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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Camden SC

    Default Pierce prep problem

    Has anyone had any problems with what appears to be bubbling of paint due to improper prep work on Pierce equipment. Aluminum panels are having areas bubbling up that looks like rust beneath the paint. Paint warranity has just expired and dealer is working on problem. Looking for how your problem was handled and repaired to prevent this problem in the future.thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    north east


    Yes, My Fire Dept. runs a 1997 Pierce Saber and the roof paint is bubbling. The local dealer thinks it was due to improper cleaning of the aluminum prior to painting. The condition exist at all of the roof seams. I don't know if Pierce will repair the condition.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Blacksburg, VA USA


    We have 10 Pierce pieces ranging from 1987 to 2001 models.
    We have not had any paint bubbles on the aluminum bodies so
    far. I have seen it on some manufacturers aluminum bodies
    especially around the "D" ring door latches. It does sound
    like you do have a prep problem and if your sales rep. is worth
    his salt, should take care of it. Our sales rep. has been excellent
    taking care of small problems that occasionally pop up.

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    It's not rust....it is a chemical reaction between dissimilar metals...and I have seen it on every piece of apparatus that uses aluminum and steel together. While the body may be aluminum, the door hinges and handles are usually steel. Most problems occur where the handles meet the body.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    At the Helm


    Aluminum is very difficult to paint, it requires a very clean surface and proper mixture of primer and surface paint to the application it is being used in.

    If the metal is fairly new, and not touching other types of metal (dissimular metals resulting in galvanic corrosion) and the paint is lifting I'd say either the metal was not cleaned right, the wrong primer was used, or the primer was not applied correctly (temp, humidity, two-part epoxy primer not mixed correctly).

    I currently work on an aluminum boat where the interior is peeling like crazy, but the exterior paint is tough as nails. Both were painted by the same painter, using the same type of primer (although a different batch) and top coat, about a week apart. The manufacturer is sticking me with the problem and refuses to cooperate on the solution, primarily because if he admits a fault, he'll have to strip the entire interior down to bare metal to fix this.

    Occationally it is not the painter's fault, paint companies have been known to change the formula of their paint ("improve it") w/o telling end users.

    If the spots are small and round (less than 1 inch across) and do not appear to grow if left alone, you may be lucky and its just surface contamination. Someone using a grinder on a piece of steel 25 feet away from the unpainted truck could have caused this (followed by failure to properly clean it before spraying). If the spots are large or irregular shaped then you have a general bonding problem and the only solution is to strip all the paint in the affected area to bare metal and start again. Any attempt less than complete stripping will only delay the onset of additional problems.

    Since this appears to be a Pierce problem with several trucks however, it is likely it is a bad paint mix which they did not pick up for a while, its unlikely that they would continue to allow a contaimination problem to continue for several years (too easy to fix). That means you'll need to strip and repaint large surface areas to really fix it.

    Good Luck getting it fixed!

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