Alternator, boots and brake lines


David Chapman

Guys, just thought I'd throw in my 2 Euros worth !

Alternator: The problem with the original setup is the regulator more than the
generator, I've only experience of the Lucas alternator which was factory fit on
that engine in the Triumph world from 1968. It is at least as reliable as the
generator, it runs significantly cooler and it treats the battery much better so
it lasts much longer. Very few Triumphs or Amphicars here still have a generator
but if you use the car only in daylight and not that often then I guess it's
adequate, one thing to watch is long night voyages at low RPM, with lights and
wipers on the standard generator can't cope, and eventually the voltage will
drop to the point where the ignition system gives up.

Boots: Using steering rack boots on the Amphicar driveshafts works well, there
is a generic boot here that fits or the one from the original Mini can be
adapted. The soft concertina form allows you to feel the grease inside and reach
the inner grease fitting easier. Just hold them on each end with tie wraps, they
don't need a tube inside as the coils of the spring don't close enough to pinch
them. Most important point is to use Amsoil to lubricate this area.

Brake Lines: I've never been a fan of stainless braided brake lines, I can see
their application in racing where they are changed every season but it's a
different world on a road car and stainless is a difficult metal, it's not very
flexible and so the braid rubs on the hose and particularly at the end can crack
and dig into the hose causing a total brake failure. Because of this they are
not allowed on road cars in many countries around the world. I can see a
particular issue on the rear of the Amphicar where the brake line goes from
horseshoe shape to flat every time the car goes over a bump.

When looking for brake parts for the Amphicar, pattern or original, ensure they
are of European origin. Remember that in Europe we have a very strict safety
test on all vehicles every year and brake products for this market are made to a
higher standard. This is one area Hugh has researched and all the brake parts he
sells are from Germany - he could get locally made items that would fit but they
would not be of the same quality, would not have the appropriate approval
markings and and so would be no use to his many European customers.

Another thing with brakes, it's very easy to make a low fluid level warning
device, the cap with a built in switch that was used on most 1970s and 1980s VW
group cars fit straight onto the Amphicar brake fluid container.

Finally, tyres, 165 x 80 x13 will always fit, 175 will normally fit, 185 will
rub on the inner rear wheel arch unless it's moved out slightly during repairs,
also check at the front, with wider tyres you need to adjust the steering stop
bolts and so turning circle is increased, I think 175 is the best compromise.

David Chapman in the UK