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Thread: Zinc plating

  1. #1
    Speedster Member KJongenburger's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Zinc plating

    Since my car will have to withstand the fabulous Dutch weather I'm collecting stuff to start DIY zinc plating. All the bolts, nuts and whatever that is normally unpainted needs protection here or it will even rust when I keep the car indoors.

    So I've got the buckets, the power supply, the AmmoniumChloride, the ZinkChloride and the Pure Zinc plates. and am looking for the rest.

    Does anyone have experience with this? Tips, do's and dont's are welcome.

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    I was fortunate enough to find a local fastener store willing to sell me less than box quantity nuts, washers, and bolts. My '48 coupe was put back together using mostly stainless steel fasteners. Where grade strength was an issue, such as frame bolts, I used new appropriate grade steel bolts. That worked pretty good with a shop willing to sell small quantities. Many of these companies only want to sell full cartons, and on certain sizes, that gets prohibitively expensive.

    If the zinc process don't create too much waste solution considered hazardous by the "enviro-nazis," you might be OK. I used to think I wanted to set up a back yard plating tub. However, after a local "mom & Pop" plating business got busted...I changed my mind. These people deserved to get busted by the cops. They would put their waste solutions in a 55 gallon drum... Turn the drum on its side, then the guy would have his wife drive the truck around rural roads with the solution dribbling out a small tube in the drum until the solution was dispersed all over the roads of two counties. They were arrested, jailed, and fined.


    I have had a couple of "purist" make snide remarks about my stainless steel fender bolts, but I don't care. They'll still be there when the rest of the car has been eaten by the kudzu.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member Dick Steinkamp's Avatar
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    For two of my Studes, I gathered up all the special fastners, brackets, etc, and took them to a plater. In both the San Francisco Bay Area and Vancouver, BC., cad/zinc plating was quite inexpensive. Here is what I had done for the Kart Hauler in Vancouver for about $150....



    For my 54 Starliner, I had about the same amount done in gold tone zinc. Same price.

    Before you gather the stuff to do it yourself, you might want to check some platers there to see if the cost is similar to here in North America.

    For me, it wasn't so much about protection from the elements as it was to get a nice, finished, OEM look to these parts.
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA


  4. #4
    President Member
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    John C,
    Those people were stupid pouring out on city streets. They should have just poured it down the storm drain were it cant hurt anything.....right? {sarcasm of course}

  5. #5
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclary View Post

    I have had a couple of "purist" make snide remarks about my stainless steel fender bolts, but I don't care. They'll still be there when the rest of the car has been eaten by the kudzu.
    Do people in Netherlands know what kudzu is?
    Don Wilson
    53 Commander Hardtop
    63 Avanti R1
    64 Champ 1/2 ton
    Centralia, WA

  6. #6
    Speedster Member KJongenburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmac530 View Post
    John C,
    Those people were stupid pouring out on city streets. They should have just poured it down the storm drain were it cant hurt anything.....right? {sarcasm of course}
    I live on the riverbank ... don't give me any idea's.

    Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is not much of a problem here. I guess there's too much pollution, like zinc plating chemicals in the river.

  7. #7
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    Speaking as an eviromental nazi and as a plater and a chemist....
    1. you will be left with some seriously hazardous waste when done with zinc plating.
    2. be VERY careful, you CANNOT plate screws and nuts that are not designed to be plated. Allow me to explain in simpleterms: nuts and bolts have threads.. the plating will seriously distort the clearances. It woudl be best to find a hardware store and purchase pre-plated items. You could seriously ruin parts, doubble threat, etc... making a huge mess for yourself.
    3. if you want help, email me. I would be more than happy to help in any way, including finding a way to fix your waste stream. You do NOT want to put it in a water source.... dillution is not the solution.
    4. have you considered cold galvanizing spray? or zinc phosphate in a can?

    I would suggest getting it done at a plating shop and buying what you can from a hardware store, etc... If you do decide to do it yourself, please becareful of fumes, etc...
    We don't need to lose any Stude people!!!

  8. #8
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddub View Post
    Do people in Netherlands know what kudzu is?
    Well...right now I am feeling too lazy to do any research. But...if my memory serves me right...Kudzu is not a native plant to North America (and that includes the southern U.S.). It was imported from somewhere else. (Might have even been the Netherlands???) Of course, if we find an economical way to convert it to power our vehicles (along with algae), us southerners are gonna be... "da new sheiks!"
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    I went with the cold galvanizing, in some cases clear-coated. Just too quick and simple. All items bead-blasted prior.
    To accomplish all the cad plating you need to be organized. What can I say?

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