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Old 03-19-2018, 07:59 PM
sahara59 sahara59 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Roseville
Posts: 2
Default raised rivets? go or no go on replacing. help!

This should enlist some great conversation. LOL... I am considering taking over a partially built RV-14 kit but on the wings, there are some raised rivets on the tank portion... Vans claims its <ok> and no concern just mostly cosmetic... Thoughts? Can they be drilled out and replaced and is it worth it.. I am a detail freak and I don't want this plane having flaws that can be controlled.. Thank you for your input.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:03 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
Posts: 1,165

Pics would certainly help, but slightly raised rivets are common on fuel tanks due to the sealant underneath, and why some people use special dimple dies to make deeper dimples for these rivets. You can also use a tool called a rivet shaver to make them flush with the surface if you want.

Unless they were really bad, I wouldn't mess with tank rivets, especially if it is currently leak free. Drilling them out could mean getting debris in the tanks.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:44 PM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 653

IIRC, you can shave up to 6 thou off the factory head of a AN426AD3 rivet and still be in spec.
Use a heavy duty countersink cutter cage like the one found below:

And a rivet shaver bit:

The gear appears to be a bit more expensive than it used to be, as when I purchased it I think they were ex surplus stock.

Attach it to your favourite high speed drill and go at it, taking off a little at a time.
Alternatively, if you don't want to outlay such capital, others tape around the area and shave down slowly with a dremel or sanding block. Main think is it passes the pressure tests.

Good luck.

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