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Post  jetpack on Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:58 am

Is there any way to treat or re-treat the backplates on the tank engines? I know they are machined after the plating but could that be a problem replating?

What was the process used by Cox for this?

Is there a way to take it down to just base metal again at home with chemicals and then buffed out? Has anyone experimented with this?

I've been into doing restorations lately.
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Post  nitroairplane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:56 am

jetpack wrote:Is there any way to treat or re-treat the backplates on the tank engines? I know they are machined after the plating but could that be a problem replating?

What was the process used by Cox for this?

Is there a way to take it down to just base metal again at home with chemicals and then buffed out? Has anyone experimented with this?

I've been into doing restorations lately.

May sound sill but you could try letting it sit in cola for 24 hours and it may give it a nice shine.
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Post  warrenlead on Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:35 am

The metal backplates produced up to 1987 were made of Zamac (Zinc Aluminium, Magnesium and Copper Alloy) as used in many die cast toys such as Hot Wheels cars. This alloy is a victim of zinc pest, a crystalline corrosion process caused by impurities in the zinc.

To get around this the backplates were chromate conversion coated to prevent corrosion and as an added bonus it provided a goldish decorative finish.

In 1987 the old die used to create the zinc alloy backplates had become very worn and would cost ~$60,000 to replace. A nylon mold would be much cheaper and would make cheaper nylon backplates so they decided to change the backplate material to glass filled Nylon 6-6. What a flop that was.



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Post  fred on Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:07 pm

Erm.. Why, was it a flop?
The Old Zinc ones used to deform into uselessness as the recesses for the 4 tank screws slowly but inexorably pulled inwards. Zinc, or what ever Heinz mix that was used was V poor structurally. As a wild guess :-) Pricing was it's reason of choice.
The Plastic ones suffer exactly the same issue.
Both types eventually self destruct with actual prolonged use.
What's the advantage disadvantage? I can't think of one either way.
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Post  Mudhen on Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:56 pm

Early tank backs had either clear, (or yellow) dichromate, and/or clear iridite plating. The focus was to have the Zinc appear as aluminum. Later versions, I think beginning in 1958, used bronze.
I don't know if it will work, but I was told you can try a ten percent solution of lye and water. Periodically, remove it from the solution, rinse it off, the re-submerge. Another tactic may be to sand blast with fine, or super fine grade walnut shells. (use teflon plugs to cover the venturi.) If you have elbow grease, super fine steel wool will also remove the plating.
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Post  GermanBeez on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:12 pm

another thing one could try would be buying a diy electroplating kit, from the internet, which uses a simple
model train transformer to coat the objact with a certain type of metal.
this is JUST what u need:
http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/plugnplate.htm
its cheap, and it works!

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Post  EXModelEngines on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:52 pm

The best way to make a backplate would probably be MIM (metal injection molding). Then again, that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

Regards, Matt
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Post  jetpack on Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:06 pm

Billet CNC Backplates of the right design OR if you are using a box firewall, omit the tank screws and bolt the whole assembly through the firewall with new screws that are longer. Then use the normal lugs also for mounting and can't forget to seal the tank holes. I've never done it but I cannot see why this would not work well enough to avoid the backplate failures/damage.

My camera needs a charge but I want to show you something later on with this backplate.
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Post  EXModelEngines on Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:40 pm

jetpack wrote:Billet CNC Backplates of the right design OR if you are using a box firewall, omit the tank screws and bolt the whole assembly through the firewall with new screws that are longer. Then use the normal lugs also for mounting and can't forget to seal the tank holes. I've never done it but I cannot see why this would not work well enough to avoid the backplate failures/damage.

My camera needs a charge but I want to show you something later on with this backplate.

Would love to see a pic!

Always looking for new things that are possible to manufacture.

Regards, Matt
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Post  fred on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:18 pm

So the focus is entirely on looking pretty?
Zinc or Plastic ones worked 'well enough' .. for several decades in fact.
WHY? try to reinvent the wheel. Wanna stockpile some bits against future shortage?
Makes some sense so stock up then, as these ARE available currently.
IMO these engines are for using.
Shelf decoration seems more than a bit of a waste to my sensibilities.
Besides your Grandkids will likely just Bin them without a second thought :-)
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Post  jetpack on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:22 pm

I do both. I restore them nice, run them until they are cashed and then wipe them down to be put on victory row.

Your left with a nice looking motor you have running memories of.
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Post  jetpack on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:08 pm

As long as I am asking questions on refinishing, has anyone had any luck re-blackening cylinders?
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Post  GermanBeez on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:15 pm

the stoneway group has a method, dont ask me how they do it, but you could get an anodizing kit from a similar site to the one i posted earlier( which appearently nobody cared about)
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Post  EXModelEngines on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:17 pm

jetpack wrote:As long as I am asking questions on refinishing, has anyone had any luck re-blackening cylinders?

We have had some pretty good success on using a gun blackener. The hardest part is getting the surface prep correct though. If it is uneven (the old black oxide) it doesn't always take correctly.

Regards, Matt
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Post  nitroairplane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:26 pm

GermanBeez wrote:the stoneway group has a method, dont ask me how they do it, but you could get an anodizing kit from a similar site to the one i posted earlier( which appearently nobody cared about)

That is a cool
Kit I might get one but there are so many cool things to buy.
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Post  jetpack on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:19 pm

I looked at the plating kits a long time ago when I was interested in doing a few metal parts for my plastic model building hobby. I don't recall them having a blackening kit that would work on the cylinders. Not really sure if that would be the right way to go unless there was some way to mask the threads and bores. Maybe just a liquid masking agent might work.

Most of the cylinders I have that need it could use just a touch up here and there so I was thinking of picking up some Gun Blue at the sporting goods but didn't want to spend the money if it already had been tried.
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Post  GermanBeez on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:05 am

the only thing i would be scare of is that if only a miniscule amount of this stuff would get into the clyinder,
it would ruin the perfectly milled and fitting surfaces. i don't beleive they are machined to a millionth of an inch,
as the disneyland cox advertisement says, but it would definitly be bad for it.
personally, i wouldn't try to hide the scratches. they are used engines! if everything old
would be restored to the point where it looks brand new and you cant even tell its age, they would be far less interesting.
the back plate of my golden bee actually still has te gold on it, but its under a layer ofoxidized metal, old fuel, etc.
but i decided to leave it that way, because an engine from 1958 can have a little patina on it. just my philosophy.
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Post  jetpack on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:46 pm

Yep, I totally agree a nice patina that has set in would be nice but even nicer if its the one I laid down on it from a fresh start.

You know I wouldn't be such a fanatic with it if it wasn't for having to take them apart when first getting them to clean them up and see what is up with them. It all starts with that for me and I've been refurbishing or customizing these from long ago. I was actually taught by my older brother who read all the magazines on these when they first came out and had a few of his own. How to use steel wool and what to look out for when brushing out a tank with it, that kind of thing. Sanding the case flat for better seal against the tank and so on...

My camera is set but just got home for the day and I'll have picks how this one is looking.
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Post  jetpack on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:10 pm

Here's the front and the back it shows how nicely the inside of the tank was preserved I was shocked compared to the oxidation I found around the back of the motor. None of the plating was helped off by me by brushing it, its just basically been cleaned really good.
Babe Bee Backplate Plating Captur21Babe Bee Backplate Plating Captur20

The outside surfaces of the tank back is all basically down to zinc cast
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Post  Mark Boesen on Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:54 am

Years ago I cleaned up a RR-1 and spray painted the backplate gold, it actually turned out nice. If its not gonna run and your not selling it why not?

A small bottle of Perma Blue, liquid gun blue will set you back 3-4 bucks at Wal-Mart or any sporting goods store. The stuff work fine, you need to work with it a little to figure out the best application. Most important is get all the oil off and sometimes a couple applications are needed. a way of rotating the cylinder (homemade chuck, or use old glowhead with stem in drill) helps while cleaning it as well as applying blue.

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Post  GermanBeez on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:15 am

jetpack wrote:Here's the front and the back it shows how nicely the inside of the tank was preserved I was shocked compared to the oxidation I found around the back of the motor. None of the plating was helped off by me by brushing it, its just basically been cleaned really good.
Babe Bee Backplate Plating Captur21Babe Bee Backplate Plating Captur20

The outside surfaces of the tank back is all basically down to zinc cast
yeah, if the piston gummes up, there is usually not a lot of air getting into the tank and the crank case, so
they are preserved an a "snow white's sleep", if you will. the same thing you described was with my super bee, when i got it. outside. it was extremely dirty, heavy amount of oxidization on the tank, but inside, it was clean and presteen.

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Babe Bee Backplate Plating Empty Resto Finished

Post  jetpack on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:03 pm

Well, I finished it tonight but it's not going to get run yet.

My little $15 dollar motor had no wear to it. The stain on the piston came out, piston has zero scratches. The crank and pin feels really good too. If it wasn't for the three-piece piston! so loose...

The backplate is now clean of any barnacles and down to its base metal and really doesnt look so horrible now. Amazed at the growth on the outside of this engine but was clean as new inside. It had a thick growth of thick castor under the piston, plus the head all gummed up I think it was too hot of day for a new engine maybe? The smoothness and compression on this motor is unreal except for the rod slop.

Babe Bee Backplate Plating Captur23

Babe Bee Backplate Plating Dscf2017

Babe Bee Backplate Plating Dscf2018

Just one of a few I am collecting for each of my Goldberg C/L kits. Two down, four to go.


Last edited by jetpack on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Admin on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:08 pm

Looks great! If you are not looking for high RPMs, leave the 3 piece piston in! It's fun to run them all original sometimes.



I know, I shot the video when it was dark out. I'll try to record it in the daylight. Besides, the mosquitoes were NUTS! It is turning a whopping 9,000-10,000 RMP! 5x3 black cox prop on my own mix of 20% nitro 20% all castor.

I have been making a HHO fuel cell and playing around with different electrodes and different catalysts. I took out the stainless steel plates I was originally using to make HHO gas and replaced the cathode with a copper (I know not the same color as the original plates, just testing with it) plate and the anode with a broken zinc backplate. This is mainly electroplating. I fired up my 1000 watt generator and used the 12 volt coil for the power supply. I used salt as the catalyst and some Ice Mountain natural spring water™. I let it sit for about 3 hours. I did come back to find the backplate with a slight plating of copper on it. I took it out and (stupid me) walked away from it without washing it off so it turned all green Remind me to take a picture of it .


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Post  fit90 on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:22 pm

Jetpack,

That is a stunning transformation. Beautiful work.

Bob
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Post  jetpack on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:25 pm

When the misquitoes are bad like that I usually bump up the castor a few percent.

Your '56 sounds slow enough I can almost hear the socket slapping, thats nice. I have two other three piece motors and none of them are this loose, actually not bad. I guess this is what shocks me is its way past compare.

I want to fire this one up tonight but I have other things I have to do to catch up. I've been playing motors all week and a half outside of work.

Besides all I have is a half of bottle of HEET and some pharmacy oil.

If you are getting only 10K on 20% nitro I wonder if I would even get mine to pop on straight mix. Maybe with the high comp head but doesn't that hurt the wrist end?
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