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MG MGA - MGA HEADLAMP RIMS

Whilst I am aware that there was a discussion on this topic some years ago I would be interested in anyone's experience of finding suppliers of chrome on copper headlamp rims.

Suggestions included Holden's as a possible source. However, when I spoke to them they checked out and 'were pretty sure' that they were chrome over steel.

I have come across a UK firm called Classic Car Chrome in Birmingham who supply chrome over copper rims at 31.45 each, which includes free delivery (in the UK). I am aware that is nearly double the price of the standard chrome finish that Holden at approximately 17 each. (Although you have to add delivery and VAT which works around to around 40 plus for the pair).

CCC offer a range of chrome parts and I wondered if nayone had used their products.

Your feedback would be very welcome.

Thanks

Jerry
Jerry Birkbeck

I have some old headlamp rims which are plated brass but I think most of todays rims are nickel/chromium plated steel. It's easy to distinguish between the two with a magnet even allowing for the fact that nickel as well as iron is ferromagnetic and the brass plated ones therefore will be slightly attracted to a magnet.

Chromium is nearly always plated on nickel and it's the nickel layer which provides the corrosion protection. The thicker this layer is the more protection it provides but the trouble is that it is impossible to know what nickel thickness you have just by looking at the finished part. You don't need as thick a nickel layer on brass cf. steel for the same degree of corrosion protection so a brass part is always preferable.

Copper can be plated on steel before the nickel but it doesn't appear to offer any extra protection compared with the same total thickness of just nickel. I think copper is mainly used when plating old parts and it is followed by a buffing stage to fill in surface pitting then followed by nickel and chromium.

I think you can give up finding out how thick the nickel layer is on a plated rim so the only thing you can check is whether steel or brass has been used using the magnet test. Be careful, however, because I once bought an item after the supplier claimed it was a brass substrate and when I received it it was definitely steel. Say to the supplier that you will have to return them if they fail the magnet test.....................Mike






m.j. moore

I agree Mike - the originals were probably brass - repros will be steel but the better ones have a layer of copper on the steel followed by nickel and then chrome.
Cam Cunningham

Jerry
it may well be worth comparing the prices of chrome plated copper rims(assuming you can find any) with the that of the steel versions before you buy any.

I have seen steel h/l rims on ebay for 6.95 each.

My chrome plated steel rims were new 3 years ago and they still look brand new. I think they still have many years life in them yet.

Colyn
c firth

I found the repros from Moss to be VERY tight fit, b/c they are making one product to fit 2 types of headlamp.
Art Pearse

Dear All

Thank you for your thoughtful and considered advice which is very much appreciated.

I have opted for the version supplied by Classic Car Chrome in Birmingham which whilst not being cheap are supplied free of delivery charges.The price is inclusive of VAT. Moreover the guy freely offered his willingness to refund the acquisition costs in the event of any rust ever appearing. Okay that's not a life time guarantee but worth noting.

I'll report back on receipt and include a before and after pic.

Thanks once more.

Jerry
Jerry Birkbeck

Hi
I have an old brass rim which has a riveted locating clip at the top of the rim. Is this for the MGA or another MG? The rim also screws to the headlamp cowl at the bottom.
Thanks Brian
Brian Paddon

This thread was discussed between 11/07/2015 and 13/07/2015

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