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Fender Skins

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Old George/Thou

02-13-2001 07:08:38

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Gentleman, this 45 2N has the original fender skins and rivited bracket/braces. While the skins are in really good shape and the braces are still solid, the telltale signs of rust are showing between the braces and skins. Should I grind the rivets off and treat the rust? Can I find replacement bolts or rivets that look like the original rivets? Or should I leave them alone and treat the rust best I can without removing the braces? I want to do it right and not create problems down the road, but I am perplexed as to the best way to go. I trust your experience and thank you for your comments in advance.
Alan Esch
45 2N 183513

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Thank you gentleman

02-13-2001 18:20:46

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 Re: Fender Skins in reply to Old George/Thoughts/sugesstions welcome, 02-13-2001 07:08:38  
I will take my time and remove the braces/brackets and then find some rivets. Grinding off is the best way, correct?

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Al English

02-13-2001 21:27:39

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 Re: Re: Fender Skins in reply to Thank you gentleman, 02-13-2001 18:20:46  
Grinding the rivets off is fine, just be very careful not to grind where you don't want something ground. You could also center punch the head of each rivet then drill them with a drill bit slightly larger than the shank of the rivet. Be careful to put the punch mark in the center of the rivet head, and don't go any deeper than is needed to remove the head. With the brackets separated from the sheet metal there's less chance of accidentally damaging the sheet metal as you finish removing the rivets...Al English

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02-13-2001 17:00:55

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 Re: Fender Skins in reply to Old George/Thoughts/sugesstions welcome, 02-13-2001 07:08:38  
I'd definitely take them off. If there is rust behind the brackets, you can be sure it will bite you in the butt later on and come through. I'm a stickler for detail, but I doubt anyone will notice if you find rivets the same size as the original and use those, as long as they have a similar head. I riveted the skins back onto the brackets of my tractor and they look just like the originals. I did make a block with a reverse image of the rivet head so as not to flatten out the head when I riveted the skins back on.

I'm sure not every rivet was shaped the same when Henry used them back in '45 since just due to the manufacturing process of a rivet.

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02-13-2001 14:06:53

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 Re: Fender Skins in reply to Old George/Thoughts/sugesstions welcome, 02-13-2001 07:08:38  
the fenders on my 9N were original. Because of that, I decided to work with them as best I could and save them. Outside of the dents, gouges and dings there was rust along the brackets, and the rust was pitted through to the other side of the skins. There was a line of rust hole following the brackets.

I sandblasted the fenders, then I dipped the entire fender and bracket into phosphoric acid for a couple days to eat away the real thin spots along the rust holes (placed into a plastic kiddy poo with about 7 gallons of concrete etching solution).

I then power washed them along the brackets removing anything caught in there. Then it was filling the holes with epoxy, smoothing, sanding and priming numerous times. Then they were shot with topcoat and then clearcoated.

I have to say, they look really nice. But on the interior of the skin I layed on POR 15 and poured it into and along the brackets so that they were coated...both the skin and bracket. While the POR 15 was tacky I then shot the interior with the 9N grey topcoat. I suspect it will take a lot for any moisture or rust to come through those skins and along the bracket.

I didn't remove the skins from the bracket. But now when I look back at it, it woul have been easier to buy replacement skins and bolt and rivet them on to the bracket as suggested below.

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Al English

02-13-2001 08:29:06

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 Re: Fender Skins in reply to Old George/Thoughts/sugesstions welcome, 02-13-2001 07:08:38  
Hi Old George, Assuming the parts are in good enough shape to survive disassembly, the best option is to take the brackets off and clean everything up. Take your time and be careful or you'll wish you had left them together. Before re-assembly the overlapping areas and areas around the rivets should be spot painted, epoxy primed, or both.

I don't know if the correct rivets are available, but I wouldn't let that stop me. Any machine shop could make a set of rivets for you, or possibly modify the head of an existing rivet to the shape of the originals. Now, that's one part out of the way, what about the rest of the tractor? Good luck...Al English

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