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Old 05-23-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
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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?

Thanks.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #2
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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
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:54 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:21 AM   #4
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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, 08:22 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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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, 09:02 AM   #7
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wd-40

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, 10:06 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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Has anyone ever tried paint remover?
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:53 PM   #10
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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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