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Old 04-07-2004, 05:31 PM   #15
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Astrodokk, If you have the repaint done be sure they use a self-etching primer, that is the best thing to use on any metal. I painted some chrome bumpers back in the 70s and it help up, if holds to chrome it will most likely hold to anything. Marvin
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:23 PM   #16
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Happy82301

Self etching primer "IS NOT" to be used on an Airstream.

It will not adhere correctly.

Ask those that have tried it.

There are "NO" short cuts to what I outlined above.

Anything short of that is wishful thinking, that ends up in failure, gauranteed!!!!

A good paint job, must stand the test of time, not ought to, or it should.

Painting an Airstream is very labor intensive and costly. Suggesting a method that has not been proven, could lead someone to find out the hard, expensive way. Remember that the basic do-it-yourselfer, is looking for cheap short cuts. When it comes to painting, the cheapest short cut is to spray can it, then offer it for immediate sale on an "as is basis" on e-bay.

If you plan on keeping it, stay with the "proven" and not the heresay.

Andy
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:38 PM   #17
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Andy, I have never used it on aluminum but on most other metals with nothing but good results and it says it is good for aluminum also. I plan on using it on my Argosy this summer so we will see what happens. I will let you know as I plan on keeping this for a few years. Thanks Marvin
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:46 PM   #18
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Please also let us know how many rivets you had to replace because of the "self etch" primer.

It will burn rings through the new paint, around each rivet head, in time.

We have repainted Airstreams that have been primered with self etching.

Additionally, it does not, can not, and will not provide an adequate bond to the metal, for the long haul. Wash it with a pressure washer and watch what happens.

Oue method has been tested with a 3000 PSI pressure washer. No failures!!!

Andy

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Old 04-07-2004, 06:54 PM   #19
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I will let you know Andy. We might be coming to California next winter and would like to stop and meet you. Thanks Marvin
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:22 PM   #20
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Andy;

ThanX for posting the Step-By-Step painting process. Not many people in the "Biz" would make the effort to give away their trade secrets, and in such detail.

It is posts and contributions like this that give me the enjoyment I get from Moderating the Restoration Sub-Forums.

-BobbyW
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:04 PM   #21
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Sealing the lap seams! I finished the first sanding today and started sealing the lap seams which have voids. To prepare the seams, I'm cleaning them out using a dentists pick which I bought at a flea market. To seal the seams, I'm using a product called "Alcoa Gutterseal" which I purchased from: http://www.airstreamdreams.com/ the claim is "Unlike Vulkem or Parbond, Gutterseal wicks into seams, making it a popular choice for sealing between panels". The tube the Alcoa Gutterseal comes in has a tip that is too big to get into tight seams, so I purchased some West System #807 syringes from Boaters World. They have a nice small tip. I transfer some Alcoa Gutterseal to a syringe, then inject the sealant into the lap joint. Cleanup is with M-E-K on paper towels. The syringe can inject into openings as narrow as about 1/32". As for the product wicking into seams, it doesn't for me, I have to inject it but it is fairly easy. I'm not finished, but so far, it appears I'll be able to do most of my very small seams with a single tube of the Alcoa. It really acts like a great material and the finished surface has a very aluminum look.

Worrying that I might not be able to do it all with a single tube of Alcoa, I called a couple aluminum gutter installers to see if there was more Alcoa Gutterseal here in Corpus Christi. One installer said they use Ruscoe Permanent Seal instead of the Alcoa, and the Ruscoe is incredible but the only problem was they won't sell it to me. Searching Google using the term "Ruscoe" I found the product and its claims. Ruscoe claims it is an extremely durable "permanent" sealant for adhering aluminum to other materials. When at Home Depot, I went to the gutter department to see if they had a comparable material. Yes, it is called "Seamer Mate" and it is a tripolymer product which comes in small tubes as well as caulking tubes. Its claim: Permanent Bond Guaranteed, UV Resistant, Can Be Applied Under Water, and Semi-Self Leveling. It can be used on joints as large as 1/4" x 1/4", and it has a great aluminum look very much like the Alcoa Gutterseal.

My Airstream has a couple different sealants that were used at the factory. Sadly, the polyurethanes have not held up that well, but some of the sealants are still in great shape and they look just like the Seamer Mate Product. Permanent Bond Guaranteed and UV Resistant, now that is what I'm looking for. I'll use the Seamer Mate in all locations up to 3/16" wide. For larger seams, and there aren't many of those, I'll use the Vulkem 636 from Airstream Dreams.

For the record, I've been around sailboats and Rv's since the late 60's, and was a registered architect until I retired 3 years ago, and the only successful application of silicone sealants I've ever seen was on mitered glass corner windows in buildings. West Marine's website claims silicone adheres best to products which have "silica" in them. No silica in aluminum or fiberglass!
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Old 04-08-2004, 12:38 AM   #22
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Has anyone had problems with damaging their grass or plants from the run-off of all these chemicals? I know at Peterbilt motors the paint rooms have special filtering vents and recovery tanks for any run offs. and the people all wear major moon suits. I know there is a big difference between 50 trucks/day and one airstream, but those chemicals are REALLY toxic, especially getting in ground water. Any safer methods? silver suz.
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:55 AM   #23
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The driveway where I did the paint stripping slopes one way, so all the stripping residue, and there was considerable amounts of it, went to the low side. The first day or two this residue was thick and "gummy", but as the paint stripper evaporated, it left behind only the dried particles of clearcoat. On going work in the area has crushed these clearcoat particles into small pieces which have spread out in the grass and are now hardly noticable. There has been no burning whatsever of the carpet grass (St. Augustine)along the driveway. The soil at my home has a very high PI (plasticity index) meaning it is almost pure clay and it has been raining quite a bit and the soil is fairly moisture saturated so I doubt any of the stripper soaked into the soil. When the clay is that moist, additional moisture just ponds on top.

I'm convinced the stripper remnants evaporated and were carried away by the wind. IF I read some of the dire posts about paint stripper correctly, the danger of methylene chloride is two sided. The vapors can be inhaled and the liquid can be absorbed by the skin. If you inhale the vapors in concentrated amounts, your liver processes the vapors ( or skin absorbtions)into carbon monoxide giving you carbon monoxide poisoning (like automobile exhaust poisoning). We all breath in diluted amounts of automobile exhaust every day. Imagine setting in traffic waiting for the light to change. The key here is concentration levels. Strip paint indoors in an enclosed area and you have high concentrations and it's dangerous. Outside in the wind is much much less dangerous, similar to a bad traffic day. One of my learned friends is a professor and his favorite saying is: "the solution to polution is dilution" !
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:16 AM   #24
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Andy,
What is the difference between the aircraft primer and paint ( and where do you buy it) and automotive primer and paint for aluminum? I painted my Series111 Land Rover ( aluminum body panels) with Glasserit(spelling?) etching primer and then epoxy paint with no clear coat.It's held up well.
I certainly don't question your method, Just wondering about the differences. It's good to have someone who really knows the correct way to paint an Airstream, and is willing to share that knowledge.
Jack
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:53 AM   #25
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Jack.

I don't know what the difference between the two primers really is.

I am from the old school.

If it's not broke, don't fix it. Also, time is the true test of anything.

Our system has passed that test, hands down. See the previous photo.

Others may have an equal to or better system, but until time has confirmed the method or materials, then I have to stand pat.

Dupont itself, cannot offer an improvement to our method.

Someday perhaps, but not today.

The time and materials involved don't warrant a research project by any do-it-yourselfer. However, if they have money and time to burn, that's OK with me.

Andy
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #26
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I have to admit I hadn't even thought about having my AS painted, but it's sure sounding like a better idea than repolishing every couple years. Thanks for all the info you've posted, Andy. I'll keep watching this thread with great interest...
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:22 PM   #27
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Please see post I was wrong

I have to admit I was wrong about self etching primer on aluminun.. Marvin
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:31 PM   #28
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From the "I was Wrong" topic I picked up on the Alumiprep #33 and Alodine 1001. I found this describing what they do and how to use them:

Required Materials:
Amchem Alumiprep #33 - or equivalent cleaning and
conditioning chemical for aluminum.
Amchem Alodine #1001 - coating chemical for aluminum.

Recoating Procedure
1. Clean surface of contaminants.
2. Soak surface with Amchem Alumiprep #33 or equivalent
from 1 to 3 minutes, then rinse with water and dry.
3. Soak with Amchem Alodine #1001 or equivalent
for 1 to 3 minutes, then rinse with water and dry.
4. Primer must be applied withing several hours of applying Alodine.

So far, Ted the PPG man has not come thru so it looks like I will have to fire him and find a local airplane painter to provide and shoot the paint. I'm leaning heavily toward the paint JRA Executive Air uses, either Sherwin Williams Jetglo or U S Paint Alumigrip. Both are premium grade polyester based Urethane 2 part paints, shot in 3 coats, and do not require waxing, polishing, or buffing. They give a wet/shiny appearance, are extremely durable, and are salt/chemical resistant. U S Paint describes their paint as: A two component polyester based light-fast aliphatic high solids polyurethane coating with long lasting gloss and color retention and outstanding chemical resistance. Extremely low maintenance. Do not wax, buff, or polish!

Today, I spent some time using the Alcoa Gutterseal and the more I use it the better I like it. It wasn't as warm today and indeed, the material will wick, to some extent, into narrow gaps. It is a very impressive material.

Once the trailer is painted, I'll apply a second sealant over the panel joints, seams, and around door and window frame perimeters.
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