Shiny new parts washer.

The old parts washer worked adequately. Surprisingly well, actually, for a converted dishwasher. But someone wanted something a little more professional, and that could take diesel without bursting into flame. So picky.




It works pretty well, especially with a 300W heating pad on the underside to keep it warm.

Note the engine block in the first picture- it’s currently in a vat of molasses, slowly having the rust chelated away. More on that later (unless it dissolves completely).

The final thing I’ve achieved is to prime the wok with a grey/green epoxy primer. It’s not the right colour for the engine, but it’s *so pretty*. I’m tempted to leave it like that… maybe on the next car.



Close encounters of the finnish kind


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a Super Minifin Brake drum that’s been sandblasted and painted in 3M calliper paint?

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Yeah, it’s the third thing. The previous owner went to a lot of trouble to collect all the mad parts they could find, and I love it! Finned alloy drums with built-in spacer blocks and cast iron liners. (Without the spacer blocks the wide Cooper wheel rims won’t fit).

Little bits.

There are so many small parts that need to be cleaned up that building a blasting cabinet was the only sensible solution. Honest.

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With a quick and easy way to clean up parts and ensure paint would stick to them, we made lots of progress.

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Even the brake callipers had the treatment. Since we’re fitting new stainless pistons and seals, the old ones can stay in place to protect the machined surfaced from garnet.  A coat of 3M brake caliper paint and a bake in the oven should keep them looking good.

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Zinc plating- easier than you might think.

With so many old fasteners and mechanical components, buying new or having them refurbished was going to be expensive. A bit of research and I decided to give electroplating a go- it turns out to be really very easy. First I had a test run:

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Wire brush all the corrosion off and make the items shiny- the electroplating won’t hide anything, it’ll just protect it.


Zinc blocks from the marine supply store are wired to the positive lead…


…items to be plated to the negative.


For the test run I used a 12 volt battery charger as a power supply. The voltage is too high, ideally you want as low a voltage as possible to reduce the amount of hydrogen produced.


I was pleased with the results.


The test run completed, I went and bought a vegetable steamer to convert into a more permanent plating bath.


The electrolyte is white vinegar, epsom salts, and white sugar. The vinegar and epsom salts act as electrolyte, the sugar makes the plating more even. (Sugar is attracted to areas with higher conductivity, inhibiting the plating process in those areas.)


Alligator clips to hold the nuts and bolts.


I’m now using a computer power supply, providing 5 volts. There’s much less fizzing, the plating is quicker and more even.

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Plated items come out with a porous grey surface, but buffing them with a soft brass brush reveals the shiny zinc beneath.


This is the clutch cover (AKA the wok) and linkages, all bright and shiny.

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