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Old 04-08-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Couple of newby questions regarding stripping clear coat

I'm trying to strip the clear coat off using Aircraft Remover. I slopped it on fairly thick with a 3" paint brush and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes. As I was putting it on, it started gumming up... almost instantly.

(see pic 1)

I continued to "paint" the curb side and ended up pressure washing most of it off 30 minutes later. When I say "pressure washing", I was using the pressure washer, but not close enough to do any damage or cause any leaks... I was just trying to get off all the gunk.

I did this in direct sunlight, which I realize now is probably a bad idea. So I tried the back corner tonight when it was darker and cooler.

The one thing I can't figure out is what I'm ultimately looking for. In the next two pictures, I can't tell what's clear coat and what's not. Is it supposed to be shiny or flat?

Should the aircraft remover be laid on thick, thin, several coats?

Thanks!!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
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It looks like from the 2 pictures of the end caps that there is still old clear coat that the stripper did not remove. The end caps will tend to be not as shinny as the sides. Take a look at the pictures of my 1976 that I stripped about 10 years ago. The first 6 pictures are before stripping and the next 4 are afterwards.

I used a paint stripper called "BIX". Its a heavy duty stripper for metal including aircraft that I bough at Home Depot. As I recall I brushed it on in small sections, let it sit and then washed it off with a water hose. I continued this process until all the clear coat was gone.

Also you should remove the rubber red and blue molding inserts and any other plastic such as lens covers and rock guards since the stripper can really mess these up.

Good luck with your project

Don 1976 31' Sovereign
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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I had several places that were a little stubborn. A quick test will be to get some inexpensive metal polish (like you use on the chrome for your car) and rub a little. If the area starts turning black/grey you've got it, if not the try the stripper again. ( i am assuming the polishing is next)
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Thanks folks, for the input. I think I'm going to return the second gallon of the Aircraft remover and just continue on wet sanding with 800/1000/1200 grit to ensure it's getting off. The rubber inserts are already gone, the PO just painted those colors in the track. I have since removed the light covers, though, thanks!
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #5
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I'm currently stripping . . . over half done. I tried both Removal 220 and CitriStrip. The Removal worked s l o w, required two and three applications, and the clearcoat came off hit and miss in snot strings and slime balls. The CitriStrip worked fast, came off clean in one application, and the clearcoat came off melted into the pink liquid. No slime strings or mucus. I don't like the Removal at all. I like the CitriStrip a lot.

Anybody near Sioux Falls that likes Removal, I'll make ya a good deal on some.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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Ha, that's funny, Splitrock, as most of the opinions I've read have been the exact opposite. I guess it's different for each application.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
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I used two coats of Removal and still had clearcoat left on. Not impressed! I finished the Removal areas with CitriStrip in one shot in short cook time. I did the whole front cap with one application of CitriStrip with no missed spots in a short cook time.

I went to town and bought more CitriStrip today.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
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That's interesting. I kind of feel that way about the Rustoleam Aircraft Remover I bought. I was staring at the CitriStrip today at the borg... I may run over there and buy some to test out. It's got to be better than sanding this beast down.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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i used the aircraft paint remover and i put it on did like a 2 ft by 2 ft area and by the time i got that done i started to scrape it with the plastic bondo spreader and it worked very well for my camper i used about 2 gal on my airstream
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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Hey Taylormade, I've got to do the same thing on my new (and first) 1976 Ambassador. Post back on this string and let me know if the CitriStrip works as well as it did for Splitrock. Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster604 View Post
Hey Taylormade, I've got to do the same thing on my new (and first) 1976 Ambassador. Post back on this string and let me know if the CitriStrip works as well as it did for Splitrock. Thanks!
The Rustoleom product works fine, but, as posted above, you need to focus on smaller areas rather than trying to paint the entire side of the trailer at a time. 2x2 is a little on the small side, but perhaps a 5x5 piece would work better. I got a lot more done this morning, it's definitely working... just have to take it slow and not expect it to be done in 20 minutes, lol.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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I understand it can be done to use wet sand paper,, but even the few areas with rock chips and dings,, using 1200,, I had to polish like heck to get the sand paper scratches off.. Matter of fact I even went back to 1600 grit,, and that helped but still had to polish the heck to ware out the scratches.

I think I read somewhere that the thickness of the alum clad is only .005".. Thats not very much,, My question is what happens if one ware past the clad coating?

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Old 04-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #13
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I am in process of stripping my 1965 right now. Could not buy the Klean Strip Aircraft remover in California. Nobody carry it here and no distributor can order it for me, while manufacturer will not ship directly to a customer. East coast distributors canceled the order and refunded my money twice saying they can't ship it.
So finally I called technical support and they advised Aircraft peeler. It comes in spray can and is excellent. Manual says 5 minutes, but even working in the shade I have only seconds to work. The best way I figured was spray about 4x4 feet area, wait few seconds till it shows foaming and respray the silver stripes. Than with my 150 psi city water pressure whole things comes off. Some missed areas require coming back with stripping brush.
Recognizing difference between the dirty coat and aluminum corrosion took some practice. Turned out the dirt on the roof is more aluminum oxidation as my roof HAD NO CLEAR COAT.
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