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Question: Chrome techniques vs. Stock Aluminum Wheels

Big D

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
11
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1978 - Frost Blue - T-Tops
Hey everybody I need some feedback. Trying to decide whether to go with the optional wheel offered by GM for my 78 or go with the modern version of the wheel and have it chromed? I understand there are now two techinques used in chroming wheels. The new method, PVD chroming boasts a 5 year warranty as well as technique which offers less drawbacks such as peeling, cracking, etc. as compared to the old method of chroming. Then I run into the same problem when I look at Aluminum wheels. I can find the new repro's as well as reconditioned wheels claiming to look like (operative word) orginals. I have never seen one.
So there it is, anyone have anything to say? Oh yea, would like your opinion on whether you would go with chrome or alum. I know its my car and all that but you must have a preference of one over the other. Yes?:stirpot
 

tnovot

Active member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
44
Location
Streator, IL 61364
Corvette
1975 pearl white 4 speed convert with 355 HP ZZ4
Wheel finishes

Oh yea, would like your opinion on whether you would go with chrome or alum. I know its my car and all that but you must have a preference of one over the other. Yes?:stirpot
**********************************************************************************************
If you are taking a poll, I vote no chrome.
Terry
 

kpic

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
2,292
Location
Columbus, NC/NE Georgia
Corvette
1997 boosted silver coupe
Chrome plating aluminum is a lot more complex than ferrous metals. First the aluminum is plated with zincate, Next is cyanide copper then copper, nickel then chrome, Or start with alkaline electroless nickel plating before copper-nickel-chrome.
The process for ferrous metals is copper-nickel-chrome.
The term triple plated chrome is the copper-nickel-chrome process.

One of the best sources show quality chrome was Brown's in Paducah, Ky. Unfortunately, they went out of business last year. Zinc is a real no-no to the EPA.

I'd ask at your local Harley dealer who they use as a supplier.

 

Big D

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
11
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1978 - Frost Blue - T-Tops
Looking to see what I can find Terry. I catch myself leaning that way at times too.;shrug kpic, thanks for the technical info man but can you reccommend one process over another or do you not have any practical experience with either process? Can't get all my ducks in a row to make a choice.:duh Looks like not much in the way of knowing the pros and cons of each process so, might as well wait with time.:)
 

stevolwevol

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Michigan
Corvette
1977 light blue
If you are not satisfied with your stock aluminum wheels, why not restore them to new condition. It would look good, it would look proper, and it would probably be less expensive than having them chrome plated.
 

kpic

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
2,292
Location
Columbus, NC/NE Georgia
Corvette
1997 boosted silver coupe
Big D,
I used to operate a part time business working on Harleys to pay for my hobbies or better said bad habits.

A lot of my customers wanted parts chromed when their engine was apart and the majority of the parts were aluminum. The zincate followed by copper, nickel then chrome which produces the best results. However, the answer you seek is who is delivering the best chrome today and that I don't know.

 

Big D

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
11
Location
Maryland
Corvette
1978 - Frost Blue - T-Tops
Confused and Dazed

I have to apologize for the confusion. Apparently, I did not make myself clear on what I was looking for. I am thinking of replacing the wheels on my 78. The wheels on the car were an option for 78. Now I see they are taking the same wheel and chroming it. These wheels are new and the chroming process is either triple plated or PVD depending on where you purchase your wheels. I am still leaning towards purchasing new wheels but the same ones as I have now - optional wheel offered in 78. Maybe I will wait a while to see how this PVD chrome holds up. Still, I like the factory optional wheel.:argue But the chrome iis cool for a change.

Thanks though for input, always like to hear how others think.:thanks:
 

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