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Old 09-02-2016, 08:45 PM   #11
Almost There
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada eh?
Posts: 74
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Corbeil - RAMROD
Chassis: IH 3800 66 Pass
Engine: 7.3 IH IDI NA w AT545 hyd
Hey Andy,
Hopefully you don't mind me piggy backing your thread rather than starting my own similar one.

I stuffed various drill bits into the holes left by the rivets on my bus until I found the closest match. 9/32" is the diameter and that is not a common size. Since I'm going to be skinning over 80% of my windows plus re skinning the interior I need to find a solution.

First off - I can't find anywhere that has 9/16" dia x ~3/8" steel blind (pop) rivets locally. I'd rather not use 1/4" because surely there will be movement or moisture problems. I don't want to buy solid rivets and need to buck a thousand of them in. There are quite a few places that truly require the blind rivets as you cannot get to the other side.

Second - my squeeze (pliers) style rivet installer tool only has a hole so big to fit the nail end of a rivet so I doubt 9/32 rivets would fit in it even if I found some unless they had really thin nails.

Third - from what I have seen - these rivets cost an arm and a leg. By the time I factor shipping and exchange rate - I'm probably looking at $0.35 a rivet and waiting a bunch of time for them to arrive!

Hell that's like $350 in rivets?!

I know I read a thread after an exhaustive search that Nat used 1/4" bolts as hardware and that it was cheaper for him to do that rather than rivets. I might go this route but need blind rivets still for the blind holes.

Hopefully someone can help with quality suggestions?
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:39 PM   #12
Almost There
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Salt Lake City, Ut
Posts: 82
Year: 98
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: D
Engine: 7.2L turbo Cat C7 3126
Rated Cap: 84
I had a lot of success with the harbor freight air riveter. I got some of their 500 rivet packs for $5 each, so my rivets are just a penny each. I put a bead of Loctite PL 3X Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive between the sheets, then drilled lots of holes and riveted the sheet metal together. I found that I could drill about 3 holes in a row about 3 inches apart, then put in the 3 pop rivets, then drill the next 3 holes. The inserted rivets hold the metal together enough to get a clean drill hole. If I tried to drill too many holes in a row before switching tools, the holes wouldn't quite line up at the end.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:44 PM   #13
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,360
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Just one word..."Clecos".
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