Sheet metal screws

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Roadturn

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Sep 23, 2018
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Bend, Oregon USA
I don't understand how it works.

On my 71 Tramper Camper the screws holding down the panels are #10 one-inch long. Some anchor in fairly solid. Other feel like all the bite they are getting is the other panel of tin they're overlapping.

I want to replace the (zinc) screws with stainless steel. Do I really need all of them to be an inch long?
 

dufferDave

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Sep 11, 2018
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An inch long?

Sure, if you like to waste 3/4 inch of grip length.

You would almost certainly be just fine to use 3/8 or 1/2 inch smscrews if you are only going through two sheets. If the fasteners seem to fit loosely then you may want to step up one or two screw sizes.

The only reason I can think of for using 1 inch screws would be if you were driving into a wood frame behind the layers of sheet metal, and even then using a smscrew would be the wrong type of threaded fastener to drive into wood.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The factory probably just used all the same screw lengths on it, for simplicity on the assembly line. You can use whatever suits best. 

Sheet metal screws have the attributes of being self-tapping and fully threaded, so they are typically used to attach metal to wood as well as metal to metal, but there are a zillion variations in screw types. Some of them intended for very specific circumstances.
 

wackymac

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Ocala, FL
I would use the same length that came out.  I NEVER use wood screws for anything.  Either sheet metal screws or drywall/deck screws.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Cedar City, UT
  You can bet the factory screws were placed with an air gun,, and so many will be "spun"  so not holding much because the threads have been compromised.. # 10 screws are VERY large for this application,, most are # 6 or # 8..>>>Dan
 

dufferDave

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Utclmjmpr said:
.... # 10 screws are VERY large for this application,, most are # 6 or # 8.....

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. If the hole is stripped out from an over-torqued #8, then #10 is the next biggest commonly available that will restore a tight joint.

Or you could use a pop rivet in a dollop of sealant. Simple now for getting a repair completed, but a PITA if you ever have to do further repairs in the future.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Heck, I have an old house with aluminum siding and an aluminum framed and paneled screened patio where I've had to go as large as #14 to get a grip in an old screw hole. The originals were #6 or #8, but that was 40 years ago!
 

Old_Crow

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If you're screwing into wood frames, put a little gorilla glue on a toothpick and jam it in the hole first.  Then you can use the smaller screws.
 

Deano2002

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Apr 21, 2013
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Morris, IL.
everything I have rebuilt or replaced on my old coach, I have used stainless screws from Albany Fasteners on Ebay, prices are great and fast shipping, they either have anything you could want or they will get it. Stainless is much more reasonable than 20 years ago due to imports, not the best but good enough for what I am doing.
 

SpencerPJ

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Old_Crow said:
If you're screwing into wood frames, put a little gorilla glue on a toothpick and jam it in the hole first.  Then you can use the smaller screws.

A man after my own heart.  I do this all the time, works great.  I even have a small wood dowel assortment, stick the dowel in hole, break off, good to go.
 
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