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Old 08-25-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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1984 31' Excella
Cottage Grove , Minnesota
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Is it worth replacing Olympic rivets with Buck?

Quick question. We're in the middle of renovating our '84 Excella and now that the inner skins are off we've noticed that one side is quite different from the other. There's no insulation glue, or sealant on the rivets.

You can see this in the video below:

https://instagram.com/p/6zzLf-A86i/?...stripramblings

Looks like a whole external panel was replaced and the used Olympic rivets instead of the original Buck rivets to replace it.

The inner skins are all down, so we could replace them with buck rivets (apparently they'll give a stronger hold), but we don't currently have any equipment to do so.

I'm looking for some opinions as to whether we'll be fine with the existing Olympic rivets (after we properly seal them of course), or if we it's worth it to plan on buying or renting the proper equipment to replace them with buck rivets?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:45 AM   #2
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Is it worth replacing Olympic rivets with Buck?

There will different ideas about this.
The few places I've repaired on our 75 were ever so slightly wavey from the bucking process. Maybe it was a bad day on the assembly line, I don't know. But I do know I don't make waves with pop rivets, so I prefer Olympics for outer skin, etc.
Curious about strength, I perused the aircraft builder forums and the only thing everyone agreed on was the hole for the rivet should not be sloppy, too big, rivet a tight fit. This goes along with all of the shop classes I ever had and my military training. There was no consensus about buck vs blind, one being stronger than the other.
The repair is already done. I'd slather the inside of the joints with TremPro and call it a day.
One other, the hole for Olympics is slightly larger than the normal buck rivet hole, replacing would mean either hole slop, or finding larger rivets.
My 2 cents ...
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:24 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums!

The general concensus is usually that bucked rivets are stronger and less prone to leak, and constitute the "right" way to do a repair.

That being said, Olympic rivets tend to be the "standard," and at least "acceptable" way to perform a repair (I found that my trailer had both wing windows, a front lower corner, and a rear lower corner all repaired using Olympics).

When I did my trailer, I bucked in both the above mentioned wing windows (had to remove them because they needed to be rebuilt), and replaced one of the segments that had been replaced before (it was dented). The last segment, I left alone. I take an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy, and as I could see no movement/shearing/damage resulting in the Olympic repairs, I resolved not to mess with them if I didn't have to. I did goop up the back sides of the rivets with plenty of vulkem.

So my recommendation would be to seal from inside, but otherwise leave your Olympic rivets where they are. Structurally, if nothing has moved in the last 20 years, then the strength of the rivets must be good enough.

Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshannon View Post
Quick question. We're in the middle of renovating our '84 Excella and now that the inner skins are off we've noticed that one side is quite different from the other. There's no insulation glue, or sealant on the rivets.

You can see this in the video below:

https://instagram.com/p/6zzLf-A86i/?...stripramblings

Looks like a whole external panel was replaced and the used Olympic rivets instead of the original Buck rivets to replace it.

The inner skins are all down, so we could replace them with buck rivets (apparently they'll give a stronger hold), but we don't currently have any equipment to do so.

I'm looking for some opinions as to whether we'll be fine with the existing Olympic rivets (after we properly seal them of course), or if we it's worth it to plan on buying or renting the proper equipment to replace them with buck rivets?

Thanks for your input.
Buck rivets are 1/8 inch in diameter.

Olympics are 5/32 inch in diameter.

That would leave a 1/32 inch gap, whick would not properly seal, plus it would allow the metal to move, which would enlarge the hole.

Any type of sealer, even Vulkem, would not make a fix.

Andy
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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When I contacted JC about replacing a rear lower curved panel they said they would do it with Olympic rivets. They would do buck rivets if I wanted, but it would double the price because having to tear up the interior. I take that as Olympic rivets are at least acceptable.

Al
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
When I contacted JC about replacing a rear lower curved panel they said they would do it with Olympic rivets. They would do buck rivets if I wanted, but it would double the price because having to tear up the interior. I take that as Olympic rivets are at least acceptable.

Al
It's not what is used, it's "how" it's used.

Olympic rivets have been used for several decades.

Their use is great, if used properly along with proper sealers, placed in the proper place, at the time of use.

Andy
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:06 AM   #7
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If your Olympics have not got any visible sealant on them absolutely replace them, either with bucks or Olympics dipped in a sealant. I had a major mystery leak from just that, at some point in my trailers life the side panel was replaced and olympiced on with no sealant...I thought my front wing window was leaking it turned out that the front cap seam was just one of the paths the water creeped along from that replaced side and found its way out. Here is a video I made for how to use Olympics.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ml#post1628345

Airstream Buck Riveting Kit

Olympic Riveting Kit
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:28 AM   #8
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You can also use Product — Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure to seal from the outside. This product is generally available at marine (boating) outfitters - not very expensive and works well, provided that the rivets are not loose.
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