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Old 11-09-2004, 09:29 AM   #1
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Rivet Every Last Rivet

My husband got so tired of tracking leaks, and then finding out that there were more after every big rainstorm, that he has decided to replace EVERY LAST RIVET on the whole exterior. He's using larger rivets and vulkem on both sides (the interior is stripped). He's also adding ones where he feels they are needed, especially the rear door hatch that leaked so badly before. Well, at least we wont have mis-matching rivets on the outside!

He made an interesting tool out of a piece of dowel larger than the rivets, that is concavely curved to the convex shape of the rivet. He then cuts a little circle of abrasive padding, puts it into the wood cavity and puts it into a power drill which then can be used to polish the rivets to a perfect bright shine. And he enjoys this! I keep thinking of the "Airstream Scream " picture.

And I wonder why this trailer rehab is taking so long? I can hardly wait for the all metal interior riveting, done with the petal style aluminum panels on the ends. (Classy I know ,but major time comsuming).

Polishing the rivets is something I can do, but he'd rather keep that pleasure to himself. This must be a MALE thing. " I WILL appreciate this when it is done, I WILL......" that's my new mantra. silver suz

Really, I DO appreciate his hard work and attention to details. but I keep thinking I would like to use the trailer on a trip in this decade. silver suz
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:02 AM   #2
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What kind of rivets is he using?

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Old 11-09-2004, 11:44 AM   #3
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What kind of rivets is he using?

Ken
Ken,
From Silver Suz's description "little petals on the inside" I would assume
Olympics.

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Old 11-09-2004, 11:59 AM   #4
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Ken,
From Silver Suz's description "little petals on the inside" I would assume
Olympics.

Aaron
Gosh, I hope not. I think it's something about the interior panel shapes.
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:59 AM   #5
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Wow that is gonna be really expensive. Plus I'm not sure it will stop the leaks if its the seams that are leaking.

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Old 11-09-2004, 12:01 PM   #6
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Not to mention that olympics are not as strong.....

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Old 11-09-2004, 01:03 PM   #7
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I recall the petals being some type of wall treatment for the endcaps. Nobody would use Olympics to do a whole trailer. Would they?
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:10 PM   #8
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Reread the post, the petals have something to do with the interior caps, but if you have to "polish" a rivet....sounds like Olys to me.

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Old 11-09-2004, 03:31 PM   #9
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suz

is your trailer a 1974?

there is no sealant between the seams, might want to start there.

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Old 11-09-2004, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver suz
...He's using larger rivets and vulkem on both sides (the interior is stripped)...
I do not think replacing every single rivet is a good idea.

Since your interior is stripped, I think you would get a better end product if your husband devoted his energy towards devising a water test apparatus similar too, but smaller in scale to what the Factory uses to verify their craftsmanship. I envision an arc of sprinkler heads mounted in PVC connected to a pressure washer on wheels that can be moved along the length of the Airstream.

Just my opinion.

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Old 11-09-2004, 04:18 PM   #11
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I do not think replacing every single rivet is a good idea.

I envision an arc of sprinkler heads mounted in PVC connected to a pressure washer on wheels that can be moved along the length of the Airstream.

Tom
Tom,

Great idea! They could bring it to rallys and charge a couple of bucks for a wash, and a few bucks more for a walbernize.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:31 PM   #12
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Maybe another detail is in order. I have started leaving them out since I tend to bore people with my endless glaze.

My vision is a leak detector to identify the bad places in the outer shell.

Don is probably pulling my leg. But I tend to be pretty dense.

Tom
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:34 PM   #13
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Tom,

Yes, I was pulling your leg. I would have added a smily face, but can't figure out how to do it in the 'quick reply' box.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:37 PM   #14
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colon right parantheses

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Old 11-09-2004, 08:14 PM   #15
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Yes,he's using a larger size olympic rivet. We have a 1971 soverign. And yes, EVERY seam is vulkemed, especially that area in the rear bath that rots out the floor. Every rivet is PARBONDED, front and back. We keep thinking we've got all the leaks. And then get 3' of rain and discover more leaks.
He uses an air powered pop rivet gun, drill out old rivet and clean up both sides well then parbond both sides and then pop it. I found out many seams were done over by PO in a VERY poor fashion and so leak. We really like the end caps on the inside done in a petal fashion with many smaller sections of aluminum. I think it was a 50's style.
Healthyhomes.com has a really neat example of it. And we were impressed by the elegance of it. He says now not EVERY rivet will be replaced...snicker,snicker. : )
Does anyone know what year that petal style endcap was used? Also our 1973 owners manual shows a picture of the interior ribs totally painted with some sort of sealant paint? something..sealer paint? Does anyone know? At this point with the trailer satripped, I'm all for doing an interior sealer coat before the aluminum bubble insulation. My husband says that wouldn't stop the leaks. Any comments on this?

Also we got the first of the solar components today the prosine invertor (pure sine wave) 2,000 watts and a bunch of parts.!! I'm impatient to move on from leaks. suz
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:07 AM   #16
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Vulkum on the inside and drains at the bottom...

Suz,

I am wondering if coating the seams and rivits from the inside with a bead of Vulkum would seal things up. I sure am not as ambitious about replacing rivits as your husband but I do want to make sure my outer skin is water tight before I put the inner skins back on. I did decide to create a sort of drip channel at the bottom of my walls before I close things up just in case something does leak. I am going to use foil insulation spaced about 3/4" away from the outer skin by narrow strips of foam insulation around the edges. At the bottom of each wall cavity I am thinking of putting a little drain of some sort through the floor and into the belly pan. I have even considered connecting all the drains together and running them to a single place where I can monitor whether or not water is in the drain system. That part might be going a bit too far though.

Malcolm
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver suz
My husband got so tired of tracking leaks, and then finding out that there were more after every big rainstorm, that he has decided to replace EVERY LAST RIVET on the whole exterior.

silver suz
Sounds like he's passed a bill in his own mind... the No Rivet Left Behind Act.
Congrats, it'll look great and it's something we all wish we had the patience for.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:18 AM   #18
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"No rivet left behind"- I like that. It sounds like a good name for an airstream restoration journal!!! I go along with my Husband because he's a design engineer for 30 years at a truck co. And there are a lot of similarities.
Malcolm- Sounds like we have the same idea on insulation! We are using 2 walls of double bubble, double foil with strips to hold them 3/8" apart for dead space. Hub was also thinking of weep holes. I was thinking of a tiny muffin fan to keep the air circulating down there to prevent mold- a major nemesis for me. Maybe it's overkill.
we also insulated the blackwater tank with the foil pack around the old foam, and will wrap it around the water pipes as well. I will be encased in a cocoon of layered aluminum!!!- perhaps one day I will emerge as a silver butterfly, (hopefully healthy!). : ) suz

There is sealant in any seam possible, even with the syringe used on the outside.

Has anyone figured out what the factory used to seal the inside outer skin seams and ribs?
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:20 PM   #19
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Just saw the "petal design "on the end of a 1954 flying cloud- toastercoaster54's photos. That is what we would like to do only on the inside aluminum panels .Lots of rivets for my husband to polish!!! So for those who didn't understand what I meant by "petals" go to toaster coaster54's photo site!! Terrific work TC!!! suz
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