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Old 08-31-2015, 08:39 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, 08:49 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, 08:55 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, 12:49 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, 05:42 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, 09:56 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, 06:45 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, 11:15 AM   #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, 08:10 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, 09:57 AM   #10
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Yes...they should be filled. I personally prefer something like JB Weld to bondo.
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #11
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Same, I use epoxy vs bondo.

Or use solid head rivets.

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Old 09-06-2015, 07:32 PM   #12
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Thank you for the info

I put some solar seal on the back of the rivets so when they pull in they take in a small amount of the stuff. I will go back to fill the holes in with some JB weld.

First time using a Air riveter, wow I like it.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Thank you for the info

I put some solar seal on the back of the rivets so when they pull in they take in a small amount of the stuff. I will go back to fill the holes in with some JB weld.

First time using a Air riveter, wow I like it.
Which make and model riveter is it?
I have yet to oil my HF one to try it out.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:21 PM   #14
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When there are a lot of rivets involved...an air riveter is a lifesaver.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:00 AM   #15
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It is the HF rivet gun, got it with a 20% off coupon. So far around 30-40 SS 1/4 rivets, no problems yet. Yesterday was our first panel, we are starting from the back and working towards the front. Hopefully we can get three panels up toady. The full sized panels which are around 9.5-10 ft are going to be a challenge as it is just my Girlfriend and me. We are using some heavy duty magnets to help hold the panels in place. It worked very well for the small panel. We will see how the magnet works for the larger panel.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #16
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It is the HF rivet gun, got it with a 20% off coupon. So far around 30-40 SS 1/4 rivets, no problems yet. Yesterday was our first panel, we are starting from the back and working towards the front. Hopefully we can get three panels up toady. The full sized panels which are around 9.5-10 ft are going to be a challenge as it is just my Girlfriend and me. We are using some heavy duty magnets to help hold the panels in place. It worked very well for the small panel. We will see how the magnet works for the larger panel.
Cool...
What method did you use for removing the bottom to add oil? I'm thinking I'll have to grid on it some.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:10 PM   #17
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Forget removing the bottom as the thing is already filled with
oil. That's what we get for reading the instructions first. I took
mine back to HF and traded it for another one which I was able
to get open only to find it was full of oil. Must be something in
the translation from Chinese.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:12 PM   #18
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A guy on youtube took his apart and it wasn't full but had some.
I figure I'll pop the bottom off and make sure its full.
They probably do come with oil already but due to their crappy QC they just write it into the instructions that you're supposed to oil it before use.

They love writing off flaws in owners manuals. Like my 2013 subaru that's "ok" burning a quart of oil every 1200 miles.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:05 AM   #19
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I just unpacked it and started riveting. Did a quick search last night after working on the bus, seems someone got about 10K rivets done and did not check the oil. They had to adjust the jaws a couple of times though, thanks for pointing the oil thing out. Guess I should read the instructions first, ah no time for that right now.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:15 AM   #20
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I'd say if the HF model can even make it through 2000 its worth the $70!
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