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A few days ago, I heard an interesting little tip from an old racer while discussing the best way to put a riveted assembly together. In response to my concerns about high vibration loosening the fasteners, he said the answer was simply dipping the rivet shanks in epoxy prior to installation. While blind rivets are already a pain to remove (and this wouldn’t make life any easier), it does provide an excellent backup. No dead space means less fatigue, and the epoxy would provide secondary retention for the leftover stem.

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“Christmas tree” plastic rivets are the bane of a mechanic’s sanity. They grip like mad, their edges are nearly flush with the part they retain, and the heads tend to pop off when you pull on them. Fortunately, Snap-On’s A161B is the bane of Christmas tree rivets. It’s pretty versatile for removing any kind of plastic fastener, and does general interior work pretty well — much gentler than a big flat-head screwdriver.

Snap-On makes a bunch of different versions for specific applications. A161B is designed for GM cars and most imports, making it the most widely-applicable model. Unfortunately, this is Snap-On, so the price of this convenience is about $29.

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