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Old 08-03-2003, 02:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Rivets Again

Bucking the soft "O" type rivets won't take anything heavier in a rivet gun than a 2X but requires the inner skin to be off but around the windows I think you can just pull the inner window trim as I did on my oval side window when I replaced it. Also a second bucking bar person is needed.

Cutting the rivet heads with a chisel is okay but can distort the size of the hole making it oblonged. the Olympic rivets pull to leave 3 legs to catch the inner surface. I used an aviation an3 washer that just fits the 3/16" O-rivet. This worked well for me since the factory forgot about edge distance when it comes to rivet placement. Over 75% of the holes for my side window only caught 1/2 a hole in the edge of the sheetmetal. Using a washer increased the contact area for a better hold. I used Vulcum on everything inside and out. The trailer has been thru several tropical storms here in La. and not leaks as of today.

Dave Spann.....Lake Charles, La.

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Old 08-03-2003, 03:44 PM   #2
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2005 28' Classic
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Window openings

There have been a lot of posts concerning sloppy cutting of window and door openings such that the rivets either miss or just catch the aluminum. Since the rivets are hand bucked, it would seem to me that when the bucker sees this happening he/she should stop the process right there. At the very least, a longer rivet with a washer should be used. The goof certainly isn't invisible to the original bucker.

Maybe Airstream needs an in-process inspection before the inside skin is installed to catch these goofs.

John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
WBCCI #9632, TAC TX-10
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Old 08-03-2003, 04:16 PM   #3
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Rivet Edge Distance

It's called "Quality Control Inspections" in the aviation business. QA inspectors look at everything before anything goes out the door. They had it but it wasn't the greatest.

The holes cut in the skin for the doors and windows have to be from a pattern and it's TOO BIG! That's the problem with the older openings. They're probably cut by hand using a pattern layed on the skin after the hulls are riveted together. My opening was way too big.

The backup washers when used with a padded bucking bar can slow down production alot. I watch a film on the History channel about travel trailers to include shots of AS being assembled. The riveting was fast and furious. No time to put a washer on every miss drill on the edge. Perhaps they figure the Vulcum would hold everything and keep it from leaking.

Another problem: Disimilar metal barrier protection. None! Aluminum is rivet to steel...add water and you have corrsion that comes from the inside out. Think about it..........Dave Spann
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Old 08-03-2003, 05:07 PM   #4
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Since the rivets are hand bucked, it would seem to me that when the bucker sees this happening he/she should stop the process right there.
They didn't even stop when the rivet didn't go through both skins or the skin and rib. I found about half a dozen like that.

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