Suggestions for my frustrations, please. There are a couple of parts which I need to take off to make the desired repairs. Problem being the difficulty for removal of existing rivets. Since I'm not necessarily a purist, was planning to replace rivets with bolts. Have tried some drilling, grinding stone (even used a Dremel), then punch them out, but nothing seems easy to get at for what should be 'simple'... Have even thought maybe I should resort to an air chisel???? Any help to resolve my 'brain cramp'...? (And "No, I'm not going to 'just sell' the TT or the coupe!") What approach have you found to work best?
I am not sure where the rivets are that you are working with. I have had good results drilling the heads. I start with 1/8" and enlarge to the rivet diameter and then punch it through. I try to only drill the thickness of the head.
Ditto Richards method. Take your time to get an accurate center punch. If its tough to punch through, then chisel the head off. Easy when they've been drilled.
Marvin, I have had very good luck with an air hammer that cuts the heads right off no sweat. Then get the air chisel behind the bracket and it will come off. Good luck, Joe
The punch you use to punch the rivet out can make a difference. I use the one on the left. I is about half the diameter of the rivet and has a square end. If it sticks in the hole before the rivet is through, I use the middle one. Never use the center punch on the right for punching rivets as it will make the rivet wider and hard to remove. If you use a punch nearly the same diameter as the rivet it can mush the rivet wider also.
Bolts are OK some places. Other places, rivets are better.
I have had good results with drilling with a somewhat undersized drill first below the head, then with an oversized bit drill down on the head. If you have the hole properly centered, the head pops off as soon as you get to the base of the head. Then use a drift punch to knock out the rest of the rivet.
Appreciate all the input from you guys. I'm trying to remove the running board support braces, which are of course riveted to the frame. Have tried working from underneath, as well as from the top of the frame with limited success. Ground 'em, center-punched and drilled, then hand-chiseled and punched out like Richard & Bud suggested. With the angles & small work area is why I've thought about the air-chisel. I believe Harbor Freight has a usable size for about 10 bucks... And Steve, won't bolts work easier when putting them back on?
The old man that was my (Google) back in the day, showed me how to grind a chisel so that the cutting edge was flat on one side. Keeping a sharp chisel and hammer, he would pop the heads right off of rivets and then punch them out. Find some old USA tools, don't burn them on the grinder, wear a glove, and now eye protection, and it's a lot easier than all that drilling and you have a proper hole when your done. Old school, low Tec and still works 50 something years later. Happy Motoring.
I agree with Steve on rivets being better if they are installed properly. I also have had good results with bolts so far. If you have a lathe, you can turn the heads to look like rivets. For places that show, that may be good.
First use a small grinder to grind off the heads flush with the frame surface. Then you can use a punch to drive out the rivet.
Doing it this way will keep you from getting off center if you drill them out.
The rivets will fit much better.
You fellas have 'come through again'! Thank you!! I'm saving this link to my 'helpful-for-me' T-Forum subjects. Much appreciated.