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Technical Make Chassis Rivets

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Reidy, May 21, 2020.

  1. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 88

    Reidy
    Member

    Hello all

    As the title suggests, is it possible to make your own chassis rivets. I have a couple of early 40's chev pickup chassis. One has good rails and cross members but no spring hangers or brackets. The other has average rails and rust in the cross members but all spring hangers and brackets.

    The front spring hanger appears to have a long vertical rivet holding it in place. When I swap it to the good rails I would like to rivet it back in place. Therefor I need a long rivet.

    Advice on how to make would be good or does a company sell these extra long rivets for chev chassis.

    Steve
     
  2. I would think the best way would be to just buy them, as far as where to buy, guess the first place I would look is the internet.
     
  3. Might try Chev's of the '40's. Seems like a lot of work to make just one or two.
     
  4. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,973

    oldolds
    Member

    I would drill holes for tight fit of bolts and bolt them.
     
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  5. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,114

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not sure about where you are, but here we have a number of sources for solid rivets. And they are not expensive. I would think the biggest part of making your own would be getting the right temper so they would expand correctly. If they are 3/8" or larger you will most likely be heating they to install. I guess if I was to make my own I would try to talk to a blacksmith to get some insight. If you make some, let us know what you did.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 662

    Boryca
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    Rivets are cheap, and would be real hard to make. If you can't find a manufacturer down under, I'm sure Jay-Cee would be willing to ship some... if not, hell, I'll pick some up and send 'em your way.

    https://www.rivetsonline.com/our-history
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  7. Try Big Flat Rivet Company. They are always at Hershey. look them up on the internet.
     
  8. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,652

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    McMaster Carr has a huge selection of any sort of rivet you can need. What's so special about the rivet's you need?
     
  9. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,821

    19Fordy
    Member

  10. lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,148

    squirrel
    Member

    they go up to 1" long, which is probably close.... but would need to know just how long "long" really is. Less than .813"?

    Screenshot_2020-05-21 McMaster-Carr.png
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  12. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,478

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Rivets are made by a cold header where the head and or shaft is cold formed . They take bar or coil stock and goes into a die usually made of carbide and smashes the material into a shape.
    So you can machine new ones but as said they are pretty cheap if you can find them. That being said something about making things for yourself just cause you can..
     
    squirrel likes this.
  13. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,468

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    http://bigflatsrivet.com/
    up to 2" and 3" long depending on diameter. Good stuff, along with accessories for setting rivets.
     
    egads, The37Kid and Johnny Gee like this.
  14. All well and good to find some, then you have to install them. Anything over 3/16" takes quite a squeeze to set them.
     
  15. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 88

    Reidy
    Member

    The rivets holds the bracket that holds the front spring shackles. It is fitted to the front of the frame rails on a 1942 Chev pickup chassis. It runs vertical through the top of the frame rail through the bracket and out the bottom. A distance of 2 3/4".The mushroomed head is 3/4" diameter but as I have not removed it yet don't know the shank diameter.

    As for installing it I was intending to borrow the pneumatic solid rivet hammer from work.

    It looks like I may have to bolt this in place. I was not sure if I could have turned up a shank on the lathe of suitable steel and used it as a rivet. Hence the question. If it could be made what grade of steel would suit.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  16. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,525

    rusty valley
    Member

    if you are near a big city, find the oldest hardware store you can find and ask them. probably down in the basement all crusty, been there since the war
     
  17. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,748

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Maybe a boat/marine place? Shipbuilders?
     
  18. Warpspeed
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 528

    Warpspeed
    Member

    I have never used rivets myself, but have been told that the biggest problem is that replacements can never be fitted to create as tight a joint as the factory did it originally.
    You can beat the crap out of the rivet, and form the head o/k, but the joint will not be tight.

    All the old movies from the 1930's of bridge and large building construction show red hot rivets being used, the idea that the rivet shrinks as it cools and tightens up the joint.
    The very last thing you need is a loose flexy chassis.

    If you decide to use rivets for aesthetics, it may require some concealed welding as well to hold it together rigidly.
    The purists will be horrified, but If I was doing this, I would be thinking seriously about high tensile fine threaded bolts with nylock nuts.
     
    '51 Norm likes this.
  19. studebakerjoe
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 695

    studebakerjoe
    Member

    There's a channel on YouTube called Pakistani truck channel and they do all kinds of work on trucks from relining clutches rebuilding whole trucks. There's some good video of the men on there reriveting chassis back together. If you're planning on riveting its worth watching how they do it with simple tools.
     
    egads and MO54Frank like this.
  20. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    mickeyc
    Member

    I installed thousands of 3/8 rivets in jail cells while
    working on a prison project. They had to be heated
    and then backed up with a bucking bar while being
    hand hammered into correct fitment, no slack allowed.
    This was a two man job. Care had to be taken to
    strike the rivet properly or it would become deformed
    and the inspectors would reject it. An air hammer
    is used when available and gives better results. I think
    the mentioned rivet bolts could be a good alternative to consider.
     
  21. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,531

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Why didn't you use rivet bolts in the prison project? Would have much easier. ;)
     
    continentaljohn likes this.
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,122

    The37Kid
    Member


    AGREE! This it the one stop get everything you need site. Great guy that has been supplying rivets for 20 years or so. I'm a happy customer. Bob
     
  23. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,652

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    I just replaced the front crossmember and four running board brackets on a Model A. As mikeyc outlines it's gonna take heat and a gun. If you can get someone to use the bucking bar it will help. With the Model A frame I was able o get a comfortable working position, but you might have issues getting into place. I would think about grade 5 or 8 bolts.
     
  24. Boryca
    Joined: Jul 18, 2011
    Posts: 662

    Boryca
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    Hate to rain on your parade, @Warpspeed, but this is incorrect information. As long as care is taken in drilling out/removing the rivet, a replacement will create a joint just as strong as the original. If you've ever flown in an airplane, I guarantee you've been supported by thousands of replaced rivets.

    There are as many different rivet alloys as there are metal alloys, and each has its own considerations for installation, but they are definitely replaceable, and generally stronger than a bolt in the same situation, with some exceptions. This is due to both the fact that rivets and holes are matched to tight tolerances initially, and the act of driving the rivet eliminates any slop remaining, creating a very tight fit indeed.

    We'll leave the self-locking nut topic for another day.
     
    continentaljohn likes this.
  25. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,130

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Picked up a pneumatic rivet gun at a garage sale two years ago along with some differ bucking bars. Bought some metal rivets through McMaster-Car, 1/4” & 3/16”, not expensive at all. Riveted in several of the floor crossmembers in my coupe, easier than I expected, no heat. Just need the bucking bar placed squarely, cut the rivet to the proper length prior to bucking. End up with a tight connection. I’d rivet a whole frame if I need to.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    continentaljohn likes this.
  26. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,478

    continentaljohn
    Member

    I use a USATACO 3X rivet gun for my bomber seats and chassie . We have a few local surplus materials suppliers that sell excess inventory and can find barrels of rivets there. The problem is your dont know alloy but on seats it doesn’t matter . The steel one you can spark test and test hardness of them. Ebay is a good source for surplus rivets and I just love the look of rivets ...
    Lots of good articles on the rivet and tolerances for hole and rivet size on the Hansen rivets site image.jpg
     
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  27. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    mickeyc
    Member

    The inmates would have disassembled the whole damn
    jail overnight! Some round head rivet bolts were used
    on the back side in the pipe chase areas of the cell blocks. Not accessible from the inmate side. We did have to spoil the threads after they were torqued.
    On another note doing rivets on bridges and steel
    structures was a way different issue. Before my time,
    however I did a several rivet removal and replace jobs
    on bridges. Hard ass work but great fun! Like shooting
    an automatic rifle all day!
     
  28. Reidy
    Joined: May 13, 2016
    Posts: 88

    Reidy
    Member

    Thanks for all of the replies. I had a look at the Pakistani trucks. I guess that is not the first day on the job as they make it look easy. There would not want to be any trust issues there.

    I am curious why the prison was riveted together and not welded. Welding would seem easier.

    Rivets in a chassis seems like and old and primitive way to do things, but having worked around aircraft rivets seem to be the preferred method. I guess we have been conditioned to thinking a nut and bolt has to be better than an old blacksmiths rivet.

    Steve
     
  29. A rivet expands inside the joint, a nut and bolt only compresses it. That's why things like front crossmembers should be either properly riveted or welded, not bolted.
     
    David Gersic likes this.
  30. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,971

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's going to take a serous rivet gun/driver and someone who has a good grasp on what he is doing holding the bucking bar to get those set right.
    Still you should have some suppliers in Australia so you don't have to order from the US and pay more for shipping than for the rivets. Possibly ag equipment suppliers or your version of McMaster Carr. If you have to order from the US I do suggest McMaster Carr as small orders don't phase them in the least. They don't do the "you have to buy a box" they will sell you what you need on anything they sell
    I am going to assume that you are full and well aware what lengths you will need to have the proper crush on the rivet.
    Now show us the photos when you do it and get it done.
     

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