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Hot Rods VIN rivets

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fortunateson, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,176


    I want to strip and repaint a '56 Meteor hard top. However, before I remove the vin tag and body tags I want to be able to rivet them back in place with the correct eye go through the tapes and seem to be mushroomed internally if you get what I mean. So anyone know where to get them?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,680

    Atwater Mike

    Highway Patrol and DMV. I wouldn't ask about them, though...Might get fitted with a pair of bracelets.

    'May fold under intense questioning...':eek:
    Hnstray and lothiandon1940 like this.
  3. You might ask the DMV if they could reinstall them after you paint. Be sure to ask before you remove the old ones and get their concurrence.

    Charlie Stephens
    Hnstray and lothiandon1940 like this.
  4. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    The last I heard, possession of the special rivets that held on the vin tags was against Federal law. Something concerning tampering with titles & registrations, and vehicle identification numbers., but maybe a Restoration shop can help you. Gene

  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    E-bay vendors have some VIN rivets. The Canadian fella that sells repro VIN tag blanks also sells the rivets (advertises on Craig's List). I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,505


    I just mask the tags, carefully. Or strip and paint them if that's how they were originally finished, such as the cowl tags on old GMs.

    It's kind of against the law to mess with serial number tags, eh? Why tempt fate?
    lothiandon1940 and saltracer219 like this.
  7. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,176


    I understand the legality of the situation but with proper documentation I would hope I would be OK.
  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    A clever lad might just rotate a sharp drill bit by hand against the backsides of the rivets to carefully destroy the mushroom and leave only a stump...and then perhaps use nasty modern adhesives to repair his unthinking mistake. Leave a note of apology to the DMV for your grandchildren to post in 2116.
    Fast Bill, Jet96, Moondog13 and 3 others like this.
  9. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,680

    Atwater Mike

    Solid booking for reservations at the Crowbar Hotel...
    tfeverfred likes this.
  10. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,965

    stuart in mn

    AG Backeast has rivets for trim tags: I don't think he does the special rivets for VIN tags.
  11. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,323


    it is not against the law to remove them . it is putting them back on that will get you room and board
  12. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 3,628

    uncleandy 65

    Since all you guys said they were against the law to own I just went and flushed all mine down the stool. Hope they don't plug anything up.
    Jet96 and stillrunners like this.
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,305

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    x 2. Why screw around with it? Just mask the two square inch tag and be done with it.

    You didn't say what State you're in. Like all registration questions w/o the State, you'll get 50 different points of advise.
    Be damn sure you have your ducks in order with Federal law and your State's DMV before you mess with the tag. I know CA. is hell on this. They've been known to inspect cars prior to auctions looking for VIN plates that don't pass the smell test.
  14. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,854

    Bandit Billy

    I used to have a buddy that was a real pro at replicating the VIN rivets. Looking forward to getting together for a beer with 5 to 10 years. Seriously, don't remove it. I mask them off or paint right over them, which ever the factory did.

    If I was a fed, I would sell the rivets on e-pay and keep a dossier all of the buyers...but I'm not conniving enough to thinks of crap like that.
  15. not that i have done it but,............. stainless rivets "bumped" against the grinder, to put five flat edges will look real convincing ........or so i have been told.
    1927graham, kidcampbell71 and Hnstray like this.
  16. 55Brodie
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 746


  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

  18. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,630


    Not illegal to remove the trim/ data plates. Removing the vin is.
  19. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,065

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Why worry IF the vin is stamped on the frame? My Crosley has hex head screws holding the vin to the fire wall from the factory..DMV inspection did not utter a word..
  20. California Law concerning this ;
    10750. (a) No person shall intentionally deface, destroy, or alter
    the motor number, other distinguishing number, or identification mark
    of a vehicle required or employed for registration purposes without
    written authorization from the department, nor shall any person place
    or stamp any serial, motor, or other number or mark upon a vehicle,
    except one assigned thereto by the department.
    (b) This section does not prohibit the restoration by an owner of
    the original vehicle identification number when the restoration is
    authorized by the department, nor prevent any manufacturer from
    placing in the ordinary course of business numbers or marks upon new
    motor vehicles or new parts thereof.
    falcongeorge likes this.
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,505


    The thing that would bother me, would be new looking rivets that are supposed to be 60 years old. 60 years of "patina" is kind of obvious, and expected, on the rivets on the serial number tag on a 60 year old car.
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,211

    Jalopy Joker

    different manufacturers use different style rivets - some reproduction suppliers offer replacements For Sale - for some Fords can even order a replacement data tags and rivets from
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  23. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,287


    I took mine off to have the car blasted, the dash was rusted thru and needed to be cut out. The vin is stamped in 4 other places on my car(OT), so I'm not too worried about that. The car is stripped and pics of the before, hidden vin were all taken. You can find the rivets but expect to pay a lot for them.
    I ran a thread and got similar responses.

    If a person was so inclined, these rivets are not a big deal across the Pacific ocean, you can buy them in bulk for pennies each, shipping available.
    Some dimensions are needed, head diameter, shank diameter, approximate shank length.

    Hindsight, it would have been less headaches to leave them in place.
  24. Did a 56 Met even use modern VIN rivets?? I doubt it. Austin Healeys used sheet metal screws to hold the number tags on. All of these stories and tales of going to prison are
    bullshit. You are not going to get arrested or prosecuted for restoring your car. The laws are clearly aimed at theft and other nefarious deeds.
  25. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,844


    I'm pretty sure you can buy the replacement rivets with no problem. You can't ready strip a highend restoration with the vin plate in place unless you want to kiss your plate good bye.
  26. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,669

    Larry T

    I don't remember rosette pop rivets until they started putting the vin number in the dash.
    I've had several 56 Ford pickups that came from the factory with Phillips headed sheetmetal screws holding the vin plate to the door jamb. I don't think that really matters since they've always checked the frame numbers when they needed an ID. That's not to say I wouldn't try to use stock looking hardware if I ever had to re-rivet a plate onto a vehicle.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  27. It would be easy enough to machine up some dummy rivets and JB Weld the plate back in place. I just masked mine off when I shot the door jambs.
  28. Flatblack 31
    Joined: Oct 14, 2011
    Posts: 238

    Flatblack 31

    After you F#%¥ with it make sure you keep a hacksaw blade with you at all times.... Also be polite to 'Bubba'
  29. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,916

    from New York

    Very touchy subject. Remember the "Chasing Classic Cars" episode where the Connecticut Troopers shut down the entire auction because someone pop riveted a data plate on their firewall. Every car that was "flagged" by the State of Conn. was given a document by the auction company stating that if there was a problem with any state DMV the buyer could get their money back.
  30. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,800


    I removed mine on a 49 GMC for sandblasting and epoxy prime.

    I reinstalled it with pop rivets.

    No problem registering it in KY.

    But when I sold it to a guy in NC, well, that's another story....

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