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Old 04-26-2011, 08:10 PM   #1
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Heater Hole Patch....

Looking for some suggestions, I am replacing the furnace in my 65 Safari, I am considering one from a later model Airstream. The new furnaces have the much smaller intake and exhaust ( the small rectangular plate with the 2 holes in them ). I was considering just putting a patch over the existing hole and making smaller hole in the patch for the new intake and exhaust plate. I have not done any riveting as of yet, and a little leery. Any other creative suggestions ?
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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My hole was not as big as yours, but I patched it with a square patch, and the exhaust for the new heater ended up right above it. It looks fine, nobody notices unless they are looking for it. It wasn't very hard to do either. I just sealed it with a bead of vulkem and riveted it on.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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It wasn't very hard to do either. I just sealed it with a bead of vulkem and riveted it on.
That's the trick isn't it? Apart from that, you could cut the AL in the shape of Texas, or a heart and make it more decorative, but a patch is a patch.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Stef, what kind of rivets did you use ?
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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That's the trick isn't it? Apart from that, you could cut the AL in the shape of Texas, or a heart and make it more decorative, but a patch is a patch.
Now there is a flash of creativity.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Well.. it looks like you are going to have to patch it. Aside from appearances, I'd be wary of possible leakage.
The pop rivets have the mandrel (stick) thing in the middle and a hole on the face where water can get in. Pop rivets are solid but require a whole setup to do.
No really great choices.. unless.. there really is a creative solution.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:14 PM   #7
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Buck rivets don't look like an impossibility, given that the inner shell is already off in that spot (from what I can see in the photo).

Failing that, rent a rivet shaver and go with Olympic rivets.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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I thought about going Olympic, but who rents the shavers ? those darn things are expensive !!
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:37 PM   #9
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Looks like out of doors mart will rent it for 30 days for about $35.
Olympic Rivet Dresser Rental HS310-5B-R [HS310-5B-R] - $249.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:41 PM   #10
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I used olympic rivets and cleaned them up with a dremel tool, and then went to a rally where one of our unit members had a rivet shaver and he cleaned them up proper for me. Though if you have a steady hand, you can probably do a very passable job with a dremel, just don't let it bounce off onto the panel around the rivet!
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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I found before and after pictures. This was a couple years ago, now the 'newness' of the patch has worn off and it doesn't stand out as much.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #12
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Buck rivets don't look like an impossibility, given that the inner shell is already off in that spot (from what I can see in the photo).

Failing that, rent a rivet shaver and go with Olympic rivets.
I have successfully 'shaved' my Olympic rivets with a Dremel grinder. Take your time and you can't tell the difference as if you had used an expensive shaver.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:11 PM   #13
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Kevin,
I had a similar problem last year. Our coach was set up for commercial display, and had the furnace door, but furnace was removed. We wanted to relocate furnace, so I found a mobile RV mechanic to install new furnace in new location.

I was left to patch the hole. Thanks to advice on this column, the following pics show what I did.

I laid out rivet spacing on the patch with a divider, so spacing is consistent. I then drilled all holes in patch on drill press.

Next step was to locate patch and drill holes in coach. I temp fastened patch with screws. (Picture shows tape in place, but remove it before riveting.)

Next, spread Vulcum over mating surfaces and rivet with Olympic rivets.

I nipped off ends and then masked the surrounding area in case of a slip up, and carefully smoothed rivets with small wheel in drill. I then touched them up with a file.

All is well!

PS!! Hideous graphics are gone! Her exterior looks like a normal AS now!

Bob
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:42 AM   #14
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That is a nice looking patch!
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