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Old 03-22-2006, 08:56 AM   #21
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1973 23' Safari
1977 23' Safari
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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no, if black came up right away, there's no clearcoat. On a trailer of that age, the clearcoat is always patchy, failing from the top. So you might have a little on the lower sides, but that's very noticeable.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:57 AM   #22
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
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Originally Posted by jlandau
I wonder if I should try some stripper? It has been awfully hard work to get the shine to come up. If its NOT clearcoated, would the stipper be harmful to the surface?
Initially, I did the clearcoat test w/ toothpaste. Black came up so I assumed it wasn't clearcoated. Perhaps its not true?
Oh dear.
66 should have been clear coated, but I am not 100% on that. Maybe it was stripped previously?
Your toothpaste test is pretty good, but take a closer look at the unpolished panels. Look for blotchy spots near teh top of the window line, and see if it's failing clear coat or corrosion.
The roof panels may very well be void of clear coat by now, that's where the most UV impact is. My 63 had the clearcoat completely burned off teh roof when I got it, with lots left on the sides. It is hard to tell from your picture.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:20 AM   #23
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1956 22' Safari
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failing clearcoat usually has an uneven, milky or splotchy appearance. Below is a picture of our '64 on our first outing (and an "after polishing" picture for comparison), before we stripped the clearcoat. If the oxidation is "evenly grey" then you probably don't have clearcoat.

From your picture it looks like you have a lot of corrosion, pitting or filiform. Was your trailer from an area near the ocean? It's a bit unusual to have that on the roof...although, saltwater spray would be an explaination. We had similar conditions at the front panels of ours, but most likely from pebbles being kicked up from the tires of the tow vehicle.

Regardless, most of that will come out with repeated passes with a compounder and more agressive grades of polish. Some areas of ours we went over 8-10 times...before going to the finer polishes & cyclo-polisher. The front panels, we did "color-sand" a bit first, then compound & polish.

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Old 03-22-2006, 11:39 PM   #24
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To Inside Out:
I see how SILVER your trailer is. Mine, after the final polish, is mirror, but still possesses this black film over it. I tried wiping it all down w/ mineral Spirits, and that works but then the black comes back in what seems within 1 hour. The mineral spirits also seems to make it messy looking, and somewhat faded in areas.

1)Am I using the wrong polishing bonnet? The one I'm using is lambs wool.
2)Should I put the final glaze on directly after the final polish to avoid the black coming back?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:00 AM   #25
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Well, it's hard to say because you are using different compounds and techniques than we did. However, you may be using too much of the polishing compound. If you look on our website, you'll see how little we use....a little dab will do ya!

You may want to try some or all of the following:
  • use less compound material
  • try different compound materials (we used Nuvite)
  • clean (wash) your wool bonnet after every use - we had two to alternate between...we would go through two in a day, then wash for the next time. Also "rake" it clean in between with one of those spinning tools
  • try putting a clean 100% cotton sweatshirt material "cap" cover over your wool bonnet to remove the remaining black residue...we did this with the Cyclo, but I didn't see you mention if you have one. A cap over the wool bonnet may work, since you can't wrap the sweatshirt around a compounder as it would spin - unlike a Cyclo
  • some find that flour helps remove the black "goo"...we never tried it
  • check out the Perfect Polish website for some tips - the best polish jobs I have seen were achieved following these guidelines and using the Nuvite &/or Rolite products - they may be more money, but they do work - so it's a savings in the long run
As far as your time spent, 2 hours for a 2x2 section isn't too far out of line, every trailer and it's history is different, so it's hard to say. The bottomline is try and find something that works for you. To see more detail of what worked for us, check out the Stripping & Polishing section on our website.

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Old 03-24-2006, 08:06 AM   #26
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A little will do ya...

Hi - I did use the 3M method (no sandpaper though... my Argosy was painted first, so I didn't have pits in it). Just about a 1/2 teaspoon in one area would do a 3x3 area or more. My technique (all 2 cents of it) was to put the dab on, use the polisher to SLOWLY rub it around a 3x3 area, spool up the polisher and slowly go side to side. What you should see is a THIN (I mean THIN) layer of blackened polish, followed by the bonnet "cutting through" that layer to shiney metal. Go side/side until the layer is gone. If I put too much, then it took forever to get it off, and the pad gunked up. Same method with Heavy Metal (which does cut fantastically), but I spread it around by hand first with a tee shirt, and then quickly buffed. With HM, I found if it dried too fast, it didn't buff off, and left blochyness behind.

Do you have a bonnet rake? That really helps too. Also, as an aside, I experimented with Mothers, and other "traditional" aluminum polish. Heavy Metal and 3M's liquid polishing compound were the only ones that remotely worked well.

I think I'll be trying Nuvite this year.
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