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Old 11-16-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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Removing internal rivets

My 2002 International Bluebird has riveted panels running along the inside of the bus. I want to remove those panels to put better insulation and wooden walls in. What is the best way to remove the rivets? Do you drill them out or grind off the heads?
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: Removing internal rivets

Grind them

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Old 11-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: Removing internal rivets

Yes, if you don't care about preserving the panels then use an angle grinder. Fastest way by far. Watch your windows, though!! Hot metal sparks like to embed themselves into glass. I didn't know this until it was too late .. Now I hang wet towels over them.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Removing internal rivets

I cross cut a X in the rivet heads then took a chisel & brass hammer & busted them off, that was the quickest for me
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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Re: Removing internal rivets

Quote:
Originally Posted by allwthrrider
I cross cut a X in the rivet heads then took a chisel & brass hammer & busted them off, that was the quickest for me
Yup, as others have said, this is the way to go. Get ready to be sore.

I'm not sure if the newer bluebirds are the same as my '90, but mine has two panels on the wall. One above the chair rail, and then the chair rail itself and below. If this is the case on yours, do not attempt to remove the bottom portion - it goes under the floor, and won't come out simply by removing the rivets. It would need to be cut off, which is far more trouble than it is worth. Ask me how I know.
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: Removing internal rivets

I'm going to start this on my 92 Ward. Got all the seats out so I'm gonna just keep the angle grinder out for a couple more days.
Very sore already!
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:38 AM   #7
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Re: Removing internal rivets

The best method I found for the rivets was to punch out the center stem of the rivet and use a 1/4" drill bit to drill them out.
The thing that most people don't understand is that you can't drill them out at full speed on the drill without tearing up the bit.
Just put enough force on the bit that you are getting a good curl of metal coming out of the bit. Ive drilled hundreds of rivets
and still have a usable bit. The main thing is to get that hardened stem out of the middle which then gives you a piloted hole
for your drill to follow. As to grinding the rivets off you will find that a flap disc removes metal faster than a solid disc. Keep
up the good work and apply lots of elbow grease. Also if you just drill deep enough to get to the base metal depth you can use
a cold chisel to pop off the top of the rivet. I've found that the best tool for that is a chisel set with replaceable tips so you
can change from punch to chisel etc with the same tool, very handy.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: Removing internal rivets

Another thought: are the rivets aluminum? If so, try a flap disc. Those things eat through aluminum real quick, while doing a better job at preserving the base metal.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: Removing internal rivets

I wouldn't expect them to be aluminum, but who knows
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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Re: Removing internal rivets

I have an angle grinder, a drill, and a hammer and chisel. A six pack and a radio.
Sundays are the best for getting a lot done as everyone else is off of work. M-f its just me.
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