shot in two years is false economy.

 

I'd start with the Simmichrome or some wadding polish.

 

 

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Copper plating is the difference.  Cheap chrome shops do not copper plate before nickel plating or at best they use very little copper.  Copper promotes adhesion of the chrome and can be polished to eliminate imperfections.  With chrome you definitely get what you pay for.

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Which reminds me, we have to visit our plater and trade a check for $12500 for a pile of chrome.  Don't complain about the cost of show quality chrome.  Be happy it's available at any price.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/17/2021 at 8:17 AM, Roger Walling said:

 I guess that some people expect absolute perfection at driver-car prices

 

My friend was washing his driver 61 Belair and the force of the water from the hose peeled the chrome right off the bumper, it was on the car only a few months.  I don't think driver quality should mean poor quality. 

 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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