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Old 05-01-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
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I've attached a photo of the outside of an Airstream. Can the sanding (or whatever caused the swirls) be buffed out giving her a like new skin? Thank you
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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What were they thinking....

I'm sure those with polishing experience will chime in to help.

It's hard to tell from the pic's, it does look like the scratches are pretty deep and may have compromised the alloy coating.

POI...$6995 may be a little over the top, are you the new owner?

Bob
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:45 AM   #3
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Nuvite makes polishes for aluminum and is what I used to polish mine. They may be able to recommend something to you if you contact them

http://www.nuvitechemical.com/c-56-m...ii-system.aspx
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #4
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I'm going think that I doubt it - its probably through the alclad - which is a very thin layer that gives it its shine - at minimum it will take an incredible amount of work -

What did they use? I know some have used Brillo, ....... this looks like they used a grinder

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Old 05-01-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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I have no experience with polishing Airstreams, but I have experience with polishing in general, and automotive body work, and I would say if you can "feel" the scratches with a fingernail, polishing them out is not practical.

However, it looks like a perfect initial start for a paint job.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I didn't buy; rather located it. The current asking price is well below the sticker price. I just can't imagine owning an airstream that may be unable to regain its smooth shine. If I take the time to drive the 300 miles I'll give it the fingernail test

Thanks again. The search continues...
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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It has been my experience that once sanded the alum. cannot be brought back to a mirror shine without a great deal of effort and $, and even then, it's not as deep of a shine because of the removal of alum. clad. (Even less pure alum. with the 70's era). With polishing, there is only oxidation removal and a shifting or smoothing of the micro valleys and hills in the alum.
At this point, one might consider a paint job with a clear coat ....that also is expensive, but I have seen several that look very similar to the original factory look. Good luck with either direction you decide to take.

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Old 05-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong - how did you come about the thought that those are scratches? They look like a poor attempt at removing the clearcoat PRIOR to doing a polish job on it. If that's the case then it's just a matter of removing the rest and polishing - something I would rather not do either.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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Agh - NO - scratches it is - sorry.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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vinyl wrap

there are a number of places now that will "wrap" a vehicle by cutting vinyl "decals" (big un's). this would be another option. it is my understanding this method is less expensive than painting. still gonna cost, tho.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #11
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Wow. Looks like a good start for paint prep. I've seen painted Airstreams that looked so good you'd never know they were painted.

BigAl's rig looks amazing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:44 PM   #12
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Just depends how deep the sanding went. I used a paint scraper on my Argosy and most scratches polished out or well enough you can not see them from 5feet away. It would be a lot of work but it could be made to look better. The easiest would be take a paint roller to it and paint it like an Argosy.
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