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Old 12-21-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 55
Year: 1991
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: DTA360 Spicer 6+1 Manual
Rated Cap: 65
Screws Instead of Rivets?

I will be skinning over all of my windows and it occured to me that some sort of selt taping screw is a whole lot easier to put in than a rivet. Is there any reason not to use screws? Will they shear with the bus twist? How about screws with gaskets on them?

I am pretty sure everyone is going to say they will shear and I wonder how likely this is.... After all most people build out there whole interior with screws..

Thanks In Advance

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 692
Year: 2001
Chassis: International Amtran RE
Engine: DT466E/MD3060
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Screws Instead of Rivets?

From someone that is in the middle of doing this... I can testify that rivets have been a good choice. The prior owner did some of the sheetmetal work and obviously use a hand tool to clamp them together. I am using a air pneumatic and its REALLY tightened them up.

The only down sides I see to self tappers is....

1) The will stand out from the sheet metal. Not the best look in the world but hey if you ok with it then roll on.
2) I would think over time they would vibrate loose? maybe Im wrong but food for though
3) I would be worried abotu them shearing as you described.

I havent looked at the price comparison but I dont think it would be a huge difference. Im sure they will work.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon/Philippines
Posts: 1,660
Re: Screws Instead of Rivets?

if you will notice, some busses like mine have both metal screws and rivets. Since mine is a 1991 model, the screws have not become unscrewed, however, they are not self-tapping, which i have found, sometimes will loosen, and i don't think they hold the same tensile strength as the normal large sheet metal screws. but thats fwiw.

That being said, i have used rivets, sheet metal screws, a few self-tapping screws as well as the smaller size lag bolts to hold the panel that covers up the window areas in my bus. I have driven my bus approximately 5000 miles, and there is nothing that has loosened over the past couple of years. I also have the flange and roof cap for my wood stove screwed down with several self-tapping screws, and none of them have loosened either.. even at 70 mph.

so that is my experience.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bakersfield, California
Posts: 1,013
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71 Mid-Ship Mounted
Rated Cap: 79 at Birth
Re: Screws Instead of Rivets?

I used the self tapping screws on my window skins and also on the roof to hold down the solar panels. So far, everything seems to be o.k. The exterior body of the bus is all rivets and the old Gulmite type of screws that Crown used. I have put about 15,000 miles on the bus since I have owned it.
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