Welcome To
The Amphicar Chronicles...Page 3

Bit By Bit, the Beast Comes Back To LIFE!!!

Back To Page 2
Back To Page 1

February 09, 2003

Bringing It Back To Life!


front seat

 Sorry about the delay in getting an update out! It has been busy at work and at home. Plus, I have been doing a lot of work on the wiring, and that does not make for very exciting pictures! Here we see the status under the hood. The bilge blower is up and running, as is the heater motor, wipers, reversing lights (Thanks Jambone!), rear turn signals and brake lights. Still to come are the front turn signals, horn and marine lights. As you can tell, I am hot wiring the ignition switch, as the key is missing. Took me a while to get all this stuff working, as I was kinda flying blind. I had some usefull pictures, and the wiring diagram, but just the same, it was kinda weird having to get the bilge blower realys working before anything else would work! Alas, my vacuum tube appears inoperative, so it is a push-button car!

after paint Here we see the status of the inside of the car. The original gray vinyl cleaned up nicely (no idea what was on it, but it was gross!), so it is going back in. Also, as promised, you can see that all the door fuzzies are in. Moss Motors sells them for 10 bucks each or so, and you just cut them down to size! 

dash And here we see the dash! All the instruments appear to be working OK, but some of the lights are not. Pretty cool seeing my prop light come on! I need a new handle for my dash gas pedal, but that can wait until later. Also, I found my glove box lock! Woohoo!! Of course, it was wrapped in petrified masking tape. The hood locks are on as well, and the floorboard is painted. Very soon it will be time for brakes, whell seals and putting the engine together!!

March 09, 2003

The End Is In Site!

gimme a brake Ok, this update has been long in coming. I had to replace the clutch on my Spitfire, suffer through a week of illness, and cold weather. But, work has been renewed! Here we see the left side of the front suspension. A new seal has been installed, the bearings greased up, and the brake shoes installed. This was a much easier job than expected. Fortunately, the cylinders were in excellent shape, as are the shoes and the brake lines. I went down to Sportscar Warehouse, and bought three boxes of cylinder rebuild kits for 6 bucks each. The three of them are enough to redo all the cylinders. After putting it all together, I tested out the brakes with compressed air, and they worked fine. Hopefully no leaks when they are bled out! I replaced the the nasty rubber dust covers with metal ones. I had to modify them a bit to make them snug up, but with a little silicon sealer on there, they are water tight! I thought about painting everything, but decided that since the chance of a leak when I bleed them out the first time is pretty high, and that will ruin the paint, why bother!

hermes Engine and tranny time! Supposedly the tranny is solid, and that does appear to be the case. I was pleased to find the back up switch on it, and all the linkages. Yea! You can see the flywheel in the foreground. The ring gear on it is shot, but a nice one was included. Guess I will have to borrow the wife's oven for a little while. Quick paint job on the axles, new mounts, and we are off!

parts is parts Amazingly, these are all the parts left to be installed. Very little. Just as an aside, a dimmer switch for a 47-mid-fifties Jeep is an exact replacememt for the Amphicar. I will post the BW# later.

engine Here is the big G! Supposedly rebuilt, and from the new seals and gaskets on it, I would say that is a distinct possibility. I am going to paint it, and start putting all the accessories on it. The car came with gasket sets and new plugs and the like, so this should go fast. I have had the radiator rebuilt, and I am going to paint the housing for it.

hubcap! Just had to show off my freshly painted front wheel, and the rechromed hubcap.  While I was at it, I cleaned and painted up under the wheel well. Still need to put on my Amphicar logos though!

NEXT TIME: Almost complete interior! Swim In The Spring is almost a reality!


March 21, 2003

Vroom Vroom!

interior Well, here it is. I really need to go after the panels with a good cleaner, but that can wait. Sorry about the mess on the floor! I had the back seat in, but I took it out for the engine install. I had ALL of the wrinkles out of that back interior piece, and after a couple of days, they all came back! Grrr....

engine I am pretty proud of this one! My buddy Brian and I got the engine in in just a couple of hours. It then took me twice as long to get the axles in! Getting it started was a little tricky. Until I got the distributor gear lined up, I was getting some horrific backfires! One of them almost gave the dog a heart attack! It is running very nicely now. Turns out that my accel cable was busted, so a new one is on order. I was able to cut the brackets off of the old muffler, and weld them to the new one. Not the prettiest job, but I like it a lot better than trying to fabricate straps.

I also got the brakes all hooked up, but was unable to bleed out the back ones. Of course, the rear hoses looked good, but did not let anything pass. New ones on order!

I hope to have it test driving this weekend! I can't wait!

April 04,  2003

On The Road Again!!

yes! Here I am taking it out on it's first drive out of the garage area. Pretty exciting!! Will the clutch work? Gas pedal stick? Rear wheels fall off? Engine blow up? 5+ months of work encapsulated at this moment!

rear view Heading out...man, I was pumped! You can see a little oil smoke coming out of the exhaust. Guess it still needs to break in. Engine sounds good though. Except for the hubcap falling off, the first few test drives went well. The big problem was the carbie. I had rebuilt it, and it kept flooding. After fooling with it for a few days, I discovered that the problem was the replacement fuel valve was a shade shorter than the original. As a result, the float could not close it. Replacing it with the original one fixed that problem up.

me and mary After the original test drive or two, I took the kiddos for a test cruise. Here I am blasting away on the horn with my daughter Mary.

deck lid I took these tonight after Kathy and I got the deck lid on. Look...it is an almost complete Amphicar!

back end From the rear. The neighbors got quite a kick out of me showing the props off! Now it is time to address the hundred small issues, get it really road legal, and thoroughly shake it down. It is on the road at the beginning of Spring...it will be on the lake by the end!

April 20,  2003

New Tires And More!!!

car Only one new picture this time, but it a beaut! Just got my new BF Goodrich wide whites from Discount Tire installed. Doesn't the car look spiffy? I have also installed the front marine light. As soon as the insurance card shows up for it, I am going to brave driving it down for inspection, and then plates.

I am still getting a little weird noise from the rear end. I think it might be u-joints, but just to be safe, I drained the tranny oil and refilled. What a mess draining ti was. It got all over the bilge floor. And of course, when driving the car, the remaining oil spread. I need to get a floor made up, and hide this mess. Oh well, it will keep away rust!

I noticed today when driving it that the car has started stalling at idle. Now to figure out this problem. My real fear at this time is having it stall and die when going for inspection. More and longer road tests are needed!

May 02,  2003

It Swims!!

It Swims! YES!!!! I finally worked up the gumption, and drove it to the lake. I was hoping for a quick in and put trip, but instead we ended up with about 30 people watching Amphi take it's maiden voyage since being rebuilt. I actually felt pretty confident as I approached the lake, and then...in I went! I had the floorboard and the rear seat out, and I was watching for leaks! I shipped in a little in the front, and a small dribble from the passengers door, but nothing major at all. What a rush it was to realize that the car was FLOATING, and then I engaged the props. It was so cool, I am still grinning from the experience. Man, were the people taking pictures and cheering, and woo-hooing! Thank goodness it did not conk out on me!

I made three short trips in for the day, including one with the wife and kids, and then we brought it home. I am going to put in the floorboard, and check everything out, then back we go. I have already been invited to the English Car Show at Joe Pool lake on Memorial Day.

As I was told by my wonderful wife Kathy...."Swim In The Spring"....And we did!!!

Back To Page 2
Back To Page 1

More pages to come!


Email us here

Odometer reading: