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Rivet Removal
I  used this method every time and can remove a backing plate in less than 15 minutes.  Also works great on any Frame Rivets

1.  Take a 4.5" angle grinder with a 1/16" kerf cutoff wheel.  With the angle grinder and cutoff wheel come in from the outside of the backing plate parallel with the backing plate and cut the head off the rivet as close as possible.

2.  With the angle grinder and a flap type abrasive grinding disk,  grind the end of each of the 5 rivets smooth where you just cut the head off.

3.  You will now see the outline of the .500" rivet that has to be removed.  Get dead center on each rivet and make a nice deep center punch.

4.  Now with a drill your going to drill into the rivet body towards the rear of the rivet.  Start with a 1/8" drill bit.  Drill the first hole .500" deep.  The with a 1/4" drill bit open the hole to 1/4", then with a 5/16" drill bit open the hole to 5/16" and finally with a 3/8" drill bit open the hole to 3/8".  Each time you enlarge the hole, be sure to drill all the way to the bottom of the first pilot 1/8" hole.  

5.  You will now have a hole, 3/8" diameter x 1/2" deep.  Use a pair of Large Vise Grips to hold the 3/8" punch so you eliminate the chance of hitting your fingers.  Take a 3/8" FLAT nose punch and insert the end in the hole.  Now with SAFETY GOGGLES, GLOVES and HEARING PROTECTION, take a hand sledge and Drive  the punch.  The first blow will have a ring, the second and third blows will have a muffled thud as the rivet moves out.  I find it takes about 4 blows and the rivet is out.  The backing plate  will fall off.

The reason for drilling the holes, ending with 3/8" x .500" deep is this.  If you try to drive on the flush rivet body, each blow will cause the rivet to expand just a little in the already tight hole.  The more you have to drive on it, the more you expand the rivet and make it even tighter.

By drilling .500" deep hole, 3/8" deep you are driving on the inside of the rivet deep enough that any expansion will not expand the rivet and bind it in the hole.

Although the above procedure details rivet removal on Brake Backing Plates, it also work equally as well on Frame Rivets.
Date(s): May 22 2008. Album by Power Wagon. 1 - 12 of 12 Total. 1305 Visits.
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Axle Housing locked in bench vise.  The axle housing is heavy, wear steel toe boots.

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Brake Backing Plate is stripped.  You can see the 5 large .500" dia rivets you will remove.  Cut each head off flush with a angle grinder and a cut off wheel.  Wear SAFETY GLASSES, Gloves and  HEARING PROTECTION for all the following evolutions !!

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Rivet heads cut off and then ground smooth with a flap disk in your angle grinder.  I have circled the rivets.  You can easily see the outline of each rivet

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Center Punch the exact center of each rivet

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Make your first hole with a 1/8": drill, .500" deep, then follow with a 1/4", 5/16" and finally a 3/8" bits.  Always drill the hole to the bottom  of the first pilot hole

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All rivets are now drilled .500" deep with a 3/8" bit

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If you dont have your safety equipment on, do it now !  Safety Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection.

Now take a 3/8" flat nose punch and lock it in a pair of large vice grips.  Insert the punch in the first hole and drive the punch with a hand sledge.  The first blow will have a ring sound, the following couple blows will have a muffled thud sound as the rivet moves out.


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15 minutes, start to backing plate off

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No damage whatsoever to the axle housing flange

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Totally protect the spindle with rags and a soda bottle  taped in position before you Media Blast the Housing.  I also bolt a spare cover plate on the axle housing opening to keep media out of the tube.

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Prior to Paint, Clean,  Clean, Clean the inside of the Axle Housing.  Clean it as you would clean a firearm barrel.  Swabs, brush, get her clean.  In this picture, I have primed the housing with PPG, MP-170 Epoxy Primer.  After curing for 3 hours, I top  coat it

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Housing is now top coated with PPG, MOA Chassis Black.  Total time to strip, blast, prime  and paint was  4.5 hours.

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