Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Instant "Parkerizing"

Here is a quick and easy little tech tip for those of you who have early bikes that use a lot of Parkerized parts. As you probably know, Parkerizing is a process that protects metal parts from corrosion, leaving them with a dark gray appearance. It was widely used through the 1940's on Harleys, especially on hardware. While it is not a complicated process to perform, and there are kits available for the do-it-yourself-er, there comes a time in every restoration when you realize that you forgot to get that one bolt Parkerized.

Rather than getting the Parkerizing solution out and tricking the wife into leaving the house for an hour so that you can use her kitchen stove to bring it up to temperature, you can always use the handyman's secret weapon. No, wait ....that's duct tape. OK - the restorer's secret weapon; instant gun blue.

All you need is a bottle of instant gun blue, and your part. For best results the part will have been cleaned by glass beading (just as if it was to be Parkerized). Dip the part in the bottle for a few seconds, rinse, oil the part and you are done. Turns a half hour project for one bolt into a minute or less. I like to use a mechanic's magnet to hold the bolt, though a wire would work fine. Automatic Transmission Fluid is a great deacidifying oil to finish the bolt with. The finished product is virtually indistinguishable from Parkerizing.
The bottle of instant blue in the before and after pictures is one I picked up at Fleet Farm for under $10 this spring. I doubt that the brand matters. The last bottle I had lasted about 10 years.

1 comment:

Electra Glide In Blue said...


Great tech tip, I can't wait to give this a try. And I'll keep the bottle of Instant Blue handy, right by the duck tape.

Ride Safe
Electra Glide In Blue