Rivets

JBO

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I'm ready to install an autofab kit on my ranger 4x4, and I'm wondering what the best way is to remove all the dang factory rivets.

I've heard several methods...and that any way you go it's a pain...but is there a trick that works best?

I've heard you can drill a hole and use an air chisel...what size hole, etc?

Thanks, Jaron
 

hxckidd

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just make a hole close to the size of the rivet. i think i used a 3/8 drill bit for it. then knocked the head off with a chisel. you can also grind down the rivits with a angle grinder if you can get to them.
 

Regeeno

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rivets suck. when i flipped my shackle hangers, i ground them down flat...drilled a pilot hole through the center..then wacked at the edges with a chisel and hammer. took forever. i've heard of people using a torch to heat them up. that should make them easier to get out.
 

MikeOhlhausen

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Take torch and cut most of the head off, clean it up with a grinder and knock it out with a punch. If it won't come out, heat up the area around it.
 

jeff

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I removed almost all of the rivets on my Bronco about a year ago. I did the drill / chisel method and it was terrible. Grinding them down was a pain because it just wasn't easy to get a clean shot at the damn rivet heads. If you go the drill / chisel route get some good ear plugs, eye protection, and have at it. I used the largest drill bit that would almost but not quite make contact with the existing hole the rivet passes through... I don't know if the Ranger uses the same rivet as the Bronco so I won't bother tossing out a size. Eyeball it and that should be good enough. If you've got access to a torch and know how to use it I'd go that route. If you like pain and suffering the air chisel will work. You'll need two attachments... one to chisel the head off and another one that is BLUNT to hammer it through. I took an old pointed chisel and just ground it down until I had an 3/8" flat square ended tip and used that to get the rivets out once they got their heads chopped off. It MUST be blunt, otherwise it will mushroom the rivet again as you hammer on it and make it even harder to press through. A few on the Bronco came off no sweat... but a few took about 15 minutes each. When I was done I had killed a drill, overheated the compressor, had ringing in my ears, serious fatigue in my hands from the damn air chisel, and had a pile of rivets strewn about the shop floor. I don't envy you at all.

Aloha
 

Regeeno

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sorry for taking this a little off topic, but i was just wondering if a propane torch was hot enough for that sort of thing. or do you need to an oxyacetalyne setup?
 

sirhk100

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Oxy/ace torched mine off. Took off most of the head with the torch, ground them a little then a big hammer and a big punch...

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (AKA Dezert Limo cause it's loaded)
 

V8Ranger

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I usually just cut an X in the head with a cutoff wheel and then use and air chisel to take the head off one quarter at a time. After the head is off use can use the air chisel again to push the rest of the rivet through the hole.
 

tedmales

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I have installed many many lifts on fords, and the fastest way is with an air hammer. snap on sell a special "head" for air hammers that really works good. I can get through a rivet in about 1-2 minutes, and i never grind the heads off.
j

life is too short to be small
 

ntsqd

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If you opt to drill them, you only need to go a little deeper than the rivet head. Then you can knock them off with a chisel or air chisel fairly easily.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

jeff

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Ford rivets and the words "fairly easily" should not even be on the same page. :)
 

Kritter

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I agree...I have never been so pissed at my truck as I was removing 26 rivets! That anger alone is worth the money of having somebody with a torch take them off

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.barneysprecision.com/fabproducts.htm> Fab Parts</A>
 

ntsqd

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Hummm, it's a PITA for sure, but it's never been that big of a deal.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

Kritter

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sitting under there with a grinder and having no other angle then to get roosted in the face for minutes on end and then trying to beat the crap out of them with a 3lb sledge and chisel with no leverage or room to get some muscle on a hit... some were easy but some were a SOB and I would not do it again without a torch.

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.barneysprecision.com/fabproducts.htm> Fab Parts</A>
 

OGCamber

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When I did my ex-chicks Ranger, I cut the heads off with a plasma cutter then blasted them all through with an air chisel. It went fairly quickly, but because there were so many of them it felt like it took forever! I would have felt like a chump paying someone to do it because I had access to the tools, but to tell you the truth even with the right tools it still really sucked!

Courtney Halowell
Editor, StreetTrucks Magazine
www.streettrucksmag.com
 

In_the_works

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I hear you Kris, I was in the same position about a week ago, you have no leverage whatsoever. I tried the sledge route, and after about 3 whacks (2 to my fingers) I bit the bullet and just went with the grinder for about 15 minutes per.

'96 F-150 4x4 ex cab
'02 Maico 250
 

ntsqd

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The flip side is how would you feel if those you wanted to stay tight didn't ?

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

jeff

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After my battle with the rivets I would consider them to be just as capable as any bolt/nut combo. Other than necessity in certain cases, does replacing the rivets with threaded fasteners really create a more reliable clamping force? Just because I've never seen a rivet fail on an off-road vehicle doesn't mean it hasn't happened... anyone have experience with rivet failure?

Aloha
 
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