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Old 09-01-2007, 03:25 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
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Removing old caulking

Hi all. I recently started restoring our '73 Overlander, which has been leaking for about 2 years in several places. I am unsure where all the leaks are, because in some places I think water is running down the inside of the walls and dripping out elsewhere. I decided to re-do all the caulking. It has been re-caulked before in several places that I can see, but most of the old caulking is that grey gummy stuff, which is really hard to remove. I have spent hours with a scraper and barely made a dent in it. Is there an easier way to remove the old caulking? Maybe some kind of stuff that will just dissolve it? Otherwise this is going to take forever! Thanks,

Nellie
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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Hi Nellie,

I just finished recaulking my '86 and did my '76 that I owned last year. There is really nothing that will take the old caulk out besides time, muscle & patience. I found that a dental pick type tool from Harbor Freight (with a bright orange handle) worked well for removing caulk from tight places. I also used a number of screwdrivers & a narrow chisel (nothing wider than the original caulk so that the new caulk would cover any scratches that I made). I used alot of blue tape to keep from making a mess & the lines all turned out pretty nicely. Just make sure you really press it into the edges. Before I caulked (with Vulkem, Parbond & Sikaflex--whatever the situation called for) I cleaned up with Mineral Spirits. It took a long time! I'm waiting for a good rain to see if the leaks are all sealed up. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nellie
Hi all. I recently started restoring our '73 Overlander, which has been leaking for about 2 years in several places. I am unsure where all the leaks are, because in some places I think water is running down the inside of the walls and dripping out elsewhere. I decided to re-do all the caulking. It has been re-caulked before in several places that I can see, but most of the old caulking is that grey gummy stuff, which is really hard to remove. I have spent hours with a scraper and barely made a dent in it. Is there an easier way to remove the old caulking? Maybe some kind of stuff that will just dissolve it? Otherwise this is going to take forever! Thanks,

Nellie
Two words - Aircraft Stripper!
Available in the automotive section at your local Wal-Mart.

Word of caution though -you mention "re-caulking".
Two more words - NO SILICONE!

I've used the aircraft stripper with great results. Popsicle sticks work great as scrapers so you won't damage the skin. The "grey gummy stuff" is probably Vulkem which is what you want to re-caulk with.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:25 AM   #4
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Aircraft stripper will help soften things up, but will also remove your clearcoat. If you're not planning on removing the clearcoat on your entire coach, it's not the thing for you. It also eats plastic as well as your skin. You have to be very careful with it!. I plan on removing all of my clearcoat, so I used some for that purpose. I ruined my tail lights with it and also marred my stripe. I should have taped them, but I was working toward the top of the coach & didn't think it would still do damage by the time it got down there after being rinsed with water. Wrong. Anyhow, be very cautious if you do use it, and don't use it near any of your new caulk. I plan on removing the rest of my clearcoat with Removeall.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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Very good points Becky. Mine was "pre-clearcoat" so I didn't even think of that.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. The clearcoat has also failed, so needs to be redone anyway. I have a lot of work ahead, so anything to save time is greatly appreciated. We are also approaching the rainy season, so I'm hoping to get this done before I have to tarp everything.

Nellie
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