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Old 08-28-2003, 08:13 AM   #1
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removing rivets

I will need to remove/replace rivets. What's the technique for removing rivets safely so I don't do more damage? Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:27 PM   #2
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Do it very carefully, with the correct size drill bits.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:03 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what your removing but I'll tell you how I removed the wrap window frames on my Safari.

I used a chisel and knocked the heads of the rivets off. Then I was able to pull the window frame off which left rivet stumps on the trailer.

I then used a dremel tool to cut the rivet stumps flush with the trailer body.

When I replaced the frame. I used olympic rivets and held the frame in place. I used a 5/16th drill bit to drill out the holes in the window frame and new holes in the trailer body to fit the replacement rivets.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 08-29-2003, 08:33 AM   #4
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The correct way to remove a rivet is to drill the head off. Use a number size drill that is one size smaller than the rivet size.For a 1/8 rivet you would use a #31 drill. Drill into mushroom shaped head no deeper than the surface of the trailer skin.The rivet head will spin off - if it doesn't give the drill a little wiggle.If the tail of the rivet does not fall out at this point give it a tap with a pin punch the size of the rivet. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2003, 09:35 AM   #5
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Safari Tim.

5/16" drill bit? What size rivets did you use to fill the holes?

Or did you mean 5/32"?

Greg 176.

The use of a drill bit smaller than a #30, and then rotating the drill will create holes that are not round. To do so will cause a water leak, gauranteed.

The Airstream "Service Manual" calls for a #30 drill bit.

The following drill bit sizes are the only correct sizes to use. To do so otherwise, is not recommended, by anyone that has had to chase down a water leak.

For a 1/8 inch rivet, use a #30 drill bit.

For a 5/32 inch rivet, use a #21 drill bit.

For a 3/16 inch rivet, use a #11 drill bit.

Using a chisel to shear off the rivet head, can result in scratching the metal.

Pushing the rivet shank out with a punch can result in deforming the metal.

Many methods can be used,"BUT" the safest way is drilling out the buck rivets with a #30 drill bit. Enlarging the holes with a #21 drill bit for the olympic rivet insures a round hole for proper fit.
Each aircraft mechanic may have a particular technique, that works for them, simply because they do this everyday, and hundreds of times, everyday. But, for the do it yourself person, using the tried "AND" proven way, is the best way for them to avoid trouble, and, insures a quality and permanent repair, the first time.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2003, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Inland RV Center, In
Safari Tim.

5/16" drill bit? What size rivets did you use to fill the holes?

Or did you mean 5/32"?

Yes. I stand or sit corrected... I meant 5/32" .
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Old 08-30-2003, 08:34 AM   #7
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Thanks Andy for further info . I am new to Airstreams but have about 27 years experience working on large transport aircraft.The skin on the Airstream is a little frightening as it is so thin compared to aircraft - needs extra special care.We use a #31 drill for a 1/8" rivet so we do not touch the drilled hole the trick is not to drill below the skin surface.
I just brought home a 61 Overlander I bought for $500 and will be replacing the floor and several skins. Thanks for info.
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