Monday, November 11, 2013

Half Shaft Plating (Part IV)

I sent the half-shafts in for plating a few weeks ago and picked them up last week.  The plating company recommended cadmium plating for the unmatched corrosion resistance and excellent properties.  It's too bad that cadmium is such a toxic metal; there's really only one non-toxic equivalent plating, which would be gold plating.  Sorry, no gold plating on my car.  I like a yellow chromate finish, but I really like the bare cadmium color without the yellow finish, so I chose to have a clear chromate finish.  I was careful to wash my hands after handling these parts since I don't want any cadmium-related health issues.

Here's a bag of the half shaft nuts and grease seal washers.  Notice the ZF drain plugs, shifter detent, speedometer gear bolt, side detent cover, and top fill plug.

I had the plating company remove all four new U-joints and plate the spiders.  I'm really glad I did it, but wish I could have plated the caps.  Unfortunately I would have to hone each yoke bore to accept this and the press-fit nature may strip some of the plating off.  I'll just apply a clear coat after to keep the caps shiny. The bores of all yoke parts were masked and not plated.

One warning to those who read this blog and want to do what I did- don't plate the splines of the male splined yoke.  There isn't enough clearance between female and male splines to allow for the 0.0005" of plating.  I was warned about the issue but forgot about it.  After picking up the parts, I test-fit the assembly only to find that the two halves didn't slide together without the application of extreme force.  Luckily, I was able to have the plating company dip the splined end in acid and remove the plating.  The two halves now slide effortlessly together.  I have since coated the parts with a satin clear coat, which leaves the metal looking bare and untouched.

Although not related, here's the ZF top fill plug, cadmium plated.  I'll finish everything off with a nice satin clear coat.

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