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Old 09-14-2004, 09:01 PM   #1
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Question Bellypan Rivet Repair

Over the weekend I took some time to crawl around under the Overlander and found that a number of bellypan rivets are "missing". In some cases the rivet head broke off, but in many cases it is still there, it's just that the bellypan aluminum corroded enough that the head just "pulled thru" an enlarged hole. I am wondering what is recommended to repair this?

I can tell a number of places were previously repaired by riveting thru little 1"x1" "repair squares". I'm not sure of the material (steel or aluminum). The concept is the rivet holds up the "repair square" which holds up the bellypan. The concept seems simple enough, but the "repair squares" seem "home made". I don't have an easy way to create them, so I am looking for alternatives and have a few questions:

1) Being concerned about galvanic corrosion, should I strictly be looking at using aluminum, or could steel or stainless steel be a good alternative? The frame is steel, the bellypan is aluminum, the rivets are TBD (I'll use aluminum unless there is a good reason to use steel). Unless everything is steel there will be an interface for corrosion to take place. Would sandwiching the bellypan between two pieces of steel be worse than using an aluminum washer/"repair square" to hold it against the steel frame? If steel is OK, should I opt for stainless steel?

2) Is there any reason I can't use some sort of washer, rather than making my own "repair squares"? There are many choices for washers (at least based upon what I found at nearby hardware stores and home centers):

a) Steel Fender Washers: These have small inner holes (1/8", 5/32", 3/16", etc.), but large outer diameters (3/4", 7/8", 1", etc) and that appear to be of a suitable thickness. I have found them in Steel, Zinc Coated Steel, and Stainless Steel (but not aluminum).

b) Aluminum Washers: Sometimes sold as "rivet rings" or someling like that. They have correct hole sizes, but much smaller outer diameters - perhaps too small.

c) Insulated or Sealing Washers - They tend to be galvanized steel with a rubber (or similar) coating on one side. They seem to typically be sized between standard washers and fender washers. I could put the steel side against the rivet head and the rubber side against the bellypan. If I do this, should I plan to use steel rivets?

Or should I just buy some aluminum bar or sheet stock and find a way to cut it into squares?

All thoughts or ideas appreciated. I'd like to replace the "missing" bellypan rivets before Saturday when we take off on vacation, if at all possible. Thanks in advance,

Joe
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Old 09-14-2004, 10:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
Over the weekend I took some time to crawl around under the Overlander and found that a number of bellypan rivets are "missing". In some cases the rivet head broke off, but in many cases it is still there, it's just that the bellypan aluminum corroded enough that the head just "pulled thru" an enlarged hole. I am wondering what is recommended to repair this?

I can tell a number of places were previously repaired by riveting thru little 1"x1" "repair squares". I'm not sure of the material (steel or aluminum). The concept is the rivet holds up the "repair square" which holds up the bellypan. The concept seems simple enough, but the "repair squares" seem "home made". I don't have an easy way to create them, so I am looking for alternatives and have a few questions:


Or should I just buy some aluminum bar or sheet stock and find a way to cut it into squares?


Joe
Hi Joe,

forget the washers, they're probably too small.
Hardware stores carry aluminum flashing in narrow ( 3-4in) rolls, inexpensive.
I suggest cutting the material with tin snips to the correct length, and then drilling and riveting the repair strip over the corrodet area with 3/16 aluminum rivets.
Then drill and rivet the repair strip to the original belly pan material with 1/8in aluminum rivets.
I believe that this way you will be able to secure the corroded areas safely, without great expense or difficulty.
Another, quicker option is to simply drill new holes in solid, not corroded areas, and put rivets there, leaving the corroded areas to worry about later. It's hard to tell without pictures if this is an option for you or not.
Good Luck!
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Old 09-14-2004, 10:52 PM   #3
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belly pan rivet corrosion and failure

I have the same issue on my 92 Sovereign. I have painted over the corroded areas with a 3M rust treatment product. Do these bad rivets even need to be dealt with? Are there structural concerns as they fail in large numbers? Can you get into trouble drilling into vital structures by re-riveting in new locations?
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply's so far.

In my case, I feel like I should replace the "missing" rivets, because a significant number are missing and the bellypan is hanging down an inch or so below the frame in a couple of places. Trying to reuse the existing holes (after drillig out the old rivets) seems more preferable to me that drilling new holes in the frame ribs in order to install new rivets, although that is also an option.

I did forget to mention one more question in my note above however. Are pop rivets OK to reattach the bellypan, or should I plan to use Olympic rivets?

Of course I could also do what the PO did in a couple of places and just use screws to attach the bellypan. I may have to do that anyway if I find any places where the frame hole is also "enlarged". Or I'll have to shift over slightly and drill a new hole as Uwe suggested.

Joe
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:12 AM   #5
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I had the same issue on my Argosy. I went with the washer route. I just drilled out the old rivets and bought a bunch of wide/broad washers that covered the corroded area but didnt allow the head of the rivet to pass through, and then re-riveted. Worked great in my case. Not the most elegant or astheticly pleasing but i wasnt interested in a bunch of belly pan work.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:58 AM   #6
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All new belly pan

Hubby Marvin has replaced the rear bellypan with all new and is about to replace the remainder after the floor repair... Annie
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:09 AM   #7
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Belly Pan Rivits

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
Over the weekend I took some time to crawl around under the Overlander and found that a number of bellypan rivets are "missing". In some cases the rivet head broke off, but in many cases it is still there, it's just that the bellypan aluminum corroded enough that the head just "pulled thru" an enlarged hole. I am wondering what is recommended to repair this?

I can tell a number of places were previously repaired by riveting thru little 1"x1" "repair squares". I'm not sure of the material (steel or aluminum). The concept is the rivet holds up the "repair square" which holds up the bellypan. The concept seems simple enough, but the "repair squares" seem "home made". I don't have an easy way to create them, so I am looking for alternatives and have a few questions:

1) Being concerned about galvanic corrosion, should I strictly be looking at using aluminum, or could steel or stainless steel be a good alternative? The frame is steel, the bellypan is aluminum, the rivets are TBD (I'll use aluminum unless there is a good reason to use steel). Unless everything is steel there will be an interface for corrosion to take place. Would sandwiching the bellypan between two pieces of steel be worse than using an aluminum washer/"repair square" to hold it against the steel frame? If steel is OK, should I opt for stainless steel?

2) Is there any reason I can't use some sort of washer, rather than making my own "repair squares"? There are many choices for washers (at least based upon what I found at nearby hardware stores and home centers):

a) Steel Fender Washers: These have small inner holes (1/8", 5/32", 3/16", etc.), but large outer diameters (3/4", 7/8", 1", etc) and that appear to be of a suitable thickness. I have found them in Steel, Zinc Coated Steel, and Stainless Steel (but not aluminum).

b) Aluminum Washers: Sometimes sold as "rivet rings" or someling like that. They have correct hole sizes, but much smaller outer diameters - perhaps too small.

c) Insulated or Sealing Washers - They tend to be galvanized steel with a rubber (or similar) coating on one side. They seem to typically be sized between standard washers and fender washers. I could put the steel side against the rivet head and the rubber side against the bellypan. If I do this, should I plan to use steel rivets?

Or should I just buy some aluminum bar or sheet stock and find a way to cut it into squares?

All thoughts or ideas appreciated. I'd like to replace the "missing" bellypan rivets before Saturday when we take off on vacation, if at all possible. Thanks in advance,

Joe
If you go too Airstream. com they sell a rivit for the belly pan that has a big head. They don't understand the term "Belly Pan" if you call them they will give you the part # and then you can order them on the internet. I had the same problem and these rivits covered the hole.

Don
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:49 AM   #8
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I had the belly pan crack and come apart as you described, and my solution over a period of trys was this, and it works.REMEMBER the body of your trailer twists and bends, and will cause the rivets and washers to cut through the panels.

Buy aluminum sheeting, (I used flashing) I cut it to fit over the bottom (not just a small piece) and the bought concave washers with rubber attached to them. I found them at Scottys and at Home Deport. I then applied 5/16 long aluminum pop rivets and (with a drill) installed them. The rubber washers protect the panels from the pop reivets I have had no troubles with them cutting through the pan or coming apart for 5 years. I pull my Argosy from near Toronto Ont to Key West Fl each year and back. ( Blessings on Ivan).
Caution) do not apply thin aluminum. Be sure to apply in a manor the the panel portions overlap so the water front the road will not be forced into the body.

Pictures of my job available by request through E-Mail rbaker@nas.net
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rae
REMEMBER the body of your trailer twists and bends, and will cause the rivets and washers to cut through the panels.
Hey... Duct tape is flexible, and looks good on the aluminum! ;-)
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:36 AM   #10
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ok, ok... Seriously now. I've got some of my pan that's going to need replaced. I was planning to use screws underneath. Are rivits absolutely neccesary underneath? Also, I assume that I want the overlaps to face rear, right?
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:38 AM   #11
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Hey... Duct tape is flexible, and looks good on the aluminum! ;-)
I tried duct tape, but it didn't stick to the insulation. It also tends to flap in the wind at speeds above 50mph.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:31 AM   #12
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Bellypan Duct tape and screws

Do you want a perminent repair ? then do as I wrote. Duct tape is for Idiots. Would you repair a flat tire with it ?

Screw are difficult and much work to apply. Firstly YOU MUST APPLY THE WASHERS WITH THE RUBBER AND POP RIVETS.

It takes 1 10th the time and holds better.

You don't need any other advice. But do as you like. you will learn.

Take it form one who has worked on Trailers for 29 years.

Rae
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rae
Do you want a perminent repair ? then do as I wrote. Duct tape is for Idiots. Would you repair a flat tire with it ?

Screw are difficult and much work to apply. Firstly YOU MUST APPLY THE WASHERS WITH THE RUBBER AND POP RIVETS.

It takes 1 10th the time and holds better.

You don't need any other advice. But do as you like. you will learn.

Take it form one who has worked on Trailers for 29 years.

Rae
Gee, Rae, the duct tape thing was a joke. Don't get torqued.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:14 PM   #14
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hey, duct tape got me home from a rally last month...driving down the worst stretch of highway this side of the Mississippi, the back portion of my belly pan let go, dumping the contents of the bumper storage area onto the roadway. well...most of them...another motorist informed me as we were steaming down the highway that I was dragging a hose.

Since I didn't happen to have a ready-supply of rubber washers and large headed pop rivets, I opted for the duct-tape solution, wrapped twice around the bumper area. held better than rivets or screws.
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