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Old 01-03-2016, 09:33 AM   #1
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buck rivets vs olympic rivets

Hi Airstream Lovers,
I am starting a full renovation of a 1971 31' sovereign
i need to replace all the left side lower panel ( about 35x200 inches)
would be olympic rivets strong enough for that kind of work or should i use
buck rivet like the original construction.
thanks for your help!
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:02 AM   #2
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If you can use buck rivets, go ahead. A little stronger, lots easier and look like they are supposed to without shaving.

Olympics will certainly work fine (we used a lot of them on aging airframes) but are expensive and require shaving to look like original fasteners. Many assert that they are prone to leakage but I have never seen that problem.

Mike
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:54 AM   #3
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If as you say, you are doing a renovation, and the interior skin is removed. I would buck rivet the panel. No reason to use olympics.

When bucking or using olympics use plenty of your favorite urethane sealant, e.g., Trempro, Vulkem, Sikaflex. On the edges of the panel and the rivets. You will not have any leaks.

Here is something you may find useful for your renovation. Probably the most comprehensive thread about sealants on the forum. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ry-116214.html

Have fun with your reno.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:36 PM   #4
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the inner skin has been removed, i'll use buck rivets,
Thanks a lot Mike and Dennis for your help!
cheers!
Lionel
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:45 PM   #5
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Make sure you have plenty of beer iced up for your buddy, you'll need one for buck rivets. When driving them make sure your perpendicular as much as possible to prevent the undesirable smile left on the head. It takes practice to get flow going efficiently. It is not about how hard you push either, let the tool do the work, if your tool is jumping off of the head of the rivet try turning the air pressure down to a manageable setting.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:53 PM   #6
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The olympic rivets have no shear strength. That panel is structural so buck rivets are a must. Olympic rivets are only for patches and small repairs with no load on them. Compare it to screws and nails... bend a screw and it will break right away whereas a nail will take multiple hits.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AlbertaBound View Post
The olympic rivets have no shear strength. That panel is structural so buck rivets are a must. Olympic rivets are only for patches and small repairs with no load on them. Compare it to screws and nails... bend a screw and it will break right away whereas a nail will take multiple hits.
I believe these statements are an over-reach. Olympics do have shear strength......as much as bucked....probably not. (I can't seem to find specs on line) Clamping force? Probably less than bucked. Given a preference, bucked is better than Olympic, but removing half the interior and inner skins?.....a judgement call.

I had two upper end segments replaced 5 years and about 20k ago with Olympics, by JC, due to a backing accident. No leaks, no popped rivets, no seam fatigue.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:52 PM   #8
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1/8 solid rivets have 363 lbs shear strength compared to the olympics at 120 lbs. Basically 1/3 the strength. Now since the Airstream used monocoque construction that means the panel holds the weight of the trailer. Your decision...
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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And the shear strength of the panel edge?
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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1/8 solid rivets have 363 lbs shear strength compared to the olympics at 120 lbs. Basically 1/3 the strength. Now since the Airstream used monocoque construction that means the panel holds the weight of the trailer. Your decision...
I'm sorry, but an Airstream is most definitely not monocoque construction - it has a substantial steel frame and an aluminum superstructure frame the panels are riveted to. While the skins provides stiffness and some torsional resistance, the vertical weight bearing structure for most of the trailer is the frame.

While Olympic rivets can have leakage issues (especially when relying on the gaskets without sealant), I don't recall reading about any widespread issues of sheared rivets. The assertion that Olympics will fail and impact the structural integrity of an Airstream is IMHO hyperbole on a similar or higher level than the assertion that using anything other than a Hensley or PP will result in devastation and death.

I realize it's the internet, but lets try to have a little factual evidence or science before scaring the hell out of the folks that actually believe what they read here
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:52 PM   #11
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and hopefully we can "move on" now . . . but probably not.

anyway, make sure who ever is running the "bucking bar" on the inside of the trailer is wearing ear protection - I was typically on the outside, and then one day I taught my adult son to use the rivet gun, and I was on the inside . . . next day I was still a little deaf.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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One last rant
Quote:
And the shear strength of the panel edge?
36000 lbs per square inch ... not really an issue
Quote:
I'm sorry, but an Airstream is most definitely not monocoque construction - it has a substantial steel frame and an aluminum superstructure frame the panels are riveted to. While the skins provides stiffness and some torsional resistance, the vertical weight bearing structure for most of the trailer is the frame.
maybe you should read the sales brochure because they sure use the term "monocoque" ALOT!
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I realize it's the internet, but lets try to have a little factual evidence or science before scaring the hell out of the folks that actually believe what they read here
Agreed!
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Semi-monocoque.

http://airstreaminfo.com/construction/shell-assembly/
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