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Old 03-09-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
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***strip clearcoat and no polish??

this is a photo of the current condition of the exterior of my '75 land yacht.

the clearcoat is in such poor condition...i'd like to do a stripping(napier 220 seems like the thing to use)...but i don't have the time right now to get into the polishing....so here's the question:

is there anything wrong with stripping the clearcoat and leaving the aluminum "bare" for awhile? Maybe until next summer.

any comments would be much appreciated. Thank you
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by vancouverG View Post
this is a photo of the current condition of the exterior of my '75 land yacht.

the clearcoat is in such poor condition...i'd like to do a stripping(napier 220 seems like the thing to use)...but i don't have the time right now to get into the polishing....so here's the question:

is there anything wrong with stripping the clearcoat and leaving the aluminum "bare" for awhile? Maybe until next summer.

any comments would be much appreciated. Thank you
The unprotected aluminum will oxidize.

Why not wait to strip the coach until your ready to polish?

That would make the job easier.

Andy
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:42 PM   #3
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Or paint.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
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Yes you can strip it and wait to polish it a year or so...the amount it will advance the oxidation is negligible in the scheme of things and the milkiness of the 35 year old clearcoat will be gone so it'll look better in the meantime. It's no different than once it is polished having to do a touchup every couple of years. Depending on how dry/humid your area is, there might not even be noticalbe difference - the more humid it id though, the more it will oxidize.

However, the longer you wait to polish the more oxidized it will get. But it will be more "even" all over compared to more of a delta between the aluminum that is exposed due to failed clearcoat and that which is still protected. Because where the clearcoat has failed the aluminum actually has gotten etched over 35+ years.

FWIW, we didn't strip & polish our '64 in the same year and the "additional work" didn't make a dent in the overall amount of time spent. How would you measure it anyways?

Shari
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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A member "adonh" has a thread about his results with pictures.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...6-a-60778.html
If that link doesn't work, the title is "Strip Clear Coat 1976"
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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is there anything wrong with stripping the clearcoat and leaving the aluminum "bare" for awhile?

My 1976 Sovereign looks a lot like yours when I bought in 2000. The clear coat looked like it was melting downing the sides. There was no Air Forum then so I decided to just go ahead and strip it, what the heck. I used the BIX stripper that I found at Home Depot, the thick brush on kind and started with small areas, let it sit for a few minutes and then used a stiff brush and water to remove. Underneath that old clear coat was a good looking Airstream. Not polished by any means, but pretty shinny. That was 10 years ago. I still plan on polishing it one day "when I get the time" but I would have sure hated to drive around with that ugly old clear cost all these years waiting until I could polish it. Go for it.

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Old 03-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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Our 280 Classic Motorhome was stripped, and not polished, I used a really good automobile wax ( polymer) sealant on it and it looked great for a long time afterwards. Shiny but not mirror.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
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The unprotected aluminum will oxidize.

Why not wait to strip the coach until your ready to polish?

That would make the job easier.

Andy
it just looks so bad right now, i'm hoping that stripping would at least make it look a little more uniform
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:28 PM   #9
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i'm hoping that stripping would at least make it look a little more uniform
You will be amazed at the results. Any scratches or imperfections will still be there, but it will look so much better than before stripping. I wash mine with liquid auto polish/wash and its stored in a garage type storage.Make sure you remove any plastic such as tail light and running lifgt covres and the blue molding inserts and rock guard. If you have awning you need to be careful around them. Good luck.

Don
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:37 PM   #10
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it just looks so bad right now, i'm hoping that stripping would at least make it look a little more uniform
Keep in mind, that "salt water" is an acid to aluminum.

When you remove all the clear coat, the entire shell will be exposed to that salty atmosphere, instead of just some of it, as it now sits.

Andy
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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it just looks so bad right now, i'm hoping that stripping would at least make it look a little more uniform
Hi vancouverG, Is your Airstream in Fairbanks, AK like your profile states? Salt water would not be a big concern there. It's about 350 miles inland if I remember correctly.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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Damage is never a concern to property that belongs to someone else.

Overnight exposure, is more than enough to get the corrosion problem under way.

Facts are facts.

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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Overnight exposure, is more than enough to get the corrosion problem under way.
Really???!!! Well then...I'm truly amazed there are any pre-64 Airstreams in existence at all! They didn't start clearcoating them until then. I'm shocked my 1956 never-clearcoated, never-polished Safari hasn't just oxidized away to nothing in 54 years!!! You'd think it would have gapping holes in it by now...

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it just looks so bad right now, i'm hoping that stripping would at least make it look a little more uniform
It will.

Shari
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:14 PM   #14
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Overnight exposure, is more than enough to get the corrosion problem under way. Facts are facts. Andy
Andy I would never disagree with you because what you say is correct. But Its been 10 years since I striped my 1976 A/S and I still have not had the time or resources to polish it. I can't imagine driving around with the old clear coat melting down the sides. It looked horrible. It reminded me of the line from that old sound, MacArthur Park , someone left the cake out in the rain". Don't ask me to sing it.

Anyway my A/S probably has oxidized some in the past 10 years but I don't see anything that would be classified as damage. I think when I do polish it it will come out fine. Here is a pdf picture package that shows very recent pictures of the outside all around as well as some other pictures. Its easier to load this than looking for the individual exterior pictures. You can see the scratches and blemishes but it still looks pretty close to what it did 10 years ago. The end caps and the curves on the front and rear appear to be less shinny in the pictures but in person its hard to see any real difference in the finish. And if you scroll through the pictures you can see the new Henchen axles and Kodiak disc brakes from Inland RV as well.

Don
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