Date registered: Jul 2004
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
I have some experience here recoating Euro 107 reflectors.
These, I believe, were steel, THEN coated with an epoxy paint, and THEN vacuum coated with aluminum using 1960's-70's technology.
You will NOT get acceptable results from ANY paint you use, period. End of story. Do not waste your time. Light simply doesn't reflect this way. MAYBE you can get away with this on fog lamps, but NOT on what you use to see at night.
The first set, I sent to a very expensive shop to have SILVERED (which is the way it was done 60-90 years ago). This is among the BEST reflective material for visible light even to this day, beaten only by truly exotic materials, but of course, it tarnishes. I will not mention the name of the shop who did it but their preparation work was disappointing considering that what I gave them to do was not in bad shape other than the coating to begin with. I would not do this again. And, I have to use silver polish on them every six months or so.
The second set, I did in a very novel way, which worked FAIRLY well, which I described on another "well-known" forum. I prepped the surface smooth, epoxy painted it (2-part epoxy, which dries very hard and level, and glossy) and then used aluminum HVAC tape in pieces over it. Getting the wrinkles out involved care, burninshing, and sandpaper(!) in very fine wet-or-dri grits. THEN (and this is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL), I polished them with metal polish and a buff on and arbor. These came out accetptably well, put out light with higher-wattage bulbs comparable to my silvered lamps, and wasn't that expensive to do.
The third set, I had vacuum-plated by a Michigan company who does modern aluminum coating for Detroit prototypes. Their coating includes a very good durable UV-cured overcoat, which makes them last MUCH longer. This is very comparable to modern plastic headlamp assemblies. It wasn't cheap and I had to do the prep, but they are better than new. Unfortunately, this company didn't seem that interested in repeat business. There may be liability issues.
Beware: if your seals are bad, you will run into problems fairly quickly AGAIN. Euro 107 headlight gaskets are not easy to find in the US. I had to do some RTV work on one of the sets.
Plating at home is NOT as easy as it looks. Also, consider that you might think that CHROME plating would be great, chrome is (surprisingly!!) only about 60% reflective to visible light, as opposed to 91% for aluminum and 98% for silver. This is a BIG difference.
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Last edited by strife2; 11-14-2012 at 05:59 PM.