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Roadrunner 05-17-2010 07:00 AM

Polish or Seal Seams First?
Well I finally got a few days off and am ready to start the polishing of our 29" 1978 Ambassador. Should I seal any questionable seams first or polish and then seal. After spending yesterday polishing the two propane tanks...I am thinking I am in for a real job! Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!


Aviator 05-17-2010 07:11 AM

I think fixing the seams first, that way when you polish and "smudges" of Vulkem would be removed.

Fyrzowt 05-17-2010 07:15 AM

I take the opposite approach.
I polish first so that you get a good clean surface all over, including at seams. It is hard to polish up to the sealant bead without damaging it.
After polishing, clean the seam area good with denatured alcohol or similar before sealing the seams.

InsideOut 05-17-2010 08:18 AM

Here's what we do and why...
1 Attachment(s)
"Seams first" - just our logic, but not everybody may agree. We remove out all the old, cruddy sealer with popsicle sticks & mineral spirits, then polish the seams, clean them really well - again with popsicle sticks & mineral spirits, then reseal them with fresh vulkem/parabond.

We've done this on both trailers and feel that it makes sense (at least to us) for a couple of reasons. If you leave the old sealer in place while polishing then reseal afterwards, the old sealer can chunk out and get imbedded in the buffs which causes undue scratching. By doing it this way, you can get the seams buffed up really well, then sealed which leaves the sealer cleaner in the end. If you seal first w/o polishing the seams - the polishing compound gets gooped up on the new sealer because we are trying to get the 55 years of oxidation off and working the area harder.

As we've worked on the trailer, we would take things off, then polish around the area before putting parts back on. This way, the hard work is done around all the details, seams, joints, drip caps, etc. and just the flat parts are left. Yes, we still will go over those areas again, but it's a touch-up, not the original cut, so the compounding isn't as big of a deal.

You do have a funny looking trailer for awhile using this method with the polished seams only, but it's definitely a conversation piece! Looks like orange segments ~

Shari :flowers:

farmette 07-08-2010 06:09 PM

If I may threadjack a little- we have seams that need caulking, too. We plan to strip (with the peroxide based stripper) and polish, too. Do we need to strip before caulking the seams? Will the stripper fubar the caulk?

InsideOut 07-09-2010 08:46 AM

Definitely strip before doing any new caulking. You don't want clearcoat under the new caulking...if there is, then you strip it will compromise the caulk.

Shari :flowers:

Ginder75 07-09-2010 10:24 AM

Very good question - if I have it right.

1. Wash the AS
2. Strip the clear coat
3. Polish the seams
4. Clean the seams
5. Apply Vulkem
6. Finish polishing the enitre AS
7. Wax

When do I get to drink a pop with foam on top and enjoy the sunset?

Minno 07-09-2010 10:54 AM


Originally Posted by Ginder75 (Post 869667)
When do I get to drink a pop with foam on top and enjoy the sunset?

Step 1a, step 2a, step 3a, etc. etc. :D

InsideOut 07-09-2010 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by Ginder75 (Post 869667)
When do I get to drink a pop with foam on top and enjoy the sunset?

Next October! :lol:

Shari :flowers:

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