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Old 01-03-2008, 09:05 AM
andre nunes andre nunes is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 25
Question Riveting wing leading edge assy

Hi Folks,

My name is Andre and I'm building an RV9-A in Brazil. This is my first project so you'll always see me here with questions.
I finished the assembly of the wing leading edge, so it's time to rivet it to the main spar. The problem is that doing it is very difficult because the bucking bar access is very tight and we cannot see the rivet end. Is there any other way to do this? A POP rivet can be used?

Thanks in advance for all answers and comments.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:12 AM
cytoxin's Avatar
cytoxin cytoxin is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: south carolina
Posts: 1,111
Default build up a bucking bar

take a 2"x3"x1"or so bucking bar and build one end up with tape so that it sits just high in the end that will be on the shop head. (the tape is not on the shop head end.)then lay it flat with the 2" side on the soon to be shop head and shoot. this method removes most all of the difficulty of this task. its self-leveling and works like a charm.

some builders choose to use pop rivets..there is no need but works fine i hear.(lp4-3s)

you've got alot of blind riveting to do so you need to figure this out sooner than later.
the first one kicked my tail the second one was not a problem at all. went from almost impossible to no problem.

William Weesner/ still kicking.

Last edited by cytoxin : 01-03-2008 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:40 PM
mikehoover's Avatar
mikehoover mikehoover is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 627

After struggling with those leading edges, I called Vans to see "if I coulda" just pop-riveted those. This was some time ago, but I think Vans said you can, but I'd double check with them. Here is my journal entry for this task:

Here's another one:

You'll likely need a bucking partner.

Good luck!
Mike Hoover
Columbia, SC
N194MH first flight on 08-26-12
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:24 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,753

Van's told me LP4-3 (or LP4-4 as appropriate) or Cherry Max. I ended up alternating CherryMax with the LP4's, though I probably should have saved myself the money and just used LP4's. Given the potentially significant damage you could do trying to buck them, I'm an advocate of just using pulled rivets here. I know some people have done just fine bucking, but I didn't see the need to tempt fate. Good luck.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

Donation reminder: Jan. 2022
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:51 PM
rjcthree's Avatar
rjcthree rjcthree is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Village, OH
Posts: 1,026
Default LE to spar rivets

I could do all but one rib, basically the dead center one. I used cherrymaxes. It took some wiggling and chasing a few with a #30 bit, the cherrymaxes are up at the upper limit of diameter(mine were at or over by 0.0005"). Pounded my head over those for a couple hours before spending the $6 to make it go away. Lesson learned!

Rick 90432
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:42 PM
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Red Voodoo Red Voodoo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Eagle Neck, Georgia
Posts: 211

Here is the reply I received from Ken Scott when I inquired about using Cherrymax blind rivets for this job a couple years ago:

"LP4-4 rivets would be acceptable, cheaper and easier to set."
Ben Ridgdill
VAF #1497
RV-9A Kit #90217 Sold;
Scrounging RV-3 parts
RV-9 Tail Kit #91415 on Deck


I love it when a plane comes together!
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:56 AM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 419
Default Aren't structural rivets required here??

I guess I am surprised that Vans would say that you could use LP4-3s or -4s?

I would think that using cherrymax rivets for this application would be the best overall solution here. So they're a little more expensive. Big deal. Compared to the hassle of trying to buck the other rivets with the high potential for deforming the rib flanges and just plain screwing up the rivets themselves... this just seems like the logical way to go and leave you with peace of mind on the integrity of the structure.

How have the other 5,000 RVs fared in this regard?
-8 wings, finishing up
-8 QB Fuse just arrived!!!
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:14 PM
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jferraro17 jferraro17 is offline
Opulence, I has it...
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 830

I used LP4s after a call to Van's. Tech Couns gave it a thumbs up as well. Dan C. documented this on his site years ago, and his beast is still going strong!

Joe Ferraro
DFW, VAF #17

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Old 01-17-2008, 06:43 PM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 419

Well, I am certainly no engineer that's for sure. It's just my naivety (spelling?) coming into play here.

I suppose the real strength in the structure is the entire assembly riveted. It just seems as though anything attached to the main wing spar should be attached with structural rivets. Just my non-engineer mind thinking though..

I am not complaining mind you though. It just seems too easy!
-8 wings, finishing up
-8 QB Fuse just arrived!!!
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Old 12-15-2021, 10:44 AM
skelrad skelrad is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 288

I know this is a very old thread, but I'm getting close to ready to rivet on the wing leading edge ribs to the spar. It looks like access is a bit of a nightmare and since you have to put the shop head on the side of the rib flange I wonder about how badly the thin flanges will pucker. After reading a bunch of threads on it, I thought I may as well use LP4 pulled rivets and save myself the pain. It sounds like a lot of people have gotten the thumbs up from Van's to do this, but as a double check I emailed Van's. I just got a response from tech support that was basically "we haven't tested it for strength, so I can't say that you can do it." Now I'm waffling since it sounds like Van's is even back and forth on it.
RV-9A: Wings

Last edited by skelrad : 12-15-2021 at 10:47 AM.
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