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Old 10-08-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Belly Pan re-rivet.

I am working on a 78 Argosy Minuet. I need to re-rivet the belly pan in lots of places. Problem is that the rivet holes in the skin are to big now for the new rivets, probably been loose for some time. Can I use a rivet and a small flat washer in the existing holes? or am I better off with drilling new holes then dealing with the old holes?

Thanks Argosyman
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #2
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There is a 3/16" rivet available with a larger head that's used for underbelly repairs such as you're describing.
Greg
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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You need --> THESE <--

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Old 10-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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I have used conventional rivets with what is called "fender washers" with good success. Often the belly pan skin itself is week and sometimes even punched through so even the larger head rivets are not good enough. The fender washers work well in that case. Also, do not be afraid to put more or extra or new location rivets. Much better to have too many than too few and have the belly pan come lose, and start to peel back, like mine did one day on the Ohio turnpike. That was not a great experience!
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argosyman View Post
I am working on a 78 Argosy Minuet. I need to re-rivet the belly pan in lots of places. Problem is that the rivet holes in the skin are to big now for the new rivets, probably been loose for some time. Can I use a rivet and a small flat washer in the existing holes? or am I better off with drilling new holes then dealing with the old holes?

Thanks Argosyman
When your done, get the running gear properly balanced and you won't ever have the same problem.

Or install someting like Centramatic balancers.

Andy
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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My 69 has areas that came loose more from corrosion than vibration. Being thrifty and not wanting to replace the whole belly I plan on using 2" squares of alclad as washers to back up the rivets holding power and cover the oversized holes. Using the aircraft maxim "metal never touches metal" I primed and painted the areas where the of thealuminum belly where it contacts the frame and will do the same with the aluminum washers. A dab of caulk on the washer's backside and on the rivet provides some added corrosion resistance. A tool that makes this job much easier is a harbor freight air over hydraulic rivet gun. I bought the $45 model and it works fine. Also can be used on interior panels.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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On one of our first trips, in our first AS (an ’81 31’ International), some of the belly skins pulled tore past the rivets and were about to drag.

I went to Lowe's and bought some aluminum strap. It was 1” wide and 1/8” thick. I just worked it along the cross members, using the same holes. I ran it from frame rail to frame rail, all the way across the trailer.

This gave a washer effect for the rivet, and extra support for the skin.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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Belly pan rivet issues

So, I discovered a similar problem on our Argosy while crawling under to set my old-school stabilizers. (BAL stabilizers are on the upgrade list, I'm too old and fat for dealing with the "stack jack" style that came with the trailer after a long drive.

Anyway, I guess a previous owner didn't know about the big-flange rivets, because it looks like at some point in the past the panel had pulled off the rivets, and they drilled new holes and put the same size rivet about an inch from each original hole.



So, I just picked a rivet in each set to replace with a wide-flange rivet, drilled out the old one, and used my new Clecos just for fun.



The wide-flange rivets look like they support a much larger surface area of the belly panel, so hopefully it'll take a long time to wear through the panels.



I have a few more to do, and there were a couple of places where the belly pan was riveted to cross members where it looks like either the panel corroded or something hit it (not shown in the pics), the hole is much larger than the rivet and ragged, instead of the clean circular hole just slightly larger than the rivet head like the ones shown in these photos. I guess I need a few fender washers for those.

Thanks to byamcaravanner for the link to these rivets... I ordered a bag from VTS when I found this thread last week looking for advice on correcting the problem.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
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I repaired the belly pan on the '74 Argosy using fender washers. To prevent the electrolysis damage caused by galvanized steel fender washer against the aluminum.; I also made washers from a sheet of fiberglass, then sandwiched the fiberglass washer between the fender washer and the aluminum. The fiberglass washers are about 1 1/2" in diameter.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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I repaired the belly pan on the '74 Argosy using fender washers. To prevent the electrolysis damage caused by galvanized steel fender washer against the aluminum.; I also made washers from a sheet of fiberglass, then sandwiched the fiberglass washer between the fender washer and the aluminum. The fiberglass washers are about 1 1/2" in diameter.
It seems like you still have the aluminum rivet head in direct contact with the fender washer, so you might see shorter life of the rivet itself, no?

I've looked for aluminum fender washers, and I've found some sources on the internet. Fastenal only lists stainless and galvanized ones on their website, but I'm going to call their local store here and ask if they have aluminum ones or know of someone local who does, and if I can't find a local supplier I'll pay $10 shipping for some $0.28 washers.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
It seems like you still have the aluminum rivet head in direct contact with the fender washer, so you might see shorter life of the rivet itself, no?

I've looked for aluminum fender washers, and I've found some sources on the internet. Fastenal only lists stainless and galvanized ones on their website, but I'm going to call their local store here and ask if they have aluminum ones or know of someone local who does, and if I can't find a local supplier I'll pay $10 shipping for some $0.28 washers.
The basic cause for the underbelly holes, is lack of proper running gear balance.

No amount or size washer will cure that issue, until the running gear is balanced properly.

After that, then you can simply use 3/16 large head aluminum pop rivets, and never have the problem again. No washers needed.

If finding someone that can balance the tire, wheel, hub and drum as an assembly can't easily be located, then adding the Centramatic balancers solves that issue as well.

Andy
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Yes there will be some electrolysis between the rivet head and the washer over time. But it's a lot easier to replace a rivet or two as opposed to the belly pan. In this case there would be no damage to the belly pan. IMHO
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