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Best Way to strip Chrome

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  • Best Way to strip Chrome

    What is the best way to strip chrome off of motorcycle parts.

    which tools do i need..

    lower legs,triple tree and a nose cone from a harley
    and need to repolish it after.

  • #2
    i would say to sand blast them using a softer blast media that wont harm the aluminum. i have a home made blast cabinet i made out of plywood and a portable blaster..both real cheap but i can't say how much aggrivation it has saved!


    • #3
      Depends on the chrome really.

      A show quality chrome finish is copper, then nickel, then chrome. The chrome itself is very thin and can really be taken off with anything abrasive. If you are doing it to re-chrome then an electrolytic method would be preferrable because it leaves the rest of the layers on there.

      Blasting is okay but something that will cut chrome will cut aluminum too and you will be left with a profile on your part that you would not have had before.

      The "correct" answer is an electrolytic process for stripping (IMHO) but if you want, any abrasive process will do it.


      • #4
        hybred : can you tell how you built your sandblasting tank. and with what type of media would do the best job on chromed aluminium without to much damage.

        Stryder: going with electrolytic, where can i get info on that process.


        • #5
          Caswell sells some of that stuff or you can take it to a chrome shop.


          • #6
            stryder can you give me the url to what your refering to cause i can't find it on the site thanks.


            • #7
              I found two types of references. One dealing with mechanical removal (blasting) and others with the electro-chemical. Basically it seems you don't want to do the electro-chemical yourself unless you are set up to do chrome already. It's the same process in reverse.

              I think electro-chemical will yield better results but then again for a small set of parts it may not matter.


              Info on electro-chemical:

              Caswell sells chroming setups... the instruction manual they have would be a good start towards understanding the process. See:


              • #8
                thanks for your time & help.


                • #9
                  Chrome harley Parts...

                  Live2ride.........are you sure that the legs, trips and cam cover are chrome? They could be polished and then factory clearcoated. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. If they are indeed chrome plated, and you wish just to strip the chrome, you can use muratic acid (get at any pool store or home supply center) and it will strip the chrome. I can't remember which # pickle it is, but caswells manual tells how to mix it up. It does not need electrolysis to strip the chrome. The only thing is that I would not immerse these parts in the solution. They are not true aluminum, but an aluminum based potmetal and you will dissolve them if left in too long. You would be best to use chemical gloves and wipe them down, or use a spray bottle to spray the muratic on. One the more tedious side, you could just polish the chrome off with a spiral buff and a black or brown compound. Sometimes I even can buff through chrome with a loose buff and white compound if left in one spot for to long. Once again, if they are chromed and you strip the chrome, you still have the underlying nickel and copper to strip off at this point. Back to square one here.

                  If it were brought to me to strip and then only polish....I would media blast down to base, then polish. The end result is polishing the parts either way. By media blasting the parts, you will just have to polish a little longer, but the time you would save by sandblasting instead of trying to chemically mix up a stripper, and figuring out a way to strip the plating without dissolving the part would more than make up for the extra time you will spend polishing.

                  On the flip side.....if it is only polished and clear coated, you can just use aircraft stripper or Heavy Duty Easy Off(I think) and then polish normally.



                  • #10
                    getting them done professionally.
                    only 25$ for all three parts.
                    cheaper and faster and after wise easier for me to buff