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Old 10-31-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Stripping metal cabinet

Hey has anyone removed the paint/zolatone from the metal cabinet of a 60's airstream down to the aluminum? Ours is a paint covered / zolatone covered and we are toying with the idea of stripping it and polishing it. The next question is how to remove the wooden door insets. Do you have to remove the rivets that hold in the wooden doors and is it easy getting it back together again? We have painted the airstream walls a light yellow but would love to change it up a bit with the cabinet. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Hey has anyone removed the paint/zolatone from the metal cabinet of a 60's airstream down to the aluminum? Ours is a paint covered / zolatone covered and we are toying with the idea of stripping it and polishing it. The next question is how to remove the wooden door insets. Do you have to remove the rivets that hold in the wooden doors and is it easy getting it back together again? We have painted the airstream walls a light yellow but would love to change it up a bit with the cabinet. Thanks for any advice!
I have done precisely that. Have not finished polishing and haven't chosen exactly which new door inserts to use, or else I would send over some pictures. The hardest part so far has been removing the zolatone from the door panel tracks.

The way I did it, instead of drilling out the entire track plus the two ends, was to merely drill out the rivets on one track end (i.e. the 7" vertical portion), and then the rivets on the face of the cabinet at the same end. This allowed me to pull both inserts all the way out by flexing the face away from the rest. However, it was also easier for me because I was removing my interior skins anyway and could thus easily play with the whole thing. You may simply have to take off one whole end of the cabinet.

Once the inserts are out, do what you want to clean them up or make new ones --I'm using semi-transparent plastic with backlighting. Then you will only need to slide them in and put 10 or so rivets on for it to be done.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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The doors should just lift up and out. The top guide is usually deeper than the bottom one, and the doors should just "lift & drop" into place. Yes, you can strip the metal cabinets & polish them, just as you would the skins. Cool!

Shari
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:39 PM   #4
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The doors should just lift up and out. The top guide is usually deeper than the bottom one, and the doors should just "lift & drop" into place. Yes, you can strip the metal cabinets & polish them, just as you would the skins. Cool!

Shari
Ours may have had a non-OEM replacement then. Or maybe the low-cost Pacer's had the cr@p version. Because I definitely couldn't do that...
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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I am with worldinchaos! There is no way these doors will lift or drop in or out. I have a feeling they were riveted in place incorrectly. There is very little wiggle room between the top and bottom grooves. Oh well...that is the story of our trailer!!! However there are just pop rivets holding the grooves in place so I can easily remove the top groove partially to sneak the panels out and replace the pop rivets when I am done...I am staying away from the buck rivets!
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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Hmmm...odd. Ours are the same design, exept wood and they had enough room to raise & lift out. There's no reason you can't drill out the rivets in one of the tracks then, they are just plain aluminum pop rivets. I would say the top track would be easier to deal with than the bottom as it will just sit on top of the door rather than drop like the bottom one would. Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~

You may want to replace the tracks with either these installed properly or new ones, so you can easily remove the doors at a later date. It would also make it easier than cleaning all tyhe paint/Zolatone of the old ones.

Shari
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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I will do the top track! Thanks for the help InsideOut! PS loved your photos in airstream registry!
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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I will do the top track! Thanks for the help InsideOut! PS loved your photos in airstream registry!
That's still easier and not fair. Mine were bucked rivets, the whole way around. And they were covered in Zolatone so I know they were never drilled out. Come to think of it, that also means mine was OEM in general and the door size has always been too big to take out.

If you've got pop rivets on the top and your cabinet's already removed, do it! What are you waiting for?
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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Guess what-just went out to the barn and did it! Now all I have to do is strip it (which can be easy or can be "THE TASK FROM HELL" Sometimes citristrip works great and sometimes it doesn't work at all....
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:14 PM   #10
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I did it. Check this link
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...-70006-13.html
Page 13 and 14.
I used airplane striper and a drill with a wire brush. It came clean and I had it powder coated. Drill the rivets out (1/8 drill bit) and take out the doors. You need to drill out the glide the doors are in. We refinished the doors.

It came out awesome

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for everyones help. I will show photos of my progress!
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #12
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Hey sister..... so I'm invited to a stripping party huh?
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