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Old 01-02-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
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1970 25' Tradewind
Haslet , Texas
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Rivet Question

I am about to replace all of the belly skin on my Airstream. Everything I have seen says Olympic Rivets but my question is do I need the ones with or without the washer (I assume it’s Neoprene) on it. I tried the Vintage Airstream site and they are sold out of most but they have the 3/16 with the washer. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Olympic rivets have small heads and would tear easily on the pan compared to the large flange rivets. Search on the internet if VTS is out, OODM has them for sale. Olympics could get very expensive with the amount you will need.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums (or maybe, welcome to your first post)!

Olympics are not what you want. Nobody is going to be looking for, or expecting to see, a "bucked" head appearing rivet down there. The belly skin was originally put in place using conventional pop rivets, and there is no reason not to use the same. The one upgreade I would recommend, as described above, is to use the .622" large flange pop rivets as offered by VTS at the link below.

https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com...-p/vts-283.htm

good luck!
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:37 PM   #4
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Thanks. The more I read the more I thought the same thing. Appreciate the quick response.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:42 PM   #5
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Check with albanycountyfasteners.com they have the 3/16 all aluminum large flange.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:10 PM   #6
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hmmmmm

try fender washers, with small hole
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFTER TAXES View Post
try fender washers, with small hole


I found some large flange rivets from Grainger for cheap.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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Make sure they have an aluminum mandrel, not steel.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:35 AM   #9
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Fender washers are galvanized steel. You will need a non metallic spacer between the washer and belly pan.
Otherwise the galvanic action will create a bigger hole in the belly pan.
I used FIP (fiberglass impregnated plastic) .
Not sure the name is right but it's the stuff one would use for a shower surround.
I would think that any plastic could be used.
I used a hole saw to make the spacers slightly larger than the fender washers.
Used 3/16" aluminum pop rivets.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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Nylon washers

I've used nylon washers between steel-variety fasteners and aluminum with some success. I also put the fasteners in a baggy with some CorrosionX or ACF-50 sprayed inside, and pull them from the baggy as needed. Because I am like that. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to fog the interior of the aluminum panel with same, if you are in a humid environment.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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I did buy the aluminum mandrel ones. I’ve seen it when you mix metals before. Not fun to do all that work only to have it rot away and have to redo it.
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