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Old 04-13-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Do I have clearcoat?

I've been reading up in preparation for attempting to polish my Airstream a bit. It's a '73 and while the port side is in decent shape, the starboard is looking pretty rough with white and sometimes dark splotches all over it. A previous owner also sprayed some type of spray paint/sealer on top which is another issue altogether.

I've read that if your aluminum looks "sunburnt" with lighter or darker splotches it still has clearcoat, and that this must be removed if I want to polish it.

That said and taking a look at the pictures, do you think I have clearcoat still on it? Will removing it one section at a time while we polish small sections present any problems?

Any other advice?
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Take some white toothpaste and rub it gently with your finger onto the area in question. if it starts to darken, it is removing the oxidation and that spot does not have clearcoat. If nothing happens, you have clearcoat. I would recommend removing all the clearcoat at once instead of in sections. I hear it is a messy job that you would probably only want to do once.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Do I have clearcoat?

Greetings clicknathan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clicknathan View Post
I've been reading up in preparation for attempting to polish my Airstream a bit. It's a '73 and while the port side is in decent shape, the starboard is looking pretty rough with white and sometimes dark splotches all over it. A previous owner also sprayed some type of spray paint/sealer on top which is another issue altogether.

I've read that if your aluminum looks "sunburnt" with lighter or darker splotches it still has clearcoat, and that this must be removed if I want to polish it.

That said and taking a look at the pictures, do you think I have clearcoat still on it? Will removing it one section at a time while we polish small sections present any problems?

Any other advice?
Your description and photos indicate that you have at least some remaining PlastiCoat on your Airstream. PlastiCoat became standard across the board for Airstreams in the mid-1960s and continues in a more modern factory applied coating today. You can test for PlastiCoat with toothpaste . . . with a clean white rag, apply some toothpast and rub . . . if the rag turns black you do not have PlastiCoat in that area . . . if it does not turn black then you have PlastiCoat in that area.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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