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Old 01-08-2022, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
Removing Exterior/ Interior Rivets - 2004 International CE200

Hey Everyone,

I've been doing a lot of research on rivet removal and the general consensus is to drill them out or use an air hammer tool. I am wanting to remove the rivets on the piece of sheet metal covering the window channels to prep for a roof raise. These rivets are not the small ones with an eye hole than can be drilled out. They are solid with a rounded head. Unless they just have caps on them covering the eye hole. They can be accessed from the back because I already have all off the windows out. Does that make it any easier? Maybe I could just smack them with a hammer from the back and knock them out backwards? Or do I need to slam the solid head off and "break" them out. I don't think these will be simply drilled out.

Also, our wall panels on the interior appear to have been tacked on to the interior sheet metal with a welder underneath the window sills. I've seen multiple videos of people with visual rivets holding their wall panels on underneath the window sills and simply drilled them out. Ours appear to not have rivets but rather multiple welds tacking them up. I'm finding it to be an absolute pain to wedge a screwdriver inbetween each weld and pry to break the small dot to slowly pry the wall panel out. Maybe these can just be drilled? Otherwise I'm going to lose it and saw the entire wall panels out with an angle grinder.

Thank you,

ChrisLifts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2022, 11:56 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Cerrillos, NM
Posts: 392
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Front Engine
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
The consensus seems to be to air chisel the solid rivets as it saves boatloads of time. I took the Angle grinder to the sheet metal below the window, also a time saver.
rffffffff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2022, 03:02 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 26
Okay so here is what I ended up going with after a couple of different methods and it seems to work extremely well. VERY efficient with minimal effort and that's what we want when we are dealing with hundreds of rivets. So here is what works for my specific bus.

Each window channel has 6 rivets holding the cover on. I first attempted to drill out a rivet from the exterior going through the round head which worked but took quite a significant amount of time drilling and required balancing on some buckets to be high enough to reach them from the exterior. Not ideal.

I then decided to drill them out from the back (inside the bus) and OMG what a difference. All 6 rivets are exposed from behind because I have the windows removed already. I am using a 5/32" cobalt drill bit with your basic Black and Decker power drill. It takes approximately 20-30 seconds of drilling per rivet to get about half way through. BUT, since I'm inside the bus I can use my body weight to lean into the drill making it so much easier than standing from the outside and pushing at awkward angles with outstretched arms. After I've drilled about halfway through the rivet, I use a hammer and a flat head screwdriver to whack the back of the rivet off. Then, I have this pointy punch looking bit that I've used in the past for knocking the little pins out of door hinges. One or two taps from the back with a hammer and the round head portion of the rivet pops right out. You could probably just use a philips screwdriver as well. The entire process takes approximately 30-45 seconds per rivet with MINIMAL EFFORT.

Highly recommend this method for anyone else struggling or who does not want to purchase specialized tools.
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Old 01-08-2022, 09:48 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,212
I made a video on exactly to remove solid/bucked rivets:

And here's one on how to remove standard pop-style rivets:

I hope these help!
rossvtaylor is offline   Reply With Quote

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