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I saw a photo of a Bonneville Black somewhere on this site with a black headlight shell and chrome ring. I mistakenly didn't earmark the picture and I can't locate it. I think it looks great and I want to do it to my bike. I called local powder coating businesses, but they want the chrome off the shell first. Plating businesses I contacted consider plating removal a nuisances job so it would be expensive. bead blasting is out because of the thin metal. If anyone has done this modification and/ or has a better way to do it, I would appreciate the help. Thanks.
 

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I have my headlight shell powder coated. I don't know why this place is telling you that the chrome has to come off. The place I went to did it right over top of the chrome and it came out great. Powder coating will bond to chrome. I would just call around a little and find someone else to do it. Here are some key suggestions when you do find someone. Make sure that they tape of the lip that the chrome ring fits onto, otherwise you will have a really hard time fitting the ring back on. Also have them plug the holes that are used to mount the light to the headlight brackets, that way it's not a pain to get the bolts back in. If you can't find anywhere that will do it for you, you can try the place i used. It's in Pennsylvania, which isn't that far from you so shipping shouldn't be too bad. They'll probably only charge you about $20. It's called APS Powder Coating (610)-8563-0570.

 

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I did this last winter. I took the shell to the powdercoater's but was told that first I had to get the chrome removed. They sent me to a plater down the street, who did it while I waited and for free. Then I returned the shell to the powdercoater for a low-gloss black that perfectly matches the frame and the ears that hold the shell. I also had the plate that holds the tach and speedo done at the same time. They bead blasted after I had the chrome removed. You would think that bead blasting would remove the thin layer of chrome without having to mess with a chromer, but I think the problem is one of not wanting to contaminate the blasting medium with chrome particles. You can end up with pieces that look clean but are actually impregnated with contaminants, thus resulting in a poor adhesion of the powder. Find another chromer who will do the stripping for you. It took all of three minutes to dunk it twice in a solution. BTW, it looks great when done, especially with the chrome ring as accent. Also, I didn't call ahead, I just showed up and asked the plater to do it, saying I'd been sent by the powdercoater (which was true). Sometimes it's easier to blow someone off over phone, but to take care of it when they're standing in your shop.
 

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I just spray-bombed mine. Hit the chrome with a 600-1000 grit sand paper, then primer, sand the primer with 1000 grit, then high gloss black enamel. Total cost, about 10 bucks, total time, couple hours. Most of the time envolved taking the bits off and waiting for the paint to dry.

 

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Cool. What kind of enamel and did you rub it out? Did you think about clear coating it?

There is a madman on the Telecaster forum who builds his own 'casters and sprays them w/ Krylon. But he sands like a madman and clearcoats with some kind of lacquer (probably not nitro) and sands that out. The pix look awesome. One interesting thing he does is warm up the rattle can in a bowl of hot water like a dang shaving cream can.

[ This message was edited by: TeeBird on 2006-12-08 12:30 ]
 

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On 2006-12-08 13:11, SCCTrim wrote:
Do what machine did.....worked for me.


Where did you get the decal for your side covers, if you don't mind me asking? They look good! Wondering what it might look like with the Triumph Tank Cover in the same color. Not to take away from the topic. Sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Bassman, don't apologize. I was wondering the same thing. I really lucked out with my question. Not only did I get good advice, got pictures of some great looking bikes. If I could steal an idea from another motorcycle forum, maybe there could be a permanent place (is that what a 'sticky' is?) just for photographs. I really enjoy seeing how bikes are individualized, and it would be easier to have them all in one place. Well, now I guess I'm off topic.
 

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I recently took a second fairing off my bike...... they just didn't work on my Red bike. I really love that Black headlamp housing; but as I studied the above pictures, I decided that the Black headlamp works best on a Black bike. I'm gonna hafta stick with a chrome housing, but the above posted bikes (with their Black'ed out housings) are all really really nice!

.... wish I could do it to mine
:(
 

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Oooof, those are gorgeous... wonder how that would look on my black America?
Thanks for the idea... I think.
 

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another +1 what Sweetmachine did.

scruffed it up a bit with a scotchbrite, used duplicolor adhesion promoter, and duplicolor low gloss high temp paint.

Did the same think on the exhaust tips of one of my cars a year ago and still has not flaked or cracked!
 

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On 2006-12-08 10:09, rmak wrote:
I called local powder coating businesses, but they want the chrome off the shell first. Plating businesses I contacted consider plating removal a nuisances job so it would be expensive. bead blasting is out because of the thin metal. If anyone has done this modification and/ or has a better way to do it, I would appreciate the help. Thanks.
The chrome can be easily stripped at home...

Get some muriatic acid (swimming pool acid), which is just dilute hyrdchloric acid... Dilute that one to one with water is a bucket large enough to submerge the light bucket in. Attach the headlight bucket to a piece of copper wire and dip it into the solution. Wear some heavy kitchen gloves and safety glasses... In a VERY short time the chrome will be stripped off... You can tell when the finish goes from the "bluish" tint of chrome to a more "yellowish" tint of the nickle substrate under the chrome... Rinse well with water .... You now have the chrome removed... You can further rough the surface with some 150 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

If your local guy has a problem powdercoating it after that prep, it's time to look for someone else..

I reccommend Mark's Powdercoating in Moncks Corner SC... Great guys and they do a lot of motorcycle stuff...

www.markspowdercoating.com
 

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I'm not sure why everyone ignored my post. YOU DON'T HAVE TO STRIP OFF ALL THE CHROME! Why waste time doing it if it doesn't need to be done. If anything you risk creating uneven spots in the shell. Call around and find a powder coater who will do it. All that needs to be done is the chrome needs to be scuffed up a little. Which they should be able to do for you.
 

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rmak - I have a black headlight off of my Scrambler that I want to replace with a chrome one - if you are interested in swapping let me know. The Scrambler is a 7 inch as opposed to the 8 inch Bonnie - but they all use the standard ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Tri650-Apparently I haven't made enough posts to be able to send you a private message through the forum. If you want to send me one, give me your email address and we can talk it over. I would be interested, if the swapped lights bolt right into the respective bikes. I'm not sure how they would fit with the 1 inch difference. But what do I know?
If you know someone with a standard bonnie, check it out. I'll give my local dealer a call and see what he has to say. I appreciate the offer. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry for the back-to-back posts, but I wanted to mention to adamoverdrive that I certainly took your input under advisement and I'm thankful for it. From what I could gather from the several powder coating businesses I called since this thread began, some of them don't want the liability if the potential for bonding of the powder coat to the metal is in any way less than perfect. I'm sure they are looking at the worst case scenario and they don't want to have to rebate or re coat. The back of a light doesn't see many hazards or hard use, so, in my completely unprofessional opinion, you are correct.
Has anyone powder coated brake and clutch levers?
 

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Those who painted, did you gloss the headlamp bracket also? When you remove headlamp. Do you have to cut wires. Is it hard to remove?
 

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