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Thread: "Chrome Strips" on 240Z Interior Door Panels

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    Registered User lonetreesteve's Avatar
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    Default "Chrome Strips" on 240Z Interior Door Panels

    Does anyone know of a solution to repair those flaking chrome strips on the stock 240Z door panels?? My eighteen year old son and I are restoring two 240Zs, a '71 and a '72. The '72 originally had red interior, but we are changing it to black due to the short supply of red interior parts. We have found 4 original door panels in excellent condition, but 2 of them have a couple of small chips (or rips) on the chrome material. Your advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Steve & Nick
    '71 HLS30-25734 (orange w/matching engine#)
    '72 HLS30-64733 (white w/matching engine #)

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    Z-ologist cnixzgo's Avatar
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    Default This is what I did

    I had the exact same problem, I went to the local ACE hardware store and bought a roll of foil tape, sold next to the regular masking tapes, etc, also purchase a exacto knife to get a precise cut. Carefully measure what you need for the strip, then get a ruler and cut into one long strip. You can peel the backing off and carefully place it over the blue plastic strip. Might not be as shiny as the thin Nissan foil but it sure looks close to original. Good luck

    Nick
    1978 280z A/T, No. HLS30-457084, purchased 11/2002
    1972 240z A/T, No. HLS30-60614, purchased 11/2007

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    I also used metal tape but cut it into a 3/8" wide strip and put it on a piece of plexiglass in order to polish it with metal polish. I first used a board to support it but the wood grain appeared in the tape as I polished.
    -Mike
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    I'm here for the ZZZ's Dans240z's Avatar
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    This stuff is flaking off on mine too. Is it purple/blue behind the chrome? Mine is for some reason.

    How rare is the red interior?
    Dan Wetmore

    1972 HLS30-57530
    1973 HLS30-121867 project

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dans240z
    Is it purple/blue behind the chrome?
    Yes, it's a dark blue almost clear plastic.
    -Mike
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    Default Chrome Strips

    The best product I've used for this problem is called bare metal foil and it is available on line at bare-metal.com. Choose the ultra brite chrome as it is the best match for the door panels. The product is an ultra thin adhesive metal foil used primarily for model building. It's relatively easy to apply and burnish using an exacto knife and plastic/nylon burnish tool. Good Luck!

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zacny
    The best product I've used for this problem is called bare metal foil and it is available on line at bare-metal.com. Choose the ultra brite chrome as it is the best match for the door panels. The product is an ultra thin adhesive metal foil used primarily for model building. It's relatively easy to apply and burnish using an exacto knife and plastic/nylon burnish tool. Good Luck!
    From the web page it appears as though the product only comes in 6 x 11.75 inch sheets. Do you know if they have rolls or longer lengths? Perhaps it's so thin that you could overlap two sections without really noticing it. Sounds interesting.
    -Mike
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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacny
    The best product I've used for this problem is called bare metal foil and it is available on line at bare-metal.com. Choose the ultra brite chrome as it is the best match for the door panels. The product is an ultra thin adhesive metal foil used primarily for model building. It's relatively easy to apply and burnish using an exacto knife and plastic/nylon burnish tool. Good Luck!
    I bought some of this, both in the shiny and the matte, and tried to use it to restore the choke console on my Series I console. Alas, it didn't live up to my expectations, possibly because I was using such a thin stripe of it. It is an excellent way of getting a nice chrome shine, but in my opinion it is too delicate for long term use on this part without some sort of protective shield on it.

    If you're building a static display item, then it will probably look and last, but if you use your car at all, I would expect the first road-trip would shred it.

    I'd like to propose something a little bit different that I'm going to look into.

    For those of you who are into R/C or L/C airplanes, you're familiar with a product called Mono-Kote. For everyone else: This is a tough plastic film, with adhesive on the back that has exceptional shine and color. It is applied onto the wings and fuselage to provide a very lightweight but somewhat strong (it CAN be punctured and shredded) "skin" on the airplane.

    This product has become available in a CHROME finish. My thoughts were to buy a roll of the Mono-Kote in Bright Chrome, cut appropriate widths and lengths from that roll and then apply onto the blue vinyl strip with the small detail iron that gets used to do stripes and other fillet cuts with the same material. The Mono-Kote does do a small amount of shrinkage, so form fitting it to the existing plastic would only be a matter of careful skill.

    Hopefully (and I haven't yet seen a roll) the "chrome" on the foil would be good enough and bright enough to "duplicate" the trim.

    2
    Enrique

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    The "foil on a roll' is HVAC tape. I used it for years.I placed it on the blue plastic and used the edge on a finger nail and slid it down the groove. I liked that best because it didnt take much to split the foil and I knew there was very little risk of cutting an otherwise good panel

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    Smile

    Thanks for all the helpful information guys, I really appreciate it!
    Steve

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    Thanks for the info on the chrome tape. I am looking for a solution myself and found a plastic chrome strip for the side of a car that is the correct width and is very durable. It also looks great. The problem is removing the blue base and attaching this instead. I don't want to ruin my panels but I pryed one edge of the fabric up to see how the blue strip was attached and could not see enough. Does anyone know how to remove the blue plastic? BTW I understand the base strip came in blue and another color, I believe white.

    Bob M

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EScanlon
    For those of you who are into R/C or L/C airplanes, you're familiar with a product called Mono-Kote. For everyone else: This is a tough plastic film, with adhesive on the back that has exceptional shine and color. It is applied onto the wings and fuselage to provide a very lightweight but somewhat strong (it CAN be punctured and shredded) "skin" on the airplane.
    Enrique,

    It's been awhile since I've used Mono-Kote on an R/C airplane (must be about 25 years). I remember having to apply heat to the Mono-Kote to get it to stick to a surface. And when it did stick to a surface it would shrink. I'm thinking it might be hard to control the application of the Mono-Kote on the thin door panel strip. You might end up with air bubbles and a melted door strip.

    Steve

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevemasum
    Enrique,

    It's been awhile since I've used Mono-Kote on an R/C airplane (must be about 25 years). I remember having to apply heat to the Mono-Kote to get it to stick to a surface. And when it did stick to a surface it would shrink. I'm thinking it might be hard to control the application of the Mono-Kote on the thin door panel strip. You might end up with air bubbles and a melted door strip.

    Steve
    True, it is a skill but I have done it on other plastics. I'm into R/C Boats, Planes and Back Yard Racers, and I've used it with the Trim Tool which gives you a very small and localized hot plate to afix and then iron smooth. Instead of using a hot air gun or the larger iron, you end up with a hot plate about 1" long by 3/8" wide with a small bevel to the face. I've successfully bonded trim up to and just touching the canopies on planes and boats and haven't melted nor distorted. Now I can't claim as many planes or boats as Z's in what I've done, so I'll try it and advise.

    Enrique

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    Default

    Well, I finally have gotten to the point of actually doing this to the 4 door panels of our 2 cars. A little earlier tonight I bought the shiny chrome HVAC tape, a new exacto knife and a spare blade at Home Depot. The problem I have run into is trying to get all of the old chrome material off the blue plastic strips. I don't want to damage the plastic or the the vinyl panels in the process. Some of it flakes off easily, while some of it doesn't want to come off at all. Can I just apply the new tape over the strip the way it is or do I need to remove all of the old chrome material? If so, any ideas on how to remove the old chome without damaging anything?
    Steve

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    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Lonetree: Try blasts of compressed air through a needle nozzle. That method worked the best for me. After that, since you're already applying another roll of film above that, you could just scuff the edge of the remaining chrome. The intent is to reduce the "bump" of the edge so that it isn't as apparent under the new tape you're putting on.

    Have recently done some work with the first full set of panels with the Mono-Kote system, now just waiting to see what time and wear do to them. Will be working the second and third tests soon.

    I can't say much, and pictures will follow soon, but the initial results are VERY promisiing.

    FWIW
    Enrique

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    The Lone Potter v12horse's Avatar
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    I used the baremetal foil on my panels a few years ago and the foil has cracked in a few places. It was easy to use, but like Enrique mentioned, not durable enough. This is really helpful information. Keep up the good work.

    -Ben
    "A real sports car chooses its owner because it has a soul. If you're chosen, you'll love it, and the more it requires care and maintenance the more you love it." -Mr. Morita (Z432 owner)

    RLS30-034436
    305 GP Light Blue

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    When you take you seatbelt off watch your movements. I'll bet some of you (like me) are allowing the metal buckle to hit the chrome strip on the door when you're hanging the belt on the plastic hook, and that's why it's wearing off in the latter 1/3 of the strip. This chrome is not reparable with homemade fixes. It has to be professionally done. I looked into it on the Web by emailing a few chroming companies. If I think of it I'll dig up what I found out. It can be repaired for a reasonable sum.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
    IZCC #583; TZCC #16; CZC #110
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    <<
    This chrome is not reparable with homemade fixes.
    >>

    Everything is repairable with homemade fixes.
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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    Administrator bpilati's Avatar
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    Wink

    Whatever melts your butter.

    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    I'm never serious unless I should be.

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    When I got my car the chrome was flaking like you all said. I sat there and scraped all of it off very nicely so there were no reminants. Honestly I didn't think it looked all that bad with the solid blue strip running all the way across.
    '73 240Z - HLS30-171979 *Under Construction*
    88' BMW 325is - E30

    "You can get what you want or you can just get old" - Billy Joel

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    of the Silver Shield Soc. dogma420's Avatar
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    I kinda like the blue too...plus I'm too lazy to fix it; so its an easy justification! ;-)
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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    I just spoke with the owner of an upholstery shop for high end restorations, located in Modesto, Ca. They use a foil tape available from auto body supply companies. He cleans the old stuff off with a 3M red scull pad ( tape panel ) and then applier "adhesion promoter" from 3M with a Q tip. then apply the tape ( available in different widths ) Trim with an exacto knife. I am going to try this since I bought the tape.
    Also, I dyed my upholstery to freshen up the white since I added new seat covers. Urathane paint with a flex additive as a base and a clear coat as the final. You might consider this if you want to stay with the original color interior.

    Bob M

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    Let me know how that works out, will you? Thanks.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
    IZCC #583; TZCC #16; CZC #110
    I'm never serious unless I should be.

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    Look in your local craft or hoby store they may have a crome leafing material that you can use. I've used it on models and another car of mine but not on my Z (didn't need too). THe product isn't hard to use, just make sure you don't get the adheasion material on the stuff you don't want it on, and it uses a heat gun to adhear it. I'd try it on the worst looking panel first, sometimes the japanees parts act funy when doing things like this, I don't know why.

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    For all you "old" R/C guys, there is a new product out there that would be interesting to try in our Z application. It is called "Flite-Metal" and is actually very thin aluminum with an aggresive adhesive already applied. It is so thin that it will "stretch" some and is meant to be burnished onto the surface. It comes in 6" X 25' rolls, so one piece should suffice with no splicing needed. Here is a link to the website:

    http://www.flitemetal.com/

    Hope some of you enterprising sorts will try it out and let us know how it works!! (can you say guinea pig?!!)

    regards,

    Astrohog

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