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sunny75 08-09-2012 12:05 PM

cyclo problems
After using the cyclo on a top panel, I discovered that the cord had caused many scratches on the panel below. I used the cylco with Nuvite grade c and then s to remove the scratches. Some cloudy spots appeared even though I did not spend extra time on any one spot. Is it possible to damage the alclad with the cyclo?

bimpy 08-09-2012 12:42 PM

It would be next to impossible to damage the alclad with the cyclo. I too learned the hard way about the cord rubbing on the lower panels. It is better to polish the top first and work down if you are doing a complete polish. I now drape the cord over my shoulder and down my back. Something I've been intending to try is to wrap the cord with cloth strip from a sheet say six inches wide and tied every ten inches or so with a small strip of cloth. You say you went back with C then S. Hopefully you won't have to go back to C but maybe A grade. Clean the surface after the A grade with paint thinner allow to dry completely then go back with the S but do not use thinner after the S buff (by hand) with clean microfiber cloth. It's very possible that the cloudy spots are just residue from the coarser grades

sunny75 08-09-2012 05:32 PM

cloudy spots
Thanks for your quick reply! I did wrap my cord as soon as I discovered the problem. Seems to be working better. I too thought the cloudy spots might be residue from compound. I've tried everything I can think of from mineral spirits to hand polishing to microcloth. They don't seem to budge. I'm kind of afraid that I may make them worse. Any other suggestions?

Frank's Trailer Works 08-09-2012 06:54 PM

The cloudy spots are most likely caused by the clear coat, that was on your trailer, failing over the years. As it thins out and comes off it exposes the skin to more elements while where it is still holding strong gets less exposure. Keep going, it will get better. I think it is impossible to damage the skin using a cyclo. I am a firm believer in the foam pads made by cyclo. I use yellow followed by green, then blue. Instead of the different grit polishes, I use the pad to go finer and finer.

VeggieBullet 08-09-2012 07:46 PM


Originally Posted by 62overlander (Post 1186220)
....I use yellow followed by green, then blue. Instead of the different grit polishes, I use the pad to go finer and finer.

Hi Overlander.
Just wondering if you keep the grade and use just the pads to go finer and finer? If so wat grade do u use?

Frank's Trailer Works 08-10-2012 04:03 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I hesitate ever so slightly because there will be a bunch of arm chair professionals telling me I am doing it all wrong even though I do it 60 hours a week...

First the secret to polishing is finding what works for you. There are a myriad of techniques and materials out there. What I do might not work well for you but might work for others. By the time you are done, you will have a great system for yourself...
The process we use in my shop is this; We strip the trailer. Next we flash it with a acid treatment( I am sure to hear some grief about admitting that, but MANY restoration shops do and VIRTUALLY all truck polishers do). Next we neutralize it with a baking soda/ water solution. The next step is to go over it with 2 x 10 cotton wheel on edge using grey rogue bars followed by red. I purchased the "airstream kit" by Jestco.
Attachment 165333
At this point the trailer is fairy polished up but has many vertical lines from the wheel. We then switch to the cyclo polisher using the yellow, green, then blue.
Attachment 165334
The polish we use at this step is Diamond Brite. You cannot polish an Airstream with just a cyclo. You can touch it up and maintain it with one, but you will need to be more aggressive for the first part.
Between all steps great effort is taken to remove all black residues. I used to use mineral spirits, but have just switched to elbow grease and a clean cotton rag for that. Polishing is VERY labor intensive. It is also filthy work.

sunny75 08-10-2012 09:45 AM

cloudy spots
Thanks for your input, Frank. These are definetly not clear coat spots. I am on the final polishing stage and am using Nuvite S. I have used the grey and red bars from Jasco as you mentioned and these spots are just showing up with the cyclo.

marzboy 08-10-2012 10:01 AM

Sorry to hijack but Frank what is "flash acid treatment" and what does it do? What do you strip the clear coat with?

azflycaster 08-10-2012 10:08 AM

I have experienced clouding when doing touch ups with the cyclo and nuvite as well. It only happens when the surface of the trailer is too hot or in direct sunlight. Since I live in Phoenix, that means no summer polishing. It was 90 degrees at 6am and headed into the 116 degree range today (again).

sunny75 08-10-2012 04:21 PM

cloudy spots
This could definitely be my problem. It was in the 90s here yesterday. Did you solve the problem or do you still have the spots?

azflycaster 08-10-2012 06:26 PM

It was 116 here today. The spots I have will be here for a while...

tkasten 08-10-2012 06:56 PM

The best way I have found to get the clouds out is to re-compound the area with the Dewalt side grinder and Nuvite C then switch back the the Cyclo with C then S. Works every time for me.

bimpy 08-11-2012 06:42 AM

62 Overlander, you are absolutlely right. When it comes to polishing airstreams they can be very fickle. They can be a lot like wives. I'm polishing my second trailer now and learning something new almost daily. As you stated it comes down to what works for you

sunny75 08-11-2012 07:54 PM

good advice
Thanks for the tip about using Nuvite C. I will try that when it cools off a bit. So... here's another question. I completely finished polishing with the Cyco and Nuvite S (after grey bar and then Nuvite C). It is definitely shinier now from a distance and really close, but in certain lights and angles it looks splotchy. It almost looks like it has compound left on it, but I cycloed with a clean rag and then a microfiber cloth. It should be clean. Could this also be caused by the heat? DO I have to redo C and S over the whole 27 ft again?(doubtful)

ALANSD 08-19-2012 01:05 PM

I am in the midst using the grey bar with the 8" wheel and it is definitely cutting a new level of shine after I used the Black emery bar and wet sanding to smooth out a lot of corrosion. Tried Nuvite F7 and the grey works better. I have lot of lines and marks you can see where the wheel was used especially in evening lower light. In bright midday sun the skin looks a bit cloudy, but I am going for a 10-12' shine and that is almost what I have.
SO --- can I skip the red bar and go to the Cyclo with C? Or do I need another pass with the red to smooth it out more first? See my blog page for pictures...

Frank's Trailer Works 08-19-2012 01:39 PM

RED, then cyclo with yellow pads followed by blue. Skip that expensive Nuvite and use Diamond Brite. The pads do all the work...

ALANSD 08-19-2012 03:11 PM

So be sure.. Red on a buff pad..loose cotton? Then cylo with uncovered pads. Thn use the wrapped pads?

Frank's Trailer Works 08-20-2012 02:45 PM

Red rouge with the jestco wheel. Then diamond brite on a yellow foam followed by blue foam. You will have a 10 at 3...

azflycaster 08-20-2012 02:55 PM

I have always used cotton sweatshirt material on my cyclo. It is a pain, but it works. I am interested in Frank's method, but don't the pads get clogged up with all the oxide that gets pulled off of the skin? I can do a 2x2 foot area before moving to another spot on the cloth. How long before to need to replace the pad?

ALANSD 08-20-2012 04:22 PM

last trailer I had I did touch up with the green pads, and washed them out when done in hot water and detergent. They came out close to new. They do wear out after awhile, but not too expensive to replace.

Frank's Trailer Works 08-20-2012 04:46 PM


Originally Posted by azflycaster (Post 1191289)
I have always used cotton sweatshirt material on my cyclo. It is a pain, but it works. I am interested in Frank's method, but don't the pads get clogged up with all the oxide that gets pulled off of the skin? I can do a 2x2 foot area before moving to another spot on the cloth. How long before to need to replace the pad?

I buy the pads by the dozen. As they clog, I toss them in a bucket of hot soapy water and clean them out. After about four cleanings they are toast.
I have to say that, this works for me. I firmly believe that polishing takes working out a system that works for you. What is "a perfect polish" varies from one person to the next. Everyone has a different level of what is except able. I know I was doing 75 as I passed you Richard, but Anna is one shiny gal...

ALANSD 08-20-2012 06:41 PM

Right on Frank. If I had indoor storage I would go for even shinier, but it's a losing battle with it parked underline trees in Georgia.

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