My two penneth regarding E Type front suspension coatings:
I do not agree with Dr. Haddock. The first couple of hundred hundred E
Types undoubtedly had black front suspension arms from the factory. I
believe the practice stopped before the end of the outside latch
production, from which point they were plated - most likely cad plated. I
do not believe any 4.2 cars left the factory with black wishbones or
I have found that when restoring early cars with black suspension, black
epoxy primer (such as ppg DP90) gives a pleasing look - very durable and
not too glossy.
I have yet to be satisfied with silver coloured plating, whether cad,
nickel, tin or zinc. The results have tended to be too shiny (space ship
silver), inconsistent, and not durable enough for regular use. Take a piece
of newly zinc coated suspension, leave it outside for one night, and it
will develop surface rust.
I believe the best results can be obtained by acid washing the stripped
pieces, priming them with an epoxy primer, and painting them a dullish
silver with a high quality paint (no spray cans!). It looks very original
and is extremely durable.
I think Eastwoods ‘cad plate’ paint is horrible.
One final point I would like to make. As JCNA rules proclude the inspection
of the wheel arches/suspension, etc, the suspension frames are not judged.
This being the case, why not go with something durable and original in
appearance, whilst not being strictly original? I am a firm believer in
stainless steel lines/nuts and bolts, etc. Even on a show car, why not have
stainless steel nuts and bolts ‘below the knee line’, and the traditional
rusty ones where the judge is allowed to look?!!
All of the above is simply my opinion drawn from years of E Type
restoration and ownership. I may be wrong! As is often the case with E Type
originality issues, who really knows? There will be a little old guy in the
Fox and Hounds in Coventry who knows the answers to all of our questions -
perhaps we should all band together and buy him a lap top and get him on
From: Seppo Nikkila email@example.com
Subject: Re: [E-Type] Front suspension plating
Date: Friday, February 20, 1998 6:07 AM
Hi E Type fellows,
My 4.2 Litre S1 LHD FHC originally shipped to the States has
black painted(?) A arms which look quite original. Could they
have come that way from the factory? Should I consider plating?
The engine is out and I am rebuilding my steering anyway, so
now would be the time to do the suspension (or a part of it)
as well -- but have to drive by April 16th :))
Who's gonna be the hero to say the authorative final word about
the S1 A arm looks?
At 12.21 1998-02-19 -0800, you wrote:
This is an interesting point. I have witnessed factroy cars (4.2) with
the “A” arms painted black. I have seen pictures of this as well over
the years but I haven’t been able to find anything that explains why,
where, or when. In fact, come to think of it, I don’t know if hey were
actually painted or simply black oxided. Since all the hoopla about cad
came up, Jag might have started experimenting with alternative
treatments. Might be worth investigating.
While we are on the subject, does anyone out there know of a reputable
shop that does cad plating? I haven’t been able to find anyone in
California that is still willing to deal with the EPA. But there has to
be some die hards out there somewhere!
Robert Reid wrote:
There was discussion last summer and early fall about plating the
suspension. According to Haddock’s book, some 3.8 and 4.2 e-types
factory with these parts painted black and some were plated. It seems
most people are plating them with cad. Steve Kemp recommended clear
chromate over the cad to protect the cad.
My question is: what parts of the suspension should be painted? Is it
the upper control arms (otherwise known as the A arms or wishbones) or
should the lower suspension pieces and other parts be plated?