Originally Posted by palladin
So you are going to rivet from the front? Pics WOULD be nice. That is also a long rivet.
Let's discuss a moment about the value of T-top straps. Not only do we not want them sliding around, but in the case of a sudden stop.....we do NOT want them coming airborne and hitting us in the back of the head!
I will drill the hole just slightly over the size it's at now, really just enough to drill the remnants of the old rivet out and clean the hole out as mine seem to be a bit corroded (I think these are aluminum?). I'll drill the holes, and old rivets, out of the brackets (I'll call the "pieces" brackets) FIRST (very important), and then use those newly-drilled holes to "match-drill" the new holes into the car's roof, exactly where the pop-rivets went into the roof. That will get rid of the old rivets, which remain in my bracket and roof as well (they broke in half). It's important to use the holes drilled into the brackets as guides for the holes going into the roof, since it's difficult to drill those holes into the roof, and then get them to line up exactly with the holes drilled through the brackets, if drilled seperately. With aircraft, if I have an old hole that's being used for a new fastener, I always use the old holes, or the new, whichever is most convenient, as a guide for match-drilling. This, because to insert a fastener of any type, the holes must line up exactly.
I will photograph this process as I go through it, and I'll try to do this this week or coming weekend, since it sounds like fun and is kinda "right up my alley" in relation to work I do on aircraft structures and sheetmetal. It helps that I have access to an unlimited supply of rivets which I can ask if I can take a couple out of the recycle bins or fastener trash cans. If not, I can use the fasteners at work to look at & figure out which is best to use, and then go buy some at the local aircraft tool supply store. I would use aircraft-approved fasteners, just because they're a much higher strength & quality than rivets one would find at Lowes or Home Depot. But, really, probably any rivets will do. The main deal in achieving long-lasting fastening is to clean the hole and around the holes with maybe an acetone-based cleaner. If there's any bare metal, make sure it is alodined or treated in some other way against future corrosion or rust, and then prime and paint the part, especially around the hole. It helps to use a fastener of the same material as the part being fastened, since metals that are not similar will have a chemical reaction leading to corrosion & rust. Heck, Fastenall would be a good source of fasteners, too. And, thinking of this, Auto Zone has a tool loan deal and they might have hand-operated rivet squeezers you could borrow. I'm fortunate to own all the riveting tools needed, since I use them almost-daily at work.
And about the T-tops, yes, I am now fastening them on top of one another under the straps.
O.K. DUMB question...WHERE is my spare tire? Where is it located, or supposed to be located? I will go look in the Haynes and the FSM (I have the DVD given with my car's sale), but it just struck me that I haven't seen it, or even looked for it yet. Just last weekend I discovered that the two metal bars behind the seats conceal two "hidden" storage spaces (which look like they might be able to hold ice & drinks!), so I'm definately learning & discovering brand-new things about this car!