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Old 08-31-2015, 09:39 AM   #1
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Rivet Removal for Skinning

I am just about done with the interior demo of the bus, my next step is to take care of some rust spots in the floor and start skinning the bus.

The rivets above the top rain guard, I think I can reach the back of them with an angle grinder.

If I was to grind the backs off the rivets, do they come out with a little force; or do they have to be drilled to be removed?

I plan on using 18 gauge galvanized metal for the skins, is there going to be an issue with painting over galvanized?
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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no Issue painting galvanized, but its best to wipe it all down with ospho first. It helps the paint to adhere to galvanized surfaces.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:55 AM   #3
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Galvanized (and aluminum) must be etched in order to get paint to adhere. Not a big deal and there are several ways to go about it. But it is a critical step as paint will NOT stick to unprepared galvanized. Mild acid is typically used and it can be anything from a water/muriatic solution to simple white vinegar (much safer to handle...and cheap). Let the acid work a while then rinse, wipe down with a paint prep (any auto parts store) then a coat of "self-etching" primer.

Those steps will provide a solid base for your finish to cling to.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ism minerals View Post
The rivets above the top rain guard, I think I can reach the back of them with an angle grinder.

If I was to grind the backs off the rivets, do they come out with a little force; or do they have to be drilled to be removed?
I assume those rivets are solid rivets..? I've tried several times, but never had good success removing these by grinding off the back side. It seems to me they must deform into a cone shape, narrow at the head end and wide at the back end. Even if the back side is ground off flat, it seems there's still a little bit of taper that has to be fought and overcome in order to make the rivet go back out the same way it went in.

I recently discovered that eating the head out of the rivet with a plasma cutter works about as well as drilling, doesn't damage the panel if done carefully, and is faster.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:42 PM   #5
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Yes they are solid rivets. I guess the drill will have to come out. Do the rivets drill pretty easily (as in soft steel)? The stripped screws that held the roof panels up were pretty hard steel which required a cobalt drill bit and a lot of effort.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:56 PM   #6
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Air hammer for the win. I used a chisel to knock off the back then changed to a pointed punch and pushed the rivet out the way it went in. For the ones you cant get to the back on, use a angle grinder to cut a line straight through the center then the chisel knocks the head off super easy and u can push it through with the punch.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advise . I will try the air chisel, but wish I had a plasma cutter to use. Also has anyone used a a bucking bar and cup to put solid rivets back in?
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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aaronsb did the solid rivets, bucking bar, air hammer thing on The Broccoli Bus. I'll hopefully be getting to it on mine this coming weekend..
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:10 AM   #9
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Just an update, the grinder worked fantastic for the back of the rivets. Grind flush to the metal (back side) and use an awl to knock out the rivets. They came out very easily. Glad this worked, as I was going to put some L channel right below the rain guard and just rivet them in there.

Question: Filling rivets, do you fill the rivets with adhesive or body filler after they are installed. It seems to me that the rivets could allow water to penetrate through the hole?
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:57 AM   #10
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Yes...they should be filled. I personally prefer something like JB Weld to bondo.
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