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Old 12-26-2007, 10:49 PM   #1
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clearcoat or not?

I have a 66 Overlander I am restoring. What are my options on the exterior? Leave it dull, do all the work to polish it, or is clear-coat an option? It is pretty dull looking now, but I see no signs of any type of clear-coat on it now. Did they even use clear coat back then, as I am sure this old trailer is all original? Just curious. Thanks, Tom
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:22 AM   #2
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Hi Tom,

I don't believe the 66 had any coating.

I don't care for any coating, they will all fail eventually.

I know, I have a 95 and its coating is failing badly

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M


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Old 12-27-2007, 10:46 AM   #3
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Clearcoat first became available as an option in 1964.

The best way to find out if you have clearcoat on your 1966, is to wash a small inconspicuous area then take a little dab of toothpaste on your finger and gently rub it on a small area. If it turns black there is no clearcoat, if it doesn't there is clearcoat. The black is oxidation from the aluminum, if it is protected by a coating, you won't get to the aluminum so there won't be any oxidation residue.

If your old clearcoat is intact - just dull and it hasn't become splotchy where it has failed...you can easily strip it off and have it re-clearcoated if you want. Or just strip it and let it remain a dull but even silver. If it has failed clearcoat, it will be very splotchy and most likely require polishing prior to re-clearcoating or you can leave it bare and maintain the polish. The advantages & disadvantages of each option are up to you. Just know that a new clearcoat finish will also fail at some point...so you wouldn't be entirely home free.

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Old 02-06-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air66stream
I have a 66 Overlander I am restoring. What are my options on the exterior? Leave it dull, do all the work to polish it, or is clear-coat an option? It is pretty dull looking now, but I see no signs of any type of clear-coat on it now. Did they even use clear coat back then, as I am sure this old trailer is all original? Just curious. Thanks, Tom

Hi Tom.
Clear coat is definately an option, but you'll need to decide what type of finish you want before you coat it. Polishing IS a lot of work, but when your done, you have a show piece. Etching the surface will give you a uniform off white look. You'll either like that or hate it. But either way, yuo can protect it.
The other folks ar 100% correct in saying it (clear coat) will eventually fail. But with minimal attention, you can get several years protection. As long as you don't mind having to wipe a new coat on every few years or so, then I would hope you look at coating it.
Clint
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air66stream
I have a 66 Overlander I am restoring. What are my options on the exterior? Leave it dull, do all the work to polish it, or is clear-coat an option? It is pretty dull looking now, but I see no signs of any type of clear-coat on it now. Did they even use clear coat back then, as I am sure this old trailer is all original? Just curious. Thanks, Tom
Clearcoat was an option in the early 60's.

Starting with the 1964 model Airstreams, they were "all" clearcoated at time of manufacture, both in Ohio and California.

Andy
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