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Old 02-05-2007, 07:06 AM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Alex , Oklahoma
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1969 31' Clean roof crusty build up

We got our 1969 31' (S) around Christmas. The top looks like it set under trees. There is lots of tree sap and dirt, making a black crust. What would be the best cleaner that wouldn't do damage to surface?
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:13 AM   #2
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I assume the clear coat is gone, U can go to an auto supply and look for spray on alum cleaners, they are sold for wheels on cars.

I found one can't remember the name I sprayed it on left it 10 seconds and hosed it off.

It cleaned very deep, than lite polish.
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:42 AM   #3
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1969 31' Sovereign
1951 21' Flying Cloud
Alex , Oklahoma
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Not sure on the clear coat. PO's have done something to the back and you can see wiping streaks. We think they may have used an acid. Were not to the point of polishing, as we have been replacing all the window and door seals, (3) vent caps. I have ordered olympic rivets and grinder to replace missing outside rivets. Just getting started.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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If you know you are going to polish and clearcoat sooner or later, you can be more aggressive in your removal methods.

Try bug and tar remover, from any auto parts store. It is a solvent-based cleaner, and really good for pine sap, but it might affect clearcoat, so if you have clearcoat you care about, pay heed to the "test inconspicuous area first" caveat! Another thing, apply the cleaner to a rag and wipe locally. You don't want it running into seams; it will attack the sealer!

I bought my streamline from the storage yard where it had been sitting for years. There was literally a half-inch thick carpet of healthy moss thriving on much of the roof. Streamlines of this vintage have an unpolishable anodized finish, so the "care and feeding" is a bit different from Airstreams. There was one of every kind of metal polish in the various cabinets, slightly used. My initial brute-force cleaning involved slinging chlorox cleanser over it and scrubbing with a push broom. I am sure my neighbors were snickering behind the curtains, but an hour of that, and it was like a different trailer, just what the Dr. ordered!

To address the black coating without stripping the clearcoat, after a good scrub-washing, and spot-removing gummy tree-sap, you might try automotive polishing compound, or the more aggressive rubbing compound then polishing compound, followed by wax. Again, test small inconspicuous area first! The black is probably a "biofilm" of algae or something that lives off the dust and daily condensation.
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