How to replace rivets

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Many automotive body parts and other pieces of material use rivets instead of screws to secure two pieces of material together. Rivets provide a smoother surface and are lightweight. Sometimes rivets can ream out or loosen, causing the two pieces of material to become shifty and loose. When this happens, the rivets require replacement. Replacing rivets is a matter of drilling out the old rivets and installing new ones. Rivets and hand rivet guns are available at home improvement centers.


How to replace rivets

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Many automotive body parts and other pieces of material use rivets instead of screws to secure two pieces of material together. Rivets provide a smoother surface and are lightweight. Sometimes rivets can ream out or loosen, causing the two pieces of material to become shifty and loose. When this happens, the rivets require replacement. Replacing rivets is a matter of drilling out the old rivets and installing new ones. Rivets and hand rivet guns are available at home improvement centers.


Step One

Insert a drill bit into the drill of the same diameter as the rivet you are removing. The bit should be no larger in diameter than the center hole of the current rivet.


Step Two

Place the tip of the drill bit over the center of the rivet head and drill the rivet out with the drill. The rivet head forms a ring around the drill bit as you drill through. Remove the drill bit from the rivet hole. Remove the rivet head ring from the drill bit with a pair of pliers.


Step Three

Inspect the hole where you are replacing the rivet. Ensure that both pieces of material that the rivet is connecting are flush against each other. If necessary, clamp the pieces of material together with a pair of vise grips or a C-clamp.


Step Four

Select an appropriate diameter rivet to install in the rivet hole. Insert the stem of the rivet into the hand rivet gun. Place the gun over the hole and insert the rivet head into the hole. Squeeze the handle of the rivet gun several times until the rivet stem breaks off and the rivet head is in place.


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