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78 monte 07-22-2012 11:31 AM

Pop Rivets for patch panels
What is the general consensus on pop riveting in patch panels???? I don't have a welder and getting the nose to people I know who have welders is kinna a PITA after unloading my van and scheduling a time to do it etc....
I finished wire wheeling and sanding down the surface rust that has popped through the primer from my 2yr break from hotrodding.Now its on to making patch panels to "uncustom" the unfinished frenched GTO headlights that were half installed in my fenders.I also have to patch the bumper holes were the bumper will be shaved off and fill the lines were the fenders and cowl have been welded together.Finding/affording a nose for a 54yr old swedish car is kinna not gonna happen(atleast not this year anyways) So I am planning on patching in the original single headlight buckets and doing the filling myself.
So can patchs be done WELL with rivets or am I asking for filler cracks after the first road trip?? I'm thinkin rivet the patchs and duraglass for fill and bondo for smoothing out the final lumpy bumpy.

302 Z28 07-22-2012 04:52 PM

Pop rivets are a definite "no-no" in patch panels.


66GMC 07-22-2012 04:56 PM

Do you think a panel adhesive (eg Norton Speedgrip) would work here?

matt167 07-22-2012 05:02 PM

As someone who popped at least 200 rivits in my car 6-7 years ago ( at the advice of someone else who was 'teaching' me ). I must say that it is a very bad idea. To get the panels smooth with the filler, your going to take the filler out to at least 1/16" thick ( 3/32" is also common ), and to blend 1/16" thickness out to a lower spot, you will need to take the filler out quite a ways.. In simple terms it doesn't work

MARTINSR 07-22-2012 05:05 PM

Yes just use panel adhesive it is as good as you will get without a welder.


Irelands child 07-23-2012 05:12 AM

There are countersunk pop rivets that as supposed to work - they don't work well!! Next, most pop rivets are aluminum - and with steel, they corrode, leaving a bigger hole. I recall my now long gone father-in-law patching his ancient pickup truck with pop rivets and some sort of sheet metal - lasted about a year before the 1/8" rivet holes got to be 1/2"

tech69 07-23-2012 11:48 PM

panel adhesive would be way better than pop rivets. There was a trend a while back where shops would do shaved handles with panel adhesives...til it was discovered that the panel adhesives will shrink and expand at rates far different than everything else. Still, I'd pick panel adhesive in a heartbeat over pop rivets.

mi chael 07-24-2012 01:28 AM

If you are not going to do the job right the first time, don't do it at all. Patch panels (in my opinion) should only be welded in. :nono: Anything else is NOT a compromise. Especially on SAFETY.

mi chael.

tech69 07-24-2012 02:02 AM

tell that to a guy driving around a Saturn with half his fender broken off. :D

jcclark 07-24-2012 04:59 AM

Back when I first started, I used pop rivets, I used them for many years
and strength was never an issue for just a rust out patch.
But every one I ever did had the rivets telegraph through later on
it wasn't bad, you had to look real close, but they showed.
I never understood why, I think they move with metal expansion, maybe?.
Anyway, gluing is definetly the way to go, it's strong and stopped
my problem with the rivets

timothale 07-24-2012 06:36 AM

stainles steel rivets
In the 70's and 80's 3/16 stainless steel enclosed end pop rivets were approved for some Ford structural repairs, But you really needed a real good hand riveter to be able to set them.

deadbodyman 07-27-2012 05:39 AM


Originally Posted by tech69 (Post 1576607)
tell that to a guy driving around a Saturn with half his fender broken off. :D

LOL,finding a good plastic welder can be tough.

78 monte 07-30-2012 02:28 PM

Thanks Guys, Panel adhesive sounds like an Idea. What needs to be patched is like a 4-6" hole above and below the headlights as I'm filling in were they were cut away for custom work the former owner started and never finished.You can see the nose in my photos.
I guess I'm kinna in a "do or die mode".I've had this project for 8yrs now and got it to the point a couple years ago were it could be "illegally" run up the street and back,then my storage place went away and the car sat and rusted and after I refused a couple offers to sell it.I decided it "WILL" be registered this year evan if I have to use coat hangers and duct tape LOL (not really but you get the drift).
I've spent the summer thus far wire wheeling down surface rust that popped through the primer,wire wheeling my rusted "one off" set of headers and now I'm starting the body work.
The nose is a straight up disaster!!First off the nose was DA'd down to bare metal and left to rust which required me to have it sandblasted when I got the car.The car had the headlight holes cut out to french in 65 GTO headlights on an angle(think 60s Custom). The cowl and fenders have been welded all togther to make it a one peace nose,the welds are blotchy and the metal is distorted around the welds and therfor would require me to locate an entire nose which is not an option on my budget at this point,finding a 50s Volvo PV as donor is about as likely as meeting the pope.So unfortunatly the nose will be pretty loaded with plastic which kinna sucks,but I figure I'd rather be cruising with a plastic nose than watch my car sit another year......ya know??

123pugsy 07-30-2012 03:40 PM

Spend a few hundred bucks on a cheap mig welder.

To glue patches where the headlight repair needs to be done is asking for trouble.

You've got a real mess to deal with there. :pain:

Good luck.

66GMC 07-30-2012 05:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by 123pugsy (Post 1578588)
Spend a few hundred bucks on a cheap mig welder.

To glue patches where the headlight repair needs to be done is asking for trouble.

You've got a real mess to deal with there. :pain:

Good luck.

Sorry, I disagree ... on both counts ... unless "a few" means all the fingers on both hands:D

1.) To buy a "hobby" 140A GAS mig welder at Canadian Tire is at least $500.00.
Buying a used flux-core (gasless) wire-feed welder would be a mistake, too. You can't do a decent job on sheet metal with one of those.

2.) I can't see a darn thing wrong with using the correct type of panel adhesive on sheet-metal *provided* that its not a structural body component(i.e. rocker panel) That Norton Speedgrip stuff can be sanded, primed and painted ... and I've never heard of any "shrinkage" problems with it either. Around a door handle? Well maybe ... that repeated flexing *might* cause seperation, but I sincerely doubt it.

This notion of "a patch panel blowing off your car at highway speeds" is pure nonsense, IMO, unless you're using Elmer's white glue or sumpthin' :D

This article dicusses some of testing that has been done: Putting the Metal to the Metal

If anyone has any info to the contrary, please post it to this thread for discussion.

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