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Old 06-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #1
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riveting new aluminum on the interior

If you replace the interior aluminum skin do you use the same rivet holes in the structural beams to attach the new pieces? It sounds like you use the old pieces as templates and drill holes in the new pieces with holes corresponding to the old? Then you rivet the new pieces through the same holes in the sturctural beams for the trailer? Or create new holes (cant be)?

Is there an absolute size of drill bit you want to use to drill out the old rivets? I assume you could really mess up by drilling out the old rivets with too big of a drill bit - making it difficult to use for a new rivet later???
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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I personally wouldn`t worry about existing holes,just kind of mark where the electric etc, is as to not drill it. 1/8 " drill bit,if you`re taking down a few panels you might want to buy 10 or so.Good luck,and welcome to the forum.Dave
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by new2air View Post
If you replace the interior aluminum skin do you use the same rivet holes in the structural beams to attach the new pieces? It sounds like you use the old pieces as templates and drill holes in the new pieces with holes corresponding to the old? Then you rivet the new pieces through the same holes in the sturctural beams for the trailer? Or create new holes (cant be)?

Is there an absolute size of drill bit you want to use to drill out the old rivets? I assume you could really mess up by drilling out the old rivets with too big of a drill bit - making it difficult to use for a new rivet later???
Yes, you do use the same holes and it is important to use a bit large enough to do the trick but still small enough to keep from enlarging the hole. I think its a "10, 20 or 30"- slightly smaller than 1/8" (someone will know for sure) to drill them out. Then drill the new holes in the new panel with an 1/8" bit so the new rivets will fit. If you are care when using your old panels as your templates, you should "hit" 98% of your old holes in the ribs.

The other thing you can do with most small aluminum rivets is use a sharpened paint scrape and a mallet and just shear the heads off by putting the scraper between the rivet head and panel and tapping it (scraper) with the mallet. This prevents having to have to drill out every rivet and potentially enlarge all the holes, but it is possible to scratch the panel when doing it so if you are re-using the same panels, you may not want to do it - for templates, no problem. Then we used a spring-loaded center punch to push the stems in to free the panel.

If you have any steel rivets, you will need to drill them out - they are usually too tough to shear off.

One other suggestion...clecos! They will become your best friend.

Shari
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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What is clecos?
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Clecos are temporary fasteners that hold the aluminum in place as you replace panels. Here are a couple of earlier posts that explain how they are used.

What are clecos?

Replacing a panel 101

Clecos - will i wish i had 'em?

Shari
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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Were did you get the new aluminum skins?
C
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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Were did you get the new aluminum skins?
C
We bought the aluminum for our skins (two exterior, one interior on our two different trailers) online at Airparts Inc. Homepage it's the 2024-T3-.032 (Alclad) for the panels. It can be ordered in any length 4 feet wide. All the cut-outs & holes and exact size cuts we did ourselves. (see the posts starting around #227 at the link)

We used 5052-H32 .025 for the belly pan - also available at Airparts.

Shari
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