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Figured some of you might be interested in this story.

So I am in the middle of making a few changes on the shop Muscle (we have several Harley's, but I typically prefer the F).

Anywho....while working on installing the the final clutch solution I decided to take the clutch cover to a local chrome plating shop as I left a nice scratch several years ago when putting on a different exhaust.

Figured, "How bad could it be to go to a local plating shop, get that small cover triple plated (it's aluminum so the "correct" way to do it is copper, nickel, chrome) and have a nice shiny scratch free cover?!".

Hard. Yes, hard.

A couple of things I have learned in this adventure into hell:

Chrome plating shops are a dying breed. You can thank the EPA and sloppy owners from the past (been reading about horror stories where platers used to run waste fluid down sewer drains). If you haven't watched a video on how to properly chrome plate a metal object...do it. It's dangerous, hard work, and very expensive.

Price: $300 + tax for JUST the clutch cover. Yes, that's not a typo. What's worse is that is about on par with anywhere I called (and recall this is local so I didn't have to pay shipping/etc on top of the injurious price).

Time: 3 weeks...yep, 3 ****ing weeks due to this being the only show in town and the hot rod clubs trying to get final parts ready for the fall car shows. OK.....

Fast forward 1.5 weeks later. They call me to tell me it's done and that it looks "great!".

I swing by and take a look. It's wrapped in plastic wrap and small bit of tape. I remove a tiny corner of the plastic and marvel and the bling bling shiny nature of the finish.

Well....then it goes south. I ALMOST left the shop not removing the rest of the plastic wrap, however having dealt with issues with painters/etc over the years I decided to remove the plastic and go over the whole piece in front of them (trust me, I have learned that once you leave the shop regardless of finish/painter/etc they always blame you).

Yep...I find a small amount of blistered chrome at the bottom edge of the cover. The owner's Dad (runs the front shop) immediately goes, "Hmm...well is that the BOTTOM of the part?". Ha...yeah I know where this is going (i.e. it will never be seen). I reply, "Indeed it is, but my concern is this will spread like cancer and wind up crap". He says "Put it on your bench (I am still waiting for a few more parts so it wasn't that big a deal to wait) for a few days and see if it spreads...we stand by our work so no worries!".

OK....so I have it on the shop bench for a week. I can't sleep one night so in the shop lights I go over it again. Yeah, now I see the blistering, but also notice one other small spot, a few "pin hole" looking areas, and a small spot on another edge that almost looks like it flaking off. OH! Did I mention they didn't plate the bolt indentation "tunnels" and flange mounts which looks just awesome with new bolts?

So I take it back last week. I use sugar not vinegar to complain (according to my wife that's something you need to do despite spending tons of money with an "expert" to do the job wrong).

The owner apologizes, but his Dad chimes in "Well how am I supposed to do that?" in reference to the bolt indentations? I lose my shit and say, "Funny how when I brought this part in you had nothing but "Yep! It will look great! No problem!" type statements, but when I get the part back looking half ass you start making excuses." I then told him, "In response to your question, how would I know? I took this part to YOU, the chrome guy!".

Apologies ensue and the owner says he will strip and redo the whole thing. I told him I expected this to come out show quality and that IF they could NOT do so, that should have been stated (hell even "This is a problematic job" type statement up front). He agrees.

So let's see what round 2 produces.

Anyone have a plating shop they swear by? I might need the name.
 

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Contact johnr204 in the forum. He recently had a cover for his F done. I think he was happy with whoever did it.
Ron
 

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Ha, yes, I found the post. Thanks Ron. Yes, I had mine plated, and yes I'm pretty happy with it. No, it's not perfect, but from Jason's description, mine is light years better than the crap he got back. The "tunnels" on mine are chrome. The bolt surfaces are chrome. No flaking, pitting, or anything that would make me send it back. My only real complaint is the "tunnels" were not as well done as the rest. But I found them to be quite acceptable.
I believe mine was in the 220ish range, BUT the time was closer to 6 weeks, and hearing your horror story, I'm happy it came out as well as it did.
J&P plating, in Indiana. If you need exact address, message me, I'll look it up.
 

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My Last Ride
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Figured some of you might be interested in this story.

So I am in the middle of making a few changes on the shop Muscle (we have several Harley's, but I typically prefer the F).

Anywho....while working on installing the the final clutch solution I decided to take the clutch cover to a local chrome plating shop as I left a nice scratch several years ago when putting on a different exhaust.

Figured, "How bad could it be to go to a local plating shop, get that small cover triple plated (it's aluminum so the "correct" way to do it is copper, nickel, chrome) and have a nice shiny scratch free cover?!".

Hard. Yes, hard.

A couple of things I have learned in this adventure into hell:

Chrome plating shops are a dying breed. You can thank the EPA and sloppy owners from the past (been reading about horror stories where platers used to run waste fluid down sewer drains). If you haven't watched a video on how to properly chrome plate a metal object...do it. It's dangerous, hard work, and very expensive.

Price: $300 + tax for JUST the clutch cover. Yes, that's not a typo. What's worse is that is about on par with anywhere I called (and recall this is local so I didn't have to pay shipping/etc on top of the injurious price).

Time: 3 weeks...yep, 3 ****ing weeks due to this being the only show in town and the hot rod clubs trying to get final parts ready for the fall car shows. OK.....

Fast forward 1.5 weeks later. They call me to tell me it's done and that it looks "great!".

I swing by and take a look. It's wrapped in plastic wrap and small bit of tape. I remove a tiny corner of the plastic and marvel and the bling bling shiny nature of the finish.

Well....then it goes south. I ALMOST left the shop not removing the rest of the plastic wrap, however having dealt with issues with painters/etc over the years I decided to remove the plastic and go over the whole piece in front of them (trust me, I have learned that once you leave the shop regardless of finish/painter/etc they always blame you).

Yep...I find a small amount of blistered chrome at the bottom edge of the cover. The owner's Dad (runs the front shop) immediately goes, "Hmm...well is that the BOTTOM of the part?". Ha...yeah I know where this is going (i.e. it will never be seen). I reply, "Indeed it is, but my concern is this will spread like cancer and wind up crap". He says "Put it on your bench (I am still waiting for a few more parts so it wasn't that big a deal to wait) for a few days and see if it spreads...we stand by our work so no worries!".

OK....so I have it on the shop bench for a week. I can't sleep one night so in the shop lights I go over it again. Yeah, now I see the blistering, but also notice one other small spot, a few "pin hole" looking areas, and a small spot on another edge that almost looks like it flaking off. OH! Did I mention they didn't plate the bolt indentation "tunnels" and flange mounts which looks just awesome with new bolts?

So I take it back last week. I use sugar not vinegar to complain (according to my wife that's something you need to do despite spending tons of money with an "expert" to do the job wrong).

The owner apologizes, but his Dad chimes in "Well how am I supposed to do that?" in reference to the bolt indentations? I lose my shit and say, "Funny how when I brought this part in you had nothing but "Yep! It will look great! No problem!" type statements, but when I get the part back looking half ass you start making excuses." I then told him, "In response to your question, how would I know? I took this part to YOU, the chrome guy!".

Apologies ensue and the owner says he will strip and redo the whole thing. I told him I expected this to come out show quality and that IF they could NOT do so, that should have been stated (hell even "This is a problematic job" type statement up front). He agrees.

So let's see what round 2 produces.

Anyone have a plating shop they swear by? I might need the name.
S P O R T . C H R O M E !

They plated both of my wheels and they are perfect. I used to work in a shop that did plating so I know what it smells like. Sport Chrome does a triple copper flash with a buff between each flash. Harley-Davidson wheel castings have a lot of porosity and a single copper flash will not bridge the pores. Any void on the plated surface will have gas out and that is where the chrome plating will wilt. That's why H-D chrome plating falls off of the best kept wheels.
 
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