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Old 05-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Angry Wheel well riveting FRUSTRATED

We fabbed new wheel wells out of galvanized, and temporarily used sheet metal screws to hold them together. We are now trying to rivet them together and remove the screws so we have the wheel wells into a whole piece, but hubby says the rivets we are using are too long and the rivet ends stick out too far into the inside of the wheel well. The end of the rivet doesn't pop off on the inside of the well. We are using 1/4" rivets.

No idea if this makes any sense. Basically, does size/length matter (no, it doesn't, in the other sense), should we be using something else like more sheet metal screws or something? Here are pictures, I hope the link works...

https://picasaweb.google.com/1001661...42/Airstream03
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
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linky no worky!

o.k the linky doesn't work! but it all depends on how thich the metal you used is, from what i understand the rivet should protrude 1 1/2 times the thickness (but i maybe wrong), but if the mandrel is not popping then you can safely say the rivets are too long!
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Could not view the pics. But as for the length and diameter of the rivets.
The rivets have two parts, the mandrel and the sleeve. The sleeve being the part with the head.
The drill or hole size should match the rivet sleeve diameter. Example: 3/16" rivet requires a 3/16" hole. Some will recommend using a numbered drill bit instead of a fractional drill bit. I have not had any problem using a 3/16" drill bit for a 3/16" rivet.
As for the length, the rivet will work best if the sleeve of the rivet protrudes thru all layers of material and extends thru by the equivalent of 1 diameter of the sleeve.
Using rivets that are too long makes for an ugly job and the longer rivets will not tighten down effectively before the mandrel snaps off.
The finished rivet should have a well defined expansion of the sleeve on the back side and should be relatively uniform in it's shape. Not bent off to one side or severely distorted. The head of the mandrel may or may not stay in the formed rivet sleeve. Most do.
Hope this helps.
If the wheel wells are made of galvanized steel or hot roll steel it may be better to use all steel rivets.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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One other thought. If the wheel well material is relatively thin and the rivets protrude more than 1 diameter or a maximum of 1 1/2 diameters then one should use the spacers ( washers) designed for use with the rivets. I believe they are called backing plates.
The same protrusion rules apply when using the backing plates.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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One other thought. If the wheel well material is relatively thin and the rivets protrude more than 1 diameter or a maximum of 1 1/2 diameters then one should use the spacers ( washers) designed for use with the rivets. I believe they are called backing plates.
The same protrusion rules apply when using the backing plates.

good point and would not be a bad thing with the thin galv you are probably using, i hiope you've sealed the seams as well !!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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I had the link set to private. You should be able to view now. Is the part of the rivet sticking out on the inner side really a problem? The metal is thin...couldn't we use more of smaller rivets?

I'm going to seal the seams with Vulkem and POR-15 the insides.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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P.S. definitely using all steel rivets!
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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help...anyone? What I want to know is should we just use smaller rivets? The rivet sticking out too much is at the bottom of the third picture. I will get washers/spacers but I'd like to just use more smaller rivets, I got lots. They're all steel.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1001661...42/Airstream03
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Picture link says "page not found"

There are two primary dimensions to rivets: diameter and length. You want the rivet just a bit longer than the thickness of the metal you are trying to rivet. If it takes more than one or possibly two pulls to pop the rivet it is most likely too long, if there is more rivet hanging out than the diameter of the rivet it is too long. You don't want the rivet to have to draw the pieces together, the rivet is just to hold them together. Sometimes there is no issue with using a too long rivet, it may or may not hold properly.

From your description it sounds like you may need shorter rivets, but not necessarily smaller in diameter. As far as rivet spacing 2"-4" on center is a good start if you are using the right diameter and are trying to stitch something.

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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Your link doesn't work for me...
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #11
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P.S. definitely using all steel rivets!
Steel and Aluminum are not compatible. Galvanized steel and aluminum really do not like each other.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
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Can't view the link either...but have you considered using bucked rivets? The end flattens out and won't protrude into the wheel well.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #13
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remember; steel on steel and aluminum on aluminum or you will have created your on "filfoam". One other thought, coat the new wheel wells with one of the high quality truck bed liners ie linex. this will not only protect your new wheel wells, it will also deaden sound; not that you will ever hear it.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:04 PM   #14
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I'm probably being an idiot, but if your rivets are too long, perhaps you should add another layer of steel like a thin bar along your seams so the rivets will have something to hold on to.... Just a thought.

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