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Old 03-31-2014, 09:12 AM   #1
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reattaching cast metal letters with damaged posts.

I removed the pot-metal "AIRSTREAM" letters from the back panel of my trailer as I needed to replace the panel. Despite my best efforts to be careful, many of the little pot-metal posts that have the threaded nut on it holding the letter in place either got completely twisted off, or at least shortened. So I am looking for a clever way of reattaching them. I have seen the recommendations to just use a pop rivet and then paint the rivet, Have also considered drilling through all the letters and using a screw and nut or screw and threaded insert--but figure this might look even worse than the rivet.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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3M adhesives would be a good way to go.

There are many double stick tapes designed to attach things heavier to wall surfaces.

Clean/sand the backs of the letters, attach the double stick tape.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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Your local automotive supply should carry a product made by 3M. I think it is called VHB tape. It is used to adhere the various badges to your automobile. It is a great product to keep around the garage for various projects.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:24 AM   #4
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Windshield Urethane will glue almost any surfaces together, and will last almost for ever,

It was our preferred method of attaching emblems when I worked in an Auto Body shop.

Available where auto body supplies are sold, comes in a tube for use with a caulking gun.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:48 PM   #5
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Hmmm...I hadn't thought very seriously about sticky stuff. I have been using the trailer as an aluminum tent for a few months, and have been having hell trying to get battery operated "puck-lights" and electrical wiring stick-on fasteners to stay put on the inside of the shell. This even when the temperatures aren't in the nineties and the aluminum has been roughed up with a wire cup. I'm a little paranoid about the letters as they are basically made of unobtainium...
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:59 PM   #6
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What did you end up doing?
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:04 PM   #7
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Most of my damaged posts weren't completely broken off, but were just too short to use the original nut-like fasteners (that caused them to twist off during disassembly). In most cases, I had enough post left over that I was able to buy some "push nuts," which look like an almost flat, springy plate, and push them on far enough to get a good bite on the remaining post. I then glopped a bunch of vulkem onto the posts to seal and cement things in place.

In one or two cases, the posts were completely broken off, so I drilled a hole through the letter from the front side, counter sunk it, and put a flat-headed machine screw in there with a nut on the back side. I filled the slot of the screw with epoxy and then painted the letter, and it isn't even noticeable unless you know to get up close and look for it.

Anyway, I have traveled a few thousand miles since reinstalling the letters, and they are holding tight.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:22 PM   #8
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So you need to have access to the back to use those push nuts I'm guessing
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:33 PM   #9
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The automotive industry has progressed over the years from threaded posts & nuts to posts with push on retainers to posts pushed into plastic sleeves and all seem to have settled on double sided adhesive tape. It seems to do the job very well and body shops just remove them and re-attach with little problem.

Seems to me to be a pretty easy fix to me.
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:46 PM   #10
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I had access to the back--interior skins were out.

I had factory stuck on letters fall off the the back of a 1998 sedan, so I was lacking confidence in the stick on option.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:08 PM   #11
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Adhesives have come a long way since 1998.
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