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Old 08-11-2005, 04:00 AM   #1
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Acid Wash Recomendations?

I've read the forums in quite some detail. I expect to hear about the danger of getting acid into rivits/ seams, however my research with aircraft suppliers lead me to believe differently. What have you tried? What was the outcome? What brand and/ or type of acid? Dilution ratio? Any experince would be greatly appreicated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:40 AM   #2
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Curiosity is KILLING me! Why are you thinking of acidizing? Probably the easiest, cheapest, fastest way to get it done is take it to a truck wash.

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:47 AM   #3
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Don't do it! You'll be sorry. An Airstream isn't an aircraft.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:55 AM   #4
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Surf,

I assume that you want to refinish your trailer. A real concern is getting paint stripper into the seams and under rivet heads. It can work it's way back out later and ruin the new finish. The stripper must be cleaned off very carefully.

After stripping the paint the "acid wash" you refer to is alumiprep 33, this is followed with a water rinse, then alodine 5700 conversion coating, then another water rinse.

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Old 08-11-2005, 11:49 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replys.

I've done some test spots with the aluma prep 33. It cleans and leaves a finish that compounds much quicker.

I've also tried some test spots with Napa Aluminum Brighter. It contains Hydroflouric Acid (too strong in my opinion).

Still not convinced I want to do the entire trailer this way.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:47 AM   #6
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Alumiprep/alodine are preparations for painting aluminum, not for polishing AFAIK.

I believe the aluminum and the construction of an Airstream is very close to a light aircraft. However aircraft are usually painted, occasionally polished, but not clearcoated. The procedure for applying clearcoat may be different than painting.

It appears that neither the older spray-on or the new Alcoa factory applied clearcoating systems last very long.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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DMAC,

I spoke with two credible companies that polish trailers. One did acid wash and one did not. They used a squegee, low pressure rinse (not to blow acid into the seams) and did one section at a time.

I did a larger section today, 3' x 4'. After the acid, compounding went very fast (2-3 times faster). I'm also experimenting with brown bar and a 7" sewn pad with a polisher on low speed (1500rpm). This is cutting down my compounding time. At this rate, I'll compound the whole trailer in 30, maybe 40 hours. To date, I have 50 hours compounding alone with Nuvite g6, f7, c (after clear coat removal). I stopped because technique and process was getting me no where. This new process/tech. is working much faster with better results. In fact, my results are very different than the posts I've been reading on this great forum (thank you all) for the past year. Makes me think I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I have more oxidation than most?
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:43 PM   #8
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What year is the trailer that your polishing? What is the "acid" that you wash with and what does it do to the aluminum that allows the compounding to proceed that much faster?
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:51 PM   #9
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Just make sure you rinse then rinse then rinse again.For someone who wants to try it without ordering some alumiprep try some mag wheel cleaner,same stuff.Stay away from the alodine it gives metal a gold color.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:08 PM   #10
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surf,
I have been using the Nuvite process and I am getting the job done but way slower than I thought. After compounding with F7 and then cycloing with C then S I am getting some light brown "sploches" in the metal.They are sort of translucent. They are most pronounced on the curved sections of the side but there are also some on the flat segments.You can see through them but at angles to the trailer they look bad. Have you or anyone out there run into this problem. It is not clear coat. I did a good job of removing that. I am following the instruction from Perfect Polish. I am thinking it might be residue from the Nuvite but I have been careful to get it all off and not to use too much. I even re compounded a segment and did the C and the S but these sploches reappeared. HELP
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:28 PM   #11
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did you notice them as you were polishing or a little bit afterward? I honestly have no idea what i'm talking about, but isn't the skin just a thin sheet of steel or something with aluminum on both sides? If this is true, is it possibe this is the steel rearing it's ugly head? Once again, I have almost no experience working with the skin, im more of an aluminum philosopher studying it from abroad.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:34 PM   #12
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I did not go through the Alclad and into the aluminium. These stains are in the metal and I can't remove them . I have tried soap and water, mineral spirits and even a tiny spot of acetone but nothing touches them. I also tried alumiprep33 the dread acid and it gets a little better but the sploches are still there.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:17 PM   #13
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It could be you are talking about scorch marks caused by aluminum getting too hot while compounding.See if they come out with compounding with F7.I have found I prefer the F9 for compounding. It seems to remove the oxidation better without clogging the bonnet.
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:06 PM   #14
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I will give the F9 a try. I don't thinkit's a scorch because I am compounding with the Makita polisher on the slow speed and I don't push down too hard. Thanks for the advice.
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