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Old 08-22-2004, 12:04 AM   #113
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Like I have said before...

Coat the entire trailer with your polish of choice. Rub it all over from top to bottom.

Then pull it thorugh an automatic car wash at the gas station with all those spinning brushes and buffing wheels.

I'm sure you'd get some kind of results then
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:07 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Like I have said before...
Coat the entire trailer with your polish of choice. Rub it all over from top to bottom.
Then pull it thorugh an automatic car wash at the gas station with all those spinning brushes and buffing wheels.
I'm sure you'd get some kind of results then
One result would be the loss of my original Winegard tv antenna.
And, considering that the present economy has driven the price of a quarter to 75 cents, it just isn't a viable option for me.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:31 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG
Alclad is a coating much like gold plated costume jewerly is and it makes the aluminum more resistive to corresion. The harm in removing this coating is that you are getting it down to the pure aluminum which is less resistant to corresion and your shine will not last as long. Even very fine sandpaper can tear away the alclad and get into the pure metal. By very fine I am talking about a 2000 to 3500 grit paper.
John G:

My understanding is that the aluminum panels in older Airstreams are made of aluminum alloy that is structurally stronger than pure aluminum, and the alcad is a thin top coating of pure aluminum that provides the "shine" when polished. I don't think alcad makes the underlying panel more resistive to corresion; it is the pure alcad top coat that itself corrodes, and polishing removes this corrosion (or oxidation as I understand it). If carried too far, excessive polishing removes the alcad. Once the alcad is removed, the exposed underlying alloy panel would seem to be more difficult to shine to a mirror finish.

Could you double check you understanding and description of the composition of the alcad top coat and the underlying panel? Our opposite understandings might arise from discussing trailers from different eras. But I thought newer trailers did not have any alcad top coat, and therefore were more difficult to polish to a mirror shine than older trailers. Thanks for taking a second look at your above excerpted statement.
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:34 PM   #116
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Amount of SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium
Bob,

What size is the bottle listed at the website you posted? Is it 32oz?

Others,

I saw some mention earlier that it might take 3 bottles for a 31' AS. Does anyone have any recent feedback on the number (and size) of bottles needed?

Has anyone compared SS to Gord's?

Thanks,

Malcolm
Malcom,
We have used 32 oz on one side, however, you might not want to use us as an example, we have been through trial and error on our technique. I think we have it figured out but we will have to order another 32 oz to finish. I think the big thing we had to figure out is to constantly wipe clean the black oxidation. Does everyone agree??? My husband is about to wring my neck. He just wanted to give the Airstream a nice wax and told him all about the mirror finsh process and boy howdee, he is not a happy polisher right now, but he is doing a good job.

I ordered from www.southernshine.net but it took 22 days to finally get my order. I will be trying Bob's web site recommendation for this next order.
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Old 08-22-2004, 08:26 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75Airstream500
Malcom,
We have used 32 oz on one side, however, you might not want to use us as an example, we have been through trial and error on our technique. I think we have it figured out but we will have to order another 32 oz to finish. I think the big thing we had to figure out is to constantly wipe clean the black oxidation. Does everyone agree???
Probably my biggest discovery was that I was changing rags far too often. The black goop will turn into a shine if you're doing small sections at a time. The black goo contains the abrasive that is the key to a good shine.
My experience is that each panel can be done with two cloths, a terry to abrade and a cotton to clean.
Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 08-22-2004, 09:51 PM   #118
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Ss

Just ordered my second round of 32 oz from Bob's suggested site. After I sent my order I realized that Bob's "Steeda" site doesn't offer a discount for larger quantities ordered as the www.southernshine.net did. Steeda charges a flat 12.95 for each 8 oz ($51.80 for 32 oz) whereas SS.net charges $39.00 for a 32 oz order. So to sum it up, you pay a higher price for faster service or a nice discount and a good long wait.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:44 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
John G:

My understanding is that the aluminum panels in older Airstreams are made of aluminum alloy that is structurally stronger than pure aluminum, and the alcad is a thin top coating of pure aluminum that provides the "shine" when polished. I don't think alcad makes the underlying panel more resistive to corresion; it is the pure alcad top coat that itself corrodes, and polishing removes this corrosion (or oxidation as I understand it). If carried too far, excessive polishing removes the alcad. Once the alcad is removed, the exposed underlying alloy panel would seem to be more difficult to shine to a mirror finish.

Could you double check you understanding and description of the composition of the alcad top coat and the underlying panel? Our opposite understandings might arise from discussing trailers from different eras. But I thought newer trailers did not have any alcad top coat, and therefore were more difficult to polish to a mirror shine than older trailers. Thanks for taking a second look at your above excerpted statement.
Alclad by definition is; Composite sheet produced by bonding either corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy or aluminum of high purity to base metal of structurally stronger aluminum alloy. The coatings are anodic to the core so they protect exposed areas of the core electrolytically during exposure to corrosive environment.(definition from Kaiser Aluminum Website: http://www.kaisertwd.com/CustomerSer...A_Glossary.asp ) This is a good place to look up the meaning of any term related to aluminum.

I am sure that the alclad picks up corrosion also as do all metals and alloys, and this is why you will find corresion on the shell. The idea is to create a protective barrier to the core by placing a more resistive outer skin on it, and thus alclad.

I believe that I read on the Perfect Polish website that the newer trailers without 2024-T3 Alclad aluminum were not able to be polished. I disagree as any metal can be polished however the best results will be obtailed from non-porous metals.

Perhaps they meant that the Airstreams that were newer would be much harder to polish to a mirror finish and this could be true depending on the aluminum used. Example the Wortihington aluminum LP tanks can be polished and made to look as if they were chrome plated, and I don't think this aluminum is the same type as ever used on an AS.

I'm not sure which year that AS changed the type of aluminum used, nor why they changed. As I understand it the 2024-T3 was much stronger but it does cost twice the price also. This could be why they changed, too bad because they did reduce the quality by using a lessor grade of aluminum at that point. Andy, from Inland RV can probably tell you what year they changed, and what material they changed to, and possibly why.
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:00 PM   #120
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Good advice-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Probably my biggest discovery was that I was changing rags far too often. The black goop will turn into a shine if you're doing small sections at a time. The black goo contains the abrasive that is the key to a good shine.
My experience is that each panel can be done with two cloths, a terry to abrade and a cotton to clean.
Different strokes for different folks.
The way I did it was to leave all the black on until the end of the day and then wipe with a soft diaper with flour- took about 30 minutes for one whole side of the trailer- getting into the seams and around the windows. I do this after the second pass- with the yellow pad. It gets such a good shine that I can actually see fine scratches from the diaper if I apply too much pressure. I could of course use those 3M microfiber cloths, but less pressure seemed to cure it. I average about 6 diapers for the whole trailer. Pretty efficient.
The black doesn't seem to get any harder to remove from one day to the next if you miss some as well- so no stress there. Cheers, Peter
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:26 PM   #121
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Does anyone know if there is an abrasive of any kind or grade in the SS?? Can it be used on newer (Alcoa Plasticoat) to remove or minimize minor scratches (not through the coating)???
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:22 PM   #122
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When my friend and I ordered a case of SS from the manufacturer, he sent us half of the case with a higher abrasive content. SS needs to shaken before using but before shaking the bottle, you can see the line of separation between the two different liquids. On the bottles with the higher abrasive, that level of the thicker liquid was an inch or so higher than the less abrasive bottle. SS has a mild abrasive in it. You can tell when you rub it between your fingertips although its barely discernable. It should work on your clearcoat.

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Old 08-26-2004, 10:27 AM   #123
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Yep, there's no doubt about that. With hand rubbing and a little pressure, you can readily remove clearcoat with SS. I'm not recommending that, but I've done it and I know it works, at least on my clearcoat.

I just got my bottle of Gord's. I'll hand test this weekend at the Forum rally in Vermont. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get a few willing volunteers to join the testing process, on my trailer!

Gord's separates even faster than SS, so you definitely need to follow the directions and shake it frequently. Just standing for a few hours, it will completely separate into 90% clear liquid (mineral spirits?) and 10% greenish sludge.

By the way, don't get the idea I'm going to come back this weekend making a recommendation of SS vs Gord's vs Nuvite vs Rolite vs Mother's vs Met-All, etc. I'm going to play with the Gord's a little, not polish an entire trailer with it. To date, my experience and that of others has been that there is no "magic bullet" solution. I will comment on what Gord's did in brief testing and let others take it from there.
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Old 08-26-2004, 11:51 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rluhr
I just got my bottle of Gord's. I'll hand test this weekend at the Forum rally in Vermont. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get a few willing volunteers to join the testing process, on my trailer!

.

I have 2 alluminum tanks that I'd be happy to volunteer for this test. you could polish one with Gords, the other with SS, and we'll post the pics afterward.

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Old 09-05-2004, 11:56 PM   #125
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All finished!

I finally completed the SS polishing project on my '71 Caravel 2 days ago, not to my complete satisfaction but I decided enough was enough. Some areas shined up much better than others.
I had a buyer waiting in the wings, pending the outcome of the polishing job and sold the coach yesterday, so I guess I didn't botch it up too badly.
My next Airstream will be bought for pure enjoyment with only necessary maintenance to keep it operating and looking good. No more polishing for me, be it SS or any other method.
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Old 09-06-2004, 01:26 AM   #126
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Hey Rog

How long did it take you and what would you say the level of difficulty was? Say 1 is a cake walk and 10 is very difficult.

Guess your glad to be finished! After all that why did you sell?
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