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Frogman

Tilt/trim Problems And Advice Needed To Gel Coat

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I am looking for tips and suggestions on the DIY gel coat kits. I've seen em around for about 200.00. I've heard mixed reviews but have never really seen the results personally. Anybody out there have any experience with these kits? I have a 1990 Stratos, it's in great shape but just needs a little face lift. Figured that I could do this myself and help the looks of it and possibly even the resale value if I decide to go that route.

My tilt and trim assembly started becoming intermittent on the water. It got the point of I would have to tap it to get it to work. I pulled the whole assembly out from under the motor. Took the DC motor off and cleaned up the brushes and armature really good and I've got it working great. However, if I put it back on the assembly and try to run it, it quits. I pulled it back off to find that the motor is filling up with hydraulic fluid. I assume that there is a busted seal or gasket in the fluid resovoiur that is supposed to stop this from happening and it has apparently gone bad. However, I can't seem to get it open. I've removed the 3 screws for the motor and the 3 screws that hold it to the assembly itself. Any advice or experience with this issue?

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Is the gel coat a solid color, or metalflake? If it's metalflake, it's a job best left in the hands of a pro, and even then the results may be less than ideal.

Before getting into the gel coat thing, try buffing the finish. Gel coat when exposed to the sun, can get cloudy, or dull due to the sun's ultraviolet rays. The cloudiness/dullness is caused by microscopic cracks. How severe they are, and the thickness of the gel coat determines whether or not buffing will remove the damaged outer layer of the gel coat.

You have to be extremely careful with a metalflake finish. If you get into the flakes they will "turn" silver. The flakes are nothing more than a shiny particle of aluminum with a layer of color/tint over them. If you get into the tint, the silver color of the flake is exposed. You need to be very cautious when fooling around with a flake finish.

There are several products to restore the finish. Buffing compounds are available in various grits, from aggressive often called "heavy cut" to the very mild called swirl removers.

There are also products (glazes) which can do a pretty decent job of filling the microscopic cracks and thus producing a nice appearing finish. Follow this with a good coat of wax that blocks or reduces the suns harmful rays. Think of it as sunscreen for your boat.

Begin with the least aggressive method first, and do it in areas that are less obvious. If you are satisfied with the results there, then work on the rest of the boat.

Take your time, and get a feel for the process.

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It's a metal flake. I am pretty sure that some of the chips are already silver. I tried the rubbing compound at the suggestion of a friend already and I was pleased with the results but it only lasted a couple of weeks maybe. They are only silver in a couple of really small spots though. I don't know what I should do. How much does someone generally charge to fix it up. I've got a guy that said he would wet sand and buff it for a couple hundred dollars, but it seems like something I could do myself and save the money.

.

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Wet sanding is the last thing I would do to a metalflake finish. That some of your flakes have already turned silver shows there is very little clear gel coat on the hull, covering the flakes. What grit wet paper would he use? Two hundred to wet sand and buff sounds very cheap. I'm not familiar with what a reputable person would charge for that service, but I'm sure it would be a lot more than two hundred dollars.

Will he assume responsibility for getting into the colored flakes? At two hundred bucks for the entire job, I certainly wouldn't offer any guarantees.

You tried hand buffing. Did you follow it up with a cleaner glaze, followed by a protective wax or similar that provides protection against the UV rays?

Buffing is never the final step in restoring a gel coat finish. Buffing also produces scratches. The more aggresive the compound, the deeper the "scratches". It should always be finish buffed with a swirl remover followed by a cleaner glaze then a good coat of wax or finish protectant.

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