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Old 11-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #1765
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Robert
Not sure exactly all I'm looking at here. But if question is why no filiform on '63? Better quality materials, not same type of plastic coat, lesser voltage/ different electrical system? I dunno. The point is there is a difference. Why? Got me.
I also feel that it is notable that I had corrosion due to the poor conditions of design and PO maintenance. Now, however, owners who are vigilant with there regular walbernizations and anti-corrosives are seeing it without the prolonged "perfect storm" of corrosion formation that was present in my situation. (Still not sure I understand the comparison).
What was the rotten application during manufacture? The clear coat not adhering properly, you mean?
If you read my (uninformed and unqualified) theory, it would be interesting to compare an anomaly Airstream that somehow had not gotten any coating at all during production from the same time period to one that had to check its filiform levels and patterns.
Isn't it pretty well known that the filiform really began during a certain phase where materials and coatings changed? Of course, the electrical systems have been continually evolving as well.
I just think when it comes to determining cause, the differences need to be examined point by point. Old vs. new can be a lot like comparing apples to oranges.

Old vs new AS's...consider, in the olden daze, AS did the clear-coat application in house, hence it took quite awhile for the edges' and rivets' to become exposed or for UV to compromise the clear-coat.
Once compromised the aluminum oxidized, a natural defense against 'corrosion'.
On our 63 I had fewer than 8 or 9 patches of filiform corrosion.

Rotten application...consider, I don't believe AS manufactures or coats these parts. Shoddy build by suppliers.

As I mentioned I have had a lot of 'galvanic' on both our AS's. Most of it caused by mild steel fasteners.
A problem that could be easily addressed by JC during the build.
FWIW...cost me less than 20 bucks for the stainless fasteners, (first 'up-grade' I did on the Classic.)

Bob
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:26 AM   #1766
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dkottum

"Take away the surface coating, the cut or scratch, or the water/salt solution and you will solve or at least minimize your Airstream filiform problem. {maybe}
You probably don't want to take away the surface {but if it will solve the problem?} coating but that may explain why an old Airstream or my 40 year old aluminum canoe doesn't have any."

Let's assume for a second that the plastic coat itself has nothing to do with the corrosion starting. Another main variable to consider is the actual quality of the metal being used, including finish. If it is less thick, less dense, and less polished then it will be more prone to corrode. A good analogy is auto sheet metal. Have you driven by an old farm and seen a 50 to 60 year old vehicle sitting with the majority of it intact, granted there will be some rust.
If I parked my car next to it and left it there, Pretty soon you would have a red pile of dust next to that old vehicle.

I think the plastic coat is perhaps an inhibitor over an inferior grade of Al. It may slow down the process, but then again may also exacerbate it if the metal needs to "breathe." When they replace a panel under warranty at the factory are they replacing a poor plastic coat job or a unacceptable metal degradation. Metal or Plastic?

Look around. You will see many examples of older, non corroded examples. Now all of a sudden aluminum can't touch the air or salt or rainwater and has to be kid gloved all the time? These things used to go to caravans to Africa and Europe and such. Don't forget your Airstream history.

Look at what has changed. And I am still with MoFlash on the suspicions about electrolysis or some similar phenomenon. This is a mystery. And if you were a detective, it would be ridiculous to disregard these important clues? I don't know enough about electronics to say. I am just sharing my insight so that maybe it can jar someone's brain who does.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #1767
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Sorry to be so blunt, it's only a mystery to those not familiar with Filiform.


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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #1768
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That's it Bob.

I don't see any need to solve a mystery that's not there, just maintain it as needed. That's the easy way.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #1769
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What's the Mystery that isn't?
Solving a mystery that isn't, isn't as much fun as solving a mystery that is, unless there is no mystery is it.

Ouch that hert....

Bob
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:26 PM   #1770
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Bob

Be as blunt as you want. I would not be posting if my feelings were going to be hurt by your opinion. Your opinion is very valuable, especially considering you have experience with old and new models. And I am here to get educated by people like you who can enlighten me on things I have admittedly stated I am lacking in, like knowledge of filiform. So maybe it will help to take the mystery away for me. But, 'til then. There is a mystery still to me, but there are also some assumptions that seem to be taken as fact:

Assumption #1: The root cause for the minor epidemic now seen in newer AS models of filiform is caused entirely by a change in plastic coat application.
Assumption #2: No other changes have any bearing on the problem and there is no old vs. new corrosion. Only old vs. new application of said coat.

If everyone (especially those with experience through different model years, like yourself) agrees wholeheartedly with these assumptions, then the mystery is gone. Based on what I have read, I personally do not think the whole matter can be seen as simplified and entirely attributed to this coating (or as I see, scapecoating). There are clues that indicate otherwise & I still have some questions that need to be answered. Did the quality of metals and thickness and the surface preparation (polish) change over time?

Just because I am new to Airstream doesn't mean I am new to aluminum. Good aluminum can protect itself by oxidation, It may be advisable to allow this protection to exist, rather than continually going for a mirror polish. But a mirror polish also has some protective qualities as it sheds water and slows the micro-pitting. But it seems that there is an increased propensity for the degradation of this new metal in the airstreams, based on reports. And the consistent pattern of wear that has been reported does not suggest a simple coating issue. Otherwise the attack would be global-- and not follow specific patterns on the shell.

But the most valuable insights here are those like you who have experienced old and new Airstreams. Thanks for sharing. I also understand that it seems I have come into a topic that is understandably a bit of a sore spot and has probably been beaten to near death, but I just have a curious mind. So if there is no interest in my line of questioning or thought I will gladly let the issue rest.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #1771
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ripple, the earlier model clear coating was sprayed on the trailer AFTER assembly of the shell, and left no assembly cuts and holes unprotected from the elements.

Because new EPA regulations prevented Airstream from spraying as they previously did at the factory, they worked out a clear coating with their aluminum supplier Alcoa to be applied on the flat sheets BEFORE Airstream cut and drilled them for assembly. This leaves the cut and drilled edges unprotected and that's where filiform starts, just like the aluminum wheels on your new car/truck after scratched and exposed to salt water.

Protect those cut and drilled edges, and a few scraps and dings, and you have solved your problem. Or clean it up and paint the whole dang thing if someday it gets out of control. This new coating has been on Airstreams almost 15 years now and they look real nice with some care, in dry climates even without care.

Personally I like it better than polishing unfinished aluminum or stripping and repainting the factory sprayed on clear coat routinely, depending on sun exposure.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:29 PM   #1772
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Mystery is: Filiform, starts on an exposed bare area of our trailers and runs under the sealed "clear coat" next to it. If it was all just bare aluminum skin, filiform would not form, just a oxidizing patina on the surface. Galvanic corrosion: put a steel screw into the aluminum skin without insulating with something and sooner or later aluminum corrosion. Use a insulator like "Never seize" you will be OK for at least a while. Corrosion of our cast pieces, light bezels, door hinges, wheel well trim, etc.: just plain old lousy clear coating. Sand off and re-clear-coat. I've clear coated over the factory clear coat on some of those pieces before they started to show deterioration and that also has kept the corrosion away. And the answer to all mysteries combined: corrosion x, CRC, corrosion block, at least once a year on all rivets and seams. Touch up clear coat where needed and wax, seal, whatever every year if you can.
Todays skin clear coat is probably a better product than that of years ago, but coming from Alcoa, pre done, it can get damaged. Once you deal with what shows up early, especially after the first exposure to highly corrosive elements such as salt air, roads, etc. your repair time will drop off considerably. Just keep a keen eye out when you wash the trailer and set up a regular corrosion x and wax/sealer schedule for corrosion free service. Mystery solved.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:48 AM   #1773
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Correction in the sequence of the suggested items in my post above:

I wash the trailer first, then apply and wipe off T-9, then wax!

So I may have flubbed a bit...I waxed (griot's pain sealer) before I got the corrosion X on...it is actually in the mail as we speak....

I am thinking that I will simply apply the corrosion X now...then next year reverse the sequence?

I guess you could you what, mineral spirits on seams and such to remove the wax...apply X then re-seal those areas...

I know this is finer details but hey, why not
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:32 PM   #1774
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So I may have flubbed a bit...I waxed (griot's pain sealer) before I got the corrosion X on...it is actually in the mail as we speak.... I am thinking that I will simply apply the corrosion X now...then next year reverse the sequence? I guess you could you what, mineral spirits on seams and such to remove the wax...apply X then re-seal those areas... I know this is finer details but hey, why not
Nah, don't worry about it. Put the X on when you get it--right over the wax/ sealer. I like the Corrosion X HD, as it is thicker and will not wash off the seams or indented areas of the rivets. But others use the red bottle/can regular X and some use the Aviation X. Just get it on there. Note: the HD is thicker, but the residual wipes off just as easily as the regular.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:33 PM   #1775
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Once the Corrosion X dries, put some Paint Sealant on that spot. Should only take a few minutes. However, if you really used "pain sealer", just give the trailer some Vicodin.

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Old 11-29-2013, 08:11 PM   #1776
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I'm in the process of adding the cast aluminum pieces under the clearance lights. I plan to lightly sand the corrosion, clean area with Corrosion X, put AdSeal around the case pieces leaving a small gap on the lower side for any trapped water to exit, and AdSeal around the wire and screw entry into the A/S. After the lights are snapped back in place I plan to add Acryl-R around the light edges hopefully to seal them all the way around. I sure hope this works. Removing the existing lights without damaging the plastic will be a key element but I plan to take my time and hopefully all will go well.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #1777
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I'm in the process of adding the cast aluminum pieces under the clearance lights. I plan to lightly sand the corrosion, clean area with Corrosion X, put AdSeal around the case pieces leaving a small gap on the lower side for any trapped water to exit, and AdSeal around the wire and screw entry into the A/S. After the lights are snapped back in place I plan to add Acryl-R around the light edges hopefully to seal them all the way around. I sure hope this works. Removing the existing lights without damaging the plastic will be a key element but I plan to take my time and hopefully all will go well.
You have it right--seal lights to bases, bases to Classic castings, castings to the hull. Read page one of thread: " New AS- How to repair clearance light". That will give you insight on removal of the light lenses. You most probably have lights with arrow clamps, not the "L " shaped clamps. (Photo of the back of the LED lights on that same thread on page 3.)

Most important, the Acryl R caulking must be perfect. Leave no pin holes anywhere. Up to you, but you can use Acryl R completely for the job. Or, ParBond will work well also. Also, remember, 3 maybe 4 inch of extra wire for the lights, don't try to pull them farther from trailer side than that. Clean up Acryl R or ParBond overage with alcohol--don't know about AdSeal.
Good luck.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:52 PM   #1778
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Once the Corrosion X dries, put some Paint Sealant on that spot. Should only take a few minutes. However, if you really used "pain sealer", just give the trailer some Vicodin.

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