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Thread: Re-chroming original headers

  1. #1
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    San Antonio, TX

    Re-chroming original headers

    Anyone have experience in getting original headers and crossover re-chromed?
    My R75/6 restoration is getting quite expensive and after seeing the price of new headers I choked. However, I don't want to waste more time and money replating headers if they will not hold up. Original headers are in good shape but serious pitting that won't buff out.

  2. #2
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I've rechromed pitted rough BMW head pipes. Just bead blasted them and gave them to the platers. Got em back and the pitted areas were still visible. Good for a daily runner, but not show quality. If I had spent more time sanding out the pits, it probably would have turned out better.

  3. #3
    John. jstrube's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Atwater, CA
    I believe the correct way of getting rid of pits in chrome is for the shop to fill the pits in with brazing or copper or something like that, then sand & buff flat. I would imagine the more pits you have, the closer to the price of a new set you will get, or even surpass it! I would get an estimate from your chrome shop before makign a decision.
    Atwater, CA
    2015 R1200RT

  4. #4
    Mike V. #30064 30064's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    San Diego, CA

    Here's a thread you may want to review.

    I have personal experience with a "failed" attempt at rechroming. I did extensive research on platers and found one that would guarentee the work. Make sure the plater understands the application and heat involved. And, the special plating process that is necessary for headers. I did get reimbursed for the failed work. My only advice would be; if you find a plater that agrees to do the work, make sure he will stand behind the mine did if it fails. I'm sure there are platers out there that can do the job, it's just finding them. I ended up purchasing a Keihan SS system that was pricey, but worth it.
    Mike V. / San Diego
    MOA#30064 / ABC#11027
    78 R100/7 [orig. owner] / 81 R65 [restored]

  5. #5
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Instead of re-chroming the headers, you may want to try powder coating. The coater where I had some coated has some special coatings for headers. I don't think any look like chrome, but the end result may be better than what you have.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    2018 R1200 GS
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  6. #6
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Portsmouth, NH
    I think ceramic coating is the way to go with exhaust systems.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  7. #7
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Portland Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    I think ceramic coating is the way to go with exhaust systems.
    Exactly what I did. I had exceeded my budget beyond all reasonable expectations, the mufflers were shot and the headers were pitted, but otherwise sound. I talked to Epco and they sent me their pea shooters at a little discount, because I did not get them polished, so the coating would stick better. Sent the headers, mufflers, new cross-overs ant the brackets to a jet-hot coater and got them done up in a titanium gray. They look great and there is no telling they are 29 years old.

    Of course I did not rebuild my bike as a museum piece, but just sorta built it up as a good reliable rider. YMMV

    Good luck
    Last edited by Bob_M; 04-21-2011 at 01:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User mysteriousfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    I recently ordered some SS headers from EPCO in January, and still waiting for them to appear...apparently they lost their polisher, and are way backed up...if you decide to go with new SS headers afterall, you might consider Bobs or another supplier if time is a consideration....

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