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Old 08-23-2004, 02:31 PM   #1
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What does stick to aluminum?

I am working on repairs inside of my 1973 31' before I put the interior skins back on. There are various holes in the body where things used to be installed that are not longer there. There are also a number of place where seams or rivits leak a bit. I have thought that I would try to seal up as much as I can from the inside (along with whatever makes sense from the outside of course). I tried aplying some Elastoseal roof coating to see if it could be used to coat seams on the inside. As it turns out it does not stick to aluminum very well. I am going to have to rub off what I did put on and use something else. I had hoped to use something that I could brush, roller or maybe even spary on rather than using something from a tube (like Vulkem). So here are some questions:

1.) What types of things do stick to aluminum besides Vulkem? What about autobody undercoating? What about pickup truck bed liner? Does anyone have any experience spraying these types of things on the inside of their AS?

2.) Can a fiberglass body repair kit be used to patch small holes from the inside? Will it stick and stay water tight? My eventual intent is to paint the outside so I would prefer not to fill odd holes with rivits from the outside. I will eventually fill them with Bondo and sand them smooth before painting.

3.) Is Vulkem perhaps available in some other container besides just a caulking tube so that it could be applied more easily with a spatuala?

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:57 PM   #2
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Metal prep. Nearly any thing you mentioned will stick to aluminum if it is clean and with the proper surface prep, do some sanding so it gets a bite. I had my shell off for about 6 months, pressure washed it many times inside, sanded/wire brushed a lot of adhesive that was used to hold the fiberglass insulation. I then used Kool seal on a small area to see how it would work. It worked too well because I decided not to use it and had a heck of a time getting it off.

I wouldn't consider anything but a rivet in a hole, getting bondo to stick in a small hole with sealer over the back side is nearly impossible.

John
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Old 08-23-2004, 06:18 PM   #3
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Bondo on small holes...

John,

I have been thinking that I would drill out at least a small hole from the outside when I got around to using Bondo so that it would have something to grab. Sealing from the inside was intended to be a shorter term way of keeping water from leaking in until then. Also some of the holes are a little big for a rivit. For example a PO installed an awning in a strange way using about 1/4" diameter screws. It might be OK to have some 1/4" rivits but it would seem cleaner if I could get rid of the hole all together in the final version.

Malcolm
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:18 PM   #4
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Covered old door handle holes with aluminumized silicon. Seems to be holding well and nearly invisible. A little dab will do ..
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:37 PM   #5
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Tin-ex (sp?) available from Airstream. They don't use vulken in production anymore. Call the service dept. , ask for Donna or Amy, they can help you.
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:42 PM   #6
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Malcolm,
I would use flat head countersunk rivets. With a little sanding they would never show under your paint. Be sure to install them 'wet' in a little dab of paint.
There are Olympic style blind rivets in 1/4", but I don't know where to buy them.
I'm not even sure where you would get a rivet puller for a 1/4" blind rivet.
Maybe you should use the bondo method on the 1/4" holes, and stick to 3/16" max for blind countersunk rivets.
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Old 08-24-2004, 08:41 AM   #7
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Why the Kool Seal ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 74ArgosyMH
I then used Kool seal on a small area to see how it would work. It worked too well because I decided not to use it and had a heck of a time getting it off.
So what was the purpose of this, what were you trying to achieve?
What changed your mind?
Why was it necearry to get what you had put on off?



Malcolm, Vulkem comes in 5 gal size tubs. (and 55 gal. drums. Don't go there).
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Old 08-24-2004, 09:59 AM   #8
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My original thought was extra sealing from the inside. My concerns were if there was a leak. First, I began to think about the water trapped between the Kool Seal and skin, heating and expanding in the summer and freezing in the winter. Second, I wanted to use spray foam insulation. I wasn't sure how the insulation would stick to the Kool Seal or what problems this would cause when there was a leak. So I removed it and sprayed over bare metal. The foam is pretty agressive in how well it sticks to the aluminum but is easy to cut and remove a 'plug' to install electric boxes, etc. with a tight fit. If the foam had stuck well to the Kool Seal it probably would tear up a large area because of the grip and stretch of the Kool Seal.

John
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Old 08-24-2004, 06:17 PM   #9
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Thumbs up For what it's worth..

Malcolm
Quote:
3.) Is Vulkem perhaps available in some other container besides just a caulking tube so that it could be applied more easily with a spatuala?
While at the Service Center, I saw 5 gallon containers of the stuff they use on the roof and, I reckon it could've been used on the interior walls as well..
You might call them and inquire as to where and how to get it.
I once wrote it down but, with the passage of time..who knows where it's at now..lol
I recalled it was silkem or something close to that....
Good luck~!
ciao
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Old 08-24-2004, 07:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
Malcolm

While at the Service Center, I saw 5 gallon containers of the stuff they use on the roof and, I reckon it could've been used on the interior walls as well..
You might call them and inquire as to where and how to get it.
I once wrote it down but, with the passage of time..who knows where it's at now..lol
I recalled it was silkem or something close to that....
Good luck~!
ciao
53FC
They say the memory is the second thing to go.....

What you probably saw was SikaFlex Caulking. I use aluminum tape to stop leaks from the inside until I can get to where they can be fixed. It has the advantage that if you need to add a rivet to the hole later it will just poke thru the tape. Besides....it is Aluminum You can also use it on the outside in a pinch but it won't last quite as long.

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Old 08-24-2004, 07:49 PM   #11
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You can claen aluminum with Chromic Acid in solution and then you can even paint it. The process is called Chromadizing and it is widly used on aircraft.
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Old 08-25-2004, 12:39 PM   #12
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How clean for Vulkem to stick?

The basic thing I want to do is get the leaks to stop. I thought that would be a pretty simple process from the inside since I can see everything now that the interior skin is off. I am not too keen on the idea of using strong chemicals to clean the inside and I am also not too keen on the idea of potentially making a mess on the new plywood floor (hence preasure washing does not seem like a good option to me).

Just how clean does the aluminum have to be for Vulkem to stick reliably along the seems and around rivits? It is, or course, pretty hard to think of sanding rivits to get a sealer to stick. It is not all that easy to sand along seems either especially the ones with olympic rivits. So what is the simplest way to guarantee that the Vulkem will stick?

Malcolm
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Old 08-25-2004, 01:05 PM   #13
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One of the things that makes the Vulcem adhere so well is the makeup of the product. It has a superior adhesion to almost any surface.

It will not stick to something greasy wet or oily, little will, but it will stick to almost anything else. If the areas you are wanting to seal from the backside are reasonably clean and oil free it SHOULD stick. use a mild cleaner like simple green or Lysol kitchen cleaner and wipe the area well. Allow it to fully dry before applying or use air to make it dry before application. Then apply it liberally and redo the leak tests. This is what I would do.
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Old 08-25-2004, 01:36 PM   #14
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I will give it a whirl...

Brett,

Thanks for the input. I think that is what I will do. First I am going to have to rub off some of the ElastoSeal that I applied. I had to put a tarp over the whole AS just to stop the leaking since there is a lot of rain right now. If I get all the seams, etc. sealed soon enough all I have to do is pull back the tarp to repeat the leak test - otherwise I guess will need to drag out the hose.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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