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Old 02-08-2007, 07:23 AM   #1
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1989 25' Excella
1998 36' Land Yacht Widebody
Kimball , Minnesota
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Has anyone polished then clearcoated?

This is the year that I am going to refinish my '89 Excella as the clearcoat is in tuff condition. I am planning on using the POR 15 stripper and the Nuvite polish process. The question I have relates to maintaining the finish after polishing. From what I read here, everyone waxes. POR 15 has a clearcoat product called "Glisten PC" which can be used on polished aluminum per their web site:
"GLISTEN PC is a High Gloss, Rock Hard, Water-clear topcoat designed for spray or brush application over all metal surfaces, including highly polished aluminum and chrome surfaces."
Anyone tried anything like this? It sounds like it would work but might lead to the same problem of peeling in a few years.
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:28 AM   #2
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Good morning- I kept meaning to check the vintage section to get the same information you are loking for but since it is so cold out, not going to happen today. But your question is a great one that I have interest in because once the Trade Wind is polished I don't want to have to do it every year. Sorry I don't have a naswer for you but I am sure curious in what you learn. I will keep an eye on your thread!
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:09 AM   #3
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1993 25' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musketeer
This is the year that I am going to refinish my '89 Excella as the clearcoat is in tuff condition. I am planning on using the POR 15 stripper and the Nuvite polish process. The question I have relates to maintaining the finish after polishing. From what I read here, everyone waxes. POR 15 has a clearcoat product called "Glisten PC" which can be used on polished aluminum per their web site:
"GLISTEN PC is a High Gloss, Rock Hard, Water-clear topcoat designed for spray or brush application over all metal surfaces, including highly polished aluminum and chrome surfaces."
Anyone tried anything like this? It sounds like it would work but might lead to the same problem of peeling in a few years.
We had our Airstream stripped and polished last year at GSM Vehicles and had planned to clearcoat with Glisten PC. The folks at GSM did up some test pieces of aluminum with Glisten for us to look it. It came out VERY clear, every little imperfection in the metal showed (swirl marks, dings, etc). With "regular" clearcoat the finish is just touch milky so imperfections in the aluminum aren't noticed.

We did not have them clearcoat with Glisten, not because we didn't think it would work but because we ran out of $$$$$ for the remodeling. So now we touch up the polish every six months. In the future we plan to clearcoat our propane tank cover with Glisten (we'll do it ourselves) and see how that holds up for a few years. Then we will decide if we want to do the whole rig.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musketeer
This is the year that I am going to refinish my '89 Excella as the clearcoat is in tuff condition. I am planning on using the POR 15 stripper and the Nuvite polish process. The question I have relates to maintaining the finish after polishing. From what I read here, everyone waxes. POR 15 has a clearcoat product called "Glisten PC" which can be used on polished aluminum per their web site:
"GLISTEN PC is a High Gloss, Rock Hard, Water-clear topcoat designed for spray or brush application over all metal surfaces, including highly polished aluminum and chrome surfaces."
Anyone tried anything like this? It sounds like it would work but might lead to the same problem of peeling in a few years.
There is no known clear coat, that will not fail in about 3 to 5 years. The polished metal, must be chemically clean, before applying the clear coat. It is also wise to seal all the seams, prior to the application of the clearcoat.

CAUTION: The polished metal oxidizes very quickly, like in 10 to 12 hours. Therefore when the shell is washed down with lacquer thinner for the last time, the seams mut be immedaitely sealed, "and" the paint must be applied. To wait even overnight, is a no-no. The paint will bead up like someone sprayed the trailer with oil.

Sole exception, is whatever Airstream has done to the current sheet metal.

They now use prefinished metal, that cannot be applied in the field, not even by them.

Andy
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:17 PM   #5
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My 76 Sovreign has been polished and clearcoated last year. P&S Trailer Services out of Helena, OH. did the work. The tell me that without a clearcoat, a polished aluminum trailer will need re-polished in about a year.

As I understand their process, the unit is polished to a desired sheen, then chemically treated to accept a laquer based clear coat. They claim the clear coat should last up to ten years with proper maintence(waxing).

So far, my A/S looks as good as it did a year ago, although I think I should wax it before summer.

BTW P&S is recommended by Jackson Center for polishing/clearcoat sevices.

Steve
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DreamWeaver
My 76 Sovreign has been polished and clearcoated last year. P&S Trailer Services out of Helena, OH. did the work. The tell me that without a clearcoat, a polished aluminum trailer will need re-polished in about a year.

As I understand their process, the unit is polished to a desired sheen, then chemically treated to accept a laquer based clear coat. They claim the clear coat should last up to ten years with proper maintence(waxing).

So far, my A/S looks as good as it did a year ago, although I think I should wax it before summer.

BTW P&S is recommended by Jackson Center for polishing/clearcoat sevices.

Steve

P & S has had an A+ reputation for many years.

You can deal with them in total confidence.

Andy
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:02 AM   #7
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1989 25' Excella
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Decided against polishing then clearcoating

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I went to the POR 15 site and read the application specs for the Glisten PC product. I was reminded that the clearcoat process is essentially painting your trailer without a primer and onto an extremely smooth surface to boot. No wonder we all have so much trouble getting it to stick for more than 5 years.

I'm going to strip the old clear coat then polish just enough to make the bare aluminum all look the same. Then I'm going to paint the blue stripe around the middle ( I already pulled the vinyl stripe off) and refinish the aframe with POR 15. I'll live with that for a while while I try to resolve my interest in a polished trailer with my interst in low maintenence. If polished wins, I'll rub it out. If low maintence wins, I'll scuff it up and take it to be painted.

Maybe a polished then clearcoated airstream is too much like having your cake and eating it, too?
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:28 AM   #8
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clearcoated

musketeer
The POR 15 is a very durable coating.
POR-15 Rust Preventive Paint
I have read in articles that it is the next thing to powder coating except, (I hate this) if it is to be used on a surface that will be exposed to sunlight you must put a coat of paint over it does not survive UV exposure well. Within 6 months it will be chalking. I know this through personal experience. However on a chassis under the car or floor pans etc. it is wonderful. If exposed to sunlight you must paint it.
PS
If you are using POR15 it as a rust preventive on the top side of a vehicle such as the pinch weld area around the windshield and you plan to repaint to the original Dupont color then you must use the POR15 primer surfacer so that other paints will stick to it as per their instructions then a WATER based primer sealer surfacer over the POR15 primer. The color coat of the Dupont two step (color coat/clear coat) will lift the black POR15 and the POR15 primer.
This I found out the hard way
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:25 PM   #9
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Musketeer:

I see you have the 89 Excella: Would I be correct in assuming that you have the newer non-mirror type finish? Are you going to try to take off the existing finish to get that mirrored look we see in the older units? I ask because I started working on my 81 Excella 2 last year, and I'm curious if you're planning the same process that most members here have used on their older models. I wasn't that keen on trying to get the perfect finish, but once I started, I ended up putting over 100 hours in it, not including the time my 2 sons put into it. I'm still not completely happy with it as my high speed buffer had a pad tear, and caused some swirl marks in the finish. I think I may order a drum buffer this spring to get the swirls out, then coat it with liquid glass, and wax again. I'm really not sure if it's possible to get the same shine as the pre-1980 models can obtain.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:34 PM   #10
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By the way I noticed your idea of painting the blue stripe. I did this with my 81, and I'm happy with it. We stripped, and sanded the area, then used an etching spray. The paint we used was an auto enamal that obtains a rubbery feel when it hardens. This seems to be very durable, and was much less expensive then buying the decal.

Charlie
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:03 AM   #11
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1989 25' Excella
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Kimball , Minnesota
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Yes, my trailer is an '89 and it is the "brushed" aluminum. I had a 1972 Tradewind which I stripped and polished and refinished the steel with POR 15 and a topcoat. It had the vintage finish to the aluminum. Sold it and bought the '89 to gain a grey water tank and a floor plan we prefered ( rear twins with mid-bath).

What I have is what many of us probably have; a nice looking trailer with patches of failing clearcoat. I'm not really looking for a showpiece, I just want it to not have clearcoat peeling off as I pull it down the road. I love the look of the polished trailers and I also think it is a good "do it yourself" project.

Regarding the blue stripe: I am going to sand, prime and paint. Properly prepared aluminum that is primed will hold paint for a very long time. I am one of the many airplane guys that were orginally attracted to Airstreams due to a fondness to riveted aluminum. An abraded surface (what the painters call tooth), wash and prep, a good primer and nice shiny paint. My airplane looked great for years. Streamlining your airstream anyone?
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Old 02-22-2007, 09:19 PM   #12
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It sounds like you have a lot more knowledge on this then I do Musketeer. I basically have the same goal with my 81 as you do. I'm not looking for a show trailer, but it just looked to faded with the missing clear coat patches, and a little oxidation. I spent a lot more time then I thought I would last year, and I really don't want to make an all summer project out of it this year either, but I'm not satisified with the swirls I created on the one side after the pad tore on the buffer. Do you have much experience with the drum buffer that I've read about on here? I'm wondering if it would be worth the price to buy one, and try to go over it one more time this spring.
The process of going over the unit with liquid glass then wax seem to work very well. Not as good as clear coat, but it doesn't cost nearly as much, and seems to keep the polished look from oxidizing. If I posted a picture of the area I'm concerned with, does anyone think they could advise me on this?

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:43 PM   #13
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Time is money

I have been working up the courage to polish above the stripe for a long, long time now. I bought some Mother's Aluminum Polish but hate the black residue so much that I threw it away. It would take years to get some consistency to the trailer surface. I just don't have the time to devote to this nor the money to have it done.....so I will wait until a better and quicker and cheaper method is found to do this job. Meanwhile, all my topside clearcoat is gone (I removed the ugliness last year) and the surface is and looks oxidized. I care but don't have the time to deal with it.
I need inspiration. I need a better solution to this polishing aluminum mess
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:45 PM   #14
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Polish and properly prepare the surface for a laquer clear coat. If you don't know what you're doing consult or hire a professional. It takes over 80 man hours to do a 31' trailer right. Don't waste your money trying to paint aluminum if you don't know what you're doing.
I'm a specialty painting contractor and would not attempt to do an AS without the proper equipment/shop.
Call P & S Trailer service, they are good honest people.

Good Luck

Steve
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