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Thread: How can I remove Imron N-Numbers - without damaging base coat

  1. #1

    How can I remove Imron N-Numbers - without damaging base coat

    I've just purchased a beautiful Lancair Super ES in Florida.

    However, I live in Canada and will have to get the aircraft re-registered here. One big issue is how to remove the N-Numbers, which are Imron paint - hopefully without damaging the white base coat.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    WA
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    I don't know of anything better than sanding the numbers off. This will likely damage the white unless you are very careful with a hand sand block and 400 or 600 paper, and even then might damage the white. The white might polish out enough for new numbers or it may need to be repainted.
    I once owned an aircraft paint shop. But this task never came up. Good luck.

  3. #3

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    You might be able to mask the numbers carefully and then soda blast them off. With great care this might remove them with little damage to the paint below. Then just buff it and clear coat it. The soda in a fine grit is a much more gentle process than sandblasting.

  4. #4
    Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Not possible but really no big deal. You will have to sand off the numbers and then shoot a fresh coat of white. This opinion is based on my 30 years owning a body shop and I just changed the numbers on my recent A36 purchase last week.
    Jim Clark, Chairman National Biplane Fly In, www.nationalbiplaneflyin.com. Currently flying: 1929 Waco CSO, 1939 Waco EGC-8, 1946 Piper J-3, 1955 Piper PA22/20, 1956 Beech G35, 1984 Beech A36 & 2001 Vans RV9.
    You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others.
    - Ernest Hemingway

  5. #5
    MickYoumans's Avatar
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    They are able to do some surprising things with printed vinyl wraps these days. You might be able to just get your new number printed on vinyl and apply it over the existing number and save yourself a lot of work and expense....at least until it is time to do a full paint job on the plane. If you ever sold the plane back to a US resident they could just peel the vinyl back off and have the US number again too.

  6. #6
    Jim Clark's Avatar
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    That is a viable idea Mick. Would work best using a dark vinyl as a background panel and applying numbers on that. I'm afraid white vinyl will still give you ghost images from the original numbers. When the aircraft is de registered and moved to Canada registration if you want to keep the original N# available for future use you can reserve it for $10 a year with FAA Aircraft Registry.
    Jim Clark, Chairman National Biplane Fly In, www.nationalbiplaneflyin.com. Currently flying: 1929 Waco CSO, 1939 Waco EGC-8, 1946 Piper J-3, 1955 Piper PA22/20, 1956 Beech G35, 1984 Beech A36 & 2001 Vans RV9.
    You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others.
    - Ernest Hemingway

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the suggestions. It's such a nice plane that I'm reluctant to go with the vinyl wrap idea.

    Do you think a paint shop will be able to remove the numbers and then just re-do the white in the area where the numbers were? Or will they have to do the whole plane?

  8. #8
    Jim Clark's Avatar
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    A good shop should have no problem matching and blending white. Here are pics of the N# change I just did last week on my Bonanza I purchased 60 days ago:

    I sanded off N72016, taped the stripes, painted the white and then applied new numbers cut from 3m nine year vinyl

    Vinyl is easy to work with, applied the dk blue numbers first and then applied the gray shadow.
    Jim Clark, Chairman National Biplane Fly In, www.nationalbiplaneflyin.com. Currently flying: 1929 Waco CSO, 1939 Waco EGC-8, 1946 Piper J-3, 1955 Piper PA22/20, 1956 Beech G35, 1984 Beech A36 & 2001 Vans RV9.
    You love a lot of things if you live around them, but there isn't any woman and there isn't any horse, nor any before nor any after, that is as lovely as a great airplane, and men who love them are faithful to them even though they leave them for others.
    - Ernest Hemingway

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