Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trans-axle Chromatic Conversion

A couple of people asked me what the finish was like on the trans axle before I had it painted. Well, I am glad you asked.
As usual, I started out by having the magnesium parts wet blasted. If I wasn't restoring this car I would have just left the magnesium casings as is after wet blasting as this process leaves the magnesium in a very nice smooth finish. But VW did paint these housings black originally (mine was painted black anyway) so after the wet blasting, I dropped it off at the place ( that does the chromatic conversion. You may recall that I had the Maico disk brake hubs also chromated as well (and they turned out fantastic).
One could leave the housing in this state if so desired, but the thinking behind all this was to provide a surface with enough of a 'key' so the black 2k paint would adhere.

Nice finish isn't it? Note that the original number has been retained.

Missing studs were loctited back in after these images. I had to remove them in order to fit the mill that I was using to drill the hole in the housing for the longer shift rod (that is the short story).

Clean as a whistle.

I asked the wet blasting fella to not get too carried away with the bell housing area. I cleaned it up further after these images with some thinners and a coarse scrubber. 

Here it is just before I taped it all up and had it painted. Quite a time consuming process.

I hope that this time around the black paint wont flake off like it did when VW attempted it in 1964.

Also the way VW painted the trans axle back then was 'rapid' to say the least. It would appear that VW just assembled the whole trans axle and basically spray painted everything including fasteners etc in the black finish. Yes of course this was a production car and time was of the essence but it was a bit slap dash. It's details like these that I will not be replicating with my car because I feel that if VW didn't have the time constraints they would have painted it like I have done (yes I need therapy).

Took 50 years to test last time around and I am not convinced I will be here in 50 years from now so perhaps it's not as big a concern as I am making it out to be. All I can do is my best!

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