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Old 09-02-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
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How do I remove door handle corrosion?

Can anyone please give me a quick rundown on how to remove this corrosion, kind of step by step. There are so many posts on corrosion it is very confusing.

I called Airstream and was told to start with sand paper, then steel wool and then a polishing compound, but he did not specify what number grit to start with, or what brand polishing compound to use.

Are the handle and the tail light bezels both clearcoated? If so, can they just be polished out and not re-clearcoated?



This is the only area on the trailer right now with corrosion. I have treated it with Boeshield to stop the spread, but would like to get rid of it entirely. Thanks.

Gene
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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That one looks better than mine that I polished a few month ago. Start with 400 grit emery paper and wet sand till you get all the pits out and then polish to get the finish back. Jewlers rouge and a buffing wheel work well but unless you wax it often it will corrode again soon. Personally, I would clear coat it after some sort of alodine surface conversion. The aluminum-zinc alloys tend to tarnish more than pure aluminum. Painting it silver is another option as least it is one color at that point.

Perry
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:10 AM   #3
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Wow, that doesn't seem like a problem to me. After all.... it's just camping.

If you find that fine sandpaper, steel wool, buffing, etc. don't clean it up to your satisfaction there's another option that comes to mind. I've had some small items re-plated at local shops. Look for custom motorcycle or truck shops - they often have plating facilities or know somebody that has the right equipment.

Plating a similar small item cost me about $75 - mostly for the set-up charge. If you have more parts to plate the cost per item goes down.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
That one looks better than mine that I polished a few month ago. Start with 400 grit emery paper and wet sand till you get all the pits out and then polish to get the finish back. Jewlers rouge and a buffing wheel work well but unless you wax it often it will corrode again soon. Personally, I would clear coat it after some sort of alodine surface conversion. The aluminum-zinc alloys tend to tarnish more than pure aluminum. Painting it silver is another option as least it is one color at that point.

Perry
Thank Perry,

What is "alodine surface conversion"? And where do I get jewelers rouge? Not crazy about painting, just want to get rid of the corrosion.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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Wow, that doesn't seem like a problem to me. After all.... it's just camping.

If you find that fine sandpaper, steel wool, buffing, etc. don't clean it up to your satisfaction there's another option that comes to mind. I've had some small items re-plated at local shops. Look for custom motorcycle or truck shops - they often have plating facilities or know somebody that has the right equipment.

Plating a similar small item cost me about $75 - mostly for the set-up charge. If you have more parts to plate the cost per item goes down.
That was my first thought, but you can't remove the handle without removing the inside panel to gain access.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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The stuff that folks on here polish their trailers with will work as well but I don't know what they use.

McMaster-Carr

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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Try Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish.

It is amazing. Is does take a bit of elbow grease, but it works well.

YOU CANNOT USE THIS ON THE SKIN, AS IT WILL REMOVE THE CLEAR COAT.

But it works well on the handle, door frame, or any uncoated aluminum finish.

Good Luck
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Try Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish.

It is amazing. Is does take a bit of elbow grease, but it works well.

YOU CANNOT USE THIS ON THE SKIN, AS IT WILL REMOVE THE CLEAR COAT.

But it works well on the handle, door frame, or any uncoated aluminum finish.

Good Luck
Now that is the info I needed. Just ordered the Mother's on Amazon...nothing but 5 star reviews.

Do you happen to know if the tail light bezels are clear coated? I would hate to screw them up, but they are looking kind of dull. Is the Mother's safe to use?
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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The taillight bezels should be fine. I would put masking tape to keep the polish off of the coated skin.

let me know how it it turns out!
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:28 PM   #10
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No. 13. How did the mothers work?
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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600,800,1200,2000 grit wet sandpaper, and a coating of Griot's Paint Sealer one a year.


Bob
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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No. 13. How did the mothers work?
Mother's works great...I have used it a few times now..good stuff!
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:25 AM   #13
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You can always try Brasso. Despite the name, it also works on aluminum. And it's gentle enough to be used on fine musical instruments, so no worries about harming the finish.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:10 AM   #14
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Now that is the info I needed. Just ordered the Mother's on Amazon...nothing but 5 star reviews.

Do you happen to know if the tail light bezels are clear coated? I would hate to screw them up, but they are looking kind of dull. Is the Mother's safe to use?
I read here some time ago a fellow polished his tail light housings on his late model Airstream and found two thin layers, a clear coat and a thin aluminum plating, over pot metal castings.

doug k
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