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Old 05-31-2020, 10:36 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1983 31' Excella
Big Bear City , CA
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 5
Patching Interior Holes in Skins

So my wife and I just finished the first stage of demo in our 83 Excella and there are quite a few holes in the skins from old rivets (snaps, curtain tracks, switches etc.). We are going to be taking the skins off soon and wanted to hear some thoughts on how to patch these holes. Seems like the best fix is to fill the holes with rivets. But seeing as we're pulling the skins off I was wondering if there was a way to repair them so they had a more flush profile. I was wondering if anyone has used a filler like bondo? Figured if you had access to the back of the skins you could essentially have more material bonded to the back (say the size of a nickle) and still only have you 1/8" flush fill on the face of the skin. Thanks!
mjameswilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2020, 06:44 PM   #2
1985 31' Sovereign
Poway , California
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 116
Blog Entries: 2
There are podcasts out there that can help. We kept the interior skin in our 1985 Excella and I have learned how to repair/paint/sponge paint the ABS where it has cracked/yellowed to match original vinyl-over-alum skin.

Take replacement rivers (1/8 diameter 1/4” grip alum) (found on Amazon) and stick them into a piece of corrugated cardboard. Spray paint with Rustoleum “Heritage White” paint and primer in one. Then install into various open holesClick image for larger version

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Old 06-01-2020, 07:22 PM   #3
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,327
We experienced the same issue. On the large holes that were too large for a pop rivet I caulked a small aluminum backplate and used bondo on the face side. A lot of time and work but it did do the trick. But like drjj said, rivets do fine if the rivet fits the hole. They do make rivet mandrels that are larger. Once you repaint the inside no one will know if the rivets belong there or not. Good luck
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote

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