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Old 09-13-2011, 10:41 PM   #15
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Follow up: I ordered some lambswool pads along with terry cloth bonnets, but not for a larger polisher, instead, I thought I might as well see how the PC does first. If it doesn't have enough omph, then so be it, I will upgrade, I can always use the pads and bonnets for other vehicles. I don't really have a lot of oxidation much of the clear coat is still intact. Anyway, this weekend should be perfect weather to work on in, as we are expecting an early fall blast of cooler (65 or so) weather. I think even if I just do the end caps for now, the "two tone" look might be pretty cool until I start on the rest. Of course I am already looking at the peeling along the top of the sides....so....that two tone end cap look might not be around for too long.

NOMO, not sure if you are thinking about your older or newer trailer. If it's the newer on, then I think you will be ok, I don't know how it would do onthe older one, but it's worth a try. In any even, I would try a quart first before you purchase a larger size, and see how things work out. Please let us know. Note: You'll want a small pan to pour it in so you can dip the brush in it. Maybe a Walmart cheapo if you don't have anything around the house.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #16
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I got both of the end caps stripped and polished (at least a good beginning of a polish). I thought it went very well. I used my PC DA polisher and it did a good job. I think if I get serious about doing the whole trailer I am going to get a Dewalt 849X. They have them on Amazon for $185. I think it would go even faster with that, though I'm amazed at how well the "little" PC did.

I am definitely going to keep as much clear coat on the trailer as I can until I am ready to polish. With the Citri Strip it's an easy fairly low mess deal to partially strip it (the reason I started this thread!). The areas that still had clear coat on until I stripped it polished up much fast than the areas that had lost the coating and started to oxidize, as one might expect.

I took off the Airstream letter on the end caps. I don't know if I am going to replace them, I kind of like the clean look, plus any new lettering that I put on will get in the way when I do "touch up" polishing jobs.

I hope to post some before and after pics when I get a few minutes.

The round corners seem to be a slightly different material than the center of the end caps. The centers seem to polish up a lot more.

I still need to take off the rear lights and polish "under" them. I think will wait a bit as I am contemplating switching to LEDs. I also need to get up on the roof and polish the very tops of the end caps, you can see them from the ground so they weren't a priority. But I will do them. Perhaps in a couple of weeks, the next time I will be able to work on it, weather permitting.

All in all I am very happy with the look of the polished sections. It will likely take a while, but I may well fiinish this job myself rather than farm it out. I figure I am doing the hard part first (the front and rear end caps etc.) The sides are flat with much a ground level where I won't have to work off of a ladder.

Very happy with the Citri Strip, the Nuvite f7 seems to do a good job as does the Truck Box polish that I use to finish up. I tried using the lambswool pads and they did ok, but I switch to my trusting Lake Country foam pads and they seem to work very well. Perhaps the lambswool will work better on a straight polisher, such as the Dewalt, where I can work it on edge. We'll see. I found it a bit hard at times to get all of the black residue off. I usually wound up using a bit of the truck box polish on a cloth to wipe it down a bit after finishing the "power" polish. That seemed to take care of things.

Like I said, I will try to get some photo up soon if you are interested.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:21 PM   #17
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Here are some of the promised photos. You will see before, during stripping and after polishing photos. It still needs some more polishing work as I perfect my technique. I did order a Dewalt DWP849X from Amazon. I think that will help as I tackle more of the trailer going forward. I think I will stick with the Porter Cable DA for the finish work for now. Note that there were a lot of clouds when I took the photos, they might make the finish look a bit splotchy, actually the finish is pretty nice, but can still use a bit more work.
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Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:58 PM   #18
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Looking good. Thanks for posting the pictures. I was wondering how it would shine up.

After reading your initial posts, I tried some citri-strip on my 99 front end cap. Had even more pealing then yours. I am not sure I will go the full polishing route, but I need to do something to get it all one shade of grey. It appears the clear coat failed in sections over the years and each section has aged differently.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:35 AM   #19
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Tim, that's what happens as it peels off and oxidizes to different degrees. The only way to get it even is to polish to even it out. One can decide how much polishing they want to do. The hardest part is getting rid of the oxidation, the fine polishing is easier, but just takes time in order to perform a number of passes over the same area that then seems to bring it out more and more, at least to a point. These non Alclad trailers will never get that mirror finish, but you can get them looking pretty good!

As I had said before, since it is working well, I am only going to strip what I am ready to polish. That way the areas I am not ready to work on will stay protected as this may be a protracted project.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:58 AM   #20
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good stuff

I picked up a quart of citristrip last week and did one endcap and one side above the beltline. I was very impressed with the product, especially at less than $20 on the shelf. My trailer had been peeling for quite some time, and came out splotchy, but that is what I expected. It still looks far better than before, and ultimately I will do some polishing. Perhaps a springtime project.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:01 AM   #21
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BTW- Nice work Soy, it looks great. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:28 AM   #22
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That does look good. I'm just starting the strip process on a 26' 1963 and was worried that the CitriStrip wouldn't work on that vintage of clearcoat...it knocked it right off, just as good as it worked on my 34' 1991!

34' +26' = an insane amount of aluminum to shine...
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #23
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HiHo that is amazing. I would have figured it would have a hard time on the old stuff. I live in a 100 year old house, I might try it on some old shutters and give it the "acid" test!

We were supposed to go to Assateague Island National Seashore this weekend, but the weather looks iffy so I bailed on our reservations (so there is a site available you O.C. Sunfest lovers - which I'm not BTW). If it doesn't rain I am going to try out my new Dewalt 849x that should arrive from Amazon tomorrow a.m. It will be interesting to see how that does compared to the Porter Cable DA. As to Assateague, maybe Columbus Day weekend, although the leaves might make me head west to Rocky Gap SP. I'll feel a lot better looking back at the shiny AS vs. the crappy blotchy peeling end caps! I am getting motivated to to the whole thing, of course my wife would say that ever since I purchased the AS, stripping and polishing the trailer was fait accompli!
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:12 PM   #24
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I worked on it some more. Last weekend, I stripped down about a foot from the top drip rail on the street side. I had a good bit of peeling in that area. Seems like I am doing all of the hard parts first, working up high on the trailer. It should be easier as I get down to the lower levels.

I got my Dewalt 849X. Man what a difference that makes with the lambswool pads I ordered from Vintage Trailer. Compared to the PC I can really dig in and get the job done.

I was hoping to strip the two front panels on either side of the front window this weekend. However, we had temps in the low 50's with drizzle, not good for the Citri Strip (those temps are about 20 degrees below normal for our area this time of the year). Hopefully the next weekend I am home, I can get those stripped. Likely won't be next weekend as I am thinking about heading to Assateague, I need one more trip to the beach before winter!

With the temps starting to head down hill, I will soon have to decide what I want to strip now and be able to polish once the temps stay below 60 or so. Maybe those front panels and the street side above the mid rub rail. No use stripping what I won't get to for a while.

In the photo below you can see where I stripped and polished along the top - side. I was using truck box polish after the f7, that seems to work pretty well. However I ordered some Nuvite S to see how that finishes off the job in comparison, I should have that this week.

I have gotten some raindrop stains on the polished Alum, I guess I will have to get used to that and buff them out once or twice a year. Weird, some of the "drops" were kind of a tan/brown, living under the flight path for Dulles, I wonder if a plane was dumping fuel? Anyway, they buffed out rather easily. Now I started putting my Mothers Liquid Carnauba wax on it when done to help protect it. But no wax that I have found really protects against rain etching.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #25
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Polishing: Getting the Cloudiness Out

Splotchy cloudiness. That is the problem that I am running into (as others have). I have not stripped along the street side, above the belt line an made the first pass with Nuvite F7. Some of it looks great, but I am having a hard time getting the cloudiness out of other areas. I guess I just need to work those spots some more with the f7.

I still find the Citristrip to be working well. I even used it on a day that was a bit cooler than the temp recommended on the bottle, yet is still worked well. Usually there are a few spots that perhaps I didn't coat well enough that remain after the initial strip, but it's no big deal to just go back and touch them up.

The Dewalt 849x is still working well. I ordered a half dozen wool pads from Vintage Trailer and they are also working well. I find that I change pads quite often, so if you are starting out, I would recommend having a few on hand. I do use the pad cleaning tool / spur, it helps, but is no substitute for a new pad.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:36 PM   #26
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Here are a couple of photo that will show the progress so far. Weather will be the determining factor on how much more I get done before winter sets in.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #27
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Nice job Soyboy! I just started stripping a 66 Safari with Citristrip. It seems to be getting the job done. Like you said, it is nice to just go to Home Depot and get it off the shelf. The 10% Military discount is great too
Keep up the great work!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:56 PM   #28
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WOW! that looks great!
Please don't let Mrs. HiHo see your results......I'll be polishin' a 34' AND the 26'
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