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Discussion Starter #1
We are working on reproducing new dash emblems for the 67-8 standard and XR-7. We got some samples in hand, which look great, and we want to make sure they're right. The main question mark that came up is - are they supposed to be shiny chrome, like our samples, or should they be more of a dull silver finish? It's especially noticeable on the right-hand XR-7 portion where the entire area and letters are chrome. Should it be a silver background with chrome letters? All silver? Or all chrome like it is? If anyone has had NOS examples or really nice originals, please chime in.

I took some pics of both:

Standard Emblem:









Comparison with an original:



XR-7 Emblem:













Comparison shots - notice how the original looks more like a matte silver. Could be due to age, or they could really be different. This is what we want to find out.





Again, these aren't for sale just yet, but will be soon. Thanks in advance for any input!
 

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The original xr7 emblem on my 68 had a silver background behind the xr7 part, but I kinda like the way the chrome looks.
 

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I like your emblem, but am more interested in what you used, or how you reproduced the pebble black background and could you make it in sheets?
 

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So very pretty! Probably so very expensive too...
 

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Don,

What is the price for one of the samples? I'm getting ready to send my dash stuff out, including the emblem. Maybe I can skip having that piece done.

BTW, I talked to Craig Keith who has a NOS '68 dash face and he said he thinks the emblem is a silver matte finish. He's going to confirm that for me tomorrow when he can pull it out and look at it again.
 

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Don,

What is the price for one of the samples? I'm getting ready to send my dash stuff out, including the emblem. Maybe I can skip having that piece done.

BTW, I talked to Craig Keith who has a NOS '68 dash face and he said he thinks the emblem is a silver matte finish. He's going to confirm that for me tomorrow when he can pull it out and look at it again.
Nice! Have him take a picture please.
 

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The area behind the XR-7 should be a mat silver. In production the part has to be all chromed and then the mat silver is painted over the chrome.
 

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towcat---go to your local industrial plastic supply house---black abs ( textured one side ) is available in 4' x 8 ' sheets and comes in 1/16 , 1/8 ,3/16 , 1/4 , and 3/8 for sure---can be bent with a little heat ( hot air gun )--i used it to make the panels that cover the tail lights in the trunk and in a bunch of different areas includind the bezzel for the sony unit in the 67 std console
doctordesoto
 

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towcat---go to your local industrial plastic supply house---black abs ( textured one side ) is available in 4' x 8 ' sheets and comes in 1/16 , 1/8 ,3/16 , 1/4 , and 3/8 for sure---can be bent with a little heat ( hot air gun )--i used it to make the panels that cover the tail lights in the trunk and in a bunch of different areas includind the bezzel for the sony unit in the 67 std console
doctordesoto
Thanks for the tip, I will check and see if I can find a local industrial plastic supply house, but in a city of only 100,000 it is doubtful.
 

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They look great, now all we need is the replacement woodgrain, unless it's already out there and I'm not aware of it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The area behind the XR-7 should be a mat silver. In production the part has to be all chromed and then the mat silver is painted over the chrome.
So to clarify, the letters themselves are chrome, while the background should be silver? I think that would look great. The letters need something to contrast against.
 

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Andrew, I am just commenting on what I have seen, but also with an eye to how the original part was made.

The entire plastic piece is plated. The best place to see what is left of the plating is on the bottom edge of the badge, below the beveled area. This area was less exposed to the sun and the elements. The original plating was a form of vapor deposition. The actual material used is an aluminum alloy, not chrome. So the plating was very shiny, brighter than polished aluminum, but not quite as mirror like as chrome.

Over time, aluminum oxidizes and develops a whitish sheen. This makes it hard to get a good feel for just how bright the plating really was. Even NOS parts are 40 plus years old and subject to oxidization. The original technology used to plate these parts is now obsolete.

The part is them placed in a painting mask that covers all of the part except for the field with the word Cougar. This area is then painted black. If you look closely you will see that the black pain extends up the sides of the letters and the recess. On most examples you will also see a little bit of the plating peeking out from where the paint has fallen off. The part comes out of the paint mask and then passes under a pad soaked with thinner that takes off the pain from the tops of the letters. The part goes through a dryer (basically under a glorified hair dryer) and then goes into the second paint mask.

The second paint mask covers all but the XR-7 recess. The silver paint goes into the recess. If you look closely you can see the paint line at the top edges of the recess, where the paint ends and the plated part begins. Now here is where the mystery of the part kicks in. Some originals look like they did not remove the paint from the tops of the letters. Others seem to have shiny areas that peak through, and still others look more like the plated area.

I have a theory about how they ended up looking like this. Firs off, the quality standards back them were nothing if not flexible. I don't think the parts were being scrutinized very closely at all. This allowed for a bit of variation. Here is what I think happened. When the part passed under the dryer the first time, it got heated up. The additional heat caused the silver paint to dry much faster than the black. This would have made it harder to remove the silver paint. Had they been more diligent in removing all of the silver paint from the letters, they would have been more likely to remove not just the paint, but also the underlying layer of plating.

If you have read this far, you probably need to develop a more balanced life... LOL!

But since you are still reading, there are a couple of other factors that might also have something to do with what we are seeing. The plating process is very dependent upon the smoothness of the surface. If the surface is not perfect smooth the plating communicates that in the form of a slightly flat appearance. Compare the sides of the emblem with the back. They are both plated with the same material, but the back looks flat, not shiny. I also believe that hey used a form of primer, maybe an additional deposition layer, and maybe a spray. I think that I am seeing a layer under the plating that is a dull gray. To see this you will need to look very very closely at an eroded part of the badge where the plating is chipping off. Close examination reveals two shades of material.

During plating the part was supported by the two end most pins on the back. Looking at the back of the part you can see two areas surrounding the pins where the plating was partially blocked. There are also two recesses in the back of the part. There is either very thin or no plating inside the recesses. Had the part been plated in a dip process these areas wold have been plated. I believe the recess were put in the part to keep it from warping as it cooled after being molded.

At the end of the day, what is important is to make it look the way you guys want it. What would be most satisfying?
 

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Craig Keith confirmed that his NOS emblem has a matte silver background in the XR-7 portion. He has promised to get me a picture, but I will run over to his place and get one on Sunday if he doesn't get it to me before then.
 

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Here are the pictures I took of the NOS dash emblem this morning. As it turns out, the whole XR-7 portion is matte silver with only the surround of the emblem being chrome.







 

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Bill, that is what Andrew and I found over and over with our used pieces. Could not find a single XR7 emblem with remnants of chrome letters. Of course, the majority of them showed black on the 'Cougar' side, and all silver on the XR7 side.
Lots of the used ones have all of the surface color missing on both sides!

Anyone have input on the Standard Cougar emblem?
 
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