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Old 06-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #1
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Shark Hide protectant

OK, at the risk of someone saying I am in cohoots with a "snake-oil" salesman, I wanted to document my use of Shark Hide protectant.

There have been down right insults made whenever this gentleman offers his product as a solution and I didn't necessarily think that was fair. Afterall Airstream didn't start off using the same process for clear coating as they did today, they tried different things to see what works. And given the current filoform rants, I don't know if they have found it yet.

But I am not a crusader, this was my money so I inquired about the product. I read T Bird's pitch and sent him a PM to ask a few questions. Quite honestly his story about how the product was developed made sense to me. It is actually an older product originally developed to preserve aluminum trim work on buildings. Given aluminum was the choice of materials for most decorative moldings on early century sky scrapers that made total sense. At the end of my research I thought I might have an application for Shark Hide.


I have the following needs that the product seems to be able to help:
  1. the front of my trailer had a thick coat of paint acting as a segment protector to "protect" the front aluminum. No matter how I proceeded with this it was just not an easy process to strip the paint and the aluminum under was in pretty bad shape.
  2. I have filiform corrosion everywhere!
  3. I have bad oxidation!
  4. Basically every aluminum fitting/extrusion and the skin has either filiform from the clear coat or oxidation from where it broke down ( (Quite honestly this makes me question the use of plasticoat.)
  5. I don't have time to tackle the polishing at one sitting. I am stripping section by section and then polishing.
  6. Oh and I don't have the money to pay someone to strip, polish and clear coat my trailer right now (although I will pay to have it clearcoated one day once the polishing is done).
  7. So I want the product to be easy to remove without creating a waxy buildup.
  8. My wife doesn't like mirror shiny trailers (sorry vintage guys), which is OK because my 80s trailer won't shine up like that anyway, but she prefers a deaper hue or satin finish that a coating often provides.
These are pics of before.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:33 PM   #2
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First stab at the removal or polishing

OK, so you see what I was dealing with. After working about a month on the front of the trailer, I started to get it cleaned up. I was trying to get ready for a trip to Disney World for Not So Scarey Halloween in late October as a deadline.

This is the finished product.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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I have used Shark Hide protectant, yes it is a great product. I also like Zoop seal!!!! DIMMER
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Tell us a bit more about the process.
Does it go on like a wax? One step process? More?
Does it do anything for the filiform, or do you have to remove the filiform, then apply the sharkhide?

I know nothing about this stuff and would like to hear more about it's advantages over other products.
Dave
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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After the first polish

So I completed the stripping and polishing in October and took the Airstream down to Florida and back and a new years eve trip to Stone Mountain. After that the trailer sat for the winter for the next round of projects.

I think the front turned out pretty well, but there were a ton of rock dings, scratches and pits left in the surface. There is just no way to get out these war wounds that I have read. And as everyone knows scratches, dings and blemishes become a haven for further oxidation.

So by March the front end had re-oxidized. The worst part being the battery covers, they were almost completely white with oxidation (almost looked like electrolis). So I proceeded to re-polish them and also cleaned the zip dee casings. This time I put on Shark Hide. It really is easy as you wipe it on and then it drys almost instantly. Two coats are recommended.

After 3 months and a couple of trips there is no oxidation evident.

At this point I am re-polishing the front cone and one more time under the front windows. Based on this experiment, I am going to apply Shark Hide to the nose cone and under the front windows. I figure if nothing else the Shark Hide will allow me to protect the aluminum from bugs and stuff on the road.

I will log the results as the product ages.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt View Post
Tell us a bit more about the process.
Does it go on like a wax? One step process? More?
Does it do anything for the filiform, or do you have to remove the filiform, then apply the sharkhide?

I know nothing about this stuff and would like to hear more about it's advantages over other products.
Dave
I have removed the filiform thinking it would just continue to breed under the Shark Hide, but I don't really know that.

So once I got the finish I wanted you simply poor the product into a small cup or pale and saturate a rag with it. Then just wipe on. No buffing or polishing, it just gets applied and dries almost immediately. After waiting 24 to 36 hours you can apply the second coat.

They claim it comes completely off with Lacqure Thinner.

I think it will allow me to protect the polished skins until I can get all the filiform the rest of the trailer.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:22 PM   #7
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I'm glad someone else is trying this product. I too have purchased the Shark Hide from the "snake oil man". I've used it on my nametags that I polished out, just to try it. It has held up well for a couple of months. I'm polishing the same as Chris is on my '86 trailer and have waxed for now. I think, after his good success, that I will remove the wax on the finished sections & apply Shark Hide. After all, the wax seems to let the aluminum oxidize, so why not try the Shark Hide? I'll take some pictures too & add them to this thread after I apply the product. Thanks, Chris, for being so brave to admit to have bought this product. I was an undercover buyer, afraid of ridicule!
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:38 PM   #8
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i don't recall any references to snake oil...

being a trained professional in the snake oil business, i know my snakes!

Snake oil

and operated under the symbol/s for years, both the REAL one and the wrong one...

Rod of Asclepius

Caduceus

my reference to the above product was traveling pot sales wagon...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f474...eam-40080.html

so it's great see ya trying stuff cuze trying stuff is fun!

the objection was the 'suggestion' in the above thread that this is a "clearcoat" replacement.

it isn't. it is basically a resin film that is applied like a 'wipe on' wood finish...

so it's somewhat like a wipe on wax/sealant, 'once a year' wax for cars, but used on bare metals..

the product is almost 90% xylene and toluene...

these potent solvents evaporate and leave a film coating behind.

so there is NO NEED to remove your new wax coating (or the old clear PLASTI_COAT) for that matter...

the solvents IN this stuff will dissolve almost ANY old finish...

but wear a haz-mat respirator, full face shield, protective eye wear, solvent proof gloves...

OR an approved ventilation HOOD when applying this stuff...

or you might just need a big dose of snake oil (from your local snake oil approved provider) afterward...

to deal with the 'brain melt' that comes from sniffing xylene and toluene...

they can sell this stuff to consumers, but it is VERY unlikely it would ever be used INSIDE the industry...

these solvents are just not allowed in most areas like rv construction anymore...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:32 PM   #9
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Ya know, I'm not sure if I have any brains left, after using all the stripper, mineral spirits, spray paint, etc. etc. etc. Maybe I shouldn't have used any of those things, huh? Exactly as feared.....ridicule, sarcasm, thanks for keeping things civil.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:11 AM   #10
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Chris and Becky, thanks for your experiments and comments, and 2air for your viewpoint and safety reminders.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:36 AM   #11
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Sharkhide

Hi all,
First and foremost, I want to thank you guys for sitting down and taking the time to share your "hands on" experiences with your fellow forum members. Generally speaking, without the efforts of guys (and girls) like you, most forums would be useless. After all, when you come to these places looking for help, wouldn't you think advice based expeirience rather than opinion tends to be a bit more accurate?
Contrary to what some folks might think, I join these forums not just to introduce folks to my products, but also to answer any and all questions about what they can and can't do for you. I make myself available to any one that cares to call, any time of the day or night, seven days a week. I would hope this sends the message that I believe in my products and that I will do any thing I can to see my customers are satisfied with them as well.
I did notice one little bitty mistake in ckeysor's application. It's allways best to pour Sharkhide directly onto your cloth and apply instead of pouring it in to an open container. Reason being (as my friend 2airishuman mentioned), Sharkhide is suspended in a blend of two solvents. If poured in an open cotainer first, these solvents evaporate so quickly that it could actually change the viscosity of the Sharkhide and it will slowly start to thicken. And if that happens, it can't flow out properly on the surface before it dries and it may leave small lines in your finish.
I'm always hanging out here in the back ground, so if any one has any questions at all, please feel free to post them, and I'll be glad to try to answer them for you.
Again, thanks a bunch you guys for sharing with your fellow members.
Clint
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:42 AM   #12
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Thanks 2 Air

2 air, as always when you get into detail on something you provide a lot of knowledge, so thanks. I wasn't specifically referencing any of your quotes, just paraphrasing the general reaction people were giving to a product that might not have universal application but does have some value to me.

I also would think this thread is properly placed in this heading because the use of "clearcoat" is a very general term used to describe protecting the surface. As Inland Andy has noted the specific type and name of clearcoat used on Airstreams has changed several times so we are left with only functional topics when spanning the decades of Airstreams out there.

PS. have you put the fire out on your new car's finish? It might burn out sooner if you weren't driving it around with that teflon coated engine
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t_birder View Post
I did notice one little bitty mistake in ckeysor's application. It's allways best to pour Sharkhide directly onto your cloth and apply instead of pouring it in to an open container. Reason being (as my friend 2airishuman mentioned), Sharkhide is suspended in a blend of two solvents. If poured in an open cotainer first, these solvents evaporate so quickly that it could actually change the viscosity of the Sharkhide and it will slowly start to thicken. And if that happens, it can't flow out properly on the surface before it dries and it may leave small lines in your finish.
Clint, thanks for the application advice, guess I consider directions to be more like guidelines. Anyway, I will apply it directly onto the rag.

Also, do you have any advice on storing the product. I have been putting it in our spare refrigerator hoping to preserve it longer. My wife loves to be able to get milk, veggies along with por 15 and sharkhide. Or Ice Cream and Vulcum.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:51 AM   #14
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ckeyser; This is exactly the process that I have been looking for, so please keep us informed! I could have written your #1-#8 needs myself, in fact, that is what I was researching this morning. I need to start on the back of my A/S, and work section by section. I also do not want a mirror shine on my '90. Which stripping and polishing process are you using? I full step by step would be very helpful, as I would be interested in copying it. I don't think I have the same oxidation issues as you, but that is OK. Also, are you re-caulking as you go?
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