BMW X3 Service & Repair Manual: Opening rivet connections

Different rivet types are used on BMW vehicles.

1. Opening blind rivets:

1.1 Loosening blind rivets (N1, N2, N7, N8, N9 and N10): Grind off blind rivet head with a belt or angle grinder. Do not grind off base material. Remove rivet remnants with a drift punch.

1.2 Opening blind rivets (N3 and N6): Drill out blind rivet head with a 5 mm dia. drill bit. Do not damage base material. Remove rivet remnants with a drift punch.

2. Opening punch rivets:

2.1 Opening punch rivets by extraction: This procedure is used on the reduced-weight aluminum front end.

Recommended tools and equipment:

  • Stud welding apparatus with gas bottle containing inert gas (82 % argon, 18 % CO2).
  • Stainless steel stud (sourcing reference via BMW Parts Department image board Aluminum and steel/bonding and welding)
  • Universal riveting tool

Grind off paint and dark grey coating of punch rivets.

Position bolt centrally on the rivet and weld on vertically. The area in which the bolts are welded on should be between the two grounding terminals. Position both terminals, if possible, on the top side of the panel on which the rivet is located.

Extract bolt with welded-on rivet using universal riveting tool. Use a large plastic nose piece if not otherwise specified in the repair instructions. Check plastic nose piece prior to use for wear.

Plastic nose piece must rest on sheet metal all round; if necessary, grind off plastic noise piece in collision area.

Do not push riveting tool forcefully onto special-steel bolts.

Do not use riveting tool to bend special-steel bolts.

Pay particular attention to central positioning of the bolt when using the small plastic mouthpiece.

Follow the equipment manufacturer's instructions for use.

2.2 Opening punch rivets by drilling out: Drill out rivets with a 6 mm dia. carbide drill bit.

Punch rivets can be drilled out on both sides. When drilling from the protruding rear side, spot-drill the rivet shank only and remove the rest with a rivet punch.

NOTE: Sand down and even out remaining burr on the rear side. Deburr bore holes.

Use a drift punch to remove punch rivet remnants in the aluminum (risk of corrosion).

Clean vehicle to remove swarfs (risk of corrosion).

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