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Old 09-21-2011, 08:01 AM   #21
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BTW- Nice work Soy, it looks great. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:28 AM   #22
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That does look good. I'm just starting the strip process on a 26' 1963 and was worried that the CitriStrip wouldn't work on that vintage of clearcoat...it knocked it right off, just as good as it worked on my 34' 1991!

34' +26' = an insane amount of aluminum to shine...
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #23
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HiHo that is amazing. I would have figured it would have a hard time on the old stuff. I live in a 100 year old house, I might try it on some old shutters and give it the "acid" test!

We were supposed to go to Assateague Island National Seashore this weekend, but the weather looks iffy so I bailed on our reservations (so there is a site available you O.C. Sunfest lovers - which I'm not BTW). If it doesn't rain I am going to try out my new Dewalt 849x that should arrive from Amazon tomorrow a.m. It will be interesting to see how that does compared to the Porter Cable DA. As to Assateague, maybe Columbus Day weekend, although the leaves might make me head west to Rocky Gap SP. I'll feel a lot better looking back at the shiny AS vs. the crappy blotchy peeling end caps! I am getting motivated to to the whole thing, of course my wife would say that ever since I purchased the AS, stripping and polishing the trailer was fait accompli!
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:12 PM   #24
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I worked on it some more. Last weekend, I stripped down about a foot from the top drip rail on the street side. I had a good bit of peeling in that area. Seems like I am doing all of the hard parts first, working up high on the trailer. It should be easier as I get down to the lower levels.

I got my Dewalt 849X. Man what a difference that makes with the lambswool pads I ordered from Vintage Trailer. Compared to the PC I can really dig in and get the job done.

I was hoping to strip the two front panels on either side of the front window this weekend. However, we had temps in the low 50's with drizzle, not good for the Citri Strip (those temps are about 20 degrees below normal for our area this time of the year). Hopefully the next weekend I am home, I can get those stripped. Likely won't be next weekend as I am thinking about heading to Assateague, I need one more trip to the beach before winter!

With the temps starting to head down hill, I will soon have to decide what I want to strip now and be able to polish once the temps stay below 60 or so. Maybe those front panels and the street side above the mid rub rail. No use stripping what I won't get to for a while.

In the photo below you can see where I stripped and polished along the top - side. I was using truck box polish after the f7, that seems to work pretty well. However I ordered some Nuvite S to see how that finishes off the job in comparison, I should have that this week.

I have gotten some raindrop stains on the polished Alum, I guess I will have to get used to that and buff them out once or twice a year. Weird, some of the "drops" were kind of a tan/brown, living under the flight path for Dulles, I wonder if a plane was dumping fuel? Anyway, they buffed out rather easily. Now I started putting my Mothers Liquid Carnauba wax on it when done to help protect it. But no wax that I have found really protects against rain etching.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #25
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Polishing: Getting the Cloudiness Out

Splotchy cloudiness. That is the problem that I am running into (as others have). I have not stripped along the street side, above the belt line an made the first pass with Nuvite F7. Some of it looks great, but I am having a hard time getting the cloudiness out of other areas. I guess I just need to work those spots some more with the f7.

I still find the Citristrip to be working well. I even used it on a day that was a bit cooler than the temp recommended on the bottle, yet is still worked well. Usually there are a few spots that perhaps I didn't coat well enough that remain after the initial strip, but it's no big deal to just go back and touch them up.

The Dewalt 849x is still working well. I ordered a half dozen wool pads from Vintage Trailer and they are also working well. I find that I change pads quite often, so if you are starting out, I would recommend having a few on hand. I do use the pad cleaning tool / spur, it helps, but is no substitute for a new pad.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:36 PM   #26
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Here are a couple of photo that will show the progress so far. Weather will be the determining factor on how much more I get done before winter sets in.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #27
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Nice job Soyboy! I just started stripping a 66 Safari with Citristrip. It seems to be getting the job done. Like you said, it is nice to just go to Home Depot and get it off the shelf. The 10% Military discount is great too
Keep up the great work!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:56 PM   #28
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WOW! that looks great!
Please don't let Mrs. HiHo see your results......I'll be polishin' a 34' AND the 26'
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:17 PM   #29
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Thanks guys. I am really pleased with the way it is turning out. I think I am going to go ahead and order a Cyclo. The finish looks good, but it does have a number of swirl marks/polish tracks. Hopefully the Cyclo will give it the finishing touch.

I started below the belt line on the street side today. I think the hardest part of that job is going to be removing the #?%& stripes. I guess I will fire up the WD40 and heat gun as necessary. I am actually amazed at how quickly it is going. I actually enjoy doing the polishing. It's cool because you get instant gratification with the results. I wish I had more time to work on it.

I find that I need about 4 or 5 good passes with the F7 too really get it to pop. I called the VAP the other day and Colin suggested moving up a notch to the F9 to help cut it a bit faster. I think I will order some when I order the Cyclo.

If the weather holds, we are heading out to Rocky Gap SP in western MD this weekend, likely our last trip of the season (it will seem like a long time until March when we start to head out again). So I likely won't make further progress until the Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully the temps will hold up then. They are calling for a good chance of "warmer" weather around here for a while (La Nina) so maybe I will get lucky and be able to knock more out before the holidays and the jam up stress feast during Dec. (why not have more parties in Jan. Feb. when there is nothing else going on?).

Speaking of temps. I have found that polishing in the cooler weather (mid to upper 50's/ low 60's), works rather well. I guess the lower surface temps of the aluminum keep the polish from drying too fast. Furthermore, although the Citristrip recommends use at between 65 - 85, I am finding that it works fine and fast at these lower temps too. Almost as fast as it did when it was in the 80's. I would be curious to see how low it could go and have it still work. Might give it a whirl at different temps. Not much to the clear coat, so it doesn't take much to get it off.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:05 PM   #30
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That darn glue...

I hope folks had a great Thanksgiving. I spent much of Friday and the weekend working on the trailer.

I have now fully stripped and compounded the street side. My main problem is getting the glue residue off from the stripes. I have tried about everything. Some folks suggest Naptha, some 3M Adhesive Remover, others denatured alcohol. I might give those a whirl. I have tried: WD40, paint thinner, 3M Bug and Tar remover, Goo Gone and a couple of others. I am kind of thinking that I may have to wait until the weather warms up later next spring, although it has been around 70 here over the weekend and that side of the trailer is in the sun most of the day. I am sure heat would help. I am reluctant to fire up the heat gun as I am worried I might warp the alum.

I welcome any further suggestions.

I did order a Cyclo from Vintage Trailer Supply. So far I am pleased with it, much easier to use IMHO than my smaller PC orbital. I am still working on my technique for "finishing" as I just received it last Friday.

Unless it stays warm, I likely won't get much more done before winter as I still need to strip the curb side. That said, I am already ahead of where I thought I would be rolling into winter. Combo of good weather and over all the job moving faster than I thought. Oh, well, I have been neglecting my honey do's around the house, plus with Christmas coming, I will likely be tied up 'til the new year.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:29 PM   #31
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Hi Soyboy,
I like your work! Looks great. I have found MEK to be the solvent I use when nothing else will work. It is pretty potent stuff, so use your PPE!
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:39 PM   #32
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Thanks Top, nasty stuff, I might give it a try, I need a new respirator anyway!
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #33
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I thought I would add a photo to update my progress. I have finished (compounding) the front panels above the belt line, all of the rear except the center section, and all of the street side (except for the area where the stripe was, see earlier postings as I am still futzing with getting the adhesive removed). I think my stripe removal might have to wait for warmer weather too, unless I drag out the heat gun. Still tossing around Top's suggestion of MEK (pretty nasty stuff) or maybe trying some denatured alcohol first (not quite as nasty). I also thought about taping a sponge soaked with WD40 over a section to see if that works. The problem with it being vertical is whatever I wipe or spray on it runs off.

As it is getting colder I don't know if I will have any more good stripping days (upper 50's/low 60's and above) until spring. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had stripped the whole thing while it was warm out. Of course I didn't know we were going to have such a mild fall, which allowed me to accomplish more than I thought I would get done (I figured I would be at this point next spring, not this fall). Anyway, I can work on fine tuning my technique with the Cyclo until the spring. They are calling for a milder winter here this year (YES YES YES), if it looks like we will have a decent stretch at stripping temps, I might turn the trailer around so that the curb side is in the sun (a bit of a pain where I have to park it) and get some more done.

Living in downtown Frederick, MD there is a good bit of foot traffic up and down the side street/alley adjacent to my parking spot, people really seem to dig the shine! I know I do. Of course it still has swirl marks that show up upon close inspection or in the sun, but it looks like the Cyclo will take care of those over time. So far I have actually enjoyed working on it, the work being somewhat mindless, it gets to be kind of a Zen thing or whatever and I find it to generally be relaxing......subject to change as I move on to the other side, hopefully I will still enjoy it.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:58 PM   #34
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My mom passed away this week (Monday). It's been a bummer and I have been off from work all week, something that I could get used to but that's another topic. After meeting with funeral homes, ministers, senior help folks (for my dad), talking to my parents CPA etc. etc., buy Thursday I was getting bummed out (plus I was looking towards, with some apprehension, todays Memorial service at church, that went very well BTW....beautiful). Anyway, yesterday I just had to take a break. Nothing better to set my mind straight than to work on stripping an polishing after a long lay off. With the sun warming up here in Maryland and the temps up in the low 60's I was able to strip the rear and part of the curb side of the trailer (which is not in direct sunlight, so it remains cooler). I know that the Citristrip says 65 degrees and up, but I have found that with the clear coat, which is surely not as challenging as regular paint, that something in the mid to upper 50's in generally a suitable temp. The stripper worked very well on the shady side, I left it on for maybe an hour (in warmer temps it takes maybe 15 - 20 minutes. Got some polishing done on the back. It felt good to be out there and it was good for my mental state. Hopefully over the next few weeks we will begin to see some more days like this, I look forward to moving down the curb side and finishing up the stripping and initial polishing. I say initial as I can see that I will be "fine tuning" this for quite a while, but all in all it looks great, can't wait to drag it down the road. Hopefully to Assateague in a few weeks. The early and late season trips are the best. The weather keeps the amateurs away LOL, nice an peaceful.

On another note, I tore out the Crap-O-Matic Audiovox "stereo" (I use that term loosely) system and replaced it with an Alpine head unit, Alpine amp, Bazooka subwoofer (under the couch). I installed 5.5" JL Audio speakers in the stock spot under the front cabinet. Then I installed 6.5" JL's in the "blank" panels on each end of the same over head cabinet, these facing out towards the kitchen. It sounds awesome. Even my wife remarked how much better is sounded. Very happy, this is the type of system (for the money that AS charges) that should have been installed from the factory. Why a "piano key" non CD unit was ever installed in 1999 is beyond me, even in a Safari.

I think after the polishing job, my next non- maintenance project will be perhaps starting to change out some of the fabrics / curtains etc. in the trailer. The ones in there are not horrible, but are dated. I would also like to look at putting in nicer sleep sofa. The Flexsteel that is in there is ok, but cannot be one of their better models. I am thinking about going with leather. Time will tell.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #35
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Sending my sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your Mother.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #36
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I am so sorry about your mother.

Your upgrades sound wonderful. And we found the same thing re: temps for the citristrip!
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #37
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Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it.

I wanted to update a bit, I was working on it yesterday and I tried something different to get that darn glue residue off that remained from the blue stripe. I soaked a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad (the "heavy duty" model") in some denatured alcohol. That took the residue off like "magic" (ok, bad pun). I wish I had discovered this a while back. I had tried the denatured alcohol, I had tried the pads, both with limited success, the combo of both of them together worked great, even in the cooler weather and shade we had yesterday. I was also on a bit of a therapeutic bender (see my post above) and I stripped all of the above belt line alum on the curb side. Again, even in the shade with the temps in the upper 50's to around 60. That Citristrip is pretty amazing for such a "safe' product. Just dont' get it on your tongue like I did yesterday, you will know it in a flash, good thing I had a spray bottle of water next to me and a quickly unscrewed the top and gave it a quick rinse, no harm done. Anyone that know me will tell you I always have my big mouth open - heck just look at all of the posts I put on here!
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:41 PM   #38
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Just a quick update. Since my last post I have "finished" the stripping and polishing on my '99. Now I am working on the "details" areas close to windows, trim, etc. that need a bit more work. All in all it's looking great, and I didn't mind doing the work, I actually found it a bit relaxing. But it's not for the faint of heart, once you start.....you gotta keep going.

FWIF: I emailed P&S the other day, curious as to what the would charge to clear coat it: $250 a foot. They said the start from scratch and re-polish the trailer as if it was never done, they they clear coat it. I guess that is the only way they can guaranty the job was done correctly. It's $200 / ft. for just the polish job. Do the math, if you dont' mind doing it yourself, you can save some bucks. As to re-clearcoating, I know P&S does a good job, but I wonder how many years you would get out of it before peeling set in In the end, I dont' mind Cycloing mine once or twice a year to keep it up.

BTW, watch out for salty air (no surprise), I was at the Assateague in April during one of those soggy, cloudy, foggy batches of weather with the moisture coming right off the ocean. When I got home, I was getting ready to polish and I saw a good number of very small, fine dots of corrosion in the alum. It seems harder to buff out than the regular, time caused corrosion. It didn't effect the whole trailer, some I am wondering if the areas that got hit where ones that I had no buffed with C or S, which is supposed to offer "some" protection. In the end, it is very hard to see and doesn't detract from the shine. I had it to Assateague in the fall just after I started polishing. At that time weather was more "normal", and I didn't notice any problems. Furthermore, from what I have read, the more you polish and smooth out the finish, the less corrosion you will get, this remains to be seen.

I would just say that anything worth having takes work, if you dont' want to put the work into polishing and then keeping it up, I don't blame you and I would suggest you not start. Personally I am very happy with it, I think it looks cool rolling down the highway or sitting on a campsite (that's why we do it isn't it?) so it's worth it to me.

I'll post more pictures at some time when its' not in its' storage spot, there the curb side is next to a building and hard to get a good shot.

Any tips on getting around the trim and such would be appreciated. I am trying some of the smaller drill mounted polishing implements from Vintage Trailer Supply.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:29 AM   #39
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Hello Soy! I'm glad you got it finished for all intents and purposes. I'm sure it looks great, can't wait for more photos. On an aside, can you please post pics of your new stereo setup? My 'piano key' audiovox is also a work of crap. I'm thinking of updating to a satelite head unit, with associated speakers, etc. It would be nice to tie in the surround for the Television as well. Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:36 PM   #40
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KS please find attached some photos of my setup. Alpine head unit, alpine amp, JL Audio Speakers under the cabinet (for sitting on the couch) and on the front (for listening in the rest of the trailer) and a Bazooka powered subwoofer under the couch. Sounds amazingly better, even my non- audiophile wife noticed the difference as soon as she heard it. Highly recommended if you like good music. BTW, that is my readout for my solar controller above the head unit.
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