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Riveting Clutch Linings

I'm just about to fit some new clutch linings (3-speed box) and have realised I don't have any tooling to sett the rivets.

I do have a suitable piece of steel rod which I can use to support the head of the rivet but to swage out the hollow portion I guess I really need something like the tools used to fit eyelets into leather.

Has anyone tried simply using a tapered punch to begin to open the hollow end and then something like a ball pein hammer to spread it out?

Although I suspect the strength of the rivet setting probably isn't that critical I'm more concerned about damaging or cracking the new linings.

Any advice?

Yes, many years ago, but that is what I did - I think it would have been a fat centre punch, then a ball pein hammer and finally a flat punch. Don't miss as the material is quite fragile, and no need to squash the hell out of them. If the rivets are 'old' perhaps anneal them first by heating to dull red and quench in water, but listen to what others say as well.
I use a half inch bar ground to a 45 degree cone on one end and a dome headed M8 bolt to finish off.

Done with a small - 2 oz? - I have just been to check and the marking is worn off - hammer.
When I replaced the clutch linings on my Ten, I visited a local brake and clutch relining firm. This worked out rather well, as it turned out that the copper rivets supplied were of the wrong length and a rivet hole in one of the linings hadn't been countersunk. They were able to address both of these issues with ease.
I turned a tool with a pin to fit the hole in the rivet, followed by a curved shoulder to spread it. Only mild steel, but very simple and effective for a one-off job.
I used the tools used to fit eyelets into leather they worked well.

I have just fitted the linings to the flywheel and only having two hands, I bolted up the un-lined clutch disc onto the flywheel with the pressure plate as a clamp using old camshaft bearings as spacers under each rivet head & between the disc, so that these were held firmly in position, then the flywheel became a solid mass & effectively an anvil, and it was easy to hit with rivet snap tools to open & then spread the head. Worked a treat!
I'm really struggling to get this job done.

I've not been able to find much in the way of a rivet snap for semi-tubular rivets on-line and the ones I have found seem designed to fit in a mini press which I think are actually for brake linings.   They are also quite expensive for a one off job.

People have mentioned eylelet tools but just going by the pictures on e-bay the form looks as though it wouldn't work on the thicker wall of a rivet.   I tried various local suppliers in the hope of being able to have a close look at the form but all they have are eyelet pliers.

I tried using a large centre punch and then following this up with the domed head of a coach bolt and finally a flat ended punch made from a large diameter bolt.

The results look a bit messy although no worse than the ones I removed but the rivets aren't tight.

I have hit them much harder than I felt should be necessary and even tried a using a plain hemispherical rivet snap I happened to have to see if I could get the swaged out flange created by the coach bolt to curve back and contact the pressure plate but whatever I do there is still axial movement of the rivet.

It almost looks as though the hollow portion of the rivet isn't deep enough but I don't have any way of altering this.

I'm beginning to think that with the very limited equipment I have available I'm not going to get a satisfactory result.

Any advice or does anyone know of a company around South Devon who may be able to do this for me?

Hi John

This really is a two man job unless you can clamp everything very tightly together. You need someone to hold the plate hard down on an anvil (in my case the head of a small cold chisel clamped tightly in the vice) and to give the tail of the rivet a bit of "welly" with the punch.

Although I invested in an expensive set of "Roll Top Rivet" punches from the States, (which I think are the correct tools for the job) I found that a round head punch was just as good, finishing of with a very small hammer.

Don't get disheartened rivets are cheap and as long as you don't destroy the linings you can always drill them out and have another go!


Is there any objection to using steel POP rivets? You can reverse the stem after use and punch out the heads.

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