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Old 03-31-2016, 06:19 PM   #1
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Loose bottom panel

There is a lose sheet is hanging down in the rear. The original rivets are gone and the rivet holes are too big to re-rivet. I have no experience at repairing something like this and don't know where to start.
Any help of how to do this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvr_Lining View Post
There is a lose sheet is hanging down in the rear. The original rivets are gone and the rivet holes are too big to re-rivet. I have no experience at repairing something like this and don't know where to start.
Any help of how to do this would be greatly appreciated.
Hmmm. Picture needs to be rotated clockwise 90 deg. Ground is on the right.

Attachment 259726
I haven't run into this problem (having an Interstate) but if an ex-engineer's opinion is worth anything, you might try re-riveting through washers, if you can find washers that are wide enough to cover the holes but have a hole small enough for a rivet to get a proper grip.
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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redrill new holes beside the old and use the big head rivets
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:12 PM   #4
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Loose panel

Silvr Lining, The panel is part of your belly pan. You can see the rivets that tore out of the lead edge just above the panel itself. Drill the rivets out using a 1/8th inch drill bit then reattach the panel with a 1/8th inch stainless steel rivet placed thru a large enough ID (interior dimension) to allow the rivet shaft thru a stainless steel washer with a large enough width to hold the aluminum panel back up onto the frame where it dropped down from. Most home improvement stores carry a variety of stainless washers. Be sure to use some Acryl-R or other sealant to butter the rivet when installing it! All the torn out rivets will need to be treated this way to assure that the panel is firmly installed back to the frame member. Once this is done take the trailer to have your running gear aligned and checked as you have some kind of vibration that is causing the washers to cut thru the panel aluminum. Hope this helps, Ed
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:47 PM   #5
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Big Ed does a good job explaining how to re-attach the belly pan. Vibration or corrosion can cause the rivets to pull loose. This usually happens on older trailers than your 07.

I trip to the hardware store is in order. I personally use the larger 3/16 diameter rivets with the large flange. I feel I get more holding power, and I can space out the rivet pattern a bit. I don't seal belly pan rivets. In fact, I drill small drain holes in the belly pan so water can drip out.

David
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:24 PM   #6
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Fastenal has fender washers. They are about 1 1/4" in diameter with a 3/16" hole in the center. I also made Fiberglas washers to place between the fender washer and the belly pan.. It prevents electrolysis between dissimilar metals. I used 3/16" aluminum pop rivets to reattach the belly pan.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:40 PM   #7
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I simply cut about a 1" square piece of aluminum stock and re-rivet in the same location.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:05 PM   #8
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I should have suggested to slvr lining that Airstream owners need a hand rivet tool. It ought to come standard equipment with every new Airstream. Add a hand rivet tool to your list. I have a Stanley, but there are others available. Then buy a selection of 1/8 (4/32), 5/32 and 3/16 (6/32) diameter Pop rivets. (Why didn't we switch to the metric system back in the 1970s when we had the chance?) Keep them in the Airstream as they are handy for small repairs like your loose belly pan panel.

David
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:45 AM   #9
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I should have suggested to slvr lining that Airstream owners need a hand rivet tool. It ought to come standard equipment with every new Airstream. Add a hand rivet tool to your list. I have a Stanley, but there are others available. Then buy a selection of 1/8 (4/32), 5/32 and 3/16 (6/32) diameter Pop rivets. (Why didn't we switch to the metric system back in the 1970s when we had the chance?) Keep them in the Airstream as they are handy for small repairs like your loose belly pan panel.

David
You can order the rivet kit from Airstream - see https://store.airstream.com/product/...eam-rivet-kit/
While it doesn't show the shaver in this kit, you can order it from Airstream Supply - https://airstreamsupply.com/New-Riveting-Parts
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:41 AM   #10
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You can order thru Airstream or you can go to your local hardware store for the tool and rivets without all of Airstreams mark up prices.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:52 AM   #11
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I have done exactly the same as Rich - ie made up my own washers by cutting 1/8" x 1" aluminum strip into one inch squares and drilling a hole to make my own washers as needed.

For me it is a continuing problem as the thin aluminum belly pan corrodes around the rivets due I think to salt accumulation from the winter roads as well as the fact that the aluminum belly pan is riveted to steel frame sections. It is a continuing chore and a pain!

Brian.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:07 AM   #12
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On mine, it's not corrosion. It is a constant wind buffeting and relative motion between the large rivet head and skin. It is evidenced by a lot of black aluminum dust and staining, followed by a perfect hole in the skin the same diameter as the rivet head. I've seen no white corrosion around the holes.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:19 AM   #13
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That's fine if your local hardware stocks Olympic rivets and the small white ones for interior panels.
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