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Old 03-16-2005, 08:06 PM   #1
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Thumbs up To Polish or not to Polish, that is the Question?

I recented bought a 1997 Excella with an immaculate interior. The exterior, however, is a different story. The clearcoat or plasticoat is peeling in places. The curbside looks pretty good with only a few minor spots needing a clearcoat replacement. The roadside is a different story. Large spots are peeling and it looks very unsightly. I've been doing lots of research on this site and your opinions have been very informative. It appears from your opinions that I have four choices:

1. Strip and replace clearcoat
2. Strip and repaint metallic silver
3. Strip, polish, and clearcoat
4. Strip

The last option appears to be the cheapest and easist option. The folks at Oasis RV in Tucson quoted me a price of $3,700 to strip and recoat. When I asked them about leaving the finish as is after stripping they advised me not to do it. I wonder if that's just business talk, though. After all, they have a vested interest in telling me to do it.

What's your opinion on leaving the metal unfinished after stripping? Good idea or bad idea? For those who think it's a good idea, what was the result of leaving the metal untreated after a year or two? Oh yeah, I live in a hot and dry climate (Phoenix), so your opinions on climate and finish are welcome, too.

Thanks,
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:29 PM   #2
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Post No Opinion?

Nobody has advice on this topic???? Come on folks!
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Old 03-19-2005, 10:29 PM   #3
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Mike:
The reason A/S's are clear-coated from the get-go is that raw aluminum oxidizes. Being in a dry climate like PHX is of some benefit but it's air polution (which you've definitely got!) and water (which sometimes you've got !) that are the culprits. The process is speedier if you were to live in a coastal region.
My best advice is to 'stay tuned' and wait for the test results of a promising replacement for Plasticoat, which myself and an associate are working on. Results should be available before summer. It will be a user-friendly product that you can easily apply yourself with a min.10 year lifespan.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:24 PM   #4
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We've decided to go with a fifth option:

5. Strip, polish & wax

Yes, the bare (waxed) aluminum will oxidize over time, but with a touch-up of the polish job with the cyclo once a year, in our dry climate it's not been too bad. Basically the touch-up is a social thing with a couple of friends over a weekend or two at the beginning of the season. I would imagine AZ's climate would have similar results...

My personal opinion is that just about every clearcoat process will need to be maintained to some degree and it will eventually fail (it is after all just paint - which ages, chips, scratches) and you will be faced with the same monumental task/decision again when it does. We have chosen to spend the time & energy polishing a little bit each year rather than it being a big deal & expense every 5-10 years. If we lived in a damp coastal region, my opinion may be different.

You just have to decide which option best suits your lifestyle.

Shari
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:21 AM   #5
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"Betty" needs you!

"Betty" is parked next to a saltwater estuary in hot, humid coastal South Carolina (just behind those trees in the pic at left). Her clear coat is failing, and i am not sure what i should do about protecting her skin.

I'd love to polish her up, but frankly that's probably just a waste of time considering her environment--unless i can find a hard-wearing and reliable way to seal the polished aluminum from the salt spray. Any ideas?
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Old 03-20-2005, 04:43 AM   #6
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Talking

A promising lead would be:
www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=246
This has been talked about before but, as of yet, to my knowledge..Hasn't been tried by anyone on the forum...
You just might be that person..

ciao
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:51 AM   #7
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Creampuff are you...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creampuff
Mike:
My best advice is to 'stay tuned' and wait for the test results of a promising replacement for Plasticoat, which myself and an associate are working on. Results should be available before summer. It will be a user-friendly product that you can easily apply yourself with a min.10 year lifespan.
Creampuff,
Are you talking about POR-15? Or another product?
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Old 03-20-2005, 07:28 AM   #8
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I'll do some research on the POR 15. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
A promising lead would be:
www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=246
This has been talked about before but, as of yet, to my knowledge..Hasn't been tried by anyone on the forum...
You just might be that person..

ciao
53FC
I was really interested in Glisten and talked at length with the tech rep about testing it. In the final analysis, it did not promise ease of application (a 2-part system) and it would not be easy to touch-up.
As I stated in my earlier post, the product I am currently testing ( and hope to distribute) promises to be 'the magic bullet' for all our unique A/S problems. Results will be available and posted on the Forums before summer. This product already has a proven history in aerospace and marine apps. but I want to make sure it's user friendly and will stand up on our A/S 's in the long haul. Stay tuned!
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:25 AM   #10
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I'm looking forward to hearing all about it . . .



Quote:
Originally Posted by Creampuff
I was really interested in Glisten and talked at length with the tech rep about testing it. In the final analysis, it did not promise ease of application (a 2-part system) and it would not be easy to touch-up.
As I stated in my earlier post, the product I am currently testing ( and hope to distribute) promises to be 'the magic bullet' for all our unique A/S problems. Results will be available and posted on the Forums before summer. This product already has a proven history in aerospace and marine apps. but I want to make sure it's user friendly and will stand up on our A/S 's in the long haul. Stay tuned!
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:23 AM   #11
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I'm not so sure about clear coats. Our Overlander had a clear coat that was pretty thin as was evidenced when we stripped it using the Removall SV135. It polished up great, had virtually no filiform corrosion or other pitting, which was surprising because prior to stripping it looked really crappy. Now comes our Caravel, which looked really pretty decent and is five years newer (67). I stripped it with the Removall and it's clear coat was really thick. This weekend I started compounding it with Nuvite F7, as I had done with the Overlander. Number one it took twice as much F7 to get an area to shine and number two all this corrosion has shown up as fine pits, almost like the pores on your skin and some areas are really pitted. It's pretty disheartening because the older Airstream that looked so shoddy cleaned up so much better. The F7 is not getting to the bottom of the corrosion so now I've got some Nuvite G6 on order. My theory, and I might have read this elsewhere on this forum, is that salt or some other elements may penetrate microscopic holes in the clear coat causing the aluminum to corrode underneath. The situation may have actually been worsened by the clear coat by trapping the corrosive agents against the skin, sort of like water that is trapped in wood allowing rot spores to grow. In short, I would personally get the clear coat off because of possible long term damage like what I see on the Caravel, which by the way came from Arizona.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:35 AM   #12
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The Por product is labor intensive by the directions. But if it works.

http://www.por15.com/uploads/files/glisten%20pc%20directions.pdf
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
The Por product is labor intensive by the directions. But if it works.

http://www.por15.com/uploads/files/glisten%20pc%20directions.pdf


I'd love to try this stuff - but the cost of it, plus the fact that you'd want a virtually dust-free environment in which to apply it sort of steers me away. I may yet use it to refinish my aluminum wheels, though...
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:34 AM   #14
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Would wax provide enough protection in a corrosive, salt-spray environment? How deeply does aluminum corrode? I seem to remember television antennas (normal ones, not those on Airstreams!) being so eaten up that they fell apart at a touch. Would the metal form a 'crust' and be relatively stable after that, or would it continue to corrode until it does real (more than cosmetic) damage?

I'm so confused . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by 62 Overlander
My theory, and I might have read this elsewhere on this forum, is that salt or some other elements may penetrate microscopic holes in the clear coat causing the aluminum to corrode underneath. The situation may have actually been worsened by the clear coat by trapping the corrosive agents against the skin, sort of like water that is trapped in wood allowing rot spores to grow. In short, I would personally get the clear coat off because of possible long term damage like what I see on the Caravel, which by the way came from Arizona.
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