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What do I need for the vent window rivet?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by FightinTXag, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    I started this thread in the Garage forum, but haven't gotten much help there:

    I've had new vent window seals and latches sitting on the workbench for several weeks. Last weekend I decided to finally tackle the project. I planned on taking it in Monday morning to a glass shop once I had everything together for them to put the pivot rivet in.

    Well none of the glass shops had the pivot rivet. So I called LMC on Monday and ordered the rivets (3 just in case) and waited. I got them yesterday.

    The guy who took my order at LMC couldn't tell me what kind of tool was needed to install the rivet. Nothing in their catalog as far as rivet installation tools.

    None of the glass shops have anything for that rivet or are willing to install them.

    This is all I see in the Chevy Duty catalog relating to rivets. The rivets don't look anything like what I drilled out. The description says they are for attaching the weatherstrip to the frame. Elsewhere in their website, it says they come in a package of 26. So these aren't the pivot rivets.

    Since Chevy Duty doesn't appear to sell the actual pivot rivets, I don't think that tool is for the pivot rivet. How the heck does something that looks like a piece of pipe install a rivet anyway?:confused:

    [​IMG]


    This is from the cheyennepickup.com catalog, after searching for "rivet":
    [​IMG]
    You can see that the first two rivets are clearly pivot rivets. They're recognizable by the stepped diameter. The window frame and the window glass bracket have two different sized holes.

    Then, you have what looks like the same tool from the Chevy Duty catalog. This time the description clearly states it's for the 60-72 trucks and for the rivets that attach the weatherstrip to the frame. So again, it's not for the pivot rivet.

    Lastly you see those 26 pc rivet sets for the earlier trucks. Those are apparently the rivets that the above tool is for.

    Year One lists this:

    Vent window rivet tool. Aftermarket tool sets the rivets at the upper pivot point on the vent window assembly.

    [SIZE=-1]VT67 $8.90[/SIZE]
    [​IMG]

    Eureka! But alas, after calling, they are not in stock. They've been out of stock for over 2 months with 6 on backorder. They have no idea when they will be in. They advised I call in every few weeks.:mad:

    I'm about at my wit's end here. Anybody have any idea how I can get these stupid rivets installed or find a tool that will allow me to do so?:(
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I can't view your links (work) but might I suggest *going* to a local dealer that has a good service department, and asking one of the guys that works in the shop?

    I was looking for a tool that allows disassembly of the gov-lock (as I saw it listed in the manual, but it was hundreds of dollars to purchase) and happened to end up at the dealership. Shop guy knew EXACTLY what tool I was talking about, and went to look for it. Couldn't find it, and told me that (as with everything anymore it seems) they don't rebuild them, just replace, so they probably got rid of it. :(

    Something like what you mention though, may still be around.

    PM me in a couple of hours (or tomorrow) and I'll check my '91 R/V service manual, and see what tools are listed in the back of the section that covers door repair, if it's even in that manual.
     
  3. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    I guess your employer filters photobucket.com.

    I just looked through my 1985 factory service manual. Basically it shows how to remove/reinstall the "ventilator" assembly. It doesn't look like GM ever intended for service techs to do anything other than adjust or replace the assembly as a unit.

    There are 4 special tools listed in the body section of my manual:
    1) A snaked wrench that allows you to adjust door hinges without removing the fender (this would be nice to have).
    2) Windshield checking blocks. (??)
    3) Door handle clip remover.
    4) Door striker bolt remover/installer (basically a T-50 torx socket).
     
  4. Jason4x4

    Jason4x4 1/2 ton status

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    when I did my vent window seals, I didn't need to remove that rivet, I don't remember how I did it, but I know that I didn't remove that rivet, you might pull the wing window out and look at it closely.
     
  5. Jason4x4

    Jason4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I just went and looked at one I had lying around, The bracket that holds the rivet in question, is actually held on to the frame with 2 standard pop rivets, I drilled those out when I did mine.
     
  6. BKinzey

    BKinzey 1/2 ton status

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    Replace it with a nut & bolt and a couple of washers. Maybe a teflon washer as well. Use a little blue locktite on it.

    You could also check a fastener supply house if you want something that looks a little better than a regular nut & bolt.
     
  7. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    ARGHH! Wish I had thought of that beforehand. I never dreamed the pivot rivet would pose such a dilemma.

    I considered this. I thought maybe a polished stainless acorn nut would look as good or better than the rivet. But you can see that the pivot rivets have a stepped diameter. The hole in the pivot bracket on the glass is smaller than the pivot hole in the window frame. So you'd endup with a sloppy fit (and probably air leaks) unless you drill the hole bigger in the glass bracket to match.

    Even still, some rivets tend to expand radially causing two holes line up more precisely. I'm afraid using a bolt instead of the rivet would make the already troublesome vent windows even more prone to air leaks. I've wondered if this could be the problem for people who changed their vent window seals and still had as much noise as before. Or it could be that their latch should've been replaced at the same time, and it's not holding the window closed tightly.

    Of course eliminating the wind noise was the point of the exercise in the first place. Then you have the security issue. I'd rather use the rivet, but substituting a bolt will probably be my method of last resort.
     
  8. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    My '91 manual is essentially the same as yours. It makes NO mention of removing a rivet, only the screws that hold the vent window in place, and how to replace the window glass itself.

    Sorry. :(
     
  9. BKinzey

    BKinzey 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen a fastener style that would work but never one for that narrow of a space. See if I can explain what it looks like as I don't know what they are called:(

    One side, the bolt, is a head and threaded portion. The "nut" has a shank on it so when the bolt and nut are tight the shank keeps a gap open.

    Like: l-l
     
  10. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, after researching online, it looks like the pivot rivet is a semi-tubular stainless steel 1/8" rivet with a 1/4" shoulder and a flat head.

    Semi-tubular rivets can be installed using a hammer and die, similar to what is shown on the Cheyennepickup.com website (that partcular one may or may not work). Of course swinging a hammer hard enough to pull up a stainless rivet fractions of an inch from the glass is not what I wanted to do.

    The other option for these types of rivets is a rivet squeezer with the correct dies in place. There are manual, pneumatic, and hydraulic rivet squeezers. Even the manual ones are pretty pricey $135+.

    As I delved into it I found most commonly the people who are likely to have experience with these tools are kit airplane builders. I stumbled onto the website of a guy here in town that does this kind of work. I shot him an email to pick his brain on my particular application and what kind of tool might be able to do the job, on the cheap since I'd likely only need it for these 2 rivets. Well he invited me to bring the assemblies and rivets over and to see what we could do.

    Quite a nice little shop he had setup. He had to fab up a couple of dies and then used his manual squeezer that looked something like this:
    [​IMG]
    Voila! Success!

    Word of advice:
    I don't believe you could ever get these things to seal without using the proper rivet. I had large gaps between the rubber and the glass even with the rivet in place but not yet pulled up. The rivet expands in the hole, moving the glass, and centering the two holes relative to each other. That makes a huge difference as far as the glass/rubber interface within the frame. I've still got a tiny little pinhole of light coming through one of my assemblies.

    If I had it to do again, I'd probably pony up for all new assemblies for the following reasons:
    1. You're likely to have wind leaks as bad or worse than before without using the proper rivet AND a new latch,
    2. The difficulty I encountered finding a tool suitable for installing the rivet,
    3. The PITA that the rubber seals themselves are, and
    4. After all this hassle, I still won't know if I've fixed my wind noise until I get it back in the truck and take it for a spin.
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I bought a bunch of door seals/gaskets awhile back, unsure if the vent window seal is one of them.

    Is your experience a "must-do" if replacing the vent window seal? It sounds like it is, as the pivot points of the window run right through it. Correct?
     
  12. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    Like Jason4x4 posted earlier, there are 2 rivets that hold the pivot bracket to the window frame. But those aren't normal pop rivets either. I just looked at my driver's side since it's still out of the truck, and the rivets that hold that bracket on have a flat head so they probably install the same way the pivot rivet does.

    You may be able to use a standard pop rivet to replace those two if you drill them out instead. I don't know if they have any special shoulder or anything like the pivot rivet does.

    I also don't know how sensitive the seal/glass interface is to those rivets. What I mean is, I think substituting a pop rivet or a screw/nut at the pivot location would increase the likelihood of wind noise substanitally. I don't know if that's the case for those other two or not. Jason4x4 may have some insight there since that's the way he went.

    Incidentally, if you read the threads about changing these window seals, you'll see a lot of posts from folks who still have air leaks after changing the seals. I'd suspect a lot of those folks used something other than the pivot rivet at the pivot location. That or maybe their latches need to be replaced.

    I would definitely replace the latches if you go through the vent window seal exercise. There's a rubber gasket under the chrome piece on the outside of the glass. There's also a spring type washer. Deterioration of those two things (my rubber gasket was nearly non-existant) would contribute to the latch not pulling the window shut as tightly.

    In fact, since the latch is exponentially easier to replace, if I had it to do again, I'd start by just replacing the latch and see where that got me.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Good point about the latch. I never use the vent windows, but once someone cracks them open (if they didn't leak air) they never seem to go back to sealing again. :(
     
  14. Bad Karma

    Bad Karma Registered Member

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    I had a stone take out my (open) driver-side vent window on the freeway once. I ponied up for a complete replacement assembly from LMC. I was so happy when I saw it was wrapped in original GM packaging. Installed that thing and I had worse wind noise than I did with the old window... Can't win, I guess.
     
  15. FightinTXag

    FightinTXag 1/2 ton status

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    Damnation!

    While I had it all apart I decided to replace both window motors and clean/lube the regulator and window tracks. I also dyed my door pads and related parts.

    I finally got it all back together, took it for a ride on the highway, and the wind whistling is not much different than it was.:mad: This was a lot of hassle and hard work for no improvement.
     

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