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Old 10-18-2021, 07:04 PM   #1
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2007 25' Classic
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Filoform questions

I have a new to me 2007 Classic. The trailer was in covered storage for all of ti's life but was open to the elements on the sides. It was in stored in with Maryland until about 2 years ago then moved to New Mexico where it had the same type of storage. The trailer had very little use during the last 11 years. I started to replace all the marker lights with LED's and discovered more filoform than I initially thought was there. On the attached photo you can see where I have at least one marker light with the corrosion starting to grow away from the light. On others, there is a little bit around the screw holes but not all the way out from under the light. I have a few more minor spots in the open area of one of the upper curved portions and they are just like little hairs scattered across the panel.

If am confused about the best way to handle this. In the attached photo you can see where the PO sanded a little bit but there is more around that area. Should I sand that too and then cover with a clear coat from the spray can while masking the area around? Should I dap on nail polish with a small brush? If I use Corrosion-x, wouldn't that prevent the coating from adhering? When do I apply Corrosion-X? On the small marks in the open panel do I just treat with Corrosion-X and keep doing that once or twice per year? Do I rub it out with rubbing compound which seems like that would mean clear coating the whole panel and than have compatibility issues? What grit and type of sandpaper if sanding?

Please enlighten me with your experiences/expertise.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:19 PM   #2
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:26 PM   #3
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I scrape the affected area off with a knifeblade and then use automotive clearcoat (from a bottle with a little brush in the cap) over the now-clean spot. Certainly isn't invisible, but stops the corrosion.

Using the knife makes it possible to keep the removal of the corrosion from affecting the surrounding, non-corroded surface.

Tim
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:13 PM   #4
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filoform questions

What I don't understand is how the corrosion is stopped only by putting clear coat over it when it can actually start under the clear coat. It seems like it needs to treated with something as well to stop it, then the clear coat would keep it that way. Thx!
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slofoks View Post
What I don't understand is how the corrosion is stopped only by putting clear coat over it when it can actually start under the clear coat. It seems like it needs to treated with something as well to stop it, then the clear coat would keep it that way. Thx!

Not quite....I remove it completely using a dental scaler then cover it with clearcoat.

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Old 10-19-2021, 10:30 AM   #6
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filoform question

When and where does the Corrosion x get used?
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slofoks View Post
When and where does the Corrosion x get used?
Here's the process that I've used around my marker lights when I replaced them. Scratch off the bubbled clearcoat (I use an old Safeway card) and sand down the area (if large) using progressively fine sandpaper (up to 3k or even 7k grit). Once it's essentially gone, apply Corrosion X to the area and let it sit for a bit. Then wipe it clean, tape it off, and apply clear coat. Sand as needed. As another poster said, it will still not look great, but it will stop progressing. For smaller spots, it's enough to scratch the bubbled clearcoat, apply Corrosion X, and apply clear nail polish or similar automotive clearcoat. The name of the game is stopping its progress.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:40 AM   #8
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Filiform

Well, lucky enough to have our 2005 trailer stored near Pacific Ocean for 1st half of its life. Needless to say A LOT of filiform has occurred to the point of almost too much to handle. She still passes the 10 ft appearance as almost new since various upgrades and repairs.

We’ve added a factory belt line trim which added 95% coverage to hide majority of filiform underneath and prior, treated the entire rivet line around with Corosion X with a rotating toothbrush method.

We did full sand and clearcoat the rear taillight areas somewhat successfully. All about erasing the negatives and she now looks far better than when bought.

Adding fresh new 16” Sendel rims and Good excuse to go 5 new upgraded Michelin Agillis tires ! Selling on CL the originals with warned expired tires for 500.00.

Corrosion X does seem to “darken” the light colored filiform in the process although reportedly stop the progression.

You may need to balance the darkening aspects to scraping, sanding and clear coating on panels and how that effects overall appearance in specific areas.
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Old 10-19-2021, 03:57 PM   #9
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filoform questions

Thank you coltnkat for the detailed instructions you gave. That is really helpful especially to the question I had if clearcoat could be applied over an area that had been treated with Corrosion X. What bout the fine hair like lines in the open panel? Do I sand each individual spot or will treating with Corrosion x be sufficient to keep it from growing more?

Thx!
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Old 10-19-2021, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slofoks View Post
Thank you coltnkat for the detailed instructions you gave. That is really helpful especially to the question I had if clearcoat could be applied over an area that had been treated with Corrosion X. What bout the fine hair like lines in the open panel? Do I sand each individual spot or will treating with Corrosion x be sufficient to keep it from growing more?

Thx!
For the small filiform marks, you'll want to abrade the clear coat gently, exposing the filiform (you don't need to scour the clear coat, just open it up so the CX can get in and get to work). Spray or use a Q-tip to apply Corrosion X. Let it sit for a bit (5-10 mins), you ought to notice a color change in the corrosion--it goes from white to black typically, wipe off the Corrosion X, and apply some clear nail polish or automotive clearcoat. From there, you'll just want to monitor it. If you notice a change or an issue, rinse and repeat.

Once you've arrested the growth, you should be in good shape. It's probably the most annoying thing in Airstream maintenance next to hunting down potential leaks. More frustrating is that some folks never have to deal with this issue at all. Oh, to be so lucky.
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Old 10-19-2021, 05:56 PM   #11
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Extra extra read all about it!!!!

Bob
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:50 AM   #12
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filoform questions

Thank you all for the great information. I now understand the issue so much better and very glad for the detailed instructions to keep the "uglyness" at a minimum.

Thx again!
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:23 PM   #13
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Another question

I have some filoform on the taillight surrounds and started to take off the lens but the inner section with the LED's is held on pretty tight with a big glob of caulk around the wires going through the skin. I am afraid of pulling too hard. I want to remove them so I can do a good job of removing the filoform and then repolish the surround and clear coat. Is there an easier way to do this? any secrets on getting the caulk from around the wires?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 10-27-2021, 07:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slofoks View Post
any secrets on getting the caulk from around the wires?
I have not dealt with the taillight wires, but have removed the blob of caulk around other wires coming through the trailer's outer skin.

I grabbed and pulled the caulk itself with needle-nosed pliers being careful to avoid stressing the wires. The caulk was applied from inside the trailer, so the biggest parts of the blobs I worked with were inside the skin and had to be pulled through the hole for the wire. There was always enough wire behind the skin to avoid any problems with wire length.

Just remember to re-caulk the wire when reassembling.

Tim
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Old 10-27-2021, 07:33 PM   #15
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, bit I dont believe you can remove the cast aluminum bezel without removing the inner skin. Bad design-for-serviceabity.
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:36 PM   #16
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, bit I dont believe you can remove the cast aluminum bezel without removing the inner skin. Bad design-for-serviceabity.
Yes DuctTape is your fiend...I didn't want to remove the battery door 'frames' either.

I didn't re-coat, scrapped, sanded & polish, touch-up when needed.

Bob
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Old 10-29-2021, 12:27 PM   #17
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Filoform

I realize the bezels will not come off. I can remove the red lens quite easily but the black plastic housing for the LED circuitry is what I am trying to remove for better access to the filoform. I guess I will just have to glue sandpaper to a putty knife to get in far enough. Thank you all for your help.
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Old 10-29-2021, 01:23 PM   #18
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I had the black bases out. As I remember, it's just a lot of careful cutting and digging the sealer out and you will find screws.
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Old 10-31-2021, 11:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coltnkat View Post
Here's the process that I've used around my marker lights when I replaced them. Scratch off the bubbled clearcoat (I use an old Safeway card) and sand down the area (if large) using progressively fine sandpaper (up to 3k or even 7k grit). Once it's essentially gone, apply Corrosion X to the area and let it sit for a bit. Then wipe it clean, tape it off, and apply clear coat. Sand as needed. As another poster said, it will still not look great, but it will stop progressing. For smaller spots, it's enough to scratch the bubbled clearcoat, apply Corrosion X, and apply clear nail polish or similar automotive clearcoat. The name of the game is stopping its progress.
Great thread and information. I just started noticing some similar spots on my 2019.
Embarrassing to say but I never heard the term filoform before. What causes or best way to prevent?
Also, I looked up Corrosion-X. Looks like there’s a few options. Do you use a spray?
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Old 10-31-2021, 11:13 AM   #20
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Following great thread. Nothing on my trailer yet, but I'm sure it is just a matter of time. Thank you for all of these helpful tips.
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