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Old 06-20-2019, 09:14 AM   #1
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Shalimar , Florida
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vintage skin problems

Please help, I have a 1958 flying cloud, I have skin problems i can not figure out. I have polished and polished, I bought all nuvite products, i bought an Eastwood buffer, a dewalt buffer ,2 other buffers, gray and tripoli. I can seem to get rid of this stuff. Some places come clean but still have pits but this top is unreal. I have slowed it down, sped it up, sanded, stripped, everything I can think of. Should I just replace the side skins with new? Is it suppose to poliush like new as the pics ive seen or am i being unreasonable. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #2
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1967 26' Overlander
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Airstream skins are made of Alclad, "a composite material consisting of sheets of aluminum alloy coated with pure aluminum or a different alloy to increase corrosion resistance." I believe the top layer, the one that shines-up nice, has worn away on your Airstream. skin replacement will be necessary if you want it to shine.

Tom
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW View Post
Airstream skins are made of Alclad, "a composite material consisting of sheets of aluminum alloy coated with pure aluminum or a different alloy to increase corrosion resistance." I believe the top layer, the one that shines-up nice, has worn away on your Airstream. skin replacement will be necessary if you want it to shine.

Tom
Tom W, could you please provide a citation for your quote as this is new information to me and I would like to know more.

Will Smith, consider 1. a white reflective paint on your roof which will keep the trailer cooler, and 2. rather than replace the skins paint the trailer reflective aluminum. It won't have a mirror finish but can look really good and not need the maintenance a polished trailer will. I saw one last week and had to do a double take. The owner said he painted it 30 years ago. This subject have previously been discussed in the forums.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
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Tom W, could you please provide a citation for your quote as this is new information to me and I would like to know more...
https://www.google.com/search?q=ALCL...hrome&ie=UTF-8

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Old 06-20-2019, 01:22 PM   #5
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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I have no idea what is on the top skin that can’t be buffed out. Ours came with a painted top which we think was original due to the aircraft primer. We stripped it off and polished partially and replaced other areas that were modified by the PO. As mentioned, paint or replace. If the inside skin is out, replacing sheets is not a big deal. Up to you. Good luck
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:09 PM   #6
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try some "aluminum brightener" to break the stuff that's messing with you. (it's an acid, that you are supposed to cut with water 20/1... you can mix it stronger)

And yeah, the skins are alloy coated with pure aluminum.

If you end up needing to sand through the Aluminum to get the crud off, it will still polish up pretty nice, just not "as nice".

You could strike a line up high, and sand on only on the top side of the line so the sanded off area wont look splotchy once polished...

I kind of agree with painting the roof white, it would save you a lot of work AND it will make your trailer MUCH cooler.

oh, try Aircraft remover on those awful areas too.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:26 PM   #7
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vintage skin problems

Also, there were some areas I sanded a little on my trailer.

If memory serves I started with 220 grit in some of the bad areas, and worked in steps all the way to 5,000 grit before polishing.

Don't try that with anything but a HIGH QUALITY professional pneumatic DA sander like a Hutchins, a hobby sander wont cut it.

If That stain is pitted oxidation like it looks like, You might have to start with 80 grit in order to sand off enough material to get rid of the bigger pits. That's where a white roof can greatly reduce the area you might need to sand extensively in order to make look good polished.

It wasn't important enough to me to change panels for a consistent "mirror finish" so I used the "good enough" principle and some camouflage on my project. Click image for larger version

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You can sand SOME with 220 without sanding through the Al-clad, you can sand quite a lot wit 600 grit without burning through, but do a lot of testing up high in an inconspicuous area so you can figure out how far you can go.

I would say that if you need to burn through what's left of the alclad, you will need to do so to everything above a certain height to make the trailer look good.

The trick is going to be picking the right line of demarkation.

Try to avoid sanding the rivets, they sand off quick.

The smaller the area you work, the less work you will have to do. Don't commit yourself to a giant project early on, start up high and work down until you're satisfied, if you start low, you will have made a giant commitment early on.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:43 AM   #8
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Zit remover

Give this guy a call...
https://goshineon.com

I had the same problem...I used his red (rust color) pad and removed 90% of the ugly sh.. It brings the skin to a nice satin finish and that's as far as I want to go...

See example below..

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