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Old 03-20-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Body Panels

Hey Folks,
I'm new to the forums and an looking at a slightely damaged 70's model Airstream. I was wondering how hard it would be to replace a right rear panel and is there any way to dress/shave a olimpic rivet than a shaver?

Tim
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
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Hi TimTom,
Welcome to the forums..
You have arrived at the right place for the help you request. As always, when asking for help, involving replacement of any damaged panel section, it's best if you do provide pictures for our experts to view.
Good Luck and, again Welcome~!
53FC
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:32 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.
Many members have replaced panels. With the proper tools it can be dome by anyone with the basic skills. The curved panels would be harder then the flat ones. You can see the panels for the 70's trailers here: Airstream Body Panel Page 1969-82
If you are going to replace that many rivets with Olympics, I would get a shaver. It can be done with a Dremel tool, but will not look as good or be as easy to use.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:37 AM   #4
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Welcome!

Hi Tim, Also take a look at the forum section Ribs, Skins & Rivets. Lots of different methods have been tried.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:52 AM   #5
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Tim,
Welcome to the forums. Replacing panels is not all that hard. You just need to take your time and if you get frustrated, put it down and get the heck away from it.

As far as a way to dress rivets with out a shaver, I have never heard of a way to do it. The shavers are pricy and I'm sure that is one thing that has kept people from repairing their panels their self. They have to buy a pricy tool that they will only use once.
We have decided to rent the shavers. That way, you won't have to spend so much on a tool that you will only use once.

Click here to see the shaver.

Make sure you read the whole discription on the saver!

Dan
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:37 AM   #6
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For smaller repairs I've cut off the stem with a side cutter and used a Dremel. Used a stone to take off the spur and an abrasive rubber wheel (actually a dental lab accessory -- don't know about Dremel -- ?? 520 Polishing Wheel / Model: 520 ). My job looks a little freehand up close -- it might show up more if it were used for a whole panel.

Be sure and get into clecos if you'll be replacing panels.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:34 AM   #7
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Olympic rivets

After the Olympic rivet pin is pulled, you snip off as much of the mandrel as you can, as canoestream pointed out.

Then dress down the rest of the pin, with a Dremel tool, or if you have tons of time, with a simple file.

Hundreds of owners have done that.

The shavers are expensive and not really necessary, unless your going to do hundreds of rivets, and wish to save time. Obviously, how you dress down the rivet dictates how it looks.

When replacing panels, you "must" use some Vulkem sealer properly, or you will forever have water leaks.

Andt
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:40 AM   #8
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If somehow you get Olympics with the little rubber o-rings, pull every last one of them off before you use the rivet. The rubber ages and defeats the intended purpose.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:49 AM   #9
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After having replaced panels on two trailers with Olympics, I'd say the rivet shaver is definitely worth the money - whether you buy or rent one, you will be pleased with the results!

By the time you figure in the cost of the panels & Olympics...it'd be a shame to let the cost of the rental of the shaver <great resource Dan! > get between you and a professional looking project! Your trailer's next owner will thank you too ~

Shari
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:56 AM   #10
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Good idea Bob on the Dremel tool. That would work well or the Large Olympic rivet too.


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