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Old 08-10-2004, 05:26 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Question 2 Rivet Questions!

I have noticed that most of my exterior rivets are polished and I cannot see the interior 'stem' of the rivet. However, some of the 'polished' rivet heads show the interior 'stem' rather well under magnification. I suspect these are 'replacement' rivets as I see them primarily around a window frame. Does this mean that these actually are rivets that were replaced and not original 'factory-installed' rivets put in at the time of construction? Also... when removing 'belly pans' to do repairs, why re-install rivets under there rather than using stainless steel sheet metal screws to enable future access? Do the rivets add to greater structural integrity versus screws that may loosen up over time? Would aluminum screws be better than stainless steel screws? Or is re-riveting it not only the correct weay, but actually the best way to do the job? I believe in the old adage that says something to the effect of... 'if you haven't time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it again?' So, I want to get this right the first time!!! Tom
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:57 PM   #2
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The rivets you see around your window are Olympic rivets - a special type of pop rivet. As you suspect, they are used in repairs.

You definitely do not want to use steel screws, stainless or otherwise in conjuction with aluminum. Electrolysis will set up corrosion. Pop rivets are easy to install and easy to remove - as long as you use the all alluminum (not steel mandrels) rivets. Just drill them out with a 1/8th inch bit. There is really no advantage to aluminum screws for future access.

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Old 08-10-2004, 06:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! It seemed that they were 'repair' rivets versus original. Also forgot about the incompatibility of certain metals being in contact with each other. "When in doubt, check it out!" Thanks again.
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