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Old 01-21-2007, 06:16 AM   #1
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Surface Oxidation

Any recommendations on cleaning large areas of heavy black oxidation caused by long term exposure to tree branches rubbing agianst the trailer. I paln eventually to stip and polish but not quite yet.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:10 AM   #2
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Marshall, when the surface is corroded and pitted, and normal stripping and respraying will not suffice, I have used wet-and-dry carborundum paper, used wet. I bought a whole range of grades, and used the roughest to remove the worst of the oxidation. I then used finer and finer grades, used very wet, to produce the level of sheen to match the rest of the trailer. This is a treatment that requires considerable care and sensitivity. Nick.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
Marshall, when the surface is corroded and pitted, and normal stripping and respraying will not suffice, I have used wet-and-dry carborundum paper, used wet. Nick.
There is no corrosion or pitting and the surface is still smooth. To paint a better picture the clear coat has been rubbed off to bare aluminum by tree branches which continued rubbing this area back and forth over a long period of time, resulting very dark grey tracks of oxidation (I assume) or other staining. The area is about 3 feet wide and 18" high.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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In the short term, I would get some Mothers aluminum polish, or Nuvite and polish the bad areas. You can then spray with a clearcoat from a can. This will not match exactly, but will provide protection from further corrosion.
In the long term, stripping of the affected panels and re-clear coating, or stripping and polishing will be the real fix.
Dave
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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Louisiana Gator Piss and Elbow Grease

I guess I was hoping there was some kind of chemical out there that would quickly neutralize the oxidation, as a short term fix. Like silver tarnish remover that you dip silver into. Sounds like there is no short cut to elbow grease.

By the way, a trucker friend of mine gave me some "Louisianna Gator Piss". Truckers use it to polish metal including aluminum. I have both homemade trucker brew and a recently marketed version with a more PC name. The homemade stuff is lighter fluid, charcoal powder and teflon. Works purdy good. Still need to add elbow grease though, and NO SMOKING

Where can I get some "Mother's"?
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:25 PM   #6
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My Gosh!

I realize I'm from the south, and speak with an extremely southern hillbilly style accent, but my momma didn't raise no fool.....and I hope yours didn't either!
Mothers can be prchased at any good auto parts joint.

HOWEVER

Consider buying Alcoa Aluminum wheel polish. I've used almost every kind of aluminum treatment known to man in my motorcycle shop, and the Alcoa aluminum polish is the easiest to use, and the results last the longest of any of them.I shudder the thought of doing a set of Alcoa Aluminum wheels on a motorhome using Mothers stuff. It does work, but would take forever.
With the Alcoa, you will need to choose the cleaner that you need, and then use PDQ to brighten the results. They even have a spray sealer that causes it to last even longer.
http://www.airstream.com/shop/dynami...n=cat&offset=5
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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Zep

While we are on the subject, the guy with the shinniest AS I know swears by starting with ZEP 5 star polish (about $50 a quart) and finishing with California Custom liquid polish (purple bottle) .

I was just sealing some leaks around my roof vents. The caulking gun self destructed on the 3rd vent. So much for $2 guns. Time to quit for the day anyway .
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #8
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Just compound it out with white or red on a buffing wheel, that size will take 20 minutes.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:20 PM   #9
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Hey Bob

I'm quasi polishing illiterate. When you say compound it out with red or white with a buffing wheel what specifically do you mean? I don't have a Cyclo. Can I get by with my Auto Zone special. I have several polishing bonnets but no buffing wheel. I am familiar with buffing wheels that go on a lathe used for jewelry work with jewelers rouge (red?) and tripoli (white?) Is that what you are talking about? If I went to an auto parts store or a auto paint supply store would they know what I'm talking about, even if I don't?
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:28 PM   #10
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You use a 1/2" wool pad or bonnet on your autozone machine.

Get a can of the automobile (at autozone) red and one white to try and see which one cuts it the best.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:15 AM   #11
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Are they black streaks? like where the rain water runs down? The black may just clean off with Spray Nine cleaner and a rag with elbow grease.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:28 AM   #12
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WHoa here big guys.....

Listen,
I'm not meaning to be a know it all here, but it sounds like you may be beginning to mix apples and oranges here.
First, let's go back to the original thread.

"Any recommendations on cleaning large areas of heavy black oxidation caused by long term exposure to tree branches rubbing agianst the trailer. I paln eventually to stip and polish but not quite yet."


Now, to clean just an area, you need only to use hand buffing or cleaning. Your coach, unless it has been recoated, is covered with a coat of clear acrylic laquer. The limb had=s rubbed through it, and then ,marked the aluminum causing the black streaks. Also, the alum underneath that clear was NOT highly polished, so unless you want a big shiney spot instead of a big black spot, stay away from motorized buffing, especially with an abrasive compound. Automotive compound is not made to shine and clean aluminum. Now, as you do the hand work, use CLEAN cotton cloths, and don't scrimp on them. Watch your work, and try to match the finish as well you can. Be cogniscent of the fact the clear is almost a satin, so the shine will be greater on the virgin alum even with just hand work.
Just resist trying to do something extremely quickly. You can always do more, but if you heat the aluminum enough to make it flow (that's what polishing is) then you cannot undo that, and then you get to spend 80 hours or more polishing the rest .....except you'll get to do that every year!
Go slow. watch what is occurring. I'm afraid there is never a quick fix when it comes to the finish of a silver tube.
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