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Old 04-24-2003, 10:10 AM   #15
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Rivets / Acorn nuts

Jamie ... while it may appear that the acorn nuts are screwed onto the rivets ... they aren't.

The proper way to install a new rivet and acorn nut is to select a rivet long enough to pierce the outer shell and cupboards, cabinets or benches and stick into the trailer a little bit (say a 1/3 inch).

Do a couple of test fits first ... inserting the rivet from the outside and checking for an exposed tip on the inside.

IMPORTANT!!! When you are ready to finally install a rivet/acorn nut, remember to caulk the hole BEFORE you insert the rivet.

While someone on the inside uses a nut driver to hold the acorn nut on the interior exposed, unpopped rivet shank, someone on the outside uses a rivet gun to pop the rivet. The collar on the rivet expands and collapses, catching the threads of the acorn nut and pulling both tight, securing the cupboard, bench, etc.

Now, what's interesting, is you can then use a wrench or something and unscrew the acorn nut off a previously popped, exposed rivet ... but the converse is not true ... you can't screw an acord nut onto the exposed rivet, even one from which you've unscrewed the acorn nut ... the rivet will turn, breaking any existing caulk bead, and will eventually leak.

Benny's tip about using stainless steel acorn nuts is a good one!
Remember also to use aluminum rivets ... not steel rivets!
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:10 PM   #16
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caps vs. acorn nuts

Hey Jamie
Boy do your pictures look familiar. I'm glad you decided to keep it as well. The more work I did on my Casta, the more I fell in love with it.

On the acorn nut issue, I came up with as solution that worked really well I thought and then because I ended up pulling everything out, didn't use it on the final redo.

I had several old rivets that did not have acorn nuts on them and I wanted to make them look "pretty.'
I bought a package of Closetmaid end caps. They are the white flexible plastic caps that go on the end of the wire on the white plastic covered metal closet shelves. They were a little too big around to fit snugly but a small dab of silicone held them fine and they are much smaller than the acorn nuts.

Most of the rivets were much shorter than the caps so I just trimmed the caps with a knife to the proper length.

A blister pack at Lowes was about 85 and held around 8 end caps. The acorn nuts are a good bit more in the 48 cent to 86 cent range each. I liked the look of the white caps. But they don't add anything on the strength of the bond. The acorn nuts do.

lanny
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:02 PM   #17
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always something new

Hi Charles,
Thanks for the info on how they were originally installed...Why didn`t I think of that????? Learn something every day but I guess being a retired maintenance machinist I wouldn`t think of pop riveting the nuts on!!!!Benny
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:50 PM   #18
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Jamie,
You've probably seen this already but the old yahoo scamp site has some pretty neat pictures of a Westfalia II Trailer. (Scamp??)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scampers/files/

You will probabaly have to register with yahoo and go thru all that distasteful email and all. But the pictures are pretty cool.
You might even get some ideas.
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Old 04-25-2003, 06:41 AM   #19
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The "Westfalia II" Scamp pix are also here in the "Rigs" thread.
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Old 04-25-2003, 01:18 PM   #20
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Riveted!

Thanks for all the replies. I'll look into all the advice. I do have a question. How do I take out the old rivets? Do I drill them out? Infortunately, the Love Bug has been painted in the past, and I will need to respray. I thinlk that I will totally dissasemble (all interior, window, and rivets out) before I paint. Any other wonderful advice?
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Old 04-25-2003, 02:44 PM   #21
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Jamie ... a lot's been written about rivet replacement.

But basically ....

1. By its very nature, a "popped" rivet has lost either its interior or exterior retaining collar or head. You can usually use a small phillips screwdriver to "push" the popped rivet out a bit, by pushing on the broken collar side. And then grab it with a pair of plyers and wiggling it out.

2. With an "unpopped" rivet, you have to carefully drill off the little lip on the rivet, using a drill bit sized a hair larger than the rivet's mandral head or hollow tube.

Before you start drilling on your trailer, get a rivet gun and some rivets. Drill some holes in a couple of yardsticks or thin pieces of wood. Rivet the pieces together ... and watch what the rivets do when you pop them with the rivet gun.

Then practice drilling out the rivets. You don't have to drill completely through the rivet ... just enough to remove the mandral head or collar, which will allow you to then push out the old rivet and install a new one.

Once you get the hang of it, it takes longer to describe it than it does to replace a broken rivet.
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Old 05-01-2003, 09:15 PM   #22
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Making Progress

I have been spending 30-60 minutes a night cleaning the ensolite in The Love Bug. Between lacquer thinner and Oops the ensolite is starting to really look great. I want to find some T-moulding to match the interior. I have some samples from when I was looking to replace the moulding on a VW Westfalia. It will look very sharp once its completed. I'll take some pictures with the digital this weekend when I have some light. I've been getting home around 8:00 everynight as my lacrosse season is wrapping up.

I think I want to go all out on a Westfalia conversion with the extra stuff I have stored in my garage. I got thinking tonight about adding jalousie windows. My concern is how to make the front and rear window opening smaller. Any advice?
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:19 PM   #23
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Progress or lack of.......

Well, slowly but surely I am running into more snags. The Love Bug has been painted and I was determined to get a shine on my lil egg. I used stripper to take off the paint and found out why it was painted in the first place. Parts of the gelcoat has come off. Here are some pics.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ebdc822a1e34lb1.JPG/>

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ebdc83c4f871lb2.JPG/>

The pics are a little dark. If I kept the flash on it was too light. I'll take some more tomorrow.
I guess I'll be sanding priming and painting ;0(
I know that dark colors attract heat, but I was thinking a bright red. My 'lil caboose!
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Old 05-10-2003, 10:23 PM   #24
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Jamie:

That is why I chose to strip and sand the U-Haul Camper #1. When someone has painted something. Are they trying to hide those unseen repairs? It took about three to four weekends, two orbital sanders, a package of 100 sheets of 80 grit sandpaper, and a lot of hard work from Deb and I to get down to the original gelcoat to reveal a few places that had been repaired with BONDO. I have since made the correct repair with fiberglass.

- Ray
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Old 05-11-2003, 10:51 AM   #25
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Another pic

Here is another pic I just took. It's really overcast here today and it did not come out much better
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ebebcfadd739MVC-008S.JPG/>
When I sand down the egg, how far do I go?
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Old 05-11-2003, 03:04 PM   #26
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I would venture a guess and say, until smooth, and not that far . mine is only 1/8 inch thick, so don't go too far. :lol

What did you strip the paint with Ray. I can't remember if we have talked this before or not, and I think mines been painted too. there is a layer of gray under the cream then another layer of cream. so the tops probably paint, then primer, then original. it sure was a pretty color to start. I want it back!
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:43 PM   #27
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Ideas for my Love Bug

Hey folks,
I have been thinking about how I am going to personalize my little egg. I am VW bus addict and I want to put a VW Westafalia touch on The Love Bug. I have spare bus parts lying around ad here is one idea.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ec2ee3dc9535lbfront.jpg/>
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ec2eea18c526lbside.jpg/>

The square jalousies come from early campers and the long jalousies from later campers. This should give lots of air flow. What do you think?
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:04 PM   #28
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looking Good

Windows help brighten up the inside. I really glad my Trill has a front window.:ola
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