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G3 Illusion Tower Rivet Size


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Can anyone tell me exactly what size stainless steel rivets I need to reconnect the tubing framework of my bimini top to the hinges and connectors?

I am replacing the canvas on a 2013 Malibu V-Ride G3 Illusion tower.  The folding rear brace-bar, where the ball & socket/pin comes into play, is riveted on to the bar and has to be removed from the rest of the frame structure in order to thread the canopy onto the bar.  Then the rear bar has to be re-riveted onto the hinge.

Thanks for the help!

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The sleeve for my G3 is large enough to get that leg off/out of the Bimini w/o having to go that route. I am guessing that you bought a replacement bimini that just has room for the 3/4" tubing.

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Thank you for the reply!

The threading on the canvas where it is sewn around the bar was starting to come unsewn, so I cut the remaining threads with a razor blade and dropped the top off at a local upholstery shop to have it re-stitched.  I recently purchased this boat and it is a 2013 model.  The bimini appears to be the original top, based on the wear and weathering.

I assumed an Allen set-screw was holding bar on the bracket, but when I looked closer, it is actually riveted on.

The rear bar is "U" shaped and connected to the hinges on each end.  The only way to slide the canvas top back on to the bar is to remove the bar, which requires drilling out the existing rivets and replacing them after the top is slid onto the bar.  

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Loosening the Allen set screw should allow you to slide the leg off the "U" bar once you get the rivet out of and the "U" bar end cap off of the "U" bar. The best way to make sure you have the correct rivet size is to remove the head on one side of the "U" bar and measure the rivet hole. I am guessing 1/8" from looking at mine but it could be a larger diameter. Either way you will know for sure when you pull the rivet. There may be enough metal on the the "U" bar end caps that you can tap some NF machine screw threads into and use a SS machine screw instead of a rivet. I know my Bimini gets max use and all of my rivets are getting sloppy so that will probably be the route I go this winter when I replace my canvas.

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I spoke with my local Malibu dealer on the phone.  He said that some of the older models had Allen screws but most Malibu bimini frameworks were riveted together.  I looked mine over carefully and there isn't an Allen screw to be found.  It is totally assembled with stainless steel rivets.  The guy at Malibu said he "thought" they were 3/16".

Home Depot doesn't carry stainless steel rivets, only aluminum, which I don't trust considering the wind forces a bimini top is exposed to.

I plan to stop a fastener specialty store this afternoon to pickup some 3/16' stainless rivets.   Time permitting, this evening I'll give it a go and see if they're the right size and report back in case anyone else might need this info in the future. 

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My Malibu dealership steered me right (kudos to Waterski America Lewisville, TX). 

A 3/16" drill bit removed the two existing rivets on each side for the frame.  Once the rear brace bar was loose, I was able to thread the bar onto the canopy and re-insert the bar into the hinges on the bimini top frame.  Once the bar and canopy were in place, two stainless steel 3/16" pop rivets finished the job like a pro.  Bimini top is back in action again.

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