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Old 10-24-2012, 02:47 AM
skyyking skyyking is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kenosha WI
Posts: 52
Default Canopy cracking when pulling rivets

Folks, I am worried when I go to pull the AACQ-4-4 rivets on the canopy frame it will crack the canopy. As you are aware, you can't control the pressure. I need to ask therefore; if any of you out there have had any problems, especially on the forward portion of the canopy frame where the rivet makes direct contact with the plexi.

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:55 AM
lucaperazzolli's Avatar
lucaperazzolli lucaperazzolli is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Trento, northern Italy
Posts: 641

clean everything, deep breath, HOT plexy canopy, slightly deburr holes, run slowly, everythings will go !

Warm the canopy !!!!

Trento, northern Italy
RV-8 QuickBuild, Catto 3 blade Prop, YO-360-A1A. Status : I-LUKE is Flying - 400 h. and counting

CrewRV8 team leader

=VAF= 2021
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:10 AM
Andy Hill's Avatar
Andy Hill Andy Hill is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 978

I hear that the rivets crack the canopy when:
  • You don't use the correct rivets (which are particularly "soft")
  • They are "old" (=hardened)
When we did ours, had no issue, avoiding above. Of course, you will have plenty of spare plexi and AL, so do some practice with some spare riverts if you are not confident

As Luke says, "slightly deburr" holes. We went one further and used fine sandpaper to polish the holes such that the "countersink" corners were all smooth...
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 AM
aerovin aerovin is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lincoln, CA
Posts: 138

I just did all those on my RV-8 canopy. OAT about 90 degrees. No problem and after I did a few I could anticipate when the rivet would pull and held the puller accordingly.
Scott Thompson
RV-8 N9324Z (flying as of 8/30/15)
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:25 AM
MarkW's Avatar
MarkW MarkW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Edgewater, FL. X50
Posts: 1,177

Like Andy says. You will find that the recommended rivets require very little pull pressure. It therefore puts little pressure on the plexi.
RV9 - N14MW - Flying
G3X - ECI Titan I0-320
Catto three blade prop

Last edited by MarkW : 10-24-2012 at 08:34 AM. Reason: mis-spelling
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:28 AM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,434
Default WHY does it crack?

The times I've pop-rivetted plexi, a crack occurred when the rivet flared in the hole, not from the actual pulling together of the plexi to the support.
that said, be sure they are in TIGHT contact, and if you have used a washer or shim of any kind, ensure the rivet length is correct so it flares in the tube, not in the washer, or you get a false 'pull', and it may come out later.

all the comments on the warm or hot plexi, deburring and fresh rivets I'm sure are valid....remove any stress points.
I'd be concerned if the canopy were 5 or 10 years old also, as it hardens with age, or if stored in light or at hi temps, the moisture and/or plastic resins leach out in some way. ( IMO)
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:39 AM
12vaitor 12vaitor is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Panama City, FL
Posts: 198

I also did the sandpaper polish after countersinking the holes. I also wet set all of the rivets with proseal before pulling them. All work was done in 90+ temps, so hopefully the future cracking potential is low.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:24 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,224

As others have said, first make sure you use the correct rivets.
They should be aluminum!
Use a hand puller, NOT a pneumatic puller. That way you CAN more easily control the pressure.
I've done many and have never had a problem.
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:48 AM
jimbower jimbower is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 162

I know this is not about rivets, but I used no rivets in my canopy...everything is #6 screws, no cracks.

Jim Bower
St. Louis
RV-6A (flying)
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:30 PM
rvpilot's Avatar
rvpilot rvpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Default Could go rivetless....

And glue it! No holes to drill, no rivets to pull.
Plenty on the forums about this!
Bill Waters
Based KCVC (Covington, GA)
RV6A - Gone, but not forgotten!
RV8 - Gone too, now winning races in the RV Gold Class!
RV4 - Flying!!!
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