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topic 3250

Chrome plating protection from corrosion


i have a solid chrome plated Harley Davidson which I cherish. I chromed plated all the tanks and fenders, etc... I have heard from several unqualified sources that chrome is porous and that I must protect the chrome from corrosion. I have heard that I should wipe the chrome down with WD-40 [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and let it set for a few hours in the sun then apply some type of wax. I keep it covered every night and it is not exposed to moisture. I have ridden it in the rain before and noticed a few weeks later a blemish on my front fender that seems to slowly be growing. how can I protect my chrome? I would appreciate any suggestions. kws.

kent smith
- Dallas, Texas

If the parts are bright and shiny, they are nickel plated and chrome plated, not just chrome plated. It is true that the chrome is porous, as it is supposed to be, but the nickel is not. The nickel provides the primary corrosion resistance; the chrome keeps the nickel from tarnishing (turning yellow) and spreads the corrosive energy around so the nickel is not overloaded.

Frequent waxing not only keeps the chrome looking good, but keeps corrosive dirt off it, and can't hurt. A really good nickel-chrome plating job, though, doesn't need babying.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


I truly appreciate the care you take of your bike.

Try to find a plater like us in USA who specialises in Duplex Nickel or Tri Nickel plating followed by a microporous layer of Bright Chrome plating of a thickness of a minimum .5 to .8 microns over the Nickel.

This coating should last you at least 10 years without any trouble as it lasts 10 years in a tropical monsoon climate like ours.

All the best and enjoy your biking !

Khozem Vahaanwala
Khozem Vahaanwala
Saify Ind supporting advertiser
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

saify logo

February 5, 2009

You said "A really good nickel-chrome plating job, though, doesn't need babying." What is a really good plating job and how do you know if the plater you're considering can do a good job? What do you ask or look for from a good plater? It's like many things, you won't know for sure for about a year or two.

Jack Price
- Granville, Ohio

February 18, 2009

Actually, my friend Khozema answered the question of what comprises a really good chrome plating job, Jack. But the terminology is probably unfamiliar to people outside of the business, so you might start with our Chrome Plating FAQs, which will make the terminology of his reply clear to you -- I think you will find them interesting. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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