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Old 02-19-2014, 12:04 PM   #1
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Redondo Beach , California
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Shining up all the ext. trim

I've decided to not strip and polish my '71 Globetrotter since the clearcoat is in pretty good shape, and I kind of like the vintage patina. However, I think it would look incredible if I removed all the attached aluminum pieces and polished them to a mirror.

Here are my questions: What is the order that you would do things for longevity, and what products are the best?

As a test piece I removed the over-the-door light cover and wire wheeled all the oxidation off, then sanded it up to 1500 grit, and it was shiny as a new penny. I didn't apply any sealer or wax but just reinstalled it, thinking I would put something on in a day or two. That turned into a month, and it looks worse than before! Completely rough and re-oxidized.

Any advice out there so I don't spin my wheels again?

Thanks
Ben
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
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1955 16' Bubble
claremore , Oklahoma
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Ben,
I don't claim to be an expert,but when you "wire wheeled" the oxidation off,was the wire wheel made of steel or aluminum? I worked at American Airlines and mechanics NEVER use steel wire on aluminum due to "dissimiliar metals" will lead to corossion. Most,if not all,trim pieces like the light cover are made with a different metal then the trailer's skin and should shine up extremely well.....walt...tulsa,ok
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:18 AM   #3
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Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
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I think Walt is on the money with the steel wheel guess. Tiny bits of wire break off those wheels and embed themselves in the alloy. I've seen a few seasoned techs use stainless stranded wire to strip corrosion in very hard to reach areas but it's not a great idea.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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A lot of those "trim" pieces (marker light mounts, letters, emblem plates, door handles, etc.) are made of cast pot metal. If you get too aggressive with your sanding/grinding, wire-wheeling, you will expose voids in the castings, and have an ugly mess. Some items, like KT lock door handles are plated cast pot metal. Nothing short of re-plating them will restore them to a like-new shine.

I shined up most of my trim pieces with a very fine grit sand paper, and then buffed them. I put a clear coat on (Krylon or Rustoleum, as I remember), but it hasn't stayed put very well. Will scrape off with a fairly light touch.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Redondo Beach , California
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Thanks for the tips. Any idea of a product that you could apply to the finely sanded and polished trim pieces that would keep it protected from corrosion without flaking off easily?

Maybe this is like looking for a unicorn...
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:51 PM   #6
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Well, there are a couple of unicorns mentioned in the following thread, but it is yet to be clear whether they are unicorns or just, um, something else...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...um-112718.html
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