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Old 06-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
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1963 16' Bambi
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Question Rust between interior panels?

Hi all, I'm a new member and so happy to find this community. We have some light orange rust in the seams between interior panels. Just enough to highlight the seams but not run down the interior walls. I'm sure the 'right' thing to do is to take all the panels off to find out what is rusting between the interior panels and exterior skin but we're just not equipped to do that. Clearly something is leaking and the rust stain in water is penetrating the interior panels at the seams and certain rivets. I am considering taking my dremel tool and burring out the color and then sealing with Naval Jelly or some other sealant, priming it with a solvent based primer since we plan to paint the interior with latex (we are not restoring accurately). Anyone had this before? Thanks in advance, BuffaloBambi
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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What you might be seeing is the results of a leak on the exterior, and the water running down the interior walls. It could be rust from screws or such, but it might be discoloured because the water runs through the insulation, picking up debris and colour, then deposits it where it leaks out. I wouldn't grind anything... you'll expose more metal. If it is really rust - try some CLR or other calcium/lime/rust remover. If that is what it is, it will wipe away with a cloth.

I have the same issue, and am going over every single rivet and seam to check for leaks...
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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There is very little in an Airstream wall that can rust. I would try to locate the source of the leaks, then clean things up. Possible sources: Vent stack flashings, vents, missing/loose rivets, panel seams, antennas, lights, letters and just about anything else that penetrates the outer skins...

Aaron
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree, that it's likely from the insulation and we do have a leak. Do you have a suggestion as to what to seal between the panels, something that is primable/paintable? Thanks so much!
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloBambi View Post
Yes, I agree, that it's likely from the insulation and we do have a leak. Do you have a suggestion as to what to seal between the panels, something that is primable/paintable? Thanks so much!
I wouldn't bother sealing the interior panels. If you do that you are just going to direct the water somewhere else where can cause more issues like rotting out wooden floors, cabinets or the steel frame. Fix the leaks then use something to clean the panels. CLR, Krud Kutter, mild bleach solution...

Aaron
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