drip rail back on to fiberglass........

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Feb 7, 2003
so we're redoing a hardtop and i made a new d/r(ccot parts) and i could use some ideas how you go about re-riveting.
i have the big aluminum rivets that cc sends,but i'm a little apperhenive to go swinging a hammer at rivets near the fiberglass.

if nothing better comes along i'll have to grow some balls and just have at it.
Fastening technology has come a long way since the 70's. There are some other choices that will not require you to use a hammer.

Two major suppliers of rivets (sealed, that is) are Emhart, and Avdel Cherry Textron (they are a conglomeration).

Emhart has their "closed end" line of blind "POP" rivets. They are designed to water and pressure tight. Here's the link to their site -

Avdel Cherry Textron has a few sealed products as well. One is the Avex "Break Stem" blind rivet. Here's the link -

Both of the above mentioned rivets can be fastened with a rivet gun that you can get easily at the hardware store. It wouldn't hurt to put a sealer between the mating surfaces, I'm sure you have several half used tubes of RTV like I do.

One thing I didn't account for is the clearance on the underside. The rivets above do not fit flush on the blind side. I don't remember if the rivets are exposed on the bottom or if the encroach into the seal.

Good luck
I did this just last year and so far, it is working out fine with no leaks. My fiberglass cap needed a lot of repair, so while I had that out, I ran a 2" wide piece of glas tape around the entire edge, essentially glassing in the old holes, I had some rotten spots and tears where the old rivets were. I also welded up the corresponding holes in the driprail. I POR'd the driprail and did a trial fit of the cap. Then I used silicone modified latex caulk, like DAP and ran a nice bead around the gutter where the cap mated to it, then layed the cap on and weighted it down just so it would completely and evenly seat onto the driprail. I didn't want to squeeze out all the caulk.
Let it dry for 24 hours, then I drilled new holes halfway between the old ones and used pop rivets with the backing washers. Riveted from the bottom side of the driprail so the washer and squshed side of the rivet are on top. Then laid a bead of caulk in the trough to smooth things out. You can use a wet rag or your wet finger and a rag to smooth it. That's why I like the silicone modified caulk, water cleanup and it is paintable. The rivet holes are not really an issue since they are outside of the weaterstrip underneath.
Clear as MUD?
Ed Long

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