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Electroplating a crankshaft

 
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Rod44
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Location: France
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Electroplating a crankshaft Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have a Triumph Spitfire and when I tore down the engine and measured the main journals of the crank and I discovered that they are .040 under. The Triumph uses a thin wall crank. Some people run even .050 and I have even heard of folks getting a hold of +.060 bearings, but I am fuel injecting and turbo-charging this motor. I can't seem to find any .010/.010 cranks around, so I have opted to nickel cobalt electroplate the crank journals. Does anyone have any experience with this? Not electroplating experience, but rather has anyone ever done this, had it done, or know someone who has had this done to let me know if it will hold up? Please give me your opinions.

Thanks,
Rod

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Rod44
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10sec.et
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1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you concerned that your crank has been turned too much ? what do you mean by "thin wall" ?
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Rod44
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I afraid that .040 under is going to be too weak for my application.
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Rod44
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cast iron cranks ofter times have thin wall and thick wall areas from the casting. The exact wall thickness of the wall of my crank is anyones guess, but the engineers who designed it determined that anything under .030 was too far out of specs as opposed to the wall thickness, keeping in mind that is for stock applications also. My application is a LONG way from stock, so I am really afraid to use a .040 undersized crank. I was just wondering if anyone here had already done this with success. I would hate to try and have a catastrophic failure, and have to tear down the motor and rebuild the bottom half again because of a modification that someone out there knows will be problematic. I prefer to have a heads up now before trying it.
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Paul P
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find a new crank or one that can replace the one you have. Taking that much off the crank journal will grind away any surface hardening that was present when it was new. If it is super rare then you might have to do something to build it up but it will be very costly.
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Rod44
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

I don't think that I made myself clear enough. Let me try to clear things up a bit.

You said : "Find a new crank or one that can replace the one you have. Taking that much off the crank journal will grind away any surface hardening that was present when it was new"

Answer: I can't find a good crank here in France. The journals are already -.040 which is already too small to start with so having the crank turned is out of the question.

You said : If it is super rare then you might have to do something to build it up but it will be very costly.

Answer: That is exactly what I am talking about when I say electroplating it with nickel cobalt. I will be doing it myself in my garage. I just want to know if anyone else has already built up material on their crank by electroplating them with hard chrome and nickel or some other hard metal to know if they were satisfied with the durability afterwards. I am just waiting on my new nickel anodes to arrive to form them into the proper shape. I have already built the plating tank, and installed the agitation, filtration, and heating system.

Thanks,
Rod

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Paul P
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright then other options are your only option. Not sure what to recommend. I could take a look over here for you?
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2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
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1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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Paul P
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link that might have cranks less turned than what you have.

http://www.englishparts.com/productSearch.aspx?partner=googleSpitfireSpecific&ukey_make=15&ukey_model=104

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2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have basically to options. A trip to Britain to see if you can get a crank you could probably find there to fit in your luggage to bring it home or welding up your crank and then having it turned back down again. I do not believe you can get 0.040 thousanths of an inch of any electrically clad material to stick to the crank. Even if you filled the gap it wouldn't offer the material strength inherent in a weldment.

Big Dave
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disturbthepeace1
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plating it wouldn't get any strength IMO, try to find a good crank shop that can weld it up. I have built a couple type 1 VW motors with welded up cranks. They were in 140hp range but see 7k abuse in the sand.

It might be cheaper to find one in good shape but if it's welded you can start fresh and if (knock on wood) something fouls up and the engine goes south you will have some material to re-machine


Joe

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