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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2008, 09:49 AM
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Vin tag rivets

I am restoring a 69 Chevelle Conv.. This car was a real rust bucket. So far I put a new floor in from the trunk to just under the dash, two new outer wheel houses, and obviously two new quarter panel skins (couldn't get the whole panel for a convertible). Now I'm moving up to the front. I have to replace the dashboard (it's rotted out right at the base of the windshield), and the upper and one of the sides of the cowl. My problem is the vin tag rivets. I got in touch with a company called TrimTags, but the person on the other end of the line said they don't sell them anymore. I could get the rivets for the trim tag but not for the vin tag.
So my question (finally) is. Does anyone know where I could buy these rivets?

Thanks, Ed
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:39 AM
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Hi,
I only did one, I was told I couldn't buy the rivets,
so I EP-7 epoxied it in with the old rivets in the holes
Rich
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:52 AM
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As far as I know, you cant buy those rivets.. It is a felony to possess them unless.... I assume you have a license by the governement to deal with them..

I work at Ford and on occasion out of the blue US Marshalls will come in and check out the whole vin tag job.. Cowboy hats, boots and wranglers as well with their fire arm right on their hip.. They take that stuff kinda serious around there..

I used to run a team that had the vin tag job on it, and it was a major hassel when someone put on the wrong tag, or if there was a damaged one I had to replace..

Someone who does restorations for a living may have insight, but I stil dont think you can buy them legally..
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:09 AM
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Vin Tag rivets

Thanks Guys,

I kinda thought that I had only to real options. One is like you suggested, epoxy, or two is (this may sound a little outrageous) cut the original area around the tag and splice it in the new piece.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:04 PM
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rivets

I'm glad it's not easy to swap these tags with all the phony exotic cars out there! How'd you find a convertible outer wheelhouse for that thing? I had to beat the living xxxx out of a hardtop wheelhouse to fit my conv. There wasn't one available in '96, maybe they make em now?? Good Luck....
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:50 PM
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Wheelhouses

I got the wheelhouses from GroundUp. You can get them almost anywhere now, although they still have to be modified slightly for the convertible
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:49 PM
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Rivets, VIN tags ?????? It is no big deal here.
The state law basicly says that rebuilders and restorers are trusted to do what is right about swapping parts and VIN tags. If a rebuilder does it, it is OK with the state.

I found it hard to believe when I looked it up.
no ****
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:37 PM
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Vin tag rivets

I don't know what the law is here in Jersey. But, whatever I choose to do with the vin tag, epoxy it with the original rivets or splice and weld onto the new dash, I'm sure will be in the boundaries of the law.
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:58 PM
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I've reused the rivets, VIN tags get removed and installed all the time during restorations. Here's how to do it. With a fine punch you can usually knock the mandrel out of the center of the rivet, sometimes a little grinding is necessary on the tube end just to relieve it enough for the mandrel to come out. Then with pliers you gently squeeze the tube a little gradually compression it's diameter so the rivet can be removed. Once out you insert another pin/mandrel and lightly hammer it back to shape-now put it in your rivet gun and use it again. Or panel adhesive also works well.
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:59 PM
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VIN tag rivets

That's a great suggestion! I'll have a set of rivets to practice on. I lucked out and found a 69 Chevelle wagon in the wrecking yard and I cut the cowl out. The car on the rotisserie in my photo journal is the Chevelle I'm working on. As soon as I figure out how to suck the pictures out of my old computer (it fried) I'll be updating my journal.

Thanks Baddbob
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:34 AM
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Never remove the vin plate from a car.

Last edited by bcepas; 08-28-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:08 PM
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In most states you are not to remove and replace the vin tag. If you remove it you should call your dmv and they will come out and install a new one for you. Thats not to say it dosen't get done every day.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob View Post
I've reused the rivets, VIN tags get removed and installed all the time during restorations. Here's how to do it. With a fine punch you can usually knock the mandrel out of the center of the rivet, sometimes a little grinding is necessary on the tube end just to relieve it enough for the mandrel to come out. Then with pliers you gently squeeze the tube a little gradually compression it's diameter so the rivet can be removed. Once out you insert another pin/mandrel and lightly hammer it back to shape-now put it in your rivet gun and use it again. Or panel adhesive also works well.
This is how we do it too.older Gm dashboards are usually rusted out from years of condensation or leaky windshields.Once the tag is out though try to get it back in the same day so you dont lose it. I put the last one somewhere i wouldnt lose it and it took almost two weks before I found it again.On a 68 SS/RS it matters ,especially when its a customers car.I lost a lot of sleep over that one..
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:43 PM
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vin tags

Thanks for the advice. I replaced the top of the cowl and the dashboard because of rust. I think the only thing holding it together was the windshield. I found a near perfect cowl and dashboard on a 68 Chevelle wagon in a local wrecking yard, so I had a little practice on removing the tag. I didn't replace it yet because the car is not ready for it. But, I do know where the tag and rivet heads are
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:14 AM
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I've always heard that you're not to mess with VIN tags, too.

The cowl on my '68 Chevelle is rotted out, so I bought a new repop cowl, and of course there's no tag on it.

I took several photos of the cowl and tag from different angles to prove it was my car and original tag.

I've not done it yet, but with the documentation I have, and receipt for the replacement cowl, I feel comfortable just using regular rivets.

Has anyone done it that way?
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