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Old 11-06-2006, 12:07 AM   #1
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Does anyone have any tips on removing silicone?

Hi, I have just put the body of my 64' soveregn back onto the restored chassis, am currently stripping flashings and rails etc. to prep for exterior work. I am wondering if anyone can help me with any info on removing excessive amounts of silicone that has been left around penetrations and skylights. At the moment, I am using acetone and a synthetic scotchpad and truckloads of elbow grease! I'm in New Zealand, so brand names may not correspond here. Any help appreciated.
Regards,
Pete the feet.
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:10 AM   #2
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I'm at work right now and can't give you any specifics, but I was in the A/S dealership this week and they had a silicone removal product in there. I don't know anything about it, it just caught my eye on the shelf. Hopefully someone else can be more help.
Dave
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:04 AM   #3
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Pete the feet, I have no experience with this product, but noticed it as I was browsing through the site the other day. Perhaps a similar item is available in New Zealand?

By the way, welcome to the forums!
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:15 AM   #4
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The Dow-Corning site used to state there was "no known solvent for silicone" but at the hardware store on Saturday I saw a tube of silicone remover - maybe they've changed the formulations like they had to w/ superglue so it wouldn't poison the surfaces forever, it may help get it out of the surface pores, etc.. The remover may work similar to a cleaning product called dirtex that has surfacants strong enough to cause auto windshield rear-view mirrors glue to fail and fall off a day or two after washing windshield with it, so maybe applying it or another industrial strength detergent will help it seperate if you have a few days to let it work.

I've never tried the remover, I use the cured bead against itself to try and get it to peel off cleanly - once you razor blade it the thin remaining residue seems extra gnarly. Rubbing off remaining traces works for me but I've never tackled dozens of feet of silicone slug slime...
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:26 AM   #5
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One more tip...

Forgot to mention, beer also helps the situation.

A PO gunked a lot of silicone all over the windows and around the vents of our Caravel, and I used a plastic razor blade to pull up the big chunks. Gasket remover dabbed on a rag and held on the silicone seemed to loosen it a bit as well.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:20 PM   #6
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Thankyou all so much for your helpful suggestions to date, I think I'll start with the cold beer option (just kidding!), from time to time, I do purchase products from the U.S. so if I cannot find a corresponding product here, I may get suggested silicone removers imported, although with any luck that part of the job will be finished by then. Thanks again.
Regards,
Pete.
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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We used Permatex Gasket Remover and lots of sharpened popsicle sticks & rags to get all the old silicone off ours. Seemed to work pretty well but still a nasty job I don't want to go through again ~

Shari
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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I have been told that charcoal lighter fluid will crumble the silicone. I haven't given it a try yet, but if it works I am all for it. I have a citrus based solvent that will, eventually soften the silicone. It is just as hard on the clear coat as gasket remover.

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Old 11-06-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
It is just as hard on the clear coat as gasket remover.

Aaron
Yes, the gasket remover will probably strip the clearcoat too...but we were doing that anyways.

Shari
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:40 PM   #10
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Pete,
I had the same problem in areas of my Sovereign. I asked a body shop about it and the suggested a pin stripe remover wheel. It's made by 3M and is basically a round rubber eraser wheel that mounts to a 3/8" chuck drill. You get it going and gently touch it to the silicone. The wheel heats the silicone up and the tackiness of the wheel just pulls it off. Worked great for me and only cost $10 or so and seems to last forever. Just my .02 man.
-Don
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