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Old 06-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #21
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Santa Rosa , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigler View Post
You have to take a 1/8th drill bit and drill out the remnants of the broken rivet first. Then apply the new rivet. I just replaced one over my dinette two weeks ago in my 2020 Classic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
Is it possible you were not able to get the rivet in and through the frame thus the mandrel had less material to compress, thus stick out.. Dremel and small stone grinder, is a good idea. You donít need a $800. Tool, practice on some scrap metal, its not that difficult.
Just to clarify, I discovered most of the old rivet on one of the twin beds which clued me to look up and discover a nice clean hole in the ceiling. Before attempting to install the new rivet I was able to insert it fully into the hole with the head flush against the aluminum skin, so as to verify there wasn't anything left of the old rivet to interfere with installation of the new one.

The mandrel piece that remains in the newly installed rivet is not visibly protruding from the head; I can just feel it with my finger and, of course, it fills the hole in the middle of the rivet.

At this point I don't think I'll be attempting anything further with drills, a Dremel, or chisels on the pristine interior ceiling of the trailer as the risk seems greater than the reward, but I like the idea of testing the tool on a piece of scrap metal just to see if my initial experience was a fluke. Anyway, I'm enjoying reading all of the feedback and appreciate the suggestions.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:19 PM   #22
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Great summary. I've got $10 that says it was a fluke.
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:25 PM   #23
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I would rather drill out the old rivet and start over. Using a chisel of any type runs the unnecessary risk of damaging the ceiling panel.
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:05 PM   #24
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It's only 1 rivet out of thousands, forget about it.
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Old 06-18-2020, 05:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Just to clarify, I discovered most of the old rivet on one of the twin beds which clued me to look up and discover a nice clean hole in the ceiling. Before attempting to install the new rivet I was able to insert it fully into the hole with the head flush against the aluminum skin, so as to verify there wasn't anything left of the old rivet to interfere with installation of the new one.

The mandrel piece that remains in the newly installed rivet is not visibly protruding from the head; I can just feel it with my finger and, of course, it fills the hole in the middle of the rivet.

At this point I don't think I'll be attempting anything further with drills, a Dremel, or chisels on the pristine interior ceiling of the trailer as the risk seems greater than the reward, but I like the idea of testing the tool on a piece of scrap metal just to see if my initial experience was a fluke. Anyway, I'm enjoying reading all of the feedback and appreciate the suggestions.
You did good. Leave it alone.
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:23 PM   #26
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Too Short A Rivet

If you take another rivet the same length as the one you used in your ceiling, put it in your rivet gun and pump it until it beaks off you will have the same result.

You used too short of a rivet and only caught the ceiling panel thickness and not the frame rib behind it. Causing the rivet mandrel to pull all the way to the rivet head thus exposing the mandrel on the surface.

That is the reason the mandrel will not punch up through the rivet surface, it has pulled too far down the barrel of the rivet distorting what is left making the mandrel non removable. You will see this if you try the experiment I suggested above.

If it were mine I would carefully drill it out and replace it with the correct length rivet. Unless you think you might make it worse by doing so, then, the best fix is to leave it alone.

As another suggested, using a piece of scrap to try out different length rivets will make all of this very clear.

Best of luck
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO NOIZE View Post
If you take another rivet the same length as the one you used in your ceiling, put it in your rivet gun and pump it until it beaks off you will have the same result.

You used too short of a rivet and only caught the ceiling panel thickness and not the frame rib behind it. Causing the rivet mandrel to pull all the way to the rivet head thus exposing the mandrel on the surface.

That is the reason the mandrel will not punch up through the rivet surface, it has pulled too far down the barrel of the rivet distorting what is left making the mandrel non removable. You will see this if you try the experiment I suggested above.

If it were mine I would carefully drill it out and replace it with the correct length rivet. Unless you think you might make it worse by doing so, then, the best fix is to leave it alone.

As another suggested, using a piece of scrap to try out different length rivets will make all of this very clear.

Best of luck
Thanks for your reply. All I can say is that the replacement rivet I used is one provided by Airstream in the kit they supplied with the rivet tool. The instructions that came with the kit identified the included 1/8" diameter rivets as the ones to use for interior repairs. I also had confirmation on this from Airstream in the course of e-mailing them about a different question that I had. Finally, the old rivet that came out of the ceiling appears to be the same length as the new rivets, minus the crimped bit at the end of the rivet where the old one apparently broke off.

Regardless, I'm not fooling with it any further. The next time the trailer is in for a warranty issue I'll explain what happened and have them double check it.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:14 PM   #28
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Welcome to AS School. You own a RV TRAINER.

I purchased a 1990 Excella almost a year ago and immediately went into "training" on almost every aspect of Airstreams and RVing. Every time I took on a new project, whether it was pulling up the carpet, replacing a rivet, replacing the toilet or sink or cleaning the furnace, it was all new to me and scary until I read up on that and dove into it. By the grace of God, lots of helpful articles here and lots of videos, I completed the renovation and took my first trip 11 months later. The repairs/replacements/upgrades I made actually worked!

Think of it as an opportunity to get to know your AS.

I like the suggestion to practice installing rivets in a scrap piece of metal or a thin piece of wood. You will soon get the hang of it and realize it was the fault of the rivet or rivet gun that it didn't work right the first time you tried it!

If you think of yourself as a student of AS, it's easier to jump in.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:57 PM   #29
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Having pulled 1000ís of these rivets I would take a small piece of emery and buff the burr. Job done. If you are really concerned , drill rivet 1/8th bit and tap with a 1/8 or lower punch. Use the emery trick to make a flat surface on rivet head to provide flat head for bit to centre. Then try again. As mentioned you could have a defective rivet. Iíve had that happen on batch of aircraft rivets
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:29 AM   #30
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A small self tapping screw worker well for a couple of popped rivets too close to cabinets to get a River tool in there.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:33 PM   #31
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Pop Rivet Issues

A pop rivet tool is essential with a vintage airstream. I've made repairs and replaced / rebuilt a lot of things in my 69 Caravel. Don't overthink this; the Dremel tool or just a piece of fine sandpaper or file will do the trick of smoothing off the rivet head. I also learned my lesson from having the tire pressure to high and driving on "washboard" desert roads; popped a few rivets then.
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