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Old 09-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #1
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Greasy rivets!

I took a routine look at the roof of the Overlander today, and noticed quite a few of the rivets with kind of a dark, "oily" smear around them, or at least the dust had stuck to that area. I'd say the diameter of these spots was about 1", centered on the rivet head. Is this indicative of somewhat loose rivets, which could cause leaks? What is the source of the dark residue around them? Any particular way to clean this up, and seal them? Thanks! -tim
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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I took a routine look at the roof of the Overlander today, and noticed quite a few of the rivets with kind of a dark, "oily" smear around them, or at least the dust had stuck to that area. I'd say the diameter of these spots was about 1", centered on the rivet head. Is this indicative of somewhat loose rivets, which could cause leaks? What is the source of the dark residue around them? Any particular way to clean this up, and seal them? Thanks! -tim
What year trailer?

Andy
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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The black stuff is probably aluminum residue. You can clean them, and seal around them, or replace them and seal under them.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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They are the exterior, buck rivets along the length of the roof on a '72.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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Aluminum rubbings from vibration, makes like a pasty black goo when mixed with original sealant applied under the rivet.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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They are the exterior, buck rivets along the length of the roof on a '72.
Back then, for unknown reasons, the inside of the exterior metal, had a small oily film on them.

What your finding, is "A" the clearcoat is shot.

"B" The roof rivets are ever so slightly loose, allowing the oil to surface to the exterior.

"C" the shell is vibrating, causing the roof rivets, to become slightly loose.

The "fix" could be to replace all the roof rivets with Olympics and some Vulkem sealer on the back side of the rivet head on every single one of them.

Or, perhaps you could consider recoating the roof with a couple of good coats of the clearcoat.

The exterior collection of stuff around the rivets, is more than likely dirt, and not aluminum powder.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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A loose rivet will have a circle of black "smoke" right up tight around it. Your 1" circle sounds more like dirt than loose rivets. Any time aluminum rubs against itself, it will create this black residue or smoke, but it's usually confined to the edge of the rub. If however you do find loose bucked rivets, then the only real way to fix is to replace them. You can try to give them another few taps with a rivet gun but in the case of the trailer you would first have to remove the interior to expose the other end of the rivet. Easier to drill it out and replace with an Olympic or cherry-max rivet.(pull types). Hope this helps......Phil.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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The oil film-and-dust theory best explains what I'm seeing, thanks. I've also seen this kind of oil/aluminum smear on a couple of interior ceiling pop rivets, with a much smaller diameter like what Phil described. Not too bad for 40 years of use!
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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On my trailer I thinke the oily ring is actually mold growing on the pollen and dirt stuck around the rivet
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