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akrussell

Re-rivet ring gear

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While dismantling the rear-end for my Franklin Olympic (same as REO Flying Cloud), I noticed that the rivets holding the ring gear were loose and that there was quite a bit of play between the gear and the carrier. I drilled out the rivets to discover that they indeed had a worn shoulder from years of use. I've found replacement rivets (5/16" dia countersunk) however, I need some advice on how to get these reinstalled. Preferably I'd like to have someone do the work for me. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Dan

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I have riveted quite a few. It is not really difficult but if you can find a person who has riveted heavy iron it would be a help. You need a buck that matches the head of your rivet. This needs to be in a very solid vice. You need a rivet set and a five pound ball pean hammer. Everything needs to be clean, the rivet is heated cherry red, inserted through the gear and carrier, the head is centered in the buck and using the set and no more than two blows with the hammer the rivet is set. You go back and forth around the gear (like tightening wheel studs). If you have to hit the rivet more than twice cut it off and try again.

I was lucky enough t be shown how to do this by a very old, old time mechanic. I only had to redo three of my first four rivets then I realized how hard you have to hit the set to upset the rivet so that the joint is tight. However hard you think it should be hit it harder.

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The best way to do this is in an hydraulic press with a rivetting fixture. You fasten the crownwheel to the diff centre with alternate bolts so there is no gap, then the rivets. Not only does the press form the second head on each rivet, but most importantly the shank of the rivet expands so there is no slack in the hole. If the old rivets were loose, it means they were not press-fitted properly last time. Twenty odd years ago there was a hot-shot Canadian racing saloon car driver came out here. He raced Fords. They used to alter things a bit, and he always needed a clutch plate that had to be made up. He was very competitive until the centre spline section separated from the plate during the race. This became a monotonous problem, because the plates were rivetted by hand. Well, someone sent him round to see Clive Beattie. Now Clive was a very experience mechanic, who worked by himself in the backyard of an old Melbourne suburban house that used to be the family home. His specialty was Lancias, but he rebuilt the engine of my Mercer.

Before every big race from then on, Alan Moffat would take a new plate and centre section to Clive, who fastened them with minld steel rivets in the press. It turned Alan Moffat into a consistent winner, and he never failed to finish.

It is a pity you are so far away. I still have a couple of new sets of those crownwheel rivetting press jigs. I used to have a lot, but spread them around. One of the local truck dealers got one, then another; and when they broke that too, I was not able to find any more. They were too valuable to waste on people who were too stupid and careless.

Ivan Saxton

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I do agree with Ivan. If you can get someone to press them in (as was done originally at the factory) it is certainly consistant if not superior.

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Sorry to have omitted something significant, but I often end up writing when I should be asleep.

Rivets almost always have a square end to the shank, and you have to practise a little basic workshop arithmatics to end up with the right mass/volume in the head, allowing also for expansion of the shank to fill the hole. Now when I had to do some rivtting on the chassis of the 1911 Napier I noticed a batch of rivets in my stock of the right diameter which had come from a wartime service package, I think IHC. The open ends were sklightly rounded and streamlined, in a shape not dissimilar to a WW2 30 carbine bullet. When I tried this end shape I found that the rivets were easier to head. You need to use a small set of digital scales to keep the same mass as the starting shank length you worked out.

When you have to do chassis rivetting, usually the only practical way is to do it hot, though it can use a lot of oxy and acetylene. When rebuilding an extra A model Duesenberg chassis frame from bits that came from Mexico so Jim Gilmartin would have one to build his car, I had to make several different anvil types to get inside the chassis to support the pre-formed heads. I made the forming set for outside new heads from steel from an old car axle, which is already heat treated suitably for the purpose, butstill machineable in the lathe to fit a big pneumatic hammer that was also coveniently new in the war surplus. I made the semi-spherical head cavity with a ball-nose slot drill. We got to be pretty good at chassis rivetting: Not , however as good as the gang of robot G-rivetters I once saw in an old Disney-type cartoon of the A E Smith (I think) works where chassis were made. Thes animated mechanical"creatures worked swifty and in unison to music in the film. Can anyone rememberwhat film this is, and know where to access it??????

Ivan Saxton

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