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Re-chroming vs Buying New

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drsmod Dan Smodic
Kalamazoo, MI, USA   USA
I'm restoring my 1962 TR3A and was in the process of sending out my front fender, gas cap, front lights rims and windshield stanchions to get re-chromed. I've noticed that there are several specials going on where you can buy most of these items new. Except for the Stanchions (can't buy these new), it looks like I can save several hundred dollars by buying new vs re-chroming. I get the sense that the original pieces may be better quality so it comes down to the quality of the new pieces.

Have any others bought new and have an opinion on new vs re-chroming? Any feedback is appreciated.

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charleyf Silver Member Charley Fitch
Redding, CA, USA   USA
1962 Triumph TR4
1963 Triumph TR4 "MR.T"
I suspect that you meant to write front bumper rather than fender.
Just make sure that what you have is working properly. In particular I refer to the headlight rims. The small tab that is used to hook" the top part of that rim and is attached by a rivet is prone to get damaged or maybe just the rivet gets damaged and loose and fails. The bottom clip is also a problem. Maybe if you were to get the rims rechromed, you could get a good repair on those clips and then you would be ahead of the modern replacements.
The other thing is --like the front bumper, is it really an original? Or maybe just a modern replacement. About the only item you list that is most likely to have never been replaced is the gas cap.

doctorgram Avatar
doctorgram Chester Graham
Modesto, CA, USA   USA
Fuuny you ask.
I just sent my stuff out for re-chroming ( bumpers, door handles, light ring, gas cap, valve cover), because of the quality of new and my experience is that it doesn't fit all that great. Another issue I had because my TR is a 58 is the headlight ring for that year was only one year and all the reproduction stuff would dictate that I change the internal bracket for the new style to work. I have the only year that they used a screw tightening ring. My 2 cents.

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Kind of a crap shoot either way, IMO. You may or may not get a good chrome job; and the better it is, the more you have to pay. (The reverse is not always true, paying more does not guarantee you get a good chrome job.)

Same goes for replacement parts.

I bought a new front bumper and headlight trim rings; as I got the car without them. The bumper wants to rust (even in So CA with no snow, salt or sand on the roads), I've polished and waxed it several times. But the trim rings still look like new.

56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

CJD john durant
Southlake, TX, USA   USA
I always price re-chroming, and I will go with the cheaper of re-chrome or repop. Some parts, like the windscreen frame, the chromed early sidescreen mounts, and the TR2 mouth grill are not available new. Other items, like the gas cap, seem easy to re-chrome, but are really pretty complicated when you get into frequently the re-chrome comes out good on top, but nasty when you pop the cap open. Complicated parts are best just bought as repops.

Repops are not always great, but here in the Dallas.Ft Worth area we have gone from 6 chrome shops to only 1. I find the last guy frequently rushes the job and I have to have him re-do many parts...sometimes more than once. Not to mention he has gotten over-zealous with the buffer and totally ruined a few irreplaceable parts. SO, in the end I go with the cheaper of the two, as neither is perfect anymore.

Southlake, TX

'55 TR2

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-23 03:25 PM by CJD.

Jacad Avatar
Jacad Gold Member Barry Shefner
Montreal, QC, Canada   CAN
1959 Triumph TR3A "Loose Wheels"
1976 Triumph TR6 "The Tweetster"
Alot depends on what your ultimate objective is with your car, if you are doing a concourse restoration then you will want to re-chrome as certain repro parts are not made to the same standards as original. Anyone who knows what to look for (curvature of the ends of the front bumper, differences in the headlight trim rings thickness of the rear bumperettes as examples) can tell the difference between original and repro. Also, as John said, it is difficult to find chome shops today that do a great job as the process is very labour intensive and expensive. If concourse considerations are not a factor or cost prohibitive then go with the best repro that you can find.

59 TR3A 0TS57675LO - "Loose Wheels"
76 TR6 CF54266U - "The Tweetster"
Website: Triumph TR2-TR3-TR4 (sorry for not keeping it current for the past couple of years)

DonP Avatar
DonP Don P
Frankfort, IL, USA   USA
Just had all of mine re chromed a a good shop. Front bumper, front over riders and rear nerf bars. They came out really great looking, ... but not cheap.

In my case it made sense, but if your bumpers and over riders have some serious nicks and dents or deep scratches, you'll pay a premium to have those fixed, before they even start the chrome part of the process.

My front bumper had a little twist to it, but otherwise no serious damage so re chroming the originals made more sense for me.

With the EPA cracking down on them for how they dispose of the chemicals, a lot of shops have just shut their doors or are just doing hard industrial chroming.

Good luck.

drsmod Dan Smodic
Kalamazoo, MI, USA   USA
Thanks everyone for you feedback, a lot of good information to consider.

I've decided to re-chrome based on the fact that it's going to help keep the car somewhat original and I know things will fit, etc.... I did find several more shops that were willing to do the re-chroming and the bids were all over the place. I think I'll just stay with the shop that I originally used for my TR6 from bumper. thanks again

davem Avatar
davem dave m
vancouver island, BC, Canada   CAN
hi dan
have a look at "group harrington bumpers " site

-these are stainless steel and apparently quite good

-one of the guys in our club got some for his tr6 and he is happy with them

- i bought them for my tr3a but haven't installed them yet as we are still building the car

also see this older forum post below


Re: Bumpers Chrome vs Stainless Steel #10
2long Dan M
Honolulu, HI, USA USA
[ Send message ]
Feb 27, 2017 10:25 AM
Joined 4 years ago
70 Posts
I am running the Harrington stainless bumpers on my Tr2 and am very happy with them. No inkling of rust. Yes, made in Vietnam, but the company is legit and the product is pretty darn good. I also got a couple of chrome pieces from Jorge, but they were not that great.



hope this helps

TR3Alex Alexander Boon
Waddinxveen, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
I do have a set of harrington bumpers on my TR3A, for a few weeks now. I am finishing off my 10 year body-off rebuild and when the car didn’t had any bumpers when I bought the remains of this TR3, I decided to buy those bumpers from Harrington in Vietnam. Nice guys, very friendly and it looks great on the car. Not as thick as the originals but great quality!

I am very pleased,

Normally I would say, rebuild or re chrome the originals,but I didn’t have original bumpers, so this was an easy choice.

Succes, Alexander

Vila Avatar
Vila Robert Beers
Mechanicsburg, PA, USA   USA
1933 Chevrolet Master "The 33"
1962 Triumph TR4 "The TR4"
1964 Vespa VNB 125 "The Old Vespa"
1984 BMW 633CSi "The 633"    & more
I have had parts re-plated and bought new for other parts and my opinion is the re-plated parts are far superior, but I only work 5 minutes from one of the best platers in the country.

Parts I had re-plated on my 62 TR4 included the radio face plate, outside door handles, rear bumper over-rides and engine valve cover.

Parts I bought were the interior door pulls and rear bumper and all the chrome is crap compared to the re-plated parts.


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TR3nut Nelson B
Atl, GA, USA   USA
I ended up sending my stanchions, knock offs, gas cap, and grab handle to San Diego area, Jorge Cervera's chrome shop (619) 948-6972. These guys are true artists and passionate about their work. All parts came out like brand new, although, gas cap is pot metal so they did the best they could; a few small blemishes, but not their fault as you cannot weld these prior to the triple plating process. I highly recommend you to refurbish, polish, or re-chrome original parts as those are the ones that came from England with our cars. Jorge also fabricate front and rear bumpers, gas tanks, and grills for many English cars. Hope my info helps others in their trek.

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