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Old 01-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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Exterior cleaning or polishing.

Hey everyone. Just looking for a tip on how to get my airstream a bit cleaned up. I'm not looking to fully restore, just get it to one tone and not look like a silver zebra.
Any thoughts?
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Stripping the clearcoat will get rid of the milky-white residue. If the exposed aluminum is not too badly oxidized, that may be good enough. We have known several that once stripped the disparity of the "zebra stripes" is less noticeable. You can stripe it with either an environmentally friendly stripper like CitriStrip in a couple of applications or a not-so-environmentally-nice-stripper like KleenStrip Aircraft Stripper in a single application.

Good luck!

Shari
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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Hey everyone. Just looking for a tip on how to get my airstream a bit cleaned up. I'm not looking to fully restore, just get it to one tone and not look like a silver zebra.
Any thoughts?
It looks that way because of the aged out clearcoat, which only lasts 5 to 6 years, or so.

There is nothing you can do with it, except tp strip it off, then recoat it or polish it.

If you try to polish what you have, you will remove most of it in the process.

Andy
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Thank you Shari! Good advice!
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Andy.
So would you say that if I just buy a polish and go that route I wouldn't need to strip AND polish. I could just polish?

Any recommendations on polish?
Also, can I use a rotary power buffer or will that leave bad circles?
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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Vintage Trailer Supply has a nice write up about polishing.....
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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Just from the sounds of it....you should go with re coating it. The polish route is long, tedious and not for a beginner...unless you have lots of time to study the process...then lots of expense for the right equipment then upkeep every year. Your in Maryland...thats "dead-damn Center" of Airstream rehab/restor on the East Coast. Look up Frank here on the Forums. He can help you either way.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Any recommendations on polish?
Deja' Vu?...my polishing input hasn't changed ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnG17 View Post
Also, can I use a rotary power buffer or will that leave bad circles?
It will leave swirls. They can be removed with a Cyclo-Polisher.

Agreed...another great write up can be found here: Perfect Polish


The bottomline is there are not any real shortcuts to acheiving an even finish that don't take lots of time or money. Your best bet for the time being would be to strip it (which you should do before polishing anyways) and see how it looks. Then decide if you want to take it any further. It will look better after just stripping it...

As far as "polishing through" the remaining clearcoat...it's probably been done, but is IMO will add a lot more work. The clearcoated areas will not begin to get polished until you burn through the clearcoat while the adjacent failed clearcoat areas will start polishing from the get-go. So you will perpetuate the splotchy look you have now. Also, if the clearcoat flakes get in the buffing pads (they will!) it will sctach the aluminum. These scratches will then have to be removed with more polishing & eventually the CycloPolisher will have to be used to get rid of the swirls.

Shari
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #9
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BTW, I have been stripping and polishing my 1999 Safari over the past several months, I have had great luck with Citristrip. Too cold right now to use it around here, but when the temps are 65+ or so, it works great, pretty much in one application with about a 30 min. wait before removing. Some touch up is required. I didn't want to reapply a clearcoat that would just go bad again after 5 - 10 years, plus I like shiny things, so I have been polishing mine basically using the VTS method. I looks great, much better than I thought a late model would. I actually enjoy polishing it. I have always buffed and maintained my cars, so maintaining a polished trailer won't bother me. Of course folks like P&S in Ohio can strip and recoat if you are interested.

If interested, I have posted some photos (especially in the latter pages) and info in this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...ari-80241.html
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:57 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Deja' Vu?...my polishing input hasn't changed ~


Shari
Touché.
Thanks for your help...again.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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cleaning the roof

what is the best product to use to spring clean the roof. it has lots of pollen and just plain ol' dirt. thanks.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:31 AM   #13
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what is the best product to use to spring clean the roof. it has lots of pollen and just plain ol' dirt. thanks.
I use a powerwasher.



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Old 04-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #14
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So, we could potentially strip off the clear coat and then just wax, perhaps, without polishing? Wonder what we would end up with? We know we don't want a high polish, looking just to spruce up, and we know our clear coat has failed.

Kay
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