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Old 05-08-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
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Need help with my '66 Avion! What is this???

Hey all!

I spent a good amount of time yesterday combing through the various threads on here dealing with Avions, but I didn't see this addressed.

My husband and I just bought a '66 Avion that we'd like to restore to it's former glory. We don't necessarily want it to look like an Airstream with a mirror finish, so de-anodizing isn't what we're looking for. We would to polish it and brighten it up to look like it did back in the day.

I have thoroughly cleaned it, but there is a white film on the outside that will not come off. I've tried different cleaners, and after a friend suggested I use Nevr Dull polish, I tried that on a few places too. The Nevr Dull looked AWESOME and I was so excited.... until it dried and it looked exactly the same as it did before. The white film was still there.

I'm going to try to attach a few pics of the white film I'm talking about, and I'm hoping that someone will have experience with this. We just don't know what to try next. This is our first experience with this type of outside restoration and we have no idea how to get this white film off of the trailer. (The picture of the whole trailer was obviously taken before I cleaned the outside, but you can see the discoloration of the white film. The film covers the entire trailer, but is especially concentrated beneath the windows. The film does not have a different texture than the rest of the aluminum.)
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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Just wanted to add that I tried steel wool on a small area also, and it didn't even touch it.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, fellow Avion owner!

What you are seeing is oxidation of the annodized aluminum. I wish I had time right now to give you LOTS of info about caring for that, but for now, here's a link that has good information:

Aluminum Care

However, you are VERY close to Watervliet, MI..... that is where CAYO Repair Sevice is located:

4835 North M 140
Watervliet, MI 49098 - View Map
Phone: (269) 463-5068

The Cayo family originated Avion, and are still in business caring for them. What I would suggest, because you ARE so close, is to contact them and discuss having a PermaCoat application done by them. I have no idea of the price, but from what I have heard, it'll make your trailer look very nice, and it lasts 5-6 years.

Other, more temporary solutions include a wax called Par Fe, I like to use Flood Penetrol Flood Penetrol 1-qt. Clear Paint Additive-FLD4-04 - The Home Depot
which is a wipe on/wipe off product that gave me very good results.
Some folks even use WD-40. It'll look good at first, but the first rain will wash it off, and it attracts dirt. I have even had good results with Turtle Wax Chrome Polish.
The key is to NOT use a harsh abrasive. Original Bon Ami works to an extent.

Anyway, that give you a little to go on.

More later.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:45 AM   #4
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Thank you for this info!

I guess my question now is this: Will the Par Fe or other various waxes (such as Ever Brite, which I've seen mentioned numerous times while googling info on anodized aluminum) even out the look of the exterior and get rid of the oxidation? (Or at least mask it for a decent amount of time...let's say 2-3 months?)

I'd rather not go the Permacoat route just yet because of the expense. Maybe at some point in the future, but for right now I'd just like it to look good sitting in my driveway while I complete the work on the inside of it! lol
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:00 PM   #5
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If you would like a satin finish, you can use a acid wash like Aluminum Bright. It will pull off the oxidation, but leaves a satin finish, not shiny. Also you may have to reseal all of your seams after.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:13 PM   #6
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I can't speak for Ever Brite, but Par Fe and Penetrol will even out the appearance. I like Penetrol (get the one for oil-based paint) because it lasts several months, and it is available locally.... cheap! I DO like Par Fe, but it's hard to get..... I keep hearing of people ordering the product and it taking a LONG time to get. Calls and emails to the company don't get answered in a timely fashion. Too bad, too..... it's a great product, and I think they could sell more if they had better customer service.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverflames View Post
If you would like a satin finish, you can use a acid wash like Aluminum Bright. It will pull off the oxidation, but leaves a satin finish, not shiny. Also you may have to reseal all of your seams after.
I would love to research this product..... I did a search, found Aluma Brite.... is that it?
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
I can't speak for Ever Brite, but Par Fe and Penetrol will even out the appearance. I like Penetrol (get the one for oil-based paint) because it lasts several months, and it is available locally.... cheap! I DO like Par Fe, but it's hard to get..... I keep hearing of people ordering the product and it taking a LONG time to get. Calls and emails to the company don't get answered in a timely fashion. Too bad, too..... it's a great product, and I think they could sell more if they had better customer service.
Yes, I looked up the Penetrol and it was around $8 or so locally.

Now it says the Penetrol is a paint additive, so how would I apply it to my trailer?
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TinaBoBeena View Post
Yes, I looked up the Penetrol and it was around $8 or so locally.

Now it says the Penetrol is a paint additive, so how would I apply it to my trailer?
Just get a clean cotton rag, put some Penetrol on it, then rub it on the trailer. Try a small area first. Don't let it dry, just follow with another dry rag. It's an easy process, doesn't take a lot of elbow grease.

Edit: In addition to it being a paint additive, the can says it is a fiberglass rejuvenator. I have used it on the black fiberglass rock guard on our '87 Avion and it makes it look fantastic.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
The Cayo family originated Avion, and are still in business caring for them. What I would suggest, because you ARE so close, is to contact them and discuss having a PermaCoat application done by them. I have no idea of the price, but from what I have heard, it'll make your trailer look very nice, and it lasts 5-6 years.
As a follow up..... I called Cayo to satisfy my own curiosity about PermaCoat. They told me that any trailer in the 28'-34' range would be somewhere between $850-$900 (I forget exactly what he quoted) to do the job. 2-day process: Day 1 = clean, prep, mask.... leave in shop overnight to ensure a dry trailer in the morning. Day 2: spray the trailer with PermaCoat. By 3pm or so, you can pick up the trailer and head down the road.

He said that the coating will last at least 5 or 6 years without ANY care, but he knows of trailers that had it done 25-30 years ago that still look nice.

Sounds like a worthwhile investment to me, and it's cheaper than I anticipated. We'll need to plan a trip through Watervliet, MI sometime!
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:37 PM   #11
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Ok, I'm really excited about the Penetrol! I'm going to go pick some up tonight so I can try a spot before the storms roll in!

About the Permacoat...Yes, I agree it's a worthwhile investment. Right now we just can't afford it, but thanks for calling and sharing that info! It's good to know for the future!
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Old 05-08-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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Don't feel as if you need to do anything. I cleaned mine with Bon ami and then used a car wax on it. I can still see the white stuff, but we like the patina. It is old and we prefer to let it look that way. Not everyone does so the advice you have been given is very helpful. Good luck on your decision. We owned a 1964 previously. Jim
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:02 PM   #13
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Here is shark hide acid wash, Napa has a brand too for polishing aluminum rims.

http://www.sharkhide.com/acinfo.html
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #14
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If you go this route, make sure you test it first on a small spot that is out of the way. And if it gets into the seams it could eat away at the sealer between them.
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