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Old 03-06-2016, 08:46 PM   #29
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Good information

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Old 03-07-2016, 07:33 AM   #30
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You only need to apply corrosion preventative where water could potentially seep between the aluminum and the factory applied plastic coating. So, window cut-outs, vents and the like. Google "corrosion X on Airstreams" or something similar and it should bring up several threads on the subject.


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Old 06-04-2016, 09:51 AM   #31
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Just reading thru threads and discovered this one and thought I'd pontificate on my own experiences with riveted aluminum structures...
My background in aircraft mx, and as a former attendee at Toyota Tech school (waaay-back) "larned" me a few things about this..

Firstly (and no criticism of Spelunkus who reminded me of such matters) ....when one calls "Airstream" or "Boeing" or "younameit".... one usually gets the person who simply answers the phone and passes along the general opinion of those that stand around that persons coffeepot.
Unless one talks directly with a technician or engineer-type who is a "SME" (subject matter expert)... then one likely only gets a popularized version of gossip.

"Wax" in automotive type treatments.... usually refers to two different types. There are "polish" types, which usually contain some sort of abrasive designed to remove oxidization and oxidized coatings (such as paint), smooth scratches, and return the object to a brighter, smoother, (i.e. lower) coat....and actually REMOVES material. (Not a good thing if your late-model Airstream has a valid clearcoat....but if you have an older painted or uncoated surface that needs oxidized surface removed,...can do wonders.)

Next there are true WAX types, the best usually containing carnuba, a So. American tree-wax, which leaves a protective film upon the surface, thereby protecting the surface against future oxidation.

Older automotive paints (those produced prior to the 1980's) were more subject to oxidation. Modern paint coatings are much better at resisting UV, Ozone, and oxidation/abrasion in the environment, although industrial sites (thinking here of the petrochemical plants in NW Corpus, or E. Houston, Pt Arthur, Tx, and portions of N.J., Chicago, StLouis, LA, Etc. ...can create envirionments that will defeat even a good clearcoat.

I.E., "polishing" clearcoat will eventually damage the protective nature of that coating. Newer Airstreams do not benefit and may actually be harmed by "polish" and other abrasive treatments if the clearcoat is harmed. While "wax" will not harm it... modern Airstreams and auto's, etc, which have polyurethane, plasticized, or similar coatings and paints only need to be kept clean with mild soap/water, and gentle bug/tar removers (WD40 is WonDer-ful.)

As for Filliform.... this is a type of corrosion which occurs when unprotected surfaces (like the cut edges of our riveted coaches) meet oxygen. Filliform is not usually structurally destructive...but it's a cosmetic eyesore. The only way to cure it is to remove it and protect it from oxygen. Too late for a coach that had it's sheet-metal already cut and riveted and exposed to oxygen.

But it can be treated. My advice is to remove the clearcoat directly over the filiform, and then re-polish the exposed aluminum, and then clean and re-coat the repaired area with automotive clearcoat which is available at auto paint suppliers. It is also found in small "fingernail polish" dispensers at WalMart, AutoZone, etc., and can also be found in aerosol rattle-cans for larger areas.

I've used an abrasive wheel (3-M) to remove it and then clearcoated it, and that has resulted in good appearance and seems to last. (Don't attempt to use the wheel directly on top of clearcoat because it will "burn" the clearcoat/plastic and load the wheel up with plastic. Also, be aware of the "grain"...or the direction of the milling-process on your Airstream. This is usually in a fore-aft direction on the coach. If you polish with the wheel in vertical direction it will leave a totally different level of "shine" that will not match the adjacent area.

My own boarding-assist handle at my Airstream door was totally covered in filiform and I used a 3-M pad (these are also found at groc. stores, usually backed with sponge/foam) to remove the clearcoat and filiform. I then wiped it down with alcohol (such as used in boat cooktops and paint stores or Home Despot) to remove residual dust, then painted the handle with automotive clearcoat. It looks like new!

Hope these comments help.

By the way... Jamie and I own a bare-aluminum airplane (non-clearcoated) that is over 60 years old and shines like a new silver dollar. My peers work like the devil regularly, polishing and shining and complaining about the hard work they put into their polished versions (the original factory did not paint their 1950's models)...but pleased with their results...and are usually very surprised to find out that their "Parts and MX Advisor" (I teach and moderate the mx website for the classic airplane type).. they are usually surprised to find that I never, and I mean NEVER, use soap or wax or polish on my shiny aluminum airplane.
I only wash it...and NEVER with soap... but ALWAYS with a couple cups of WD40 in a 5-gallon bucket of forcefully-injected water. I rinse the airplane, apply the WD40 solution with a cotton-mop and old towels, I rinse the airplane again, and dry it with old towels. It looks as good as it did the day it was made waay back in 1952. :>)
And the rubber window-seals, door hinges, window hinges, are all lubricated, and rainwater bubbles-up like a fresh-waxed surface! It also removes tar, bugs, etc. without harming the delicate surfaces. (My dad used to wash the family '57 Chrysler with kerosene/water solution, which he plagiarized from a book "Hints from Heloise." I just prefer the smell of WD40, which I buy in gallon cans.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:11 AM   #32
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There's another option besides polish and wax - Liquid Glass. Liquid Glass is an acrylic polymer that never fades, dulls, yellows or cracks. After repeated applications it forms a kind of clear coat.

A little background...

I've fooled around with Porsches, mostly the 1965-1973 longhoods, for many years. I've restored them, raced them, and shown them at the concours level (and won a couple of times). Wax is a very big deal in the show context. I experimented with many waxes over the years, including the most expensive carnuba waxes. I experimented with various applicaton methods, including allowing the wax to warm in my hand before applying it. I eventually got good results, but it was expensive and a lot of work. Then a friend of mine with show winning Ferraris introduced me to Liquid Glass - I've never looked back.

Liquid Glass is easier to apply than most waxes as it just wipes right off and you don't have to worry about it drying too much and becoming difficult to remove.

My trailer is a '90 Excella with the plasti-coat that is generally in rough shape after 25+ years. I'm fortunate that the plasti-coat on mine is just about perfect and I'm doing my best to preserve it. Since I acquired it three years ago I have applied Liquid Glass twice a year - so far so good. It's stored inside in the winter but spends summers outside and there has been no degradation of the plasti-coat.

$80.00 a square foot!!?? That's a total upsell rip-off. A can of Liquid Glass costs $30.00 and will be enough for two applications, and it's a pleasure to apply. Great way to get to know your trailer.

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Old 06-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #33
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Ive owned lots of top shelf automobiles.... they all come with an offer of some.sort of paint shield at a huge price. The only one that has any merit is Waxoyl which protects the under and inner chassis components, not the paint or finish.

I think the rest are just snake oil. Buy a $9 bottle of NuFinish and some good beer. Do it yourself once a year and get to know your girls body.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:24 AM   #34
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$80 a square foot? In this part of the country you can buy a freakin' house for a hundred dollars a square foot

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