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Old 01-04-2016, 11:07 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
Fribourg , Fribourg
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
removing lights, emblems letters

i am working on a 71 sovereign restoration and
i want to remove all lights, emblems and letters to clean and polish them, all those parts are glued by a dry and very hard grey paste (Vulkem 116
or Trempro 635????) i looks like original.
i wondering how i can get rid of it without damaged on the outer skin,
silicon remover, heat gun, solvent???
thanx for your help
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:49 AM   #2
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Gregsch's Avatar
1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Tipp City , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 536
I think much of caulk shown in your pics is butyl..
If so it should be fairly soft even after all these years. Its best to remove as much as possible with a stiff 1" putty knife. I used Eldorado stripper to remove the rest of the sealant. My AS has been striped and polished. If you still have clearcoat you will want to be real careful not to let the stripper get anywhere you don't want it.
You are talking about alot of work but, you will have peace of mind knowing that everything is water tight.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:29 PM   #3
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,041
Well I used a wire brush in a die grinder to remove the sealant mechanically. Once the components were removed I finished up with MEK.

I am most likely now going to here that you shouldn't use a wire brush because it will imbed steel in the aluminum and cause it to corrode out in a week or two, but it works just fine, just use appropriate safety gear.

I've also used a Mylar wheel but I reserve those for the exterior as they don't scratch the skin. See my thread below and a I give info on their use.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
1 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
Fribourg , Fribourg
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
thanks guys for your help,
before to read your replies, i could remove those with a heat gun,
i used it carfully, until the caulk get slack enough, then i could remove it very easly with a scaper, without damages on the skin.
i also use the heat gun to remove both of Tail light enclosure, it took me around 1 hour per side...
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:45 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 358
The front Airstream emblems can be accessed from behind the stereo cabinet but maybe you knew that. There's are speed nuts holding them on.

Not to hijack but I have a question. My curbside running light isn't getting power. From your pictures it looks like the power comes down the street side to the taillight and then under the back window over to the curb side taillight. If that's right I must have a break somewhere between the two taillights.

I know I would appreciate pictures of your progress because there don't seem to be many pictures of early 70's trailers with the interior skins removed.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:25 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
1971 31' Sovereign
Fribourg , Fribourg
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 10
all the innerskin, wires have been removed, everything was in really bad condition... i am doing a complete restauration, i dont want rebuilt the interior as original, so i didnt take pictures of the wires locations. when i took the picture you mentioned, cables were allready cut, so i am not quiet sure about their directions. you can see some pix on my facebook page:
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