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Old 02-19-2015, 04:25 PM   #11
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Re: Road Block

As suggested, drill them out. Don't use too much pressure on the drill, because once you are through you may dent the outside of your van. Don't ask how I know.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:46 PM   #12
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Re: Road Block

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Originally Posted by Waterski02
As suggested, drill them out. Don't use too much pressure on the drill, because once you are through you may dent the outside of your van. Don't ask how I know.
That's what I was worried about. What about what e350 suggested? Grinding the outter tab off. Anyone every done that? I don't own the tool but could probably find one. And what's the difference between 4" and 4.5"? Appreciate all the input guys.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:48 PM   #13
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Re: Road Block

Depending on their location and what they were holding I have ground the heads off or drilled them out. Both solutions work. If you grind them you will scuff up the track.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:52 PM   #14
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Re: Road Block

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Originally Posted by larrie
Depending on their location and what they were holding I have ground the heads off or drilled them out. Both solutions work. If you grind them you will scuff up the track.
What did you use your tracks for after you removed them?
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:32 PM   #15
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Re: Road Block

Bee: There is some concern for your safety which we should address. I have some alternatives for you to consider before you jump up to a true angle grinder. But all these types of tools, whether big or small, require eye protection, gloves and at least a long sleeve shirt because whatever tool you use, you will be using it to remove metal from those rivets. And an tool that removes metal will be flinging little shards of cut metal away from the tool. Here are some easier tools to consider beginning with:

(Edit: Per JWA's suggestion below, if you have an electric drill and are familiar with its use, then by all means, buy some new bits and try that first. )

1. Dremmel 395 (basically a mini die grinder)

2. Rotozip (a heavier duty version of the Dremmel)

Either of the foregoing tools would be a good introduction to removing metal and the salesperson at Home Depot or wherever can help you pick out the appropriate bits for your job.

3. Grinder (I prefer an angle grinder, and I burn out all H.F. grinders and even 4" Makita grinders, that is why I prefer the 4.5" Makita grinder)

This is the angle grinder I recommend. It is the safest because it has a paddle switch. And the first wheel which you see in the video is the one I personally would recommend you use on those rivets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=FBTLp2rIql4

http://www.amazon.com/Makita-9557PBX...B+4.5%22+Angle

The video starts with this warning: "Power Tools are Fun but Dangerous. Use Them at Your Own Risk."

Take that warning to heart.

Ok, now for some realism. Are you sure you want to home build your own conversion van? If so, the project you are embarking on will require power tools. Either used by you or someone you pay to do the work for or with you. If you can't find someone competent to work with you it would be best to take some tool classes at Home Depot or the local community college to get familiar with their various uses and their safe use.

Yes, I have drilled out rivets and it certainly can be done, but as your drill bit dulls you may be tempted to put more pressure on the drill, making it more likely to slip off the rivet, push through the plastic wall and into the sheet metal wall of your van leaving a dent in the exterior. Also, IMO, there is probably no more scary tool around a vehicle than a drill. Because drills are designed to penetrate. So you better be very sure of what is on the other side (brake lines, fuel lines, airconditioning lines, electrical wiring, etc.) before you put a drill to a vehicle. (I mean kowing what is on the other side of the metal you are drilling and then measuring and marking and re-measuring at least five times before you put a drill to a vehicle.)

All three tools I mentioned above are primarily intended to work on the surface of the metal, not to penetrate like a drill.

Now for a little philosophy. I personally find a tool which has more power to be more controllable because I can apply only a little muscle pressure to make it do its work. A relatively powerful tool with a delicate hand where the hand merely guides the tool rather than pressuring the tool is best in my experience.

But the most important tool is patience.

In response to a recent window regulator write up on ford-trucks.com I actually got a rep from a guy who "liked your tool list." My tool list read as follows:

Tools to use:

1. Patience.
2. Patience.
3. Patience.

Bee: What I like about you, is that you actually stopped, posted pictures, and posed questions about how to proceed instead of bull in a china store rushing ahead. That patience is the most important tool you will ever own.

Along with patience you need an unrelenting concern for safety. There is a 7.3L engine guru on ford-trucks.com named Christof13T who is an operator of computer and hand controlled metal machining equipment. He better than anybody knows not to rely on just safety glasses but goggles and full face mask (in fact I am going to edit my earlier post to include a full face mask). He had eye surgery a couple of weeks ago because a shard of metal he was grinding stuck in his eye. So be forewarned. Safety should never sleep.

Along with patience and safety, you must be open to learning how to see. You must see everything as it is, know what your tool can do (this knowledge is only acquired by practice on scrap metal), imagination for what the metal will look like as the tool is doing its work, and a realistic goal for what it will look like when you are done.

Again the reality is, that the project you've said you want to embark on will require power tools used by you or someone else.

But the most important tools you must own are patience, safety and learning how to see.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:47 AM   #16
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Re: Road Block

Superb advice there E350----pretty much agree with the "safety first----and foremost" approach. As a one-eyed guy I've had to endure buffoons giving me crap for what they think is an over-abundance of safety gear. "I pity the fool........" seems appropriate to such comments.

If Bee is a complete novice to working on or around vehicles or without some degree of experience working with the tools and materials along with their use in a home remodeling capacity tackling a van build-out is at best a daunting project. I don't want to go as far as saying its ill-advised but it does need further thought?

Not one to discourage making an effort but there does come a time when the idea of beginning this sort of thing seems much easier than it is. After all we watch these things being done all the time on TV or YouTube---can't be too hard right? IRL we don't have the luxury of editing our process to look like its done in a single take-----most of us here can atest our own projects never proceed as we envision.

At the risk or incurring ire I'd have to disagree ever so slightly in drilling vs grinding to remove those rivet heads. Because most of us as adults have used some sort of powered drill, not so much grinding tools there's a small advantage to having already used a drill. Gently disagreeing mind you.

Otherwise Bee we're here to help if we can---don't be shy about asking.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:33 PM   #17
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Re: Road Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
Depending on their location and what they were holding I have ground the heads off or drilled them out. Both solutions work. If you grind them you will scuff up the track.
What did you use your tracks for after you removed them?
I was not removing tracks, it was something else.

I have to agree with JWA and E350s recient posts about safety. I put a new drill bit through my thumb when it shattered. I got in a hurry after drilling a bunch of holes and lost focus. Luckily it healed up fine. But the stress it caused to my body and wife was not good. The hospital staff were great.

Doing creative projects for our vans is great fun. Take care and work safely.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:52 PM   #18
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Re: Road Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee
Anyone know how to remove these E-Track liners? I'm trying to remove all the paneling and I've pulled all the plastic fasteners but these tracks in the center on each side of the van are bolted in and don't have a screw head to remove them...
I find a chisel you do not care about easiest - just a couple quick hammers under the flange & they are off. No need to worry about the drill bit breaking/puncturing van/etc.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:49 AM   #19
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Re: Road Block

Quote:
Originally Posted by dick
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bee
Anyone know how to remove these E-Track liners? I'm trying to remove all the paneling and I've pulled all the plastic fasteners but these tracks in the center on each side of the van are bolted in and don't have a screw head to remove them...
I find a chisel you do not care about easiest - just a couple quick hammers under the flange & they are off. No need to worry about the drill bit breaking/puncturing van/etc.
We need to understand blind rivets used to properly secure E-Track to something and not aluminum-bodied like so many other "pop rivets"---they're very tough steel. While a chisel can be used with softer material the force required to cut though harder bodies puts us right back into work requiring a lot of caution. Hammer heads striking chisels have been known to break one or the other sending pieces of hardened steel flying creating eye hazards.

There is no "easy" or "easier" way to do this one task. Whatever method used the common advice is know your tools and how to use them, caution, caution, caution and more caution exercised too.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:17 PM   #20
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Re: Road Block

If you choose to drill you can make one of these drill stop blocks .
Attached Thumbnails
A1 drill stop.jpg  
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