Sunday, September 27, 2009

Electroless Nickel Plating

Recently I purchased a Caswell Electroless Nickel Plating Kit. Electroless plating differs from traditional plating by eliminating the electrical current that is used in traditional plating techniques. With electroless plating you are basically mixing two chemicals and heating them to 180 degrees F, and then immersing your parts for about a half hour. All the parts I've plated have been bead blasted first, and then cleaned of any oil or contaminates. When you have depleted your plating solution, a neutralizing chemical is used to make the solution inert for proper disposal. I'm real impressed with how easy a process this is. I wish I had started using this earlier in my restoration because now I've been going back redoing parts that I had originally painted. Caswell sells a large variety of electroless and traditional plating products as well as powder coating, paints, coatings, buffing and polishing supplies on their website.

I have a bunch of different shape containers I use for plating. Ideally you want to use as little plating solution as possible. I prefer glass containers because you are heating the solution to near boiling, but I have a few plastic ones I use. I also have an assortment of silicone caps and plugs as well as hi-temp (powder coating) tape that I use for masking off areas I do not want to plate.

Isetta steering knuckle grease caps, bolts, lugnuts, and axle nut electroless nickel plated

Parts of the Isetta pedal assemblies electroless nickel plated

Clips on Isetta air filter box electroless nickel plated

Original Isetta Hazet tools electroless nickel plated

Original Bosch horn nickel plated

Misc. electroless nickel plated Isetta parts

Friday, September 18, 2009

Isetta - Engine/Transmission Together Again

After getting the engine and transmission back form Bill Rogers, I wiped down the cases with "Wizards Metal Polish". I prefer a soft satin patina as opposed to a high polish. I also replaced the cooling shroud and eccentric sheet metal screws with chrome hex head screws.

Isetta - Engine Reassembly

After disassembling and cleaning the engine, some of the main problems Bill found were a broken timing chain, armature with excessive wear, excessive crankshaft run out, worn exhaust guide, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting. In addition to replacing those items, all bearings, seals, piston rings, hoses, and gaskets were replaced. All of the photos in this post were taken by Bill Rogers during his rebuild of my engine.

Measuring the piston and cylinder

Some of Bill's notes regarding piston and cylinder measurements and crankshaft run out

Crankshaft bearing and oil slinger being installed

Main bearing carrier and timing sprocket being installed

Cam being assembled

Crankshaft, cams, and valve guides installed

Flywheel installed with new nut

New timing chain and new tensioner installed

Cylinder after honing

Piston and cylinder installed

A view of the oil sump area

Wear to the oil pump plate was honed flat

Rockers being inspected and cleaned

Head with new exhaust guide

Installing the head

Valve covers installed

Oil screen installed

Installing the timing cover

Installing a new armature and the oil pan

Rebuilding the dynastart and replacing wiring as needed

Field coils installed

Cleaning and inspecting the automatic advance

Installing the field coil shield and blower

After the blower housing is installed, the engine is mounted to a test stand to begin preparing it for a test run.

The completed engine is test run and then crated for the shipment back to me. Thanks for the great rebuild Bill. You can learn more about Bill's restoration services at his website: