The rear swing arms on my car have the mount for the rubber bushings riveted to the arm. It is a pain in the neck to replace the bushings, since you need to bring the whole arm to the rubber workshop. I see some spare arms I keep have had the mount changed because the rivets are different and obviously where hammered with regular workshop tools (chisel and hammer).

I want to see if I can use bolts/pressure washers/nuts instead of rivets, perhaps adding a fourth one next to the middle one. I know I can re-rivet or weld it, but I'm looking for a way to easily remove the mount and the bushings for replacement. I know that it should be a precise, tight and solid joint...

Would that be ok?

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  • 1
    Replacing rivets with bolts is no problem. Use grade 8 hardware just to be sure. Rivets are normally used because they are cheaper than bolts. There are many riveted products that get bolts as replacements.
    – vini_i
    Dec 6, 2016 at 0:17
  • 2
    If you do use bolts, ensure you utilize the stronger thread locker on them to ensure they don't loosen up over time. Dec 6, 2016 at 0:34
  • Can I use tabbed washers instead of glue? Dec 6, 2016 at 1:04
  • 1
    So-called "lock" washers really don't. You are much better off with threadlocking adhesive.
    – SteveRacer
    Dec 7, 2016 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use bolts instead of rivets. You probably don't need to use high grade bolts – the original rivets need to be soft enough that you can peen the end to secure them in place.

Besides cost, the big difference between a rivet (especially a shop installed rivet) and a bolt is that once installed the rivet is very unlikely to come loose.

The caveat here is that since you don't know why the designer decided to use rivets, you should assume that it was to ensure that the bolts couldn't back off. So, you'll want to be sure to use lock the nut on in a very reliable way. Locking compound or an oval nut would be one way, a tabbed (as in you bend it up to secure the nut) washer would be another reasonable option. Standard spring type lock washers are probably not dependable enough.

  • Spring lock washers are useless as commonly deployed, but don't confuse that with being useless when used properly. You need to get ones that are cut at a 45 degree angle rather than perpendicular to the ring if possible, and they need to be a higher grade than the surfaces they ride against. So, for this, probably grade 5 washer for a grade 2 nut and arm. If the arm is rusty, make it a grade 8 washer. You'll know you've done it right if it shaves a chip of metal when you try to take it off.
    – Perkins
    Nov 14, 2017 at 21:44

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