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Old 04-25-2019, 07:51 AM   #1
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My first popped rivet

I suppose it had to happen sometime. Just discovered my first popped rivet above my sky window in my 2019 FC26.
Do I just clean it out and install a new rivet? Size?
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:58 AM   #2
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The more you use your trailer the more you (might) find this happening....

Very easy fix. Just pop a new rivet in and your done. 1/8 inch diameter aluminum with aluminum mandrel. Home Depot has them.Drill out the remains of the old one and put a new one in.

Hope this helps

Doug
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acheron2010 View Post
I suppose it had to happen sometime. Just discovered my first popped rivet above my sky window in my 2019 FC26.
Do I just clean it out and install a new rivet? Size?

Can't help you with the size as Airstream replaced my single popped rivet, but I can tell you how to minimize it. Mine is 15 years old and popped one at 5 or 6 years old and so far have not popped any.



I see you have a 3/4 ton, it's not as stiff as a 1 ton, but I put this on my 3/4 ton truck:


https://airsafehitches.com/receiver-hitch/




And I put these on the Airstream:


http://www.centramatic.com/wheel-bal...Number=200-223


You will also find that the ride with the Airsafe hitch is much softer in the truck as well.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticfox View Post
The more you use your trailer the more you (might) find this happening....

Very easy fix. Just pop a new rivet in and your done. 1/8 inch diameter aluminum with aluminum mandrel. Home Depot has them.Drill out the remains of the old one and put a new one in.

Hope this helps

Doug
I have 23ft safari. Popped refits interior. What exactly are you drilling out the remains of? The mandrill, the stud, what please???

Curtis
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:51 AM   #5
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Yes drilling out the stud. When the head of the pop-rivet breaks off the “shaft” of the rivet can be lodged in the hole. This will need to be removed before a new rivet can be put in place. This can be done by using the correct size drill bit. (1/8th”) for inside rivets. Be careful not to enlarge the hole while drilling the old rivet out. Light pressure works best.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:19 AM   #6
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Hi Curtis
I think GMFL has articulated this as good (if not better) than I could have. If you have any other concerns or questions just yell.

Cheers
Doug
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:41 AM   #7
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When drilling be careful not to go too far so you hit the outer skin.

A couple of rivets on mine popped are than once and the holes became slightly enlarged. I used 5/32" instead of 1/8" for those. I got the 5/32" on Amazon they were not carried by anyone locally.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:28 AM   #8
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When this rivet pops again... consider blemishing the interior with a Lathe Screw. Available at major hardware stores in several lengths. They look nice to me and work.

They are used on $1 million race cars to secure plexiglass windows, from my observations.

Airstreams are hand made. The inside aluminum skin is not necessarily snug against the metal ribs that are riveted. It can be FLUSH, or have an air space. Not a guess on my part as I have experienced popped rivets in chronic weak spots within an Airstreams contours.

As this is considered unethical in the Airstream Beauty Salon... the Lathe Screw needs a well charged battery drill with Philips Head. When these torque solid... they can handle lots of stress. I have never needed to remove the remaining pop rivet still within the frame, behind the aluminum skin. These screws are aggressively threaded and a serious option.

If a pop rivet pops. Replace and it pops. Maybe... it will be too late by drilling out the hole with a large pop rivet. No one ever noticed my Lathe Screws. Steel and the same color as the aluminum within. Just with a flange that prevents the rivet hole to tear.

Just my advice. Do not take it now. You will later.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:36 AM   #9
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Ray, what size screw? #8?
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagletoo View Post
Ray, what size screw? #8?
*******
I kept some Lathe Screws, but gave the new owner the cartons. I made a scan of the two lengths compared to a nickel... if that helps.

The curved sections that popped rivets were more likely needing the longer of the two, due to a gap of air space to the frame. They are sold by the carton at Lowes or Home Depot. If you use them on a fancy, expensive car... they sell them one at a time. Same screw. Imagine... that?
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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Appears to be ¾ and ½ long. #8 it also looks like. Thank you.
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Yes drilling out the stud. When the head of the pop-rivet breaks off the “shaft” of the rivet can be lodged in the hole. This will need to be removed before a new rivet can be put in place. This can be done by using the correct size drill bit. (1/8th”) for inside rivets. Be careful not to enlarge the hole while drilling the old rivet out. Light pressure works best.
I called the mother ship for the size rivet. Was told they use 30bit metric. Would this be the same size as 1/8th?

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Old 08-02-2019, 05:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Steel and the same color as the aluminum within. .

steel + aluminum = galvanic action. That's why it is stressed to get aluminum rivets with aluminum mandrels.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I called the mother ship for the size rivet. Was told they use 30bit metric. Would this be the same size as 1/8th?

Curtis
1/8th” is correct 0.125”
#30 metric 0.128”

If you want to get super technical, let’s just say the standard 1/8th” bit will help prevent you from enlarging the hole...
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:44 AM   #15
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Airstream life has a great Rivet repair kit that includes a rivet gun with adjustable head made by the same company that makes Airstream’s rivets, and an assortment of rivets that Airstreams use, like the belly pan. Plus a how to guide...
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:41 AM   #16
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Cool Galvanic Corrosion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
steel + aluminum = galvanic action. That's why it is stressed to get aluminum rivets with aluminum mandrels.
Galvanic Corrosion (also called ' dissimilar metal corrosion' or wrongly 'electrolysis') refers to corrosion damage induced when two dissimilar materials are coupled in a corrosive electrolyte. It occurs when two (or more) dissimilar metals are brought into electrical contact under water.

Just replaced mine. Inside next to bathroom bulkhead. Went with a steel rivet. I hope I won't have it underwater.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:47 AM   #17
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“Galvanic corrosion occurs when two materials (an anode and a cathode) (dissimilar metals) come into contact with each other and an electrolyte. Electrolytes can be environmental factors such as humidity or rainwater.”
Likely all is good as long you keep air away from the location...
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:00 PM   #18
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Performance Metals Products: (Primarily boats... but informative.)

Sacrificial Anodes FAQs

Q. What metals are sacrificial anodes made from?

A. The three most active materials used in sacrificial anodes are zinc, aluminum and magnesium. They have different properties and uses.

The aluminum Airstream body is attached to an iron frame with iron bolts.

Some of you may have a gold crown on a molar. If you, by accident, touch this gold crown with a stainless steel fork while eating... you will understand what previous posters are explaining. Also the flow of electrons. Yikes...

An aluminum can, all by itself will corrode on the ground. So will an Airstream sitting, over time.

Filiform may be the beginning which I have not heard much about lately with salt from the friendly 'ocean breezes' and mist along the coasts. Another example of corrosion.

Myself... I will use lathe screws on my Airstream's interior. If it is that damp within your Airstream... you have bigger issues. But a great conversation, non the less. That is what is nice about a diversified community.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:35 PM   #19
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Another Rivet Question

For my 2018 FC23FB, my repair manual lists three interior rivets. Those are: AD43ABS (1/8x.337), AD45ABS (1/8x.462) and AD48ABS (1/8x.650).

Airstream Supply has the #45 replacement rivets in their kit with the appropriate #30 drill bit which I purchased.

I had a rivet break loose from inside the bulkhead above the stove. Using a flashlight with a magnifying glass I couldn't see much of anything to tell me the length of the replacement rivet to use.

I was able to drill out the old rivet and used the drill bit as a guide as to the grip range needed for the replacenent rivet. The short rivets definitely would not work.

I used #45 rivet from Airstream Supply kit. That seemed to work.

My question is if there are three interior possible replacement rivets is there a manual that indicates which number goes where?

No one has definitely answered this question with manual data.

Looks like it's a guessing game here.

Randy






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Old 08-23-2019, 04:52 PM   #20
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I just spent two weeks with my Brother-in-law, camping and fishing in Montana. I used a friend's 25' 1992 Excella and he was camped in his 5-year old "Sheep-Herders" style trailer made in Utah.

He knows we're on a trajectory to purchase an Airstream, most likely a 25'.

He recently retired from 30 years as civilian aircraft mechanic/supervisor working on the A-10 Warthog.

Knowing of our intent to purchase an Airstream, we talked a lot about the properties of Aluminum and its interactions with other materials. One key issue he highlighted is their finding that over-time, if Aluminum has continued direct contact with any Carbon containing material (e.g. Carbon steel bolts, washers, nuts, etc.) it can result in corrosion, weakness, and failure of the Aluminum. He said it took years for the engineers to figure this out, but once they did they completely altered the technical standards and protocols for the fastening systems they use on the A-10 and now prohibit the use of any Carbon containing fasteners or other connections directly to the Aluminum components on the A-10.

I assume Airstream doesn't follow this protocol, but for any repairs, etc. that I do on our Airstream I will certainly be mindful of the hard-learned knowledge from the Air Force aviation engineers and mechanics with many years of experience working with Aluminum.

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