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Old 08-26-2004, 06:39 PM   #1
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Clearcoat? How do I even tell I have it?

How do I tell if I have a 'clearcoat' on my 72 A/S Trade Wind Land Yacht? Some of the exterior panels look nice and clean, almost shiny, while some of the panels, primarily toward the roof, have a dark -almost black- residue that won't scrub off with dish soap and a scrub brush. Is this tree sap or something? Were all '72 trailers clearcoated or was that an option? I see many of the threads about polishing the exterior, but I am wondering if there might be a good cleaner I can use to get this black discoloration off and see if it might make those 'dirty' panels look more like all the other 'nice-looking' panels! Or, should I just get some kind of stripper, strip the whole trailer and then re-clearcoat? Tom
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:53 PM   #2
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With a 70's trailer, you most likely have clearcoat...

...unless a previous owner has already stripped it off.

The easiest way to test it is to take a plain white t-shirt scrap, put a tiny dab of toothpaste on it and gently rub where you think the clearcoat is still on your trailer (in an inconspicous place). If it turns black, there's no clearcoat...if not, you still have clearcoat protecting the aluminum. The bare aluminum will turn the spot jet black...not just dirty.

The 'dark' areas could be either residue left from a tarp that may have been used to cover the trailer or tree branches rubbing up against it. If a tarp was used, it abraded through the clearcoat and left its mark...same with tree branches. They wore through the clearcaot and mostlikely scratched the aluminum. If this is the case it's very difficult to clean-up the area without stripping & polishing it.

If it's just oxidation due to failed clearcoat...it's more of a dull gray overall dinginess or splotchiness where the clearcoat has failed and the oxidation has progressed. The only real way to make the surface 99% uniform again would be to strip the clearcoat and polish it. Then either allow it to oxidize uniformly, maintain the polish with periodic 'touch-ups', apply a protective wax or new clearcoat.

There are many different polishing techniques which can be researched here on the forums utilizing the 'search' tool. Only you can tell what 'works' for you ~

Shari
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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If you clear coat after polishing will that keep the shine?

Hello,
I have another question if you decide to polish your trailer, should you clear coat again? or will that dull the shine?
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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Ditto on Bethy Ann's question. I am stripping my O'lander now and will polish to a mirror shine (hopefully), and I am wondering if I need to apply clear coat or just wax it with auto wax as needed?? Help!
sean m.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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It seems to me kind of odd that people want to put on something that has failed in the past. If the clear coat has come off in some areas and not in others... if it has caused fillform corrosion to grow under it... well, why use it again? Has the technology gotten better and these issues have been eliminated? From what I understand, on airplanes, the aluminum is etched with an acid to create the shine and then it is coated. Next time you fly look at that surface and see how mirror like it really is not. The older trailers can be polished to a mirror surface because of the alloy. The later trailers can be shined, but not polished. I guess that is where clear coat is a good thing. Personally, I am in the beginning stages of polishing. I am doing it only because there have been repairs done by me and attempts by pervious owners to polish. I want everything uniform. I will polish it once and let it go back to pewter after that. I would actually stop at the first cut, but the compounding leaves too many swirls. I plan on going over it a second time using the cyclo then never again.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:27 AM   #6
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Clearcoat Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMiller
How do I tell if I have a 'clearcoat' ... Tom
Try this simple test.

You can tell if you have a "Clearcoat" by standing in front of a mirror and putting it on. After slipping into the suspected "Clearcoat" look carefully into the mirror to see if the clothing underneath is visible. if you can see your underclothes, you have a "Clearcoat"

IMPORTANT:
DON'T try this in public.


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Old 04-29-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtStream
You can tell if you have a "Clearcoat"...
Michael,

Your sense of humor is rather transparent.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtStream
Try this simple test.

You can tell if you have a "Clearcoat" by standing in front of a mirror and putting it on. After slipping into the suspected "Clearcoat" look carefully into the mirror to see if the clothing underneath is visible. if you can see your underclothes, you have a "Clearcoat"

IMPORTANT:
DON'T try this in public.


Michael
Wow burning man must be going on....
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:19 PM   #9
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stinker!
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:52 PM   #10
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On our '62, the skin is (in my opinion, anyhow) great shape. No splotches, spots, streaks, peeling or filiform.

You think I just have clearcoat in fantastic shape? Maybe the original owner opted not to have it applied in the first place. Seems I read you could choose back then.

It is very white looking, though. Uniformly bleached, you could say. What do you think?
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:41 AM   #11
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take a small dab of polish and rub it with your finger tip. If it turns black you have just aluminum. My 62 did not have clear coat and I believe is was a slightly later option. When it was offered though, many older units were taken to JC and done with clear coat. You have a beautiful patina on that trailer. If it were mine, I would not mess with it.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:28 AM   #12
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Thanks 62O - not positive what I'm doing with it yet, other than to say that two things influencing me to do so are:

a) I've always wanted a polished trailer, and
b) these photos were taken before brought it home and had to store it outside under the low hanging branches of a tree, which left large black swirl marks on the top rear portion.

I agree though, I'm lucky to have skin in extremely good shape. If only this pimple on my forehead would disappear, we'd be all set!
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bredlo
You think I just have clearcoat in fantastic shape? Maybe the original owner opted not to have it applied in the first place. Seems I read you could choose back then.
You most likely don't have clearcoat, unless a previos owner added it somewhere along the way. It wasn't a option until 1964 as I recall.

Shari
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:29 AM   #14
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I think my PO put this thing in his Ohio barn and left it alone for the rest of his life. The kitchen drawers still hold little treasures like the "Wally Byam Store Catalog," all the manuals and a little metal gun that shoots sparks for lighting pilot lights.

Thanks for the timeline Shari.
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