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100% Road Princess

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29 Mar 2020 18:28 - 29 Mar 2020 18:45 #220435 by Scimike
100% Road Princess was created by Scimike
Hi all,
Just some reading for the lockdown for those that are interested.

I always fancied a go at home plating but could never justify the cost of the kits you see on the market. I restore things as a hobby and have my eye on a few rusty brackets on the Jimny, so a few weeks ago I assembled the components to make up a home nickel plating kit.
It worked out fairly cheap compared to the kits.
Nickel plating salts £9
Nickel anodes £8
Fish tank heater £6 -heats solution
Fish tank air pump £7 - used to keep solution moving
Plastic Tupperware £3 - stops a mess on the floor
Brick acid £5 - acid etch and cleaner

I already had a power supply, so total outlay of £38 to make up a 2ltr tank plating kit.
As I am in lockdown with everyone else, today was the day to assemble the parts and have a go.

The nickel salts came with limited instructions and an A4 page of health warnings, so with the appropriate eye protection, gloves and face mask I went to Tesco for my weekly shop.
When I got back I took all that junk off, mixed the chemicals whilst holding my breath, clean a test piece of steel and had a go.

Here is my setup:


I set the Power supply at 2amps and left the test item for 50 minutes.

Here is the result:-


The lower half is the nickel plating, upper is plan steel.
It's not a complete success, the finish has what look like bubble marks on the surface (you can't see them in photo) and in a few places the plating had not adhered.
A post mortem revealed that the plating was too thick and in places it was not well attached to the base metal.
So what I think I did wrong.
Too many amps or in the solution for too long.
The part had surface contamination even though I believed it was clean. I need to rethink how I get the items clean.

If anyone has any experience of this alchemy and can give me some tips (other than pay someone to do it), please chip in. I the meantime I have some googling and reading to do before I have another go.
Mike
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Last edit: 29 Mar 2020 18:45 by Scimike.

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29 Mar 2020 20:03 #220439 by Grima
Replied by Grima on topic 100% Road Princess
Use evaporating alcohol type cleaner with rubber glovers. The grease of your fingers will ruin any job. For a black finish on steel use gun blue / black as its not cheap paint it on instead of dipping. It reacts with the metal, leave to dry. Then paint with oil, leave to soak in, wipe dry, job done. Just a thought. Steve.
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29 Mar 2020 20:25 #220441 by CC Baxter
Replied by CC Baxter on topic 100% Road Princess
I worked next door to a plating outfit for a while and remember the smell of alchemy. Even small items such as your test piece were dipped for about 16 hours (over night plus some) which suggests lower amps. Most of there nickel plate went on to be chromed but the finished nickel seemed to get extensive polishing. This is just the ramblings of a fading memory but might make some sense to you. My lasting memory is the thickness of the industrial rubber gloves and aprons they wore, that was enough to steer me away from home plating. Chris
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29 Mar 2020 22:57 #220449 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic 100% Road Princess
Thanks Steve and Chris.
Yes it's the cleaning process and amps I got wrong. I want to master the process simply because I have always wanted to have a go, but if I can't no loss, as you say plenty of alternatives. Found some good information via Google.

" My lasting memory is the thickness of the industrial rubber gloves and aprons they wore, that was enough to steer me away from home plating"

That will be the acid bath and the chrome plating solution, a particularly nasty substance which is toxic and a carcinogen. Nickel plating is lower down the "bad for you scale", but still requires suitable PPE and care.
Mike
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31 Mar 2020 08:47 #220493 by Max Headroom
Replied by Max Headroom on topic 100% Road Princess
Well done Scimike - its an interesting science.

I experimented with similar kits some years ago but the results were, to say the least, rather crude by professional standards and I felt not good enough for using on a historic car, so I gave up


IF IT AINT BROKE, KEEP FIXING IT UNTIL IT IS
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31 Mar 2020 12:56 #220503 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic 100% Road Princess
Thanks Max,
I have my eye on a few Jimny brackets, but mostly parts on my classic bikes and cars. But I am with you at the moment, my results are not good enough to go anywhere near any of them! :(
A lot of the cheap kits just give you a cheap fixed voltage power supply, but what has become apparent after reading a few articles is that current (amps) and duration against surface area is the key (cleanliness aside). Based on the information I have found, my first attempt should have been 0.36 Amps for 52 minutes for a rust resistant deposit, not 2 Amps. :blush:
Luckily I already have a current / voltage regulated power supply that can achieve any of the required settings. Don't know how you would do it without.
Just waiting for my next essential shop before I try again. Hopefully I can get some soda crystals to make an electrolytic cleaner as an extra cleaning stage and sort out my initial problems.
There may be more !

This thread will eventually turn in things I do to my (road biased) Jimny, it's just the parts I have on order are all stuck in transit due to C-19.
Mike

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31 Mar 2020 17:31 - 31 Mar 2020 17:37 #220523 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic 100% Road Princess
Time to introduce our Jimny which we have owned for over 2 years now. We always wanted one, but the low unbraked towing limit kept us away until I eventually reduced the weight of our caravan. It's our daily transport and so spends 90% of its life on the queen's highway, only occasionally venturing off road, but even then nothing it can't cope with in it's standard form.
I have made some modifications and improvements over the two years, so this may be interesting for those that have similar requirements.

Say hello to our Jimny


I added the Jimnybits roof rack first as we carry a lot of camping equipment, it's just easier to throw damp items on the roof. It's a well made item but the powder coating started to show signs of rust after a year, but I sprayed it myself before it took hold which has stopped it totally. It did increase wind noise slightly, but made no noticeable difference to mpg.

Next to go was the rear seats, we simply needed to space and have no need to carry more than two people. I used a plywood base and covered with black automotive carpet to keep the noise down.


The original Clarion sound system was "vintage" in every way, so streaming from my phone and all that modern MP3 stuff was added courtesy of Sony and a new fascia. I worked at Halfords at the time so it was very cheap to do with my colleague discount. Also added rear speakers and new fronts to compliment the better sound system.


Next was the surface rust and transfer box wires. When you are under the vehicle treating rust it becomes apparent that the transfer box cables are going to be the first victim of even mild off road adventures, so as JimnyBits are 5 miles from my home it was rude not to fit their transfer guard. At the same time I treated any rust and painted, finally applying black waxoyl. It's been on for 1.5 years but still looking fine.


The led Light bar was added to assist with those late night arrivals at the camp site. I did not expect it to last electrically, cosmetically or remain watertight. It's proven me wrong, 1 year later it still works, still looks like new and has not filled with water. Not everything on eBay is rubbish, a big thumbs up to WOWLED. It's 180W and very bright and an easy fit to the roof rack. The power cable is routed though the aerial mount to an illuminated switch on the dashboard. Works great as a route for the cable, but if you like FM radio it does pick up the led switching noise, so that the down side.


In addition to the above I have also:-
Refurbished the swivels and rebuilt the kingpins.
Dinatrol injected into box sections and doors etc.
Fully serviced everything.
Refurbished alloy wheels.
Fitted front and rear dashcams.
Fitted QC30 USB charger in place of cigarette lighter.
Fitted Osram night breaker headlamp bulbs.
New front Disks.
Heavy duty steering damper, makes the vehicle steering feel better to me (personal preference).
Nautilus air horn to shout louder than the next person.

My next change will be Koni rear shocks hopefully to improve the ride quality, but mainly to control the back end better when the vehicle is towing. Currently on order from Holland, not sure when they will arrive. But we can't go camping anyway so nothing spoiling.
When the current tyres are worn out plan to replace with Vredestein Quatrac 5 all season tyres as I found the limit in snow of our current tyres when on holiday in Scotland.

Mike
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Last edit: 31 Mar 2020 17:37 by Scimike.
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31 Mar 2020 21:15 #220531 by Soeley
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01 Apr 2020 00:39 #220534 by Daniel30
Replied by Daniel30 on topic 100% Road Princess
Nice and tidy :)
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01 Apr 2020 08:40 #220538 by gusthegorilla
Replied by gusthegorilla on topic 100% Road Princess
Looks superb, Mike... excellent work B)

I'm interested in your comment re. reducing the weight of your caravan....when you have a moment, I'd like to know more about this, please...PM or WhatsApp if you prefer...

Thanks,

Chris


I'm planning to live forever.....so far, so good !!
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01 Apr 2020 13:07 - 01 Apr 2020 14:24 #220543 by Scimike
Replied by Scimike on topic 100% Road Princess
Hi Chris,
My weight reduction comment may need a little more explanation.:laugh:
I had a vintage (very old) CI Sprite 4 berth which served us proud during our "parenting" years, but now it's only me and the better half we wanted smaller car and everything else. So I reduced the weight by swapping it for a Teardrop "caravan"
It's 350kg unladen and basically a very comfortable sleeping compartment (sleeps 2) with a kitchen on the back. The tent covers the kitchen and provides a sitting area. It's got electric, TV, central heating (including the tent) and our Jimny can tow it all no problem. I guess we are adding 600kg to the vehicle AUW with the stuff we carry, with about 360kg of this on the tow bar.
So it's comfortable and warm camping!

Here is camp Jimny all set up, you can see the caravan sleeper in-between the tents.


If you want to know more about it pm me and I will send details.
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Last edit: 01 Apr 2020 14:24 by Scimike.
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02 Apr 2020 09:44 #220572 by gusthegorilla
Replied by gusthegorilla on topic 100% Road Princess
Hi, Mike...hope you're both safe and well :)

If my brain hadn't been in lockdown along with the rest of me, I would have remembered you had a teardrop !!!
I could have saved you all the keyboarding !!

Some of the boys on here will remember I had one of these, too, in Ford Focus ST orange...
...wish I still had it now, too....we only went back to full sized caravan for the benefit of the on-board loo....at our age, the absence of one became a bit of an issue !!!
But agreed, everything else about it was brilliant...all the mod cons and media, full galley, etc....

....for reasons I'll not go into on here, we bought one of those portable chemmy loos....might think about an awning etc., having seen your pic...hmmmm ????

Thanks for the response, Mike, take care, stay safe.
Kind regards....


I'm planning to live forever.....so far, so good !!

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