Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The source of inflation: Locating and restoring authentic Bridgeport tire stems

Blog followers will remember the story we told of locating tire stem caps in an old collection from our youth. For newer followers the link to the story is here:


Of course with the caps must come the stems and we were lucky to have them given to us by a kind Dino owner who donated them to our cause. Early Dino's came with Italian made Bridgeport tire stems manufactured from brass and nickel (not chrome) plated. Most cars that still have their original tire stems have the nickel worn right off of them and all that remains is a darkened brass stem. On the inside of the wheel it is a different story as the nickel, not having been rubbed by decades of washing, remain as a trace to the original finish. Our donated stems were no different as the outside of them was well tired when we got them.

Restoration of the stems was tedious and time consuming. First the remaining nickel was stripped off and the stems were buffed and cleaned to give an even and smooth surface to re-plate on. The nuts were carefully filed by hand to remove any tooling marks from previous installation and removal. Lastly the beveled washers (which are made from steel) had all traces of corrosion pits sanded off.

We pick up the story with images of the stems ready for plating and then with images of the freshly plated parts. The plater did a spectacular job and our last image shows the stems married to their caps.

No comments:

Post a Comment