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Old 10-25-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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Removing rivet stubs

One of the many previous owners of my 74 Argosy Motorhome removed the front grille assembly so they could remove the 454 for use in a circle track race car

The removal process left a gazillion of rivets like these sticking out.

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What would be the easiest and best way to remove all of these rivet stubs?

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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drill baby drill..
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HairCream View Post
drill baby drill..
Easy for you to say

My only thought was to use a cutoff wheel to trim them fairly close to the aluminum skin and then drill them out.

My real hope was that someone would have a magic wand that I could just wave over the rivet stubs and they would fall out

Brad
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #4
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My real concern is how tall they are. I'm going to see how easy the process is on Sunday. Who knows, with luck I might be done Sunday as well
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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I'll give it 10 minutes. Just jam that drill blade in the hole and guide it in easy. Angle the drill to keep it going in the center of the rivet. Easy Peasy lemon squeezie.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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If they're hollow all the way through, then drilling them will work fine. If however they still have the stems in them, then I like your idea of cutting them off close to the surface and then drilling, especially if the stems are harder than the body of the rivet......Phil.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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Yes, there could be steel stems in there, but you can improvise like a jazz man instead of getting all lawyer'd up from the get go.
Take a pair of pliers and see if you can push the rivets in some first. If they go in they the stems become a non issue.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:25 AM   #8
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Try a sharp wood chisel and a hammer. If they are aluminum core they will shear right off and you can drill what is left.

Perry
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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I used a dremel cut-off wheel to trim them as flush as possible, and then used a nail set to push them out of the hole. If the rivet doesn't push out easily, then you can drill them out. Cutting them flush helps ensure the drill bit will not wander off the rivet and enlarge the hole.

Chris
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #10
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I think a hammer and punch would be problematic as there is no support around the opening. If I had a third hand I could provide backing support, unfortunately I'll be doing this by myself. I'll try nipping them off close to the shell and then see if I can pull them through from behind. I think I can get to the back side on most if not all of them.

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I should know Sunday which one of these approaches works

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #11
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It looks like you can get to the back of the rivet where it's mushroomed and use some side cutters/ wire cutters and easily cut the mushroomed part of the rivet. The rest of the rivet be easily pulled out by hand.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
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Just thought I would follow up with the method that worked the best. I tried using new (i.e. sharp) cutters and that method pretty much didn't work due to mushrooming the heads.

I then tried drilling and 9 times out of 10 that method worked. The real problem was there was no back support for the aluminum so any sort of hammering wasn't really possible since I don't have three hands, one for back support, one for holding the punch and one for the hammer

Nipping them just mushroomed the heads making it difficult to get them out. Drilling worked the best by far.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:57 AM   #13
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They look like blind rivets put in backwards. Drill them out with a 1/8 drill and replace them in the opposite direction. If they are in a place that will show use Olympic rivets.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:21 AM   #14
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They were blind rivets installed from the front. The rivets were holding the Argosy motorhome ABS front grille to the shell. Some of the rivets actually fastened to the aluminum front structure. On an Airstream motorhome the front shell is riveted to a cast aluminum frame work. A few of the rivets were fastened to this frame work, the rest were in the aluminum skin.

The rivets do need to be installed from the front and I think using Olympic rivets through the skin would be a good idea. I'll look into that when the time comes to re-install the front grille.

Brad
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