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  1. #1

    Quick and prob a dumb question. Restoring finish on 1996 Polaris?

    So i bought my first ski its a 1996 Polaris SLT 780 and it runs great no mechanical problems.

    But it looks like hell. It looks like its set out in the sun on the equator since it was new. The purple seat is faded completely white and all decals are faded completely and it has what (i thought was) a thick oxidation on the gel coat.
    i tried to remove the oxidation with rubbing compound and a car buffer and it wont come off without sanding with 400 grit paper. Am i sanding the Gel coat off?

    Is this ski painted from the factory or does the gel coat give its color on the top side.

    I have had seen ATV fenders like this before but like i said i am new to pwc.
    Last edited by K447; 02-26-2014 at 12:18 PM.


  2. #2
    Q in Arizona's Avatar
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    Go ahead and check out this write up on these products. This should help you out.

    Link

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome to Greenhulk!

    Moved to the Polaris forum...

  4. #4
    wkuadam07's Avatar
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    400 Grit is a little rough... I wet sand starting with 1000 grit, work to 2000 grit, then use Wizzards Turbo Cut to buff it all out with. You are removing small amounts of gel coat with every move. The products that Q recommended may be excellent, but i have always done really well with what i use... I had these products laying around from automotive use.

  5. #5
    Derek45's Avatar
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    Wkuadam07 is right 400 is to rough, I have seen some skis come though my shop that no sanding in the world would help the Gel, only Re-paint.

  6. #6
    wkuadam07 has the right idea as grit goes, you can drop down to 800 but you will need to work your way back out to at least 1500 or 2000. You cut to much away you will know pretty quick. If you can't get a small spot to rub out you will be wasting your time going any further. At that point plan on painting it and you could prep the who ski in 500.

  7. #7
    So a Polaris that year is not painted from factory?
    So the thick chalky powder that I can scratch through with my finger nail or sand off is oxidation on the gel coat
    and is not paint?

    This stuff is pretty thick how much sanding can i do? I don't want to get into the glass.
    How thick is the Gel coat on average ?

  8. #8
    LaveyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmccr View Post
    So i bought my first ski its a 1996 Polaris SLT 780 and it runs great no mechanical problems.

    But it looks like hell. It looks like its set out in the sun on the equator since it was new. The purple seat is faded completely white and all decals are faded completely and it has what (i thought was) a thick oxidation on the gel coat.
    i tried to remove the oxidation with rubbing compound and a car buffer and it wont come off without sanding with 400 grit paper. Am i sanding the Gel coat off?

    Is this ski painted from the factory or does the gel coat give its color on the top side.

    I have had seen ATV fenders like this before but like i said i am new to pwc.
    If the fuel system has not been updated you may want to take a look at the signature links below. Fuel system job is number one on these older ski's. You will probably need to experiment with a small area to see if it will come back (finish).
    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Well thanks everyone for the info. After trying to wet sand and buff i have realized it going to need paint.
    Now just to get the decals off. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmccr View Post
    ... Now just to get the decals off. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    There are several good methods for removing old decals. Razor blades are not the primary tool!

    Electric heat gun will soften the adhesive.

    3M wheel also seems to work well.

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