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Author Topic: stainless vs. paint  (Read 6646 times)

Offline onrwey9

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stainless vs. paint
« on: September 19, 2006, 01:31:45 AM »
anyone got opinions wether to paint stainless or polish it . seems to me stanless requires a lot of up keep to keep it looking good as I known it does.

Offline NJT5047

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 02:57:16 AM »
I'd install smooth sides on an MC9...but that ain't what you asked.  Painting a fluted side coach is not the best thing IMHO.  Doesn't look right. 
Polishing stainless (not aluminum), on the other hand, looks great, is durable and would be a great idea. 
Best, JR
JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

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Offline FloridaCliff

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 11:15:43 AM »
Well, Since you asked for opinions. :P

Nothing like that look of polished stainless to me.

Though, I have seen some nicely painted ones too!

But, I would lean to unpainted if it can be made to look nice.

Cliff

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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Offline prevosman

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 12:23:05 PM »
I've owned a polished stainless Prevost for 17 years. One bus for 15, and two for the current one.

Getting the stainless polished is an art and if not done properly will screw up perfectly good coach, usually due to buckling as a result of overheating the skin during polishing.

But, polished stainless is a no brainer to maintain. I only wash mine with water, and to avoid spots I have to dry it. That's it. No waxing. For 14 years we lived in western NY in the snow belt and the coach would be white with road salt, but with a flushing of water and a soft brush or mitt the stainless would be clean and looking good.
Jon Wehrenberg
Knoxville TN
1997 Prevost Liberty

Offline grantgoold

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 12:44:46 PM »
I asked the same question a year ago. I decided to go with the stainless look. I found a few good sites on how to polish stainless. Purchased the equipment and supplies and worked on a piece using a few different techniques. After a week or so, I felt good enough to begin on the bus. TOOK FOREVER!.  Fred Hobe says about a week!  In my case going slow and making sure to get just the right look it took me at least 75 hours to complete the entire bus. I love the outcome. Upkeep is nothing. I found a product that is used in restaurants that can be applied to the stainless while the bus is in storage. Before a trip, wash the unit with water and a small bit of mild dish soap and then dry the entire bus and it looks brand new.

A nice outline of how to polish stainless and supplies needed can be found at Southwest Metal Finishing Supply Company.

I spent about 350 dollars on supplies and two 9 inch sander/buffers from Habor Freight.

Makes my bus look like a million dollar unit. IMHO. ;D

Good luck!

Grant
Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California

Offline ChuckMC8

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2006, 04:49:06 PM »
My bus has smooth sides that the PO did a crappy job installing and I had to re-do......So here's my conclusion...never, ever take the stainless steel off anything.
   I think my bus looks good, but polished stainless is the "cats meow"
Far better is it to dare mighty things,to win glorious triumphs,even though they may be checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much,because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.  Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Offline NCbob

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 09:47:52 PM »
Grant, would your like to share any of your secrets with the rest of us?  I have a lot of polishing to do this winter, while I'm wasting my life in the armer climes of FL, and caould use a bit of advice.

I've seen some 3M pads (hook and loop) on the E place which they say require so rouge or polish.  Please, please advise.

Thanks,

NCbob
True friends are difficult to find, hard to leave and impossible to forget.

Offline onrwey9

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2006, 10:37:12 PM »
 Well thanks for the advice & HO . I WAS KINDA LEANING TOWARD THE polished look & this will help make my choice a lot simpler as I  need this ammo to convince the better half so thanks again. Gary

Offline FloridaCliff

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2006, 10:43:19 PM »
Gary,

Just thought of this reading your last post.

Take your wife on a tour of the bus pictures in the " Bus Pictures" section above.

I am sure you will see something you both like.

Great for ideas too! ;)

Best of luck

Cliff
1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

Offline jjrbus

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 11:28:07 PM »
Taking two things into consideration, the condition of the stainless on my bus and my condition, carpal tunnel, arthuritis, tendonitis rotator cuff etc.. I did not want to spend 2 weeks with a heavy polisher. I cleaned up the stainless on my bus with 1000 grit sandpaper and then restored the brushed look with the Scotch sanding pads available at body supply places. I think I used the grey pads. Looks good for a minimal amount of work.
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Burgermeister

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2006, 11:46:17 PM »
jjrbus

I posted the "hint" awhile back of a overhead "boom" adjustable rope and a spring to suspend the polisher.

Takes alot of stress out of polishing the beast!

Saw it being done at the Pro Converter in Tehachapi.  It goes quicker with practice!

Rich of IBP did polishing demos at Arcadia and Rickreal the last few years, some could weigh in with hints, also?

Offline NJT5047

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 02:39:35 AM »
My bus has smooth sides that the PO did a crappy job installing and I had to re-do......So here's my conclusion...never, ever take the stainless steel off anything.
 I think my bus looks good, but polished stainless is the "cats meow"

Chuck, what was screwed up about the smooth sides?  I'd like to do the smooth painted sides...but afraid of opening a pandora's box of issues.   Finding rust...cannot get the panels to fit, creating leaks.  If I thought that it could be done, look OEM, and not have to rebuild the bottom framework, I'd do it.  That's a big "IF" on a 20 year old bus. 
I saw a good looking MC8 that had smooth side install...but up close it looked like crap.  Corners not true, edges bulging (don't know if it was coming unbonded or if rust was pushing the panels out).  
Polishing looks good, but it's a lot of work...installing smooth sides would be a lot more work...and expense.  IBP installs smooth sides.  Not sure of anyone else that does that sort of work..although some other bus converter must.   I believe R&M sells a smooth package for an MC9....in either aluminum or fiberglass.  Seems that the aluminum would look better once installed.  The glass would be too thick...or so it would appear. 
Don't have the smooth side look on the front burner...just interesting.   Also find 102C3s interesting... but that ain't gonna happen. 
I know that Nick B. is very good at this smooth side thing....??  ;)
JR
 
  
JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand

Offline grantgoold

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2006, 06:50:09 AM »
O.K. Ncbob and others here was my plan that followed the information between Fred Hobes site and http://www.swmetal.com/page/faq

I first carefully washed the bus with the power washer and lots of liquid soap. I made sure that the stainless was as clean as I could get it. I then took the gray bar compound and carefully loaded up the wool 9 inch buffing wheel that I attached to my 9 inch sander from Harbor Freight. Using wool pads was a real mess until the compound "loaded" then it was just a matter of time before the pad wore out and I had to change. I could get one door or more per pad.  I went with this method to help reduce the chance of burning the stainless. I got myself a radio with a headset, a nice roll around chair and plenty of latex gloves. I told myself everyday this process would take time to be patient and not rush things. I then practiced on an old rear door of the 9 and this gave me plenty of practice to determine how fast the grey compound would cut the stainless and remove any obvious scratches. I used an entirely different pad for the white compound to really bring out the luster of the stainless.  Before using the white I made sure to completely clean the grey compound from the stainless. I used several rags and carb cleaner. It ate the compound quickly and cleaned the stainless for the next compound color. The white compound really doesn't cut the stainless it just removes any tiny scratches and leaves the mirror finish.

I would take several breaks and knew it was a long project. I would do one section at a time to a mirror finish to keep my spirits up.  If the section has a particularly nasty scratch or defect I used a high speed 4 inch grinder with the velcro backed fine polish disks and carefully remove the deep scratches.

In the end, 1000 grit wet dry sandpaper did not meet my needs to get the deeper scratches out.

FYI, I can only say that practice was key, stay calm and move slowly. Constantly focus on the material to make sure you do not burn the stainless.

Good luck! If you want to stay motivated, looked at my bus on page 10 or 11 of the photos page. A rookie who read as much as I could and practiced a bit before trying my luck! I am very happy with the outcome. If I can answer anymore questions let me know.

Regards and good luck ;D


Grant

« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 01:30:49 PM by grantgoold »
Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California

Offline ChuckMC8

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2006, 10:43:06 AM »
JR- Mybus looks good up close. What was screwed up is that the PO used pop rivets to put the siding on.....and many of them steel, so they developed rust trails. Next, he sandblasted the panels on the bus. I know that some folks advocate sandblasting on the bus, but this made a hell of a mess. There was sand behind every panel; and no matter how many times I would wash it, there would still be sand residue wash out.
  So, I removed each panel and cleaned up the mess and with a friend who is an aircraft mechanic, we rivited the panels on with the correct rivets (I'm still hearing the rivet gun!) We put in a jillion....but no pop rivets anymore. For the ones we could buck, we put in cherry max.
   Really, It just depends on your standard. The way he did it apparently satisfied his, but was not close to mine.....
Painting took 3 times as long and twice the material as if he left the stainless on the bus. Don't get me wrong, I like the end result, but it was a HELL of a lot of work.
Far better is it to dare mighty things,to win glorious triumphs,even though they may be checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much,because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.  Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Offline DaveD

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Re: stainless vs. paint
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2006, 08:40:24 PM »
Be sure what you have is stainless steel, not aluminum.  Stainless wil be found on MCIs and Prevosts and some Eagles.  GMs and Ealgles are typcially anodized aluminum.  stainless steel is almost maintenance free, but once you polish through the anodizing on an aluminm panel you will have to polish it from time to to remove oxidization,  or paint it with a clear coat finish to protect it.

DaveD