Plating of Brite Work [Archive] - Classic Cougar Forums

: Plating of Brite Work

July 11th, 2001, 10:51 PM
Question Guys-N-Gals...

What can one do about the pitting on the brite work and trim pieces on these Cats of ours? Can they be re-plated....with the grills and tail assemblies being pot metal, can they be plated?

I just got thinking about the next steps on my Cat and got this awful sick feeling that it can't be done. I remember somewhere someone telling me that pot metal can't be replated....but that seems silly to me because it was plated once, why not again?

Any experts on Chrome Plating out there?


July 12th, 2001, 07:22 AM
My understanding is they can be replated, but can't be powdercoated.

Chrome plating is a chemical process, powdercoating is a heat based process. Pot metal will melt around 400 degrees.

July 12th, 2001, 07:33 PM
Dale, Logan is right about powder coating pot metal. I tried to powder coat a set of not nice 69 taillight bezels black ala 70 eliminator and the thin tops and bottems warped pretty good from the heat. The stainless and aluminum pieces can be restored by a good metal polisher and the aluminum can be reanodized. I'm still looking for a good chrome plater myself. I tried a few recomended in my area and they dont do pot metal. But some do im sure. I earlier posted a business card from a good metal polisher in my area that I recommend if you need any of that. mm

July 12th, 2001, 09:05 PM
Thanks guy' have given me hope once again. So the pitted pot metal can be ground smooth once again and replated...that's good news. I was worried there for a minute. All the pieces for my cat are complete but pitted somewhat and I don't want to start hunting and investing in marginally better brite work that is just going to need the same treatment anyway.

So why powdercoat? Is that to make the black treatment better? How was this done at the factory...I thought it was just flat black paint?


July 12th, 2001, 09:25 PM
Dale, powder coating is just that, powder electostaticaly ( boy I bet I blew the spelling of that word) spayed to bare metal and then it is baked and the powder melts and forms a very durable finish. It is available in almost any color you could want. To be honest most parts on your cougar will never get the abuse to warrent powder coating. It is used alot on dirt track race car chassis, trailer hitch's , suspension parts,wheels etc. Check out what it will cost to do a set of taillight bezels in rechrome before you give up on trying to find a good used set though as I bet the cost will scare the hell out of you. The taillight bezels have all those fine ribs and they all have to be buffed and polished in the chrome process. I got a price from a plater in Chicago who wanted over $225 to replate a very lightly pitted backup light bezel for me. I cant imagine what they would want to do a set of taillight bezels. Thats why I'm still looking for some one to replate my doorhandles ,quarter window moldings and a set of rocker bullets. mm

July 12th, 2001, 09:50 PM you're scaring me. I haven't bothered to check into the fine pieces as yet but they told me to get the front and back bumbers straightened and rechromed for $280 .... and that's about $28 USD right :-)

I all seriousness though, this was strictly a bumper chroming shop and they don't really touch the other stuff. So you are probably right MM, the smaller more finiky stuff is going to be a lot more. I'll have to check into that stuff.

BTW...does anybody know where I could get good straight pieces of trim work that goes around the drip trough above the windows? I have the pieces but they are pretty banged up.


July 12th, 2001, 10:37 PM
I bet Ray could help you out there, and he's just across the pond in Victoria...

Either that, or Don Rush is just down the coast a wee bit in Washington state...

July 13th, 2001, 03:52 PM
The best thing I can tell you is to look in your local Yellow Pages, or maybe even better yet, how 'bout the internet Yellow Pages ( ). Check under Metal Plating.

I had my Alpha Cat's bumpers rechromed back in '84. My buddy works at a local Ford dealer so I used that connection for a better price. I needed the bumpers rechromed 'cause they had those itty bitty black pits just starting to form. I was 'restoring' the exterior of the car prior to Ford Expo in Columbus OH, so I figured that a pair of nice shiny bumpers would look right to match the hours I spent block-sanding the car prior to painting it.

A week goes by. YIKES! :eek: They came back looking like brushed paint instead of plated. They ground the heck out of the bumpers and left linear gouges that looked like 40-grit scratches. Sheesh, they looked better before I sent them in! I refused to accept them as they were and told them to try again.

A week goes by. DOUBLE YIKES!! :eek: :eek: This time they came back and some of the visible portion of the bumpers never even got chromed. There was the nickle plate around the taillights but no chrome! The show was now only two days away so I really couldn't afford to send them back again so I installed them as they were.

That little episode taught me to check out the work of the plating shop before sending my parts in. I have since found a good chrome shop locally that does custom chroming for some of the big national show cars and monster trucks. Great looking work! Expensive, but well worth it. They will do various levels of finish work. The more polishing, the more expensive. And yes, they do pot metal. My buddy had his convertible top surround mouldings (those potmetal top trim) on his 73 Mustang. They look better than new! They also plated the 'hockey stick' quarter window mouldings (potmetal as well) on his brothers' 70 Torino GT, a couple of air cleaner lids and my wife's 70 Mach 1 chrome exhaust tips.

Best of luck to you!

July 13th, 2001, 08:08 PM
Ok cougarcj, how about dropping a dime on the local plating shop that your happy with. Name, address, phone number. Do they mind shipping? I'm in n.w. IN and that would be an easy, cheap shipping

Tim B
July 14th, 2001, 05:59 PM
Pot Metal (a cheap metal alloy) can be redone. It's a lot more difficult than replating bumpers. I've had the Chrome Chevrons redone on a 64 Falcon Sprint years ago and the backup lamp assemblies on the Cougar.

The pitting you see in pot metal has to ground out and filled. Although it appears to be raised, the damage is deeper into the pot metal. The grinding can lose a lot of edge detail (like the chevrons) so it's a good idea to have an extra set just in case.

Check locally and see their work. Also check out Hemmings.

Tim B
1969 XR7 428 CJR convertible

July 16th, 2001, 12:08 PM

I'll have to take a drive past the place one of these days. I just looked in the local phone book and don't see a listing. I heard they had a fire a couple of years ago. I hope they're still in business! I'll keep you informed.

July 16th, 2001, 05:28 PM
Thanks cougarcj, theres no hurry now as summer is half gone already and I wouldnt worry about switching parts till winter. I just havent found a place yet that anyone has recomended and dont want any bad experiances. mm