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Little Itty Bitty rivets in '54 headlight ring?

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  • Little Itty Bitty rivets in '54 headlight ring?

    How do you remove these suckers? The tab at the top of the headlight ring pulled through these rivets when I removed the headlight ring. Probably my fault, since I didn't know how to remove it properly, I put too much pressure on it. Not all that much though... Can't really imagine succefully drilling those rivets out, and there is nothing to grab onto to attempt pulling them.

  • #2
    Could take a small grinder or Dremel and grind off the head. Remember to use stainless for replacement.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


    • #3
      If you are talking about the little tab that holds the ring to the fender ? don't do anything with them just put the tab back in place and use some J B weld to hold it back in place, works every time.
      Castro Valley,


      • #4
        Yeah, that little tab thingy at the top, that slides into the slot on the bucket. Those are blind rivets, more like nails driven into the pot metal, so grinding off the heads would just remove the only part that shows, and the shaft would still be securely stuck in the pot metal rim. JB Weld is great stuff, but is it strong enough for this if someone were to lean on the headlight ring?

        I plan to remove all traces of chrome (somehow), and paint to match the body color, I like the shape of the originals. It MAY be possible to solder the tab to the rivet tops,,,???... Then a coat of JB weld would be a good followup.


        • #5
          The JB weld is all you need it will hold.
          Castro Valley,


          • #6
            I have also carefully drilled small holes and used short small screws to hold them on. When you drill the holes you have to be very careful not to drill all the way through. I have also successfully used the JB Weld method.

            1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
            1961 Hawk 4-speed
            1967 Avanti
            1961 Lark 2 door
            1988 Avanti Convertible

            Member of SDC since 1973


            • #7
              If I remember right, they aren't rivets as such. The die-cast ring is made with two protruding nubs where the tab goes, and the tab is installed after the part is plated, and the two nubs peened down to secure it.

              I see no reason why JB Weld wouldn't work, but if I had to fix one of these, I grind the remains of the swages flush, and drill and tap for small machine screws. Takes a little more time in the doing, but once the repair is made, it can go back on the car immediately, no waiting for the epoxy to set.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


              • #8
                Even if Corley drills all the way through by accident, it will be OK since he plans to paint the rings.
                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


                • #9
                  Sounds like maybe I'm not the first one to screw up and break these. I feel better already!