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Rivet Guns: Does My Shop Need Them?

When performing collision repairs, there are more attachment methods available than ever before. OEMs specify which attachment methods are recommended or required. If a method is not listed as an option, it should not be used.

GMA welders and squeeze-type resistance spot welders are considered common. Should blind rivet guns and self-piercing rivet (SPR) guns be added to that list?

Rivets are not only being required to replace existing SPRs and blind rivets but also in locations of other attachment methods such as welds. Rivets are typically installed in conjunction with adhesive (rivet bonding), which adds another level of complexity when repair planning.

Often an assortment of different blind rivets, SPRs, and SPR rivet gun dies are required to replace a single part. When rivet bonding, it is important to have the correct rivets, dies, and rivet guns laid out in an organized manner for efficient installation before the adhesive cures.

The 2015-2020 Ford F-150 comes to mind when rivets are mentioned. This is a common vehicle that has made its way into many shops, but it’s not the only one you will see. There are many vehicle makers that require rivet bonding for repairs, such as:

  • Alpha Romeo
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • GMC
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover
  • Lincoln
  • Maserati
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Tesla
  • Volvo

OEM-specified SPR guns and blind rivet guns may be required to properly install the rivets for the repair. Reading and understanding OEM procedures to identify the required types of rivets and rivet guns is essential to help ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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