I am slowly assembling my 24 Roadster. I have had 80% of the parts for two years now...just sitting around in boxes.
I finally took the new steering column rivets out of the package and they seem a bit LONG when compared to the old rivets.
My questions is this: It was easy for me to remove the old rivets. I am confused as to how to peen the new rivets over so they are flush (like the original rivets).
I am sure that a lot of you have completed the removal/replacement of the original rivets. Did you trim down the new rivets that you bought from your favorite vendor or did you start with them exactly as they arrived? How do you "squish" the new rivets down? Do you heat them up and beat the hell out of them with a hammer or is there a better way to accomplish this job?
Thanks for all of your help an insight in advance!!
First,you must cut them to length. I use a bucking bar in the vise and peen them cold ,but others may heat them. If you work at it slowly,you can get good results. An extra set of hand helps a lot.
Yep. What Jack said. Pay special attention to the extra set of hands.
Yea,they are a tad long,but if you can git somebody to hold the column for ye,you can peen them down nice and neat.It is a pain to do it by yourself.
So when you guys say that you're doing them "cold," are you hitting them with a ball-peen hammer on one side and then what is on the rivet-head side holding the rivet in place so it doesn't come out?
That is the bucking bar.
I use a 4X pneumatic rivet gun made by Cleco (Cleveland pneumatic tool company) and probably WWII surplus. I bought it on eBay several years ago for about $50 including shipping, it also is handy for replacing frame rivets which are shot red hot.
For the steering column rivets a 2X or 3X gun would work fine since they are so small in diameter.
Here's a link to a rivet gun like mine:
Check your new rivets against the originals. I've had to reshape the heads to get them the same size as the originals. I agree with everyone else; it takes two people.
One man garage me.
Use of the pneu rivet gun makes it easy. The buck used was a wide flat steel bar positioned in the vise. The whole column and steering gear case supported on the work bench, so only the buck will contact the rivet head.
Original rivet heads got smacked fairly flat and angled.
But the bucking bar used kept the rivet head round, which is an ok look to me.
Measure thru the quadrant and gear case the length needed, then trim the rivet, normally 1 1/2 the dia. of the rivet is the proper extra length needed to peen over the backside of that rivet.
The rivets werent always peened exactly the same.
If you have seen different steering colums this can be seen.
Make sure when you remove the old rivets try not to enlarge the original holes.
I did mine by myself by blocking up the column level and using a small anvil thats on the backside of my vise and used that as a bucking bar.
I carefully peened them and the vise worked very well to back up the rivet. I then turned it over and nicely shaped the other side of the rivet with a small ball pein hammer.
Does anybody know if Harbor Freight (or another vendor) carries a pneumatic rivet squisher? My budget doesn't allow for a $150 or $200 tool!!!
Seems to me you could take a made in China air chisel with a bought or homemade flat surface rivet setter. Try it out on some junk first.
An air hammer has a shorter stroke that work hardens rivets and is hard to control because it takes more hits to drive each rivet.
Paul there are dozens of good used aircraft rivet guns on eBay every week. I bought mine cheap - you can too.
Here's one right now:
Paul -- Something else to check before you put it back together: Make sure the rivets are snug in all the holes. Lots of times, the holes are wallowed out and the rivets will now be too small in diameter. The vendors have oversized rivets to accommodate the bigger holes.
You might check local tool rental stores, my closest one, Andy's Rentals, has lots of automotive tools to rent, rivet guns is one.
I would sure like more information on how Ford riveted those columns, for instance, it would seem to me with Henry standardizing everything, that the two holes would be the same on every car, but they don't appear to be. I have a NOS quadrant, and a gearcase, and neither are drilled! When I built up my '25 roadster p/u, I installed a NOS quadrant to a used column, and wished to have the holes in exactly the same place, and it wasn't easy transferring everything. I also had to file in inside of the quadrant to get it to slip over the column. As I mentioned before, I didn't want my new rivets to appear any different than originals, so I reshaped the heads. It worked out fine, but it was a lot of work. I also would like to suggest welding the bottom side of the spark and throttle rods and reshaping them so they are round again. If reusing a quadrant, I would carefully file the notches, to give the rods a new feel.
I use tapered pins S. Steel pins, with a reamer made for them. I have never found a hole that was true any more after getting the old pins out.
The pins come in many lengths, and are the same taper. The ones I use are from the bottom of the first pin, which is .190, to the top of the third pin which is .250 in diameter.
When fit, you trim either, or both ends for length. I tap them in from the top, and they will never come loose, if you know anything about tapered pins. I also use them in Jig building, if you need parts aligned, and also if you have to dissemble for some reason.
Using the reamer will make a 100 Percent contact for the pins, and they don't rust.
If you round the ends of the pins, others will never notice they arn't rivets.
The reamer, and pins are a No. 3 Taper, and the reamer is 3.5/8's long.
The last thing, I take one rivet out, taper the hole, fit the pin, and leave it while I take the other pin out, then I taper that hole, and fit the pin, so when you go back together, every thing stays in the same position, as when new.
I trim the pins to length, when done.
If you are not going to use the same Major parts, put the set together first, that you are going to use, and then fit the pins first, to make sure all is well with total assembly.