Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chrome Parts & Ultrasonic Cleaning

The chrome on the Interceptor was hit and miss. Some parts were rusted and pitted while other pieces were good upon cleaning. Everything that fit into the ultrasonic parts washer went in and it was de-greased and cleaned. Most of the rust came off too. The next step was to buff all of the parts on a cloth wheel. It quickly highlighted what could be saved and what needed to be re-plated.

Parts before cleaning above.

The seal holder on the left uncleaned.....the right after the ultrasonic. 

Many parts cleaned up and will not need to be re-plated.

Parts in need of help. 
The two cable adjusters, bottom middle, had chrome removed in the cleaner. 

The ultrasonic has been a great addition to my process. It has done well on any metal part I have put in it so far. One chrome part that was left in too long was stripped to the copper. That surprised me and I was careful on following pieces. It was a re-chrome part and I have had no issues with OEM chrome. The longest cycle on the machine is 8 minutes. I usually run it four times but this varies depending on the condition of the part. I check between every other cycle to see if it needs to go longer. I always run the heat element and make sure the bath is at full temperature before starting the frequency cycle.

I have used several different cleaner / de-greasers in the unit. I tried baking soda but it hardened into a plaster around the inside of the tank and blocked its effectiveness. I have settled on “Simple Green” as a cleaner of choice. Plain water also works but not as fast. There are specific Ultrasonic cleaning agents but I have not tried them as of yet. They caution against using on soft metals which has scared me away at least from my aluminum parts. More testing in the future…..

The ultrasonic and cleaners. 

Parts that were too big for the ultrasonic where hand washed and buffed. The brake rod was pretty rusty but not pitted. I was able to soak it in white vinegar which removed all of the rust. This method worked surprisingly well and I will expand its use in the future. This may be a better method for removing rust stains from chrome than the ultrasonic. 

The brake rod - uncleaned - and nut after ultrasonic cleaning. 

Satin chrome parts cleaned up well. 
The brake rod was soaked in white vinegar and came out great. 

The fenders had light pitting but were in decent shape. They need to have dents removed and then will get new chrome.  The chain guard, exhaust pipes and rims must also be refinished.

Large parts heading for new chrome. Next step.....find a chrome plating source. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hardware Prep for Cad Plating

The hardware on the Interceptor was in fairly good condition but a bit rusty overall. After dis-assembly all hardware was removed, photographed and cataloged. I put increased efforts into documenting hardware on this restoration as it will simplify sorting when it is returned from the plating company. It also allowed me to develop a “missing & damaged” list of items to hunt down.

Cataloged and ready for cleaning. 

My bead blaster does not like grease and plugs up if I do not thoroughly clean parts. I have been looking at ultrasonic machines for a while and picked up a two liter model at Harbor Freight. I will cover more of its utility in a following post. I filled it with de-greaser and turned on the heating element. The hardware came out clean although a bit rusty.

The ultrasonic hard at work. A great tool for the shop. Why didn't I buy one sooner?

As in my Hornet restoration I added new hardware for plating. Newer parts have zinc that must be removed. In the past I used lye to accomplish this task. After further research into this issue I learned that white vinegar will accomplish the same task and is less toxic. I bought a gallon, soaked all parts for a several days, and all CAD and Zinc plating was removed. Most rust came off too. I bottled up the used fluid to take to the hazardous waste facility in my county.  The hardware was rinsed with boiling water to make it dry fast and reduce rust. 

Parts came out of their bath with no finish. 

Cleaned, out of its boiling rinse, and ready for blasting. 

A thorough cleaning of parts before blasting paid dividends as it took significantly less time to do and I used much less media. Time well spent. Holding parts was my biggest issue during my last rebuild. This time I made an aluminum window screen sack to hold small parts. It greatly reduced the aggravation for accomplishing this task.

Parts came out great. Now if only I can get them all to the plater and back without losing anything.... A new source is within driving distance. At least "lost in shipping" hazards should be eliminated.