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Old 07-16-2006, 02:37 AM   #1
Cody01Tahoe
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Default Drilling out ball joint rivets

We're installing McGaughy's 2/4 drop with spindles on my 2003 RCSB this weekend. The rear was easy.

We moved right on to the front and now we may be stuck until monday. We've only managed to knock the heads off of the rivets on the drivers side which was pretty effortless with an air chisel and a grinder. We drilled through one but it took nearly an hour and it's still not completely drilled out. The remaining 3 rivets on that side seem nearly impossible to drill through.

Anyone have any advice? This is the only thing holding us up.

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Old 07-16-2006, 02:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

Can't you knock it down through the hole once you chisel the head off?
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

We have not been able to yet. We'll try some more today with the air tools. We haven't tried an air drill yet either. Any ball joint rivet removal instructions I've ever seen say to drill them out.
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

I had a 90 gmc sierra tha ti had to pop the rivets out of the upper control arm ball joints before i could replace them. I took a grinder and grinded the head of the rivets off, then i went back with a punch and knocked them out.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

Use a grinding wheel then use a hammer/punch.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
Cody01Tahoe
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

you guy's had it easy then because the hammer and punch is not happening. We're almost done drilling through though! Thanks for the replies.

Where in Fort Worth do you live izzy? I'm at Beach St. and 820. Nice Tahoe in your sig!
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

how big of a hammer are you using? That makes a big difference...get the biggest mini sledge you can on it.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

Originally Posted by RedneckDude
how big of a hammer are you using? That makes a big difference...get the biggest mini sledge you can on it.
werd. A small ball ping hammer wont get the job done as easily as a mini sledge hammer will.
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Old 07-17-2006, 12:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Drilling out ball joint rivets

It was a mini sledge.

We got the rivets removed and the ball joints relocated. I figured out why we couldn't tap the rivets out on the drivers side. My friend Ben ground the heads off the top of the rivets and it pretty much welded everything together on that side so we had to drill those 4 out.

We moved on to the passenger side today and started drilling. Instead of letting Ben grind the heads of the rivets off I decided to drill them out by gradually stepping up to a 1/2" bit. We then got a chisel and BFH and the heads popped right off, allowing the rivets to be tapped down and out in just a few hits.

I know this is all pretty common knowledge to most of you but I just wanted to share. Thanks again!
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