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Old 09-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Scratch removal:-(

Hi,
so the Safari I purchased has a few scratches in it that I would like to polish out when taking off the clear coat and giving it a mirror shine. The scratches were made by the former owners kid with a small rock or something (bad kid! Don't touch!). They aren't amazingly bad ( i can feel them with my fingernail, but are pretty light) and could be taken out with some very fine grit sandpaper. I may want to do this with some other small blemishes on the skin as well.

My questions revolve around the alclad aluminum and how deep the clad on the outside of the alloy is.

1- Is there a big risk of sanding through the outer clad into the alloy which might then not be able to take the mirror shine?

2- If sanding with fine grit is acceptable then does anyone have a suggestion of the most corse grit to START with (I'd then work my way to the finer paper and then buffing).

Thank you all in advance!
Eric
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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I've had several what looked like scratches from tree branches that came right out with Walberize. Rocks sound worse.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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Yea, they aren't too bad...
Any thoughts on sanding?
Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
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scatch removal

I would avoid sanding. Sanding will REMOVE material to blend the scratches. I would suggest compounding the area of the scratches with a gray bar applied with edge buff. This will allow you to remove the scratches by smearing the surface of the alum. around to blend out the scratches. As you compound you can actually watch the alum. flow around under the pad as you make passes.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Great! Thanks!
Do you have any possible links to share for those products? I can search them, but personal recommendations would be great.

So sanding is a no-no because of possibility of going through the softer aluminum into the alloy?
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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I use the Nuvite system by PerfectPolish.com and have had great results. It will remove scratches as you compound the alum. (might take several passes with the compounder). There is no short cut to a mirror shine. It takes a compounder (side grinder like Dewalt). Several different grades of polish. A Cyclo random orbital polisher using very soft cotton cloth. Plus a great deal of effort.

Sanding is a No - No because it will add many more scratches to the soft Alum. that you will have to compound out.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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atch removal:-(

Greetings Eric!

Something else to keep in mind is that the scratches may be contained by the Plasticoat. There may be minimal, if any, damage to the aluminum lying below the Plasticoat. I would echo the concerns about sanding as a previous owner of my coach tried this approach and it made for a nightmare when I had my Overlander professionally polished a little less than eight years ago.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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Great! I will avoid the sanding and stick to the compounding when we get to that point.

I hear it takes a lot of work to get that shine! I think that will be a job for our interns; we run things like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid around here...the interns have to master buffing to learn filmmaking LOL!
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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I don't know if this is the correct place in the forum but could use some help. We have owned our 78 Excella for 25 years, it is polished and beautiful! Unfortunately it was vandalized when stored at my shop. The (creeps) could have just thrashed the inside and taken the TV but they had to put deep scratches into the skin as well! Anyway I'm trying to see if these deep scratches can be removed. This is not clear coat scratches they're into the aluminum with a sharp objectClick image for larger version

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Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1395636045.317378.jpg
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Size:	742.9 KB
ID:	208165.

Thank you for any input.

Jim
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
I don't know if this is the correct place in the forum but could use some help. We have owned our 78 Excella for 25 years, it is polished and beautiful! Unfortunately it was vandalized when stored at my shop. The (creeps) could have just thrashed the inside and taken the TV but they had to put deep scratches into the skin as well! Anyway I'm trying to see if these deep scratches can be removed. This is not clear coat scratches they're into the aluminum with a sharp objectAttachment 208165Attachment 208165.

Thank you for any input.

Jim
Hi Jim,
Wet sand the scratches with 400, 800 & 1200 paper. This works well despite what the posters above thought. Keep in mind that wet sand paper of these grits are nothing more than compound on paper. Take care when using this approach & polish with F9 every once in a while to assess your rate of success. You probably won't get it all out, but you'll certainly soften the scratches & minimize the damage.
Good luck with it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Colin,

Thank you for the response! Haven't been on the Forum for a while forgot what a great resource it was. I will give this a try. I was worried about the sanding because everybody talking about going through some cladding.
Thanks again!
Jim
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #12
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Colin,

Thank you for the response! Haven't been on the Forum for a while forgot what a great resource it was. I will give this a try. I was worried about the sanding because everybody talking about going through some cladding.
Thanks again!
Jim
You can certainly go through the cladding, as it is only .003" thick, however we wet sand scratches all the time without issues. Depending on the depth, you may not get it all out, but you'll certainly make them look significantly better.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:05 AM   #13
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Thanks again Colin!
Any way to know when to stop, before I go through the cladding?
Jim
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:16 AM   #14
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Thanks again Colin!
Any way to know when to stop, before I go through the cladding?
Jim
This will probably start to happen nearer to the scratch itself. It'll look kinda like an island that is starting to grow in size. Like I said earlier, polish the area every once in a while to determine how far you really need to go, in order to feel comfortable with the job.
Colin
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