Raft Floor Grommets - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-05-2012   #1
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Raft Floor Grommets

I'm replacing a bunch of old grommets in a Hyside and I was wondering i anyone knows of a tool or simple way to remove the old, bent grommets. Right now I'm using locking pliers and really wrestling with the things. Any advice would help. Thanks!

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Old 01-05-2012   #2
 
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They way I've always gotten grommets off in the past is to drill them (never done it on a raft though). Get a drill bit that is slightly larger than the hole of the grommet and drill. It will slice through internal metal sleeve that holds the grommet together without damaging the material the grommet is in (assuming no twisting and your'e relatively straight with the drill).

I'm guessing with a raft it's going to be a larger diameter grommet, mandating a larger drill bit/drill as well.

If you have the floor removed from the raft, I'd try to do it with a vice/drill press where you could really clamp everything down to prevent the rubber from twisting too bad and tearing (assuming these grommets are at the floor connection). Or, maybe get a couple of buddies over- 1 with a drill and 1 with vise grips?

Best of luck. Let me know how it turns out. Sounds like it could be a painful process.
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Old 01-06-2012   #3
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Thanks st2eelpot. Drilling sounds like an interesting choice, but I have to be careful not to damage the hole in the fabric that the grommet is protecting. Using a vice would probably be just as, if not more, time consuming than my current method.

Has anyone heard of a hand tool that works well for this?
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Old 01-06-2012   #4
 
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In addition to the vice grips, a good pair of wire cutters has been helpful to me in the past. Take small bites of the grommet as you are able to bend part of it away from the material. the best case is if you can work from both sides and get the grommet cut all the way through in one spot.
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Old 01-06-2012   #5
 
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I've never tried this, but what about a step bit? The smaller size would act as kind of a guide inside the grommet. The next step up would cut through the "outer ring" of the grommet. Then you could slide it out... maybe?
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Old 01-06-2012   #6
 
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I've used lineman's and needle nose pliers. It was meticulous but I didn't want to ruin the hypalon.
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Old 01-06-2012   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I've actually gotten pretty good with the locking piers by now. Lots of grommets to go....
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Old 01-06-2012   #8
 
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On my old Hyside I took a pair of needle nose pliers and got them mostly staitened out then took a gromet setting tool and re-set them. It worked pretty well.
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Old 01-07-2012   #9
 
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I would recommend against a step bit- each of it's depths isn't deep enough in my experience (i.e. I've screwed up some grommets in the past trying this).

For me, once the grommet was cut, the step bit hit the "next size up" and damaged the underlying material (if done with a hand-held drill).

I worked (rookie level) many years ago at a machine shop. I'm not saying it can't be done, more so that I have not successfully made it happen- especially if we're talking about many grommets. Plus, a step bit is expensive compared to a single bit!

Cheers!
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Old 01-07-2012   #10
 
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Not at harbor freight. You can get a set of three for about $13

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece...lls-91616.html

The six step bit might work, or some combo of the three. You will still want to use a pliers to keep the thing from spinning

Fwiw they also sell grommet kits. Good way to SAturn your ride!!
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