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Old 11-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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1974 27' Overlander
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Rivets

I want to purchase an Olympic rivet shaver and rivets for my husband for Christmas but I don't know what size to get. We have a 1974 Overlander Airstream. Also, will the rivet gun he has work with the Olympic rivets or do I need to purchase something specific to install the Olympic rivets?
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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I want to purchase an Olympic rivet shaver and rivets for my husband for Christmas but I don't know what size to get. We have a 1974 Overlander Airstream. Also, will the rivet gun he has work with the Olympic rivets or do I need to purchase something specific to install the Olympic rivets?
A standard rivet gun will work with the olympic rivets. I am not at the shop, so I can't answer the rivet size question.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dlhernandez View Post
I want to purchase an Olympic rivet shaver and rivets for my husband for Christmas but I don't know what size to get. We have a 1974 Overlander Airstream. Also, will the rivet gun he has work with the Olympic rivets or do I need to purchase something specific to install the Olympic rivets?
A good regular pop rivet gun will properly install the Olympic rivets.

There is only one size of shaver that's used for the Olympics.

Andy
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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You can find the rivet shaver and olympic rivets at Vintage trailer supply. In fact i believe they sell a kit that has the correct rivets, shaver and puller. The correct size for exterior olympics is 5/32 in size. These are blind/pop rivets. The shaver is pricey but worth it if you are doing a lot of this type of rivets. Ed
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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What a woman! Kudos on picking the perfect gift for your husband. Hope he responds with as thoughtful a gift!
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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Yup - that's were I was getting it from -- I just didn't know which of the two sizes. Thanks for the response.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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BTW, Airstream in Jackson Center sells a rivet kit (I just bought one last week). It includes a good quality riveter with a swivel head, an assortment of AS specific rivets (including Olympic rivets), with the part numbers for replacement, and the shaver, all in a nice hard shell case - cost is $394.95. I was in for service at the time and they showed me how to install the Olympic rivets and shave them (hands on for me). The kit also includes the #20 & #30 drill bits. Did you know that there is a neoprene seal on the back of the heads of the Olympic rivets to ensure that they are waterproof?
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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BTW, Airstream in Jackson Center sells a rivet kit (I just bought one last week). It includes a good quality riveter with a swivel head, an assortment of AS specific rivets (including Olympic rivets), with the part numbers for replacement, and the shaver, all in a nice hard shell case - cost is $394.95. I was in for service at the time and they showed me how to install the Olympic rivets and shave them (hands on for me). The kit also includes the #20 & #30 drill bits. Did you know that there is a neoprene seal on the back of the heads of the Olympic rivets to ensure that they are waterproof?
The # 20 drill bit, is the wrong size. Check the size of a 20 and them 21 and compare it to the rivet diameter.

The washer, is great, FOR NOW.

When it rots by being in the sun, every one of those rivets becomes a "water leak".

Then, you can replace all of them with standard Olympics and use a little Vulkem sealer on the backside of the rivet head.

Now, your opinion of the washered Olympics will surely change.

They are good for an emergency temporary fix PERIOD.

Sometimes Airstream needs to do a little more products study.

Andy
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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Andy, when I spoke with Dave Schumacher he told me that the #21 drill bit was a tighter fit and that was what they used before - in fact he suggested I buy a #21. The service department is using #20 and that is what is included in the kit. I didn't know the downside of the neoprene seal. I do have Vulkem which I can use. I would need to source a small supply (say 2 dozen) of standard Olympic rivets. So far, I only had one rivet that needed to be replaced (a buck rivet that came loose); all my other rivets are fine.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
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Andy, when I spoke with Dave Schumacher he told me that the #21 drill bit was a tighter fit and that was what they used before - in fact he suggested I buy a #21. The service department is using #20 and that is what is included in the kit. I didn't know the downside of the neoprene seal. I do have Vulkem which I can use. I would need to source a small supply (say 2 dozen) of standard Olympic rivets. So far, I only had one rivet that needed to be replaced (a buck rivet that came loose); all my other rivets are fine.
Some 40 plus years ago, when I was with the Insurance Division of Airstream, I fought with them about the # 20 and # 21 issue.

They were told that if they wanted to use the # 20, that was fine, but we would charge them back for every water leak that caused addition damage to a trailer they repaired.

WOW.

They changed their tune in a hurry.

Of course the # 20 makes it easier. So, a # 19 would make it easier as well. The point is to have top quality body repairs, that we were paying for. If not, then charge backs would be made.

They agreed, but time certainly can alter things.

Dave Schumann was not around then, but Don Ambos, the guy that does the factory tours was the service manager. Ask him, he will tell you.

To me, using the Olympic rivet with a washer, is without a doubt the lousiest way Airstream body work can be done.

To say the least in another way, it's first class POOR WORKMANSHIP.

Olympic rivets cost at least 60 cents each. If you buy a package of 100, the cost drops to a little over 20 cents each.

You can also buy drill bit kits, that have # 30, # 21 and # 11 drill bits in them. Airstream repairs use each of those sizes.

Use the Olympics you bought, but get rid of those washers.

Andy
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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What a sweetheart !! Here you go.
Blind Pop Riveting
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:28 AM   #12
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What a sweetheart !! Here you go.
Blind Pop Riveting
Great!! So I can buy the rivets from Vintage Trailer Supply. I assume we're using the 5/32" Olympic rivets. I had gone into town (Pensacola - I'm hosting at Mystic Springs) yesterday, to get some stuff at Harbor Freight, but they had no number drill bit sets. Next trip in I'll go to the hardware store on the corner of 10 Mile Rd & Hwy 29.

Interestingly enough, when I was at the factory a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Don Ambros and got him fired up about traveling out to Quartzsite with us next winter. It seems he and his wife love browsing through flea markets, and there is none bigger and more diversified that Q.

Andy, so you say I should put a dab of Vukem on the underside of the head of the Olympic rivet and then slip it into the hole and fasten it thereby assuring myself of a watertight seal that won't break down with time and hot sun?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #13
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Andy, so you say I should put a dab of Vukem on the underside of the head of the Olympic rivet and then slip it into the hole and fasten it thereby assuring myself of a watertight seal that won't break down with time and hot sun?
Yes, but if it has a washer, TAKE THEM OFF!!!

Vulkem is a great sealer, that never totally hardens.

Also, I should mention that when Olympic rivets with washers are used, in short order the metal starts moving, because their grip strength is far less than the Olympic with Vulkem. HELLO WATER LEAKS. Obviously, the washer acts as a gasket, and not as a fastener. Add to that using a # 20 drill bit that is "DOUBLE OVERSIZE", instead of the tight fitting # 21 drill bit hole.

Several Airstream on-line part sources are around besides Vintage, that also have Olympics and a couple of them even have better prices.

Andy
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:20 AM   #14
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I picked up a #21 bit and it's now in my kit. What is the #11 for? It seems quite large and I don't have rivets that size in the kit.
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