Using paint stripper on Trek bonded aluminum frame
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  1. #1
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    Using paint stripper on Trek bonded aluminum frame

    My wife has a 1985ish Trek 2000 that she has been riding for a while. The paint is pretty beat up, and Iíd like to repaint it.
    Since itís aluminum Iíd like to just use some aircraft paint stripped on it. But itís one of the bonded aluminum frames, with some kind of epoxy holding the joints together instead of welds.
    Can the epoxy tolerate the paint stripper, or should I look into getting the frame media blasted?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryLook View Post
    My wife has a 1985ish Trek 2000 that she has been riding for a while. The paint is pretty beat up, and Iíd like to repaint it.
    Since itís aluminum Iíd like to just use some aircraft paint stripped on it. But itís one of the bonded aluminum frames, with some kind of epoxy holding the joints together instead of welds.
    Can the epoxy tolerate the paint stripper, or should I look into getting the frame media blasted?
    That a 30+ year old bonded Alu frame is still being ridden is some sort of accomplishment. Unless your wife is emotionally bonded to the bike, that is a lot of trouble to go to for a bike that old. Perhaps she has a birthday coming up?

  3. #3
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    I got it for dirt cheap, and put some of my extra parts on it to get it running. It still has the original Dura Ace 7400 shifter and derailleurs that work great.

    This was one of the early years of the WSD for Trek. The bike fits her well (I have tried to get her on something else but she always comes back to this bike). Plus she prefers the vintage look.

    So if I could strip it myself, and paint it myself, I would only have time in it really.

  4. #4
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    Use a weaker stripper such as CitriStrip. I use it a lot, and while it may take more applications depending on the type of paint, it's pretty harmless.

    The stuff is too gooey to flow into the adhesive joints of the frame.

  5. #5
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    The citrustrip sounds like a good idea. So you think I would use it on all the tubes, and then maybe hand sand the joints?
    On theses frames they have very smooth transitions from tube to tube, and the frame looks almost like a carbon frame. I assume itís built up with epoxy to make the transitions.
    So maybe if I just avoided those areas with the stripper.

  6. #6
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    Those frames were painted with Imron paint. Might be real hard to remove. I'd recommended checking into that first to see if a stripper will work.

  7. #7
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    I had to google to see what Imron paint was. It sounds like good stuff, but bad for your health. Thanks for the heads up.

    The paint job is actually pretty cool on the bike. Itís sort of a burgundy, and the tube joints are faded into an almost gold. It looks nice in the sun. Problem is it has a bunch of chips from use over the years.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryLook View Post
    I had to google to see what Imron paint was. It sounds like good stuff, but bad for your health. Thanks for the heads up.

    The paint job is actually pretty cool on the bike. Itís sort of a burgundy, and the tube joints are faded into an almost gold. It looks nice in the sun. Problem is it has a bunch of chips from use over the years.
    I've got two of these bikes in my garage; a 1420 and a 1400. I don't ride them anymore but I rode many miles on both. They were cast aluminum lugs with epoxy bonded aluminum tubes. The Imron paint was more durable than the paint they use on today's bikes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryLook View Post
    The citrustrip sounds like a good idea. So you think I would use it on all the tubes, and then maybe hand sand the joints?
    On theses frames they have very smooth transitions from tube to tube, and the frame looks almost like a carbon frame. I assume itís built up with epoxy to make the transitions.
    So maybe if I just avoided those areas with the stripper.
    I was going to suggest that in my original reply, but thought it too complicated. But since you brought it up and you're thinking about it, I say do it. Don't forget to show us before, after, and in-progress picks!

  10. #10
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    Iíve heard that these frames are usually pretty durable. I donít think itís too usually to get 30+ years out of one. People talk a lot about the steel frames, but donít mention the aluminum era much it seems like.

    I have a Cannondale that looks like bonded aluminum also. Iím not sure if they used that construction also, but the seams are smooth between the tubes. I use it as my rain and bad weather bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryLook View Post
    Iíve heard that these frames are usually pretty durable. I donít think itís too usually to get 30+ years out of one. People talk a lot about the steel frames, but donít mention the aluminum era much it seems like.

    I have a Cannondale that looks like bonded aluminum also. Iím not sure if they used that construction also, but the seams are smooth between the tubes. I use it as my rain and bad weather bike.
    Cannondales were welded with the welds sanded down to smooth the welds.

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