Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-06-2013, 08:24 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
2008 19' Safari SE
Brossard , Quebec
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 65
Tail light from bezel removal Flying Cloud 23FB 2011

Hoping that somebody can help me in my Quest!
The two tail light bezel (curb and road side) suffers of clear coat peeling. I am in the process to replace them by 2 new ones. Removal the 2 bezel from the trailer body is quite simple: Unscrew the side screws (2 per side) per each bezel. But each oval LED red light assemblies are maintain to the bezel with screws that are accessible by the exterior of the bezel assembly. And I have to remove the “chromed like” plastic cover around each respective LED red light assembly. I try without success to pull one with the flat blade of a screwdriver but the resistance is quite high and I do not want to make any damage to these plastic covers. In this forum somebody can tell me the magic trick to remove these covers? I put some pictures to illustrate my topics… Many thanks in advance.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CURB_SIDE_PEEL.JPG
Views:	90
Size:	185.2 KB
ID:	187548   Click image for larger version

Name:	NEW_BEZEL.jpg
Views:	87
Size:	447.5 KB
ID:	187549  

Click image for larger version

Name:	PLASTIC COVER_CURB.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	252.1 KB
ID:	187550   Click image for larger version

Name:	PLASTIC_COVER_STREET.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	219.8 KB
ID:	187551  

__________________

__________________
Papou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 03:12 AM   #2
'06 75th Winick Prototype
 
2006 19' International CCD
1968 22' Safari
The Swamps of Hell , Lousy-Anna
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 205
Unscrew 4 screws that hold on the entire light housing assembly, and break the seal between the trailer and the housing assembly. The lights themselves may either be hardwired or have a three prong connector on each light. Either way, disconnect each light. Pull the entire assembly off of the trailer. It might feel tight, but you must break the perimeter sealant which isn't hard to do at all...just pull.

When you do this, look at the rear of the assembly, more specifically the perimeter around each light. You will see that around the perimeter of each light on the rear a there are two tiny slits along the top and bottom of each light. In these slits you will see a tiny glimmer of chrome; these are the back sides of the clips that are holding on the chrome bezels. Simply give them a little push from behind with a flat-head small screwdriver and they pop right off.

However...

Your new light assemblies are going to suffer the same fate as the ones you have now. They WILL corrode, unless you have stripped the factory applied clearcoat off and have found a new suitable clearcoating process that DOESN'T corrode on these housings (I haven't found one that doesn't promote corrosion). The problem is that Airstream's clearcoat allows corrosion to start yet the overall clear-coated surface can't properly breathe. Thus, the filiform runs rampant, starting from tiny breaks in the clearcoat, and continues under well-sealed areas on the housings causing the yellow discoloration and white squiggly spots that we all know too well.

When I bought my trailer from Bates the taillights were horribly corroded (like almost ALL new Airstreams I've seen on lots...the most recent are the worst, they have this yellowing bubbly corroded appearance that looks like cat pee solidified on the lights).
One of the purchase agreements for my trailer was that Airstream would supply new light assemblies which they did. But, I've never installed them. They are clearcoated, but you KNOW what would happen to them if they were installed...filiform time! I didn't want to go on the "quest" to find out what kind of clearcoat wouldn't peel or corrode. I'm going to have them powdercoated chrome sparkly blue to match my truck wheels and my trailer trim and see what they look like on there. Might look horrible, but it's just for fun as I've repaired my original light assemblies last year to perfection by sanding...and sanding...sanding...sanding...sanding...endless sanding...sanding...cussing...fingers raw...bleeding...sanding...sanding...sanding...non-stop f'in' sanding.

After countless hours of sanding (did I mention sanding???) to remove the filiform I simply polished them. No more filiform...

I took the housings off and stripped them with paint stripper. The Airstream clearcoat came off in thin plastic-like sheets.

At first I did a test area of about 2" x 3". All of my sanding has been done wet, with 3m wet/dry sandpaper. It took forever, but it seemed to work. In order to get through the filiform, I actually had to use 120 grit sandpaper (I was thinking maybe 320 or at the most 220 would at least get rid of it but no) as the filiform really eats deep into the metal. So, on the test area I sanded in stages by hand, going in only one direction per grade of sandpaper. When I would switch from 120 to 220 I would then sand entirely in the opposite pattern, and so on until the last grit. I worked my way down on this little 2" x 3" section for hours going through 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit. I then polished (rather easily) by hand with a rag and Mother's Power Metal aluminum polish. The results on this test area were mirror smooth and shiny.

There is absolutely no way to remove the filiform on these taillights with ANYTHING less than 120 grit. And, it takes literally hours to get down to where the aluminum isn't pitted anymore. It would be impossible to remove it with 1000 grit. If all you wanted to do was remove the white chalky lines and the superficial corrosion, you can do that with 320 grit...but the pitted indented slightly darkened aluminum will remain. 120 grit is the least harsh grit to use to actually sand past the pits by hand. And, again...it takes hours, just with the 120 grit. Then, 220, 320, 400, 600, 1000, and 2000 followed by hand buffing (or machine buffing if you wish). Even at that point, it will be possible to see pits in the aluminum from the filiform if you didn't go deep enough with the 120 grit.

I taped off everywhere that I didn't want to touch with 120 grit as I didn't want to make unnecessary work for myself; I didn't want to buff out anything that didn't need it. So, only the filiform areas were hit with 120, 220, and 320. I initially sanded the entire casings with 400 only after I had taken care of the filiform areas to 320.

But, anyhoo...eventually they were completely polished, done and perfect looking. Removing filiform thoroughly the right way SUCKS. Did I mention removing filiform sucks? If I didn't, then I just want to say that removing filiform sucks. Sucks bad.

I'm leaving them exposed natural polished aluminum (the same as polishing aluminum rims...no clear coat). That way, any natural oxidation will be easily removed with aluminum polish. The filiform creates deep pits where it spiders under the clearcoat. With no clearcoat, the filiform shouldn't form. Just regular old fashioned aluminum oxidation...which is simple to remove and maintain. They have held up PERFECTLY with no clearcoat, and I've not re-polished them (or done ANYTHING to them) since I reinstalled them last year.

After sealing them, I surrounded the joint with 1/4" chrome trim (the same manufacturer "Cowles Products" as the chrome on the beltline, just thinner). Airstream REALLY liked the trim as it really finishes the lights, and were toying with the idea of incorporating it. I doubt if they will though, as it requires a keen eye and attention to detail to install it straight, true, proper, and competently. If you just slapped it on it would look like hell. I'll try to take a picture of the trim as well.

Here are some pics after I (and my loving girlfriend) polished the assemblies until we had no skin left on our fingers:

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2 and weights %3.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2 and weights %3.


This is the ONLY way to fix the taillights and expect them to not turn back into a filiformed mess. Don't clearcoat them...when they get a tiny bit dull (mine haven't yet whatsoever after a year) just wipe them with some aluminum polish for about 3 minutes. Back to perfection. But getting there sucks. Did I mention removing filiform sucks? It sucks. But, once it's gone, it's not hard to maintain the aluminum. Just a quick wipe here and there. Simple and easy.

Jeff
__________________

__________________
ggoat!!! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #3
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papou View Post
Hoping that somebody can help me in my Quest!
The two tail light bezel (curb and road side) suffers of clear coat peeling. I am in the process to replace them by 2 new ones. Removal the 2 bezel from the trailer body is quite simple: Unscrew the side screws (2 per side) per each bezel. But each oval LED red light assemblies are maintain to the bezel with screws that are accessible by the exterior of the bezel assembly. And I have to remove the “chromed like” plastic cover around each respective LED red light assembly. I try without success to pull one with the flat blade of a screwdriver but the resistance is quite high and I do not want to make any damage to these plastic covers. In this forum somebody can tell me the magic trick to remove these covers? I put some pictures to illustrate my topics… Many thanks in advance.
There are four teeth, two top and two bottom, that hold each cover on the light. The teeth are about half an inch in from the ends. To remove them, slide a flat tool between the light and the cover, and pry the cover outward until the teeth disengage.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
SafariSS's Avatar
 
2005 30' Safari
Houston Texas , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 475
polish em...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggoat!!! View Post
Unscrew 4 screws that hold on the entire light housing assembly, and break the seal between the trailer and the housing assembly. The lights themselves may either be hardwired or have a three prong connector on each light. Either way, disconnect each light. Pull the entire assembly off of the trailer. It might feel tight, but you must break the perimeter sealant which isn't hard to do at all...just pull.

When you do this, look at the rear of the assembly, more specifically the perimeter around each light. You will see that around the perimeter of each light on the rear a there are two tiny slits along the top and bottom of each light. In these slits you will see a tiny glimmer of chrome; these are the back sides of the clips that are holding on the chrome bezels. Simply give them a little push from behind with a flat-head small screwdriver and they pop right off.

However...

Your new light assemblies are going to suffer the same fate as the ones you have now. They WILL corrode, unless you have stripped the factory applied clearcoat off and have found a new suitable clearcoating process that DOESN'T corrode on these housings (I haven't found one that doesn't promote corrosion). The problem is that Airstream's clearcoat allows corrosion to start yet the overall clear-coated surface can't properly breathe. Thus, the filiform runs rampant, starting from tiny breaks in the clearcoat, and continues under well-sealed areas on the housings causing the yellow discoloration and white squiggly spots that we all know too well.

When I bought my trailer from Bates the taillights were horribly corroded (like almost ALL new Airstreams I've seen on lots...the most recent are the worst, they have this yellowing bubbly corroded appearance that looks like cat pee solidified on the lights).
One of the purchase agreements for my trailer was that Airstream would supply new light assemblies which they did. But, I've never installed them. They are clearcoated, but you KNOW what would happen to them if they were installed...filiform time! I didn't want to go on the "quest" to find out what kind of clearcoat wouldn't peel or corrode. I'm going to have them powdercoated chrome sparkly blue to match my truck wheels and my trailer trim and see what they look like on there. Might look horrible, but it's just for fun as I've repaired my original light assemblies last year to perfection by sanding...and sanding...sanding...sanding...sanding...endless sanding...sanding...cussing...fingers raw...bleeding...sanding...sanding...sanding...non-stop f'in' sanding.

After countless hours of sanding (did I mention sanding???) to remove the filiform I simply polished them. No more filiform...

I took the housings off and stripped them with paint stripper. The Airstream clearcoat came off in thin plastic-like sheets.

At first I did a test area of about 2" x 3". All of my sanding has been done wet, with 3m wet/dry sandpaper. It took forever, but it seemed to work. In order to get through the filiform, I actually had to use 120 grit sandpaper (I was thinking maybe 320 or at the most 220 would at least get rid of it but no) as the filiform really eats deep into the metal. So, on the test area I sanded in stages by hand, going in only one direction per grade of sandpaper. When I would switch from 120 to 220 I would then sand entirely in the opposite pattern, and so on until the last grit. I worked my way down on this little 2" x 3" section for hours going through 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit. I then polished (rather easily) by hand with a rag and Mother's Power Metal aluminum polish. The results on this test area were mirror smooth and shiny.

There is absolutely no way to remove the filiform on these taillights with ANYTHING less than 120 grit. And, it takes literally hours to get down to where the aluminum isn't pitted anymore. It would be impossible to remove it with 1000 grit. If all you wanted to do was remove the white chalky lines and the superficial corrosion, you can do that with 320 grit...but the pitted indented slightly darkened aluminum will remain. 120 grit is the least harsh grit to use to actually sand past the pits by hand. And, again...it takes hours, just with the 120 grit. Then, 220, 320, 400, 600, 1000, and 2000 followed by hand buffing (or machine buffing if you wish). Even at that point, it will be possible to see pits in the aluminum from the filiform if you didn't go deep enough with the 120 grit.

I taped off everywhere that I didn't want to touch with 120 grit as I didn't want to make unnecessary work for myself; I didn't want to buff out anything that didn't need it. So, only the filiform areas were hit with 120, 220, and 320. I initially sanded the entire casings with 400 only after I had taken care of the filiform areas to 320.

But, anyhoo...eventually they were completely polished, done and perfect looking. Removing filiform thoroughly the right way SUCKS. Did I mention removing filiform sucks? If I didn't, then I just want to say that removing filiform sucks. Sucks bad.

I'm leaving them exposed natural polished aluminum (the same as polishing aluminum rims...no clear coat). That way, any natural oxidation will be easily removed with aluminum polish. The filiform creates deep pits where it spiders under the clearcoat. With no clearcoat, the filiform shouldn't form. Just regular old fashioned aluminum oxidation...which is simple to remove and maintain. They have held up PERFECTLY with no clearcoat, and I've not re-polished them (or done ANYTHING to them) since I reinstalled them last year.

After sealing them, I surrounded the joint with 1/4" chrome trim (the same manufacturer "Cowles Products" as the chrome on the beltline, just thinner). Airstream REALLY liked the trim as it really finishes the lights, and were toying with the idea of incorporating it. I doubt if they will though, as it requires a keen eye and attention to detail to install it straight, true, proper, and competently. If you just slapped it on it would look like hell. I'll try to take a picture of the trim as well.

Here are some pics after I (and my loving girlfriend) polished the assemblies until we had no skin left on our fingers:

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2 and weights %3.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2 and weights %3.


This is the ONLY way to fix the taillights and expect them to not turn back into a filiformed mess. Don't clearcoat them...when they get a tiny bit dull (mine haven't yet whatsoever after a year) just wipe them with some aluminum polish for about 3 minutes. Back to perfection. But getting there sucks. Did I mention removing filiform sucks? It sucks. But, once it's gone, it's not hard to maintain the aluminum. Just a quick wipe here and there. Simple and easy.

Jeff
I have to second what Jeffro has said in regards to polishing. I stripped and polished my wheel well openings 4 years ago and without a touchup polish they still look like chrome. I used the mothers product as well to polish them.

I too bought my trailer from master-bates rv in Tampa, but my trailer had been on the lot for a year neglected so I have been dealing with filiform stuff since I bought new in 06.
__________________
SafariSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
2008 19' Safari SE
Brossard , Quebec
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 65
Good day,
Many thanks for these comments and answers from Terry, Jeff and SafariSS! I will try next week to locate the 4 teeth to remove the light cover and I will keep you posted on my Quest…
As mention by Terry, Airstream (or his supplier) have some problem with the clear coat material. The rear aluminum bumper of my trailer will suffer shortly of the same problem… The area exposed to the light (UV?) is turning from yellow like to “rainbow moiré” look. I will post some pictures next week to illustrate this “magical mutation”. The non-exposed area (under the hinged storage cover) is still “natural”. I will carefully take care to observe the deterioration of the exposed area and probably the cure will be the stripping the complete bumper and polish it! A good wintertime project!
And I take a look more closely to the 2 new bezel that I received and I do not see any trace of clear coat on them! They are “polish”. From then, there is no problem of future issue at all. They will not suffer of some corrosion; I will have only to maintain them shiny! I agree with Jeff (GGoat) about the amount of work required to make shiny aluminum. I take some time (a lot) to build some receiving “device” to hold the greasy and dirty torsion bars/chain in my car (See pictures). Basic construction is made with aluminum angle (for perimeter) and varnish pine wood (floor). I start with 80 Grit down to 600 Grit (electric orbital sanding device) by respecting each Grit Grade to obtain a good dull look… The final job was perform with a “polishing kit” purchase to my local hardware store made of 2 buffering paste block (dark red and blue) and 2 buffering clothing disk (see picture) that are going on a electric drill. Honestly, the job is more than OK… You have to be patient and polish by small area at a time. I leave this “device” on the garage floor from February up to now and the “shiny” look of the aluminum never suffers of tarnishing. Many thanks to all of you for your help!
Michel
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1254.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	500.9 KB
ID:	187668   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1255.jpg
Views:	73
Size:	424.3 KB
ID:	187669  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1256.jpg
Views:	67
Size:	429.1 KB
ID:	187670   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1259.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	351.1 KB
ID:	187671  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1257.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	223.5 KB
ID:	187672   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1258.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	207.7 KB
ID:	187673  

__________________
Papou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
'06 75th Winick Prototype
 
2006 19' International CCD
1968 22' Safari
The Swamps of Hell , Lousy-Anna
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 205
Your new tail light assemblies might not look clear-coated, but they absolutely surely are if they came from Airstream.

Your best bet and easiest solution is to get some aircraft remover from Walmart & strip them to bare aluminum before installation. That will save a massive amount of headache down the line. Trust me, they might not appear to be clear-coated (my new ones didn't look like they were clear-coated either) but again they absolutely are. With the aircraft remover paint stripper from Walmart it takes about 5 minutes each to remove every bit of clear-coat from the inside and outside of the bezels. If you install them without removing the clear you're just asking for the same problem down the line; there's absolutely no stopping it.
__________________
ggoat!!! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
TinCan
 
graysailor's Avatar

 
2016 30' Classic
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 798
Appears to be a lot of work for a tail light! What did I get myself into.
__________________
TinCan
graysailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2013, 08:28 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
2008 19' Safari SE
Brossard , Quebec
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 65
As mention in my last communication, here is a picture of the rear bumper showing the clear coat deterioration appearance between the light exposed and cover hidden area on the top side of the bumper. My trailer is stored 6 months per year in a dark heated wearhouse (winter time) since I bought it in 2011.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG1305.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	224.2 KB
ID:	188508  
__________________

__________________
Papou is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.