Help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2003, 05:34 PM   #1
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Help!

What am I missing? I've been trying to remove my old 9 1/2" roof vent and I thought I could just drill them out. Only one actually came out. I just got the head off of the rest of them. I think my drill bit was big enough.

What's the usual procedure? Thanks
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Old 06-15-2003, 06:56 PM   #2
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Once the head has been removed you should be able to punch out the body of the rivet with a small drift and hammer. Try to select a drift about the same size as the rivet body or a little smaller. John
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Old 06-15-2003, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thanks John, I'll try that.
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Old 06-15-2003, 08:44 PM   #4
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another hint

I've replaced every rivet on mine. I'm pretty good at it now.

It helps a lot to use a small punch to knock out the stem thats in the center of the rivet, This makes it easier for the drill bit to follow through the center. Use a drill bit of exactly the same diameter as your rivets.

You really want to drill them out if you can. They are a little fattened and pounding them through once you have the head drilled off is hard on the fiberglass.
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Old 06-15-2003, 10:04 PM   #5
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Tom

Thanks for the info! How do I know what the size of the existing rivets are? I was eyeballing it and thought I was supposed to be 1 size drill bit larger than the rivet. With the drill bit chosen like that, I was just drilling right through, but leaving the sleeves. Maybe I need my eyes adjusted :E :E
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Lainey

* * * * * * Thanks for the info! *How do I know what the size of the existing rivets are? *
Howdy, Try a 1/8 drill bit . Usually if you apply a steady even pressure after you go through the head you are able to push the rivet out into the trailer. Just be careful that your bit doesn`t wander off center.. Works for me .....Benny
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:58 AM   #7
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pounding them through is not a good idea on mine, my fiberglass is so thin, I'd have a roof breakdown.. grinding it out maybe. but to use a big enough bit is the best. Like Benny said, just keep drilling until you go through. don't stop with just the head loose.
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:54 PM   #8
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drilling out rivets

This is how I do it:

Your rivets are either 1/8 or 3/16" diameter. I use a 1/8 drill for 1/8 rivets and 3/16 drill for 3/16 rivets. The head sizes are different, once ya notice the difference, you'll be able to spot em.

Drill gently and stop when the rivet head separates and gets 'stuck' on the drill bit. Ya wanna be careful drilling so as not to 'waller' out the hole if you're going to be using it for a new rivet.

By 'punching' out the remaining rivet, I just use a center punch, ice pick, 3/32" drift, whatever, and push it thru by hand, never pound on it.

Main thing is, ya don't want to count on drilling out the whole rivet, it'll usually spin and waller out the hole, then yur gonna have a hard time getting a new rivet to hold.

Important: For our little trailers be SURE to use 'aluminum' rivets. Stainless Steel rivets are nice but under strain will cause the fiberglass to crack whereas the aluminum rivet will break. It acts like a fuse in an electrical circuit. Replacing em is easier than repairing cracks.
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Old 08-03-2003, 09:24 AM   #9
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reinstalling rivets

Always use an aluminum backup washer in the inside when reinstalling the rivets.
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Old 08-03-2003, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Rick F. D.

Always use an aluminum backup washer in the inside when reinstalling the rivets.

Sometimes it is impossible to reach the inside.

It has been my experience that the pop rivet will swell in the fiberglass and be very secure.



;)
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Old 08-04-2003, 11:25 PM   #11
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pop rivets

Hi again, Apparently there are blind pop rivets used in marine applications that do not require sealing the center hole where the mandrel snaps off...seems they would be great for use on glass trailers...Benny
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:49 PM   #12
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:splat I HATE THESE :censor RIVETS!!!

Ahhhhh! I feel much much better now! :)

Alain
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Old 08-05-2003, 05:04 PM   #13
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An alternative to rivets....

Senior -
There are things called "T nuts" which resemble a washer with a round nut attached. They come in depths from 1/8 to 1/2 inch and take a machine screw up to 1/4 inch. With a plastic screw cap over it (not from a carton of ripple) you can't tell it's not a rivet and it can be removed if need be...
I have not had the same frustration you seem to have had with rivets. I hate rusty lug bolts!
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Old 08-06-2003, 06:05 AM   #14
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Sam,

I have no frustrations with Pop rivets (yes, my last post suggest that!). I had to remove a few on my trailer and providing the middle nail is push out of the way, it is an easy job. Destructive and time consuming job, but not so difficult.

No, I just dont like the whole principle of pop rivet. It is a personnal feeling. Some people love them and I understand that. Some other hate them.

I had many years ago a Pop rivet tool that I used only once. Just don't like the tool, the rivets and this way of working. Again, it is personnal.

On my trailer, If I really have to, I will use them but if the situation permit the use of stainless steel bolts or screws, this is what I will use.
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