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Chrome Accessories Tech Center
Nothing adds bling, "shwing," shimmer and shine to your vehicle like some well placed chrome accessories. Chrome makes your ride stand out from the crowd; not to mention the guilty pleasure that comes from rolling by in your bling machine and twisting the necks of gawking bystanders.
Besides adding radiance to your ride, many chrome accessories are stronger than the factory parts they replace. These billet and ABS Plastic accessories are perfect for replacing flimsy factory parts and giving your ride a durable, glimmering edge.
No matter what you drive, a little chrome goes a long way. Outfit your vehicle with chrome accessories and discover:
The glimmering glare that only chrome can deliver
Chrome overlays - transform plastic parts into gleaming showpieces
Chrome accessories designed to replace factory plastic
Quick and easy installation thanks to vehicle specific designs
Chrome overlays are the easiest way to transform your ride from dull to dazzling. Careful installation makes the difference between an overlay that looks like an overlay and one that looks like a factory-fresh accessory.
Overlays are secured with pre-applied, heavy-duty 3M adhesives. These adhesives are designed to peel-and-stick for easy installation. But, before you go peelin' and stickin' all willy-nilly, follow these steps for a perfect, long-lasting fit.
Thoroughly clean the mounting surface with soap and water to remove dirt, grease and any loose materials. It's also important to make sure the surface is warm; at least 50 degrees F. Once clean and dry, wipe the surface down with rubbing alcohol to ensure proper adhesion.
Before peeling the backing, test fit the overlay to the mounting surface. Once fitted, peel the backing, carefully align the overlay and press firmly for a tight bond. Polish the finger smudges off, fire that beast up and start turnin' heads.
Whatever your style, there's always room for chrome on your ride. From the stripped-down race look of strategically placed chrome highlights, to an over-the-top chrome bonanza that even Harley Earl would be proud of.
Chrome overlay: a transformation tutorial
Automakers cut costs anywhere possible, so today's vehicles have little to no shine. Chrome overlays are the economical solution to liven up the drab and add some flash.
Constructed of automotive-grade ABS, chrome overlays are gilded with a rich chrome finish. Make no mistake; ABS is tough stuff. And, when plated with chrome it throws off an eye-catching sheen that rivals metal.
With chrome overlays, installation is breeze. Just peal the backing from the heavy-duty, pre-applied 3M adhesive tape and stick the overlay in place, it's that easy. Custom molding makes for a seamless fit that transforms door handles and mirror covers from dull plastic to chrome-tastic.
A guide to chrome replacement accessories
When you want to rid your ride of plastic altogether, replace it with some heavy metal. Crafted from blocks of solid aluminum and stainless steel, these chrome accessories are the real deal. Both metals can be chrome plated, or better yet, polished to a radiant shimmer. And, nothing beats the feel of solid metal in your hand when you grab a hefty chrome door handle or shifter.
Chrome accessories: an installation advisory
Chrome accessories are some of the easiest accessories to install. Chrome overlays feature an easy peal-and-stick design that installs in minutes. Stainless-steal and aluminum accessories drop right into factory locations with only a few basic tools. Plus, all of our chrome accessories are built vehicle specific, down to the make, model and year. This means that every chrome accessories fits with factory precision.
Overview of the chrome accessories right for your vehicle
With so many chrome accessories to choose from, let's take a moment and get acquainted with the different materials, styles and functions. Whether you're looking for a bit of flash or a bunch of beefed-up billet, there's a load of chrome accessories just right for your ride.
Materials that fall under the chrome-brella include aluminum, stainless steel, ABS and plated steel. ABS and steel must be chrome plated to achieve the mirror-like shine. Both aluminum and stainless steel can be plated or polished to achieve the glimmer effect. Read further and discover which chrome material best suits your needs:
ABS is a versatile wonder-plastic that serves as a tough, resilient, economical source for chrome accessories. Precision molding and a high strength-to-weight-ratio make ABS superior to metals in many cases. And, like metal, ABS takes chrome plating like a fish takes to water.
ABS chrome accessories are molded plastic shells plated with chrome and backed with 3M adhesive. They stick securely over plastic door handles, mirror shells and fuel doors to transform the mundane into the magnificent.
When you're looking for a tough, long-lasting material, go with steel - the old standby. Plentiful and easy to work with, mild steel is another economical choice for chrome accessories. And once plated, it takes on a deep, reflective shimmer that defines radiance. Some of the most popular plated-metal chrome accessories include exhaust tips, grille guards and running boards.
The only drawback to chrome plating, whether it's plated ABS or metal, is longevity. Over time, the chrome may begin to dull or discolor. Corrosion can form between the material and the finish, causing the chrome to peal and flake. However, with proper maintenance, your chrome can last for quite sometime. Check our Car Care Guide for more info. And remember, when looking for an economical way to add quick flash to your ride, chrome plated accessories are the way to go.
Polished billet aluminum
When it comes to chrome accessories, nothing beats thick chunks of billet aluminum - cut, milled, machined and polished to a blinding sheen. When the gods of metallurgy smiled on the auto masses, aluminum was the gift they bestowed.
The Earth's most abundant metallic element, aluminum is remarkable for its corrosion resistance and light weight. Aluminum can be chromed like steel and ABS, but when polished, aluminum takes on a deep shine that rivals any chrome plating. And, this polished finish is longer lasting and much more durable than a plated finish.
Stainless steel is the king of metals. Super strong and highly corrosion resistant, stainless steel polishes to an eye-wincing gleam. The shine is actually in the surface of the metal which makes it nearly impervious to the elements. The finish won't flake, peel or corrode. In fact, a polished stainless-steel finish lasts about 5 times longer than plated steel.
Stainless steel commands a higher price than other materials since it's more difficult to manufacture. However, for a long-lasting shine that won't dull or corrode, stainless steel is an outstanding material for chrome accessories. Stainless steel is the obvious material choice for chrome exhaust tips, bed caps & rails and fender trim.
Overlay vs. Replacement
There are a few factors to consider when choosing between replacement chrome accessories and overlays. Overlays are employed when a quick dash of flash is needed. For instance, a big, black, plastic side mirror can be transformed in seconds by applying an overlay. There are overlays designed to cover and add shine to door and tailgate handles, taillight trim and fuel doors. They're made from custom molded ABS and simply stick on with heavy-duty adhesive tape.
Chrome replacement accessories are made from billet aluminum and stainless steel. Replacement accessories are used when a beefy upgrade is needed. These brawny accessories are bolted in place of factory door handles, fuel doors, shifters and pedals. With replacement accessories, the stock parts are scrapped in favor of solid, polished-billet or stainless-steel shwing. Designed to fit specific make, model and year vehicles, chrome replacement accessories deliver a factory fit with a custom look.
The "chrome package" alternative: a guide to gouge protection
As automobile and truck prices climb higher each year, dealers come up with clever ideas to improve profits. A common dealer pastime is the addition of custom packages to new vehicles. This allows consumers to customize their ride before they even drive it home. But, what price is paid for such convenience?
How about $1000-$5000 for a dealer installed "appearance package." For example; the factory chrome package for a Ford F-150 XLT costs about $1400. Now, the package does include a leather steering wheel cover and upgraded wheels & tires. But what about the chrome? You get running boards, a grille surround and exhaust tips. A lot of cash for a little chrome.
Compare that to an AutoAnything chrome package for the same truck. Less than $400 festoons your rig with chrome door handles, mirror covers, headlight trim, taillight trim, tail-gate handle and fuel tank cover. Now that's a "chrome package." Toss in those running boards, a billet grille and exhaust tips and you still have a few bucks left for a night out to show off your shimmer machine.
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Ask the Expert This page is maintained by Nathan at AutoAnything. If you have any Chrome Accessories questions, leave a comment below.