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Thread: Header pipe re-chrome?

  1. #1
    Newbie drj434343's Avatar
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    Header pipe re-chrome?

    Has anyone ever undertaken a re-chrome of the header pipes on their oilhead? There aren't any muffling elements inside, so I was thinking it could survive the process and be cheaper than buying a new OEM header.

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by drj434343 View Post
    Opinions?
    Why? Its just going to discolour again. Single-walled header pipe.

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I recently considered this same issue on an R12R.

    The discoloration from heat (bluing) wasn't an issue for me, but physical feel-it-with-your-finger corrosion was. The bike's previous owner had neglected the chrome, which corroded badly; they were far past being able to be brought back to even near-new condition and smoothness. New-from-BMW headers were $1800...that wasn't happening.

    The corrosion was so significant I thought that a re-chromer wouldn't be able to achieve a smooth enough surface to yield a good chrome finish. Certainly possible I was wrong on this point, but re-chroming was going to cost money, and I also wasn't enamored about taking a chance to find out. If your bike's pipes are less corroded than my bike's were, perhaps they'd be a better subject for rechroming. I can email some pics of the pipes, if you're interested. I'm dbrick at cruzio daht com.

    I also thought about high-temp paint. It's been done, and the silver color looks close to chrome. I mused about black as well, but realized I liked the stock shiny metallic chrome finish. Eventually Beemerboneyard's website showed a VGC set of ST/RT/R headers for $275, and I bought them. They look just excellent.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    Registered User kioolt's Avatar
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    I don't think they were ever chrome. I thought they were polished stainless.
    2004 R1150RT 162,500 miles , 1991 K100LT 128,500 miles, 1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
    Total 397,900 BMW miles
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    The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kioolt View Post
    I don't think they were ever chrome. I thought they were polished stainless.
    Dang, you just might be right on that.

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    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kioolt View Post
    I don't think they were ever chrome. I thought they were polished stainless.
    The R12RTs have been available with two head pipe choices -- chromed and stainless. Chrome blues, stainless turns brown.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  7. #7
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    You can ceramic coat them. http://www.jet-hot.com/

  8. #8
    Newbie drj434343's Avatar
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    My pipes are rough, pitted, and corroded. I thought, in the way that chrome breaks down. My cat and muffler are still chrome and shiny for sure. The front part of the header, the side that faces the front wheel is the worst of it.

    I figured a good bead blast and re chrome could be possible, though I haven't reached out to any local shops about that.

    If I did any other coating than chrome, it would visibly clash with the muffler's chrome finish.

    Sounds like no one who has read this thread yet has actually tried it.

  9. #9
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    At least one other thread has discussed ceramic coating - the "painting" technique I misidentified in my own post in this thread. The other thread has some pictures, and is located here: http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....light=laitken1

    Post #6 in this thread has a pic of an unsuccesful header re-chrome job.
    Last edited by dbrick; 08-12-2015 at 08:25 PM.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  10. #10
    Newbie drj434343's Avatar
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    I read through some rechroming threads, and it looks like it is hit or miss on how well it will stay.

    I also got a quote from Jet Hot for a polished chrome like finish ceramic coating. However, they say the pipes have to be totally dechromed before they can ceramic coat.

    It looks like either Muriatic acid or a harsh sand blast could strip the chrome if I were to attempt it myself.

    One issue I face is how to dechrome my muffler safely. Jet Hot says they can ceramic coat mufflers with CAT's safely, but to properly dechrome the muffler at a chrome shop would require a dip which would likely ruin the interior. So I'm left with trying to do it myself.

    Has anyone safely decrhomed the muffler/CAT portion of their exhaust?

  11. #11
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    My understanding ofchrome is

    Its a chemical bond not a mechanical bone, the only way to really release the bond is by dipping it and then buffing off the remnants. Jet-Hot Performance Coatings gives a life time guaranty for their coatings. Apparently there is an adhesion issue when they coat over chrome regardless of the prep work other than a complete removal of the chrome plating. About 9 years ago Jet-Hot Coatings applied the Silver coating to my 04 GSA OEM header pipes over the chrome, there has never been an issue with adhesion or the final product durability. They must have had problems with others and decided to not coat chrome parts unless the chrome has been completely removed. There are many companies out there that will ceramic coat your parts for you but will not guaranty the coating past bolting them on. I had some R 9T small exhaust parts done locally and was very happy with the service and finished product, I do believe they will apply the ceramic coating over chrome plated parts after they prep the parts but don't know about the warranty on the coating. The name is "Wet Dreams" based in Ft Myers Florida so Google them and drop them a line to what they can do for you and for how much $$$. I felt they treated me right and gave me much more than they promised. I have no financial of personal interest in that business, just wanted to pass along the information.

  12. #12
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    There's also Cerakote Chromex coating, a high-temp coating that looks much more like chrome than regular satin ceramic.
    For instance:
    324-11.jpg
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    Shameless muffler plug

    I'm selling a very nice looking muffler here:
    http://r1150rparts.weebly.com

    IMG_6052.jpg
    Now: 2004 BMW R1150R, 2013 Suzuki DR650
    Before: BMW R100/7, Moto Guzzi V7 850GT, Suzuki GS750, Honda CB500 Four

  14. #14
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endgame View Post
    I'm selling a very nice looking muffler here:
    As a member, you have access to the Flea Market to make it easier to sell the extra parts one might have.

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