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Here for the ride
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about chroming some front end parts (fork sliders,master cylinder covers, switch housings, speedo cover, clutch and master cylinder, and maybe the triple trees).

I'm considering this because one of the quotes I've received was 50% of the cost of the chrome parts from Harley.

Do you guys recemmond this or are the pitfalls of having somthing chromed not worth the cost savings. If you do recommend it, what shop(s) would you refer me to?

Thanks,

Leo
 

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Color me Gone
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27,333 Posts
There is no doubt that chrome quality and fit can be a problem with some of the items that you mention. Example the clam shell fits together like a glove, when it is chromed it no longer fits good so you have to grind the chrome edge down and that can lead to problems with chrome flaking.
 

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O-FNG
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Here is my general rule of thumb on chroming...If the part is brushed / polished aluminum, then have it chromed, if not buy the Harley part. A custom chromer 1) can do a better job with a three layer process (copper, nickel, chrome) than Harley; 2) it should last longer; 3) and be less expensive to chrome a part you already have than buy a new one. However, if the part is painted, most chromers will charge extra to take the paint off. As Max said, be aware of tight fitting parts because chroming will add to the dimensions. For example, I paid about $25 each to have these chromed: brake lever, shifter lever, jiffy stand (don't forget to chrome the spring also), etc.
 

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I dunno if I 'd say a chromer is nessesarily better quality than OEM HD.. I have done alot of research and the process HD uses is second to none (hexavaliant) and it sure looks goood when you get a good piece

just my 2 cents:2cents
 

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O-FNG
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I guess with mass produced items you can get a bad one occasionally. I like having the parts copper plated first, versus just copper or nickel flashed as the base layer. I agree that the chrome stuff looks good!!!
 

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Riding the good life
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Keep in mind, that if you are to go the chrome route with parts off the bike, you can plan on adding several thousands of an inch to the part OD. Ask th eplater what his specs are, and they'll tell you what they are doing. They can apply a chemical to act like tape to the area you'd want not chromed, but if the components must pass over or through each other, problems can arise.

In the late 60's we chromed the oil pumps off the V-twins, and the chemical masking plan was mandatory for that program, same with carb parts also.

Good luck.
 

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Here for the ride
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the help guys.

It seems that the general concensus is that if it's a tight fitting part, buy HD, if not consider a good chrome shop.
 

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What about chroming a rear pulley? What if there is a peel or chrome flake in the tooth area since that is a hard area to chrome? Will it just wear off in the tooth area or spread further and more importantly is there any chance of damage to the belt?
 

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Color me Gone
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Motown_VROD several places out there will chrome the stock rear pulley for you.

As far as chips of chrome hurting the belt I doubt that it could be any worse then light rocks and gravel that get thrown up into the pulley and belt. If you inspect your belt close after a couple of thousand miles you will have a large number of scars on the pulley and belt from debris.

As far as chrome on the pulley teeth I think the chromers tape or gel that area off so that it does not get chrome on it.
 

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Riding the good life
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If the chrome begins to "peel" instead of wearing down as I suspect it would wear down on the pully where the belt runs into the teeth, little if any problem could occur.

However, if you get a piece that "peels", undercutting could begin.
Not to sure about belt damage, as it depends how the piece would end up between the belt and pulley I'd suppose.

If you live in an area that has corrosion problems, the undercutting would accelerate once corrosion gets to the base aluminum. The white powder seen on aluminum corrosion will actually cause the plating to lift. Usually with 2 coats of copper, one coat nickle and a final coat of chrome, undercutting will cause all plating to lift. This was the formula for plating in my heyday of custom bike buiding, which was 30 years ago, so I am not sure if the technique changed.

If you begin to see copper through the plating, this means that the wear down of the chrome and nickle has begun to reveal the copper.

Unless you live on the ocean, or in an area where chemical manufacturing is going on, I would think you'd not much to worry about from the corrosion aspect. Riding salted roads from the snow season could produce the same result as living next to the ocean though.
 

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Max said:
There is no doubt that chrome quality and fit can be a problem with some of the items that you mention. Example the clam shell fits together like a glove, when it is chromed it no longer fits good so you have to grind the chrome edge down and that can lead to problems with chrome flaking.

I actually had to take a grinder to mine when I installed the drag bars. The welds got in the way and it wouldn't line up.



John
 
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