Ok cleaning up the coil box. New Fun Project plastic kit installed. Putting the porcelains back in on the bolts, question is in cleaning the bolts up what little copper plating there was on the bolts is gone, do I need to replate these or buy new brass ones what?
I hunt old boxes with the brass screws and use them. I also solder the heads to the springs. Dan.
I make new brass carriage bolts for the coilboxes. They are identical to the ones used 1913-16 and are therefore a little longer than the later copper plated steel bolts but they work well, won't rust, and solder easily to the terminal springs.
My OP based on thinking about it; the copper flash coating was there to prevent rust. The coating may help with the connections. I just wire wheel the old ones to clean up.
Soldering should be ok for better a connection but I have gone years without soldering.
Not a commercial for them, but Caswell sells a fairly inexpensive flash copper plating system, they call it brush plating. I've used it to re-coppper oil cans and other stuff; it should do the bolts perfectly. I originally got the copper version to prepare small parts for their brush nickel plating kit, which does small parts pretty well--sometimes it works great, other times I can't seem to get it to do a uniform plating, so figure it's something I'm doing wrong still. . .
Ditto on the Caswell plating kits, I used one of their kits to renew the nickel plating on my windshield pivot thumbnuts, they came out great!
To answer your question; No, you don't need to replate them, or to buy new brass ones. Just clean up everything and reuse it.
I respectfully disagree. The original spring contacts were bronze and steel is a dissimilar metal and you will get corrosion. The original copper plating was very thin and is almost always cut through by the threads being used. I strongly encourage folks to simply buy some 10-32 Pan head brass machine screws along with 1 washer and 2 nuts per connection - also made of brass. The heads of the bolt will solder nicely to the bronze contacts and will not corrode. The ends of the wires should be brass or copper so they won't be a problem either. If you can't find pan head screws then get round head screws and simply reduce the head height with a grinder, file, or sanding disc. Once the heads are soldered to the contact springs they will not rotate. Do the job once and do it right. RV Anderson bolts work very well for the job too since they also will solder and never rust or corrode due to dissimilar metal galvonic action.
John: That is why you will not find old boxes with brass screws in my $5.00 pile at Hershey. See you there. Dan