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Old 05-23-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,148
How do you get Vulkem off?

We've removed the old Armstrong air conditioner from our '66 Safari, and we're trying to clean up the area and reinforce the roof before we install the new Carrier. The sealer that was used around the old A/C is pretty stuck.

Does anyone know an easy way to get Vulkem off?


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Old 05-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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1972 27' Overlander
Graham , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 274
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i removed a ac unit and used a hair dryer to heat the material, but I'm not sure if it was Vulcum or a less stuck material
good luck on this

"AIR 17559"

wear it out, don't rust it out

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Old 05-23-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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I use popsicle sticks, that I've sharpened at one end, and use them as scrapers to get most of the vulkem off. Solvents are hit and miss, I find. None that I've tried completely remove it.
Cameron & the Labradors
Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
AIR #11529
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:21 PM   #4
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Potters , Idaho
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I re-sealed my top last year and I used a heat gun on a medium setting and popsicle sticks. It worked great. Once I got most of it off I used a rag with acetone. Keep the heat gun away from the acetone.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:22 AM   #5
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1992 34' Excella
Austin , Texas
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A stiff putty knife and lots of elbow grease. The best technique seems to be rocking the handle side to side while pushing with a moderate amount of force. Applying some heat will soften it some and make the process go faster.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:50 AM   #6
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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If it really is vulkem (polyurethane sealant) then WD40 works well on it.

And the other methods mentioned above all work too, medium heat and some sort of non-metal scraper. Once you get down to just a fine residue, you could use MEK as a solvent to get the aluminum to a really clean state, just be really careful with it and be sure to wear mask and gloves when using it.

Good luck!

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Old 05-24-2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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1958 26' Overlander
1991 29' Excella
auburn , Alabama
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 120

Some on this forum told me of the wd-40 trick. Worked great putting the solvent on for a few minutes and then taking a scraper and removing the foamy residue. I too was going to put acetone or some solvent on to remove the wd-40 prior to recaulking. I could not believe the difference the WD-40 made.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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A PO had used much silicone, a no-no on aluminum, all over our Trade Wind (but we have very few leaks) so after 3 years of cleaning I kinda know what works. First do NOT use a a metal scraper. It will create very difficult scratches to remove. I use tongue depressors shaped into a scraper and plastic spatulas. If you indeed have silicone it is very difficult to disolve and remove. There are silicone removers available at your local hardware but I like Gasket Remover which can be found at your local auto supply.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
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1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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Potters , Idaho
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Has anyone ever tried paint remover?
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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1976 31' Excella 500
New Castle , Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I just bought a set of scrapers at harbor freight that work well for removing vulkem.
They are plastic and can be resharpened. Here's a link if you are interested.
- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

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