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Peter Morgan
Experienced User
Username: rrnut

Post Number: 13
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Monday, 14 December, 2015 - 03:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Some advice would be most welcome. I need to remove the shroud from the radiator which appears to be soldered on as part of the top tank. The shroud requires plating. The radiator core looks original and appears to have no leaks and looks in good condition but ideally would require cleaning. The question is does anybody know of someone that can do this work. From advice already received it needs somebody who has had experience on these particular radiators. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1850
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 14 December, 2015 - 08:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Peter,

The closest specialist R-R/B repairer/restorer to you would be the Vintage Motor Garage at Central Mangrove. The founder Max Houston specialised in pre-war R-R/B vehicles and an example of his work is on the business website "From the Archives - Rolls-Royce Phantom II Newport Town Car - reproduction". This car was awarded First place on debut at the Rolls-Royce Owners Club Federal Concourse 2007.

http://www.vintagemotorgarage.com/projects.php

Usual disclaimers apply and you should make appropriate enquiries regarding recent projects undertaken by Vintage Motor Garage if appropriate to your needs.
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Mark Herbstreit
Prolific User
Username: mark_herbstreit

Post Number: 135
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 15 December, 2015 - 06:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am curious as to what exactly needs plating? The radiator shroud would be Staybright or German Silver.
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Peter Morgan
Experienced User
Username: rrnut

Post Number: 14
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Thursday, 17 December, 2015 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you for your response, I was after a business name for a radiator service to separate the shroud from the core as the shroud requires electroplating to bring it back to its original finish. If I'm not mistaken "staybrite" is the chrome plating that was introduced in the early 1930's before that being German Silver which is Nickel with specific % of metals. It appears mine is staybrite which some believe for a 1929 model is not original even though research indicates one could order it from 1927. The original documentation shows the car was ordered with Nickel however it was apparently common practice for owners to send the car back for chroming post 1930's.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1853
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 17 December, 2015 - 02:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter,

Around the time your car was assembled, type 302 stainless steel was developed and subsequently marketed by Firth Brown Steel located in Sheffield UK. They marketed their stainless steel under the brand name "Staybrite" and it is possible your shroud is, in fact, an early application of stainless steel to car radiator shrouds by Rolls-Royce.

Assuming the elecroplated shrouds used mild steel as the base metal, a quick and easy way to determine what metal was used is with a permanent magnet; the magnet will not adhere to "Staybrite" stainless steel but will adhere to a German Silver or chromium-plated mild steel component. If Nickel or Brass has been used as the base metal then the magnet will not stick however the reverse side of the plated component will have a different finish as it most likely would not have been buff polished during the plating process whereas the visible surface would be highly polished.

"German Silver" is Copper alloyed with Nickel and Zinc; a typical composition is 60% Copper, 20% Nickel and 20% Zinc. German Silver alloys range from 50 to 80% Copper, 2 to 30% Nickel and 10 to 35% Zinc - It is no longer permissible to use Silver in the alloy name as the alloys do not contain Silver. These alloys are prone to brownish-green tarnishing from long-term exposure to various atmospheric pollutants. The alloys were often applied by electroplating especially for automotive bright work until they were replaced with chromium plating or stainless steel which were less prone to tarnishing and cheaper to manufacture.
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ChristopherCarnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 5.80.54.28
Posted on Thursday, 17 December, 2015 - 06:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The cu/ni/zn alloy was never plated, but the polished surface becomes rather dull in the urban atmosphere due the zinc content.
The stainless steel, iconic R-R grille/surrounds were all soft pb/sn soldered together, and are a work of art in themselves.
The "nickel silver" surrounds can be polished to a high degree of finish.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Peter Morgan
Experienced User
Username: rrnut

Post Number: 15
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 30 December, 2015 - 08:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you everyone for your advice, I was not aware that the shroud was made of German silver. The shroud has definitely been chrome plated at some stage. I will attempt to polish a section shortly and see what the base metal is. It is non magnetic and appears to have a copper coat under the plating which one would expect.
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Christian S. Hansen
Prolific User
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 121
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Thursday, 31 December, 2015 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Interesting that apparently "German Silver" is neither German, nor silver, but in any event contrasts nicely with the other plated fixtures...mascot, horns, headlamps, bumper, etc and is what, in my own opinion (free and worth twice that...twice nothing is still nothing!) is what gives that iconic "look" to the Rolls-Royce. That it was chromed, is a pity. Chrome looks good on the Bentley grill, but not so much on the RR. I'm just saying.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1869
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 31 December, 2015 - 06:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter,

It is probable the shroud surface finish may be of two different types:

1. Nickel plated which would be an initial Copper plate which would have been polished before a second coat of pure Nickel.

2. Bright Chromium plated which would have been the original "Triplate" process with hand buffing of each coat before the next plate was applied. The "Triplate" process was a Copper base plate then an intermediate Nickel plate followed by the final bright Chromium plate. Electroplaters able to do this type of plating are now hard to find as EPA regulations regarding disposal of the plating solutions which contain toxic compounds are onerous and expensive - motor bike restoration websites/forums are a good source of information about electroplaters who are still using the "Triplate" process because the quality of the finished item is what bike restorers value above everything else. Of course, the cost will be high due to the cost of disposing of spent plating solutions.

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