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Old 09-02-2007, 10:34 PM   #1
halseyb007
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Default How to remove rear rotors, drill out rivets?

I have a '77 and my plan this weekend was to replace the rotors and calipers. My vette only has 16k miles on it but I've noticed some leaking from the calipers and didn't want to screw around with having the rotors re-surfaced.

On the fronts I removed the rotors and hubs together and was able to drill out the rivets using my press. I used a cold chisel to hit the heads of the rivets off and the rotor seperated quite nicely. On the rears, everything I've read seems to indicate that I need to drill out the rotors while attatched to the hub/axle. Any ideas on how best to do this? I was using a 5/16" titanium bit and wasn't making much headway. Concidering a pnuematic hammer or something...?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Cheers
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:54 PM   #2
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If your bit isn't removing the rivet, then either sharpen the bit or buy a new one. You're on the right track though.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:34 AM   #3
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Something must be wrong. The rivets are just plain old steel - a $1.50 bit should cut these like butter. If you use a large bit (at least 1/8th larger than the shaft of the rivets) then you should be able to drill carefully until the drill reaches a depth sufficient enough that what remains of the head just drops off. The remaining stem can then be punched out.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:33 AM   #4
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I found it's easier to grind the heads off, then use the drill on the remains.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:09 AM   #5
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I always use an air chisel for removing rivets. If you don't plan on reusing the original rotors, you shouldn't have to worry about mucking them up. Air chisel cuts through the head like nothing, then just get a set of punches and knock them through the whole.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:39 PM   #6
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If there is only 16k miles on them leave them alone, they are machined to the axle center line and new rotors will runout. You probably just have pitted bores on the original calipers, replace them with SS lines ones and clean up the rotor with 100 grit paper on a flat board or D/A.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GTR1999 View Post
If there is only 16k miles on them leave them alone, they are machined to the axle center line and new rotors will runout. You probably just have pitted bores on the original calipers, replace them with SS lines ones and clean up the rotor with 100 grit paper on a flat board or D/A.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR1999 View Post
If there is only 16k miles on them leave them alone, they are machined to the axle center line and new rotors will runout. You probably just have pitted bores on the original calipers, replace them with SS lines ones and clean up the rotor with 100 grit paper on a flat board or D/A.


But if you are bent on drilling out the rivets, they are plain mild steel and should drill out very easily, you do need a good sharp drill bit and some cutting oil. If in the process of drilling them out you have work hardened them (check and see if they now have a blue-ish or brown-ish tint to them) then you are going to have a difficult time getting them out. If the rivets have been work hardened you will need to use a cobalt bit and a lot of patience and cutting oil.

The key to drilling steel is sharp bits and plenty of cutting oil, not WD-40, but real cutting oil.

I have a drill doctor drill bit sharpener and sharpen my bits regularly, if you look at a bit in good light the edges should be nice and sharp and the tip should not be "rounded over". Either replace the bit or sharpen it. My drill doctor cost me like $90 and has paid for itself over and over again. Great little tool.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice all! I ended up getting the rotors off finally- air hammer cut through 'em like butter :-)

I got the rotors off, but some of the rivets are stuck in place because of the parking break. Should I just try to knock them out and carefully remove them with the parking break in place or do I need to remove the parking break now? Any advice on how people have gone about doing this would be great too.

Cheers
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:08 PM   #10
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Just did this today. I drilled the rivets in the center about 1/2" deep with a 1/4" bit. Then I drilled the rivet again with a 3/8 bit. The top of the rivet came right off when I got to the rotor with the 3/8 bit. Removed the rotor and used a punch in the 1/4" hole to punch the rivets the rest of the way through. They were drilled most of the way through the flange so they popped right out and fell out the bottom. DON"T REMOVE THE PARKING BRAKE SHOES!!!! Turn the hub so the rivets will clear everything when they go through. If you mark the rotor and flange, turn the rotors and reinstall them the way they came off you will minimize runout. Still good to check runout though.

Last edited by 63mako; 09-03-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:13 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear you had problems and to hear you removed them. You will have to check the runout now. You want .005 or less, I set them for .002 or less when I dial in rotors.
The rivets will drive out but since you're not replacing the bearings I wouldn't be hammering on the spindle flange. Grind them flat to the flange or drill out the center so less effort is needed to replace them.
Unless the rotors are turned with an on the car lathe you're not going to get them in spec. They'll look fine but chances are they runout more then before you removed them. Another trick is to mark the stud the rotor came off so they go back on in the same place. I bolt new rotors on instead of riveting them back, using lug nuts alone will not get you close enough and will change every time the wheel is removed. I have measured this and found a change up to .005" in runout. If you get it close to 0 then you may be ok but if you're at .005 then you may have air/bleed problems in the future.
Good luck
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:17 PM   #12
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I am some what confused on where the rivets actully are on the rotor. I don't even see these rivets. Maybe they have been removed already. Pictures? But anyways I have taken the caliper off and the rotor does not budge. I relize that it has been on there awhile so is there a trick to getting this all apart?
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:27 PM   #13
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Do a search on my name and you'll find the pictures.
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:59 AM   #14
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If the rivets have been removed, you shouldn't have any problem pulling the rotors off. I'll look for some pictures to post from the project and try to get something up here soon. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evette76 View Post
I am some what confused on where the rivets actully are on the rotor. I don't even see these rivets. Maybe they have been removed already. Pictures? But anyways I have taken the caliper off and the rotor does not budge. I relize that it has been on there awhile so is there a trick to getting this all apart?
If your rotor has a bunch of holes, they've probably been removed already.

Evette - tried to PM you but your mail box is full...
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:57 PM   #16
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ya there is two open holes on the rotor already so they must have been removed. How should I go about taking the rotor off then? It seems to be quite stuck.
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:34 PM   #17
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Does the move at all? Back your parking brake off and try it then...
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
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ya there is two open holes on the rotor already so they must have been removed. How should I go about taking the rotor off then? It seems to be quite stuck.
Two open holes? Those are the adjuster holes for the parking brake.

Stock rear rotors have twelve holes - five for the studs, five for the rivets, and two to adjust the parking brake. If your rotors don't have the rivet holes, they've already been replaced.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:13 AM
 
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