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Cleaning Plastic RTF Model Empty Cleaning Plastic RTF Model

Post  anm2 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:05 am

I am looking for some advice on how to best clean an older Cox RTF Model (PT-19). It is covered in fuel residue. I think it will clean up nicely, however, I do not want to damage the plastic. I have searched the forum and found a few items on restoring plastic, but I don't think I need to take sandpaper to this airplane. I just need to remove fuel and dirt. Can anyone point me to a thread that has already discussed this, or does anyone have some good experience they can share. Thanks, Andy
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Post  pkrankow on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:39 am

Denatured alcohol on a rag or paper towel will take off dried oil. It might take a while to soak and soften. Wrap the plane in alcohol wet rag and put into a large plastic bag for a few hours/overnight if it really is caked on and dried.

Dish soap and water works well on fresh oil (you can mix up a spray bottle of about 1 tablespoon soap to 1 pint water, remember to rinse). Windex works too, but ammonia may etch some plastics.

Fresh fuel cuts through soft castor oil residues very quickly, but because fuel has castor oil in requires a cleanup after the cleanup.

If you regularly wipe a plane down with a cleanish rag or paper towel as soon as you are done for the day caked on buildup is reduced so more aggressive cleaning is not frequently required.

If you really have caked mud, then protect the engine and use a garden hose or remove the engine and soak in the kitchen sink with dish soap.

Phil
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Post  anm2 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:49 am

pkrankow wrote:Denatured alcohol on a rag or paper towel will take off dried oil.  It might take a while to soak and soften.  Wrap the plane in alcohol wet rag and put into a large plastic bag for a few hours/overnight if it really is caked on and dried.

Dish soap and water works well on fresh oil (you can mix up a spray bottle of about 1 tablespoon soap to 1 pint water, remember to rinse).  Windex works too, but ammonia may etch some plastics.

Fresh fuel cuts through soft castor oil residues very quickly, but because fuel has castor oil in requires a cleanup after the cleanup.

If you regularly wipe a plane down with a cleanish rag or paper towel as soon as you are done for the day caked on buildup is reduced so more aggressive cleaning is not frequently required.

If you really have caked mud, then protect the engine and use a garden hose or remove the engine and soak in the kitchen sink with dish soap.  

Phil
Thanks. This plane is probably 50+ years old. By the looks of it, it was flown and put away for many years. The engine was in excellent used condition, so I believe it didn't see that much run time. This model was probably flown a few times, and then put away dirty in an attic or garage. My biggest concern is not taking the decals off the plane. It is currently in original condition, and I want to keep it that way. I did not see any major crash damage, although there is minor plastic missing in a few places. It looks too good to ruin it by cleaning it improperly. I will try the least abrasive methods first. Thanks again. Andy
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Post  WingingIt74 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:11 am

Using glow fuel, surprisingly works really well. I'll use glow fuel on a q-tip for the tough spots and glow fuel on a paper fowl for the rest. Then I'll go back over with windex.
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Post  anm2 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:38 pm

Before and after.  The plane is almost complete (it is missing a pilot) and has very minor damage to it. The worst part is a crack in the leading edge, but I did not see the crack until I started cleaning it, and it will not prevent this plane from flying again.

I am not sure what caused the blotch on the wing.  Any ideas on how to get it out?  I tried alcohol and soap and water.  

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The photo below is of the engine.  It had a green hue to it before I cleaned it.  The inside of the backplate was virtually spotless.  Compression is excellent +.  

Cleaning Plastic RTF Model Dsc_1017
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Post  WingingIt74 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:37 pm

You'll need to scrub harder on the wings, they are suppose to be yellow lol! 
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Cleaning Plastic RTF Model Empty Re: Cleaning Plastic RTF Model

Post  Mark Boesen on Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:23 pm

It is a oldie (c. '60-'64) first version used black spinner.

There's many ways to clean plastic, If its really bad, soaking it in brake fluid to using Windex type window cleaner and a stiff cheap toothbrush. Sometimes you need a polish such a Basso or a Plexiglas cleaner/scratch remover or rubbing compound. But try to limit it to damaged area, last thing you want is a overly polished plastic that no longer has that factory look. I like a clean dry teri cloth and some elbow grease to add a slight shine to old plastic.


Last edited by Mark Boesen on Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  SuperDave on Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:30 am

If it's not TOO dirty a wipe down with Isopropal alchol works well too.

SD
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Post  roddie on Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:20 am

Hi Andy, There's a cleaning "sponge" you can get in most stores called the "Magic Eraser" by Mr. Clean. This brand works better than other "imitators"...

It's one of those truly amazing products... I have used one to remove stains (permanent marker, food coloring... etc.) from our Formica kitchen counter-tops.

Whereas the wing is a solid molded color... it shouldn't hurt the finish. If it brings out a brighter blue... you could just clean the whole wing/stab. with it. Just be careful around the decals...

I really like that it has a Baby Bee... Mine is a much later version (mid 1990's) and has the Prod. engine with external tank and more common; yellow wing/blue fuse. I'm on my 2nd fuse... the 1st is pretty beaten-up! Both my pilots bailed out years ago... probably because of my flying!lol! 


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Post  batjac on Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:51 am

I'm always leery of chemicals on these plastic planes. Not necessarily the immediate action, but longer term embrittlement. I never use anything strong on old plastic. Things suggested like brake cleaner, Brasso, or even Isopropyl are too harsh for me. They may work well for the others using them, and I don't knock it. But for me, I stick to the mild stuff. I bought one of the old white PT-19's from the early 80's last month, and it was pretty gooped up. The old fuel really shows up on the white fuselage and wing. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid a lot for cleaning up oily things. One of the most wonderful cleaning products ever invented. I just took a soft bristle toothbrush, some Dawn liquid, and spent about a half hour vigorously scrubbing. Almost all of the residue came off of the fuselage. The wing is a little dirtier, but it had a lot more scratches, and there were decals on the wing, so I didn't try that hard. I figure if the stains don't come off with Dawn, then they're hard earned battle scars. I'll post pics once I finally get around to charging the camera battery.
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Post  Mark Boesen on Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:34 pm

Like I was saying there's many ways to clean old plastic, I've never seen a reaction to plastic using brake fluid or Brasso and many of my restored projects are 10-15 years old now.
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Post  anm2 on Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:53 pm

roddie wrote:Hi Andy, There's a cleaning "sponge" you can get in most stores called the "Magic Eraser" by Mr. Clean. This brand works better than other "imitators"...

It's one of those truly amazing products... I have used one to remove stains (permanent marker, food coloring... etc.) from our Formica kitchen counter-tops.

Whereas the wing is a solid molded color... it shouldn't hurt the finish. If it brings out a brighter blue... you could just clean the whole wing/stab. with it. Just be careful around the decals...

I really like that it has a Baby Bee... Mine is a much later version (mid 1990's) and has the Prod. engine with external tank and more common; yellow wing/blue fuse. I'm on my 2nd fuse... the 1st is pretty beaten-up! Both my pilots bailed out years ago... probably because of my flying!lol! 


Cleaning Plastic RTF Model Pt1910
I will try the Magic Eraser. I am very familiar with it and have used it for household cleaning. I like the Baby Bee too. This one is an excellent example of the early version, and cleaned up nicely. Thanks, Andy
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