Engine advice

amphicarian

New Member
Does anyone have a 1300 for sale? I've got the 1147 I just pulled out, but I was thinking if I'm going to rebuild an engine why not go with a 1300?
John
San Diego
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Because then you are not Original, you are not numbers matching etc.
may as well stick a late model engine in.
No I have never done it but many have, as long as you keep the original motor no harm is really done. Some like the 1300 better some go for 1500
Me myself am 100% pleased with the results of a rebuilt 1147.
I have 4 Amphicars, all done, all are used,, alot. I do travel on 4 lane roads and can run long runs at 65 mph. I have even gone over 70,,, well yes it was a long downhill run,
I do stock all engine parts for the 1147 including new cyl. sleaves to keep to stock specks instead of boreing oversize!lots of used engine parts, and comlete rebuildable motors or rebuilt motors in stock,Hey I even have a NOS motor, never been in a car!
GORD.
 

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
Gord is right, it's amazing how well the Amphicar runs with the original 43HP 1147 engine - assuming it's in good condition or has been rebuilt properly, sadly many haven't.

However the 1300 does have more ooomph, it means you change gear less often (can start in second) and have more top speed. It's also a bit faster in the water.

Biggest problem is gearing. In the Triumph world there are endless options but with Amphicar - apart from fitting 14 inch wheels - we are stuck with the original gear ratios and final drive and that is always going to limit road speed. At 65mph you are pushing over 4000 rpm and that's the problem, the 1500 and the late model 1300 engine just doesn't rev as smoothly which is why I would never go the 1500 route.

I need to write this up again for a future club article.

Something else - the original Triumph/Amphicar clutch is marginal with 43hp. Bigger engine needs a lot of care and luck with the clutch or take the easy option and fit the John Friese high performance clutch.

David C
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
Does anyone have a 1300 for sale? I've got the 1147 I just pulled out, but I was thinking if I'm going to rebuild an engine why not go with a 1300?
John
San Diego
You can fit the 1300 with ease, but stay away from the 1500! The 1500 is a stroked 1300 so the piston speed is much greater. The pistons travel further in the same amount of time (faster) so at hiway speeds they tend to grenade. This is why the 1500 won't work well in the low geared Amphicar. You will find that 1147 is a great engine and can provide plenty of power especially at sea level where you have oxygen not like here at 5000' or when I go into the hills up to 8000' and loose 10-15% of my power.

I run stock 1147 fitted w dual SU carbs only to recover the hp loss here at altitude (plus they are cool!) Keep your old engine! Numbers matching doesn't mean a thing in the Amphicar world like in the musclecar world. One day it will and that engine should stay with the car even if you dont use it.
 

azpaul50

Member
So... you'd recommend a 1300 over a 1500 if you wanted to tow something behind an Amphi? I have such a project going and am worried about power/heating but was hoping the 1147 will do it maybe with a electric fan if necessary. What do you think in that circumstance?



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 11:24:46 -0400
From:






Quote:




Originally Posted by amphicarian
Does anyone have a 1300 for sale? I've got the 1147 I just pulled out, but I was thinking if I'm going to rebuild an engine why not go with a 1300?
John
San DiegoYou can fit the 1300 with ease, but stay away from the 1500! The 1500 is a stroked 1300 so the piston speed is much greater. The pistons travel further in the same amount of time (faster) so at hiway speeds they tend to grenade. This is why the 1500 won't work well in the low geared Amphicar. You will find that 1147 is a great engine and can provide plenty of power especially at sea level where you have oxygen not like here at 5000' or when I go into the hills up to 8000' and loose 10-15% of my power.

I run stock 1147 fitted w dual SU carbs only to recover the hp loss here at altitude (plus they are cool!) Keep your old engine! Numbers matching doesn't mean a thing in the Amphicar world like in the musclecar world. One day it will and that engine should stay with the car even if you dont use it.



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DavidC

Amphicar Expert
Yes,

The 1500 does have more torque but it also has much more friction and therefore runs a lot hotter - and it doesn't rev. In the Triumph world the gearing and cooling problems can be sorted so the engine is more popular although the racers still prefer the small crank 1300.

Watch out for the different versions of the 1300 - the large crank 1300 is the worst of both - engine numbers are on amphicars.com

David C
ps - Don't get me started on electric fans.....
 

amphicarian

New Member
Matching numbers aside, from what I've read, a small crank 1300 with a large
crank water pump and a John F. performance clutch gives better performance
with minimal added issues. Other than the purists, I would think that a
majority of us are looking to strike a balance between performance and
reliability. My car was always great in the water, but having to keep
downshifting and pulling into the breakdown lane on long hills to let cars
pass was less than desirable. I'm not sure I was always getting my full 43
HP but that 1147 always started right up, even if it sat for weeks, and only
really suffered from the restarting when hot (vapor lock) issue. Does
anyone with a properly rebuilt 1147 have much issue with long uphills?
 

jfriese

Active Member
I run small crank 1300's in my two cars and think they are the best balance for my uses. The cars are faster than 1147's, can easily go 75 MPH on the freeways, with room under the pedal, and they don't overheat. I also ran a large crank 1300 and didn't have a problem with it, in fact I know some Triumph racers who prefer that engine because of the larger bearing surfaces that give longer wear. I couldn't do my trick of using a large pulley water pump on the engine with a small crank pulley (I do that to slow the fan and thus quiet the fan noise) so I pulled the engine out and sold it. I've been casually looking for a small crank 1300 for about two months now, for someone who wants one, and haven't seen one except the over priced one currently on Ebay. The seller claims it's the most desirable model but that engine is the low compression version and I prefer the high compression model. I suppose it would be cheaper to run since it probably runs on regular gas but I'm looking for the best performance possible so I run my cars on premium fuel and push the timing. The difference is the pistons, so if you don't mind replacing them on that engine you can change it to a high compression version. He's asking $1200 and it's not even rebuilt, which is about 3 times what I've paid for the engines I bought only a few years ago.

Oh, I also kept the original engines that came in my cars even though it's a pain to have them sitting around in the limited space I have.


John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

azpaul50

Member
John - Which makes me wonder about my cars. Both seem barely managable for staying on the road at peak 70 MPH speed, especially with those skinny tires. My Met drives like a tank but also does 70 on a good day with a trailer but not uphill! As with all cars, there's an engine performance threshold that once reached, then needs modification of everything else... rear end, tires, suspension, cooling. So, sometimes people end up putting spats on a pig without a truly usable benefit from the investment. I'm asking the question about low-end pulling performance for a 1300. Betta or not? (Brenda and I are here anxiously awaiting your proclamation on this subject). - azpaul



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 15:25:08 -0400
From:




I run small crank 1300's in my two cars and think they are the best balance for my uses. The cars are faster than 1147's, can easily go 75 MPH on the freeways with room under the pedal and don't overheat. I also ran a large crank 1300 and didn't have a problem with it, in fact I know some Triumph racers who prefer that engine because of the larger bearing surfaces that give longer wear. I couldn't do my trick of using a large pulley water pump on that engine though ( and I like that to quiet the fan noise ) so I pulled it out. I've been casually looking for a small crank 1300 for about two months though and haven't seen one except an over priced one currently on Ebay. The seller claims it's the most desirable model but it's the low compression version and I prefer the high compression model. I suppose it would be cheaper to run since it probably runs on regular gas but I'm looking for the best performance possible so I run my cars on premium fuel. The difference is the pistons, so if you don't mind replacing them on that engine you can change it to a high compression version. He's asking $1200 and it's not even rebuilt, which is about 3 times what I've paid for the engines I bought a few years ago.

Oh, I also kept the original engines that came in my cars even though it's a pain to have them sitting around in the limited space I have.


John Friese
67 White
67 Red



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jfriese

Active Member
Paul,

If your car doesn't handle well at speed, there is something wrong with it. The most common problem (and free to fix) is over inflation of the front tires. The front end "floats" if the radial tires are run at over 20 PSI because the front is so light that it just bounces off the road too much of the time to keep control of the cars direction. I run mine at 18 - 20 and they are solid on the road. I run the rear tires at 30 - 32 PSI, but that number doesn't affect steering. Front end alignment can also cause steering problems and so can front shocks that are too rigid. I feared the "boat shaped" front end would lift the car at high speed but that is not the case, the car is even stable at 90 MPH with no sign of lift. Hugh thinks that the hood and windshield press the car down at high speed. I don't know anything more than "it just works". I once had a 64 Pontiac Bonneville convertible that would barely steer above 105 MPH. It had a huge front bumper that I always expected lifted all the weight off the front wheels at high speed.

The extra power of the 1300 engine is a stretch for the weak original clutch but, of course, my cars have my high performance clutch in them and that clutch will easily handle a 1500 engine. The extra power hasn't caused any other problems with the drive shafts or the transmissions. One of my transmissions is original and has never been rebuilt (other than seals) and the other was rebuilt when I restored the car 7 years ago by Theo Sahli and both tranny's are quiet and work fine.

Low end pulling performance is definitely better with a 1300 but not as strong as with a 1500. For reasons already mentioned here I won't run 1500 engines in my cars. I want them to run at California freeway speeds, which means they have to do 75 MPH. My cars will do about 88 MPH and I've run them for extended periods at about 82.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

azpaul50

Member
John - One has radials and the other has polys. Hear that noise? It isn't what you think! I'm lowering the front tire pressures a bit. I read about the fronts being lower PSI but just couldn't bring myself to take them down below 26. Somehow the vision of popping a rim bead on turns overcame me. It'll be about a week before I can drive them. They're buried behind a torn apart trailer right now. You da man as usual. - azpaul



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 21:33:43 -0400
From:




Paul,

If your car doesn't handle well at speed, there is something wrong with it. The most common problem (and free to fix) is over inflation of the front tires. The front end "floats" if the radial tires are run at over 20 PSI because the front is so light that it just bounced off the road too much time to keep control of the cars direction. I run mine at 18 - 20 and they are solid on the road. I run the rear tires at 30 - 32 PSI, but that number doesn't affect steering. Front end alignment can also cause steering problems and so can front shocks that are too rigid. I feared the "boat shaped" front end would lift the car at high speed but that is not the case, the car is even stable at 90 MPH with no sign of lift. Hugh thinks that the hood and windshield press the car down at high speed. I don't know anything more than "it just works". I once had a 64 Pontiac Bonneville convertible that would barely steer above 105 MPH. It had a huge front bumper that I always expected lifted all the weight off the front wheels at high speed.

The extra power of the 1300 engine is a stretch for the weak original clutch but, of course, my cars have my high performance clutch in them and that clutch will easily handle a 1500 engine. The extra power hasn't caused any other problems with the drive shafts or the transmissions. One of my transmissions is original and has never been rebuilt (other than seals) and the other was rebuilt when I restored the car 7 years ago by Theo Sahli and both tranny's are quiet and work fine.

Low end pulling performance is definitely better with a 1300 but not as strong as with a 1500. For reasons already mentioned here I won't run 1500 engines in my cars. I want them to run at California freeway speeds, which means they have to do 75 MPH. My cars will do about 88 MPH and I've run them for extended periods at about 82.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red



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DavidC

Amphicar Expert
Ditto what John says.

Once the steering and suspension are setup properly Amphicar is perfectly driveable and safe and steady at 80mph.

Something else to check is the rear wheels - in the area of that pinch bolt. There must be no wobble there or the rear wheels will try and steer with every change of direction and you will be all over the place. Best way to check:

Jack rear and put on secure stand.
Remove rear wheel and disconnect shock and move it out of the way.
Refit wheel and position it at about the level it would be when car is driving down road.
Brakes off and hold wheel at 12 and 6 oclock and try and move it toward and away from you. It will rotate of course but shoud be no forward to backwards movement at all, if there is get someone to sit in the car and apply the brakes hard. If the movement has gone it was rear wheel bearings. If the movement is still there then there is something wrong with the swing arm / pinch bolt. Important to fix this ASAP.

If you can see the swing arm moving where it joins the axle - in a way that it looks like tightening the pinchbolt will fix - then it's too late and you need a machine shop to sleeve and fix. This will make a HUGE difference to the way it drives.

David C
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
For handling issues, also check the steering box for side to side
movement. Car on the ground, have someone turn the wheel 1/4 turn
left and right, observe steering box. There should be NO movement.
Check for broken welds and add a brace.

Dido what David said about the swing arm connection at the pinch
bolt. Both rears on mine were loose and ovaled. The car was
oversteering all over the road. After machining and fitting in new
steel sleeves it was night and day. Drives like a real car now at any
speed.

Regarding the article on my front wheel bearing puller, the email
address stated is incorrect. Try this one: ken25690 at yahoo dot com

Best,
Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Red


On Jun 18, 2009, at 6:33 PM, jfriese wrote:


> Paul,
>
> If your car doesn't handle well at speed, there is something wrong
> with it. The most common problem (and free to fix) is over inflation
> of the front tires. The front end "floats" if the radial tires are
> run at over 20 PSI because the front is so light that it just
> bounced off the road too much time to keep control of the cars
> direction. I run mine at 18 - 20 and they are solid on the road. I
> run the rear tires at 30 - 32 PSI, but that number doesn't affect
> steering. Front end alignment can also cause steering problems and
> so can front shocks that are too rigid. I feared the "boat shaped"
> front end would lift the car at high speed but that is not the case,
> the car is even stable at 90 MPH with no sign of lift. Hugh thinks
> that the hood and windshield press the car down at high speed. I
> don't know anything more than "it just works". I once had a 64
> Pontiac Bonneville convertible that would barely steer above 105
> MPH. It had a huge front bumper that I always expected lifted all
> the weight off the front wheels at high speed.
>
> The extra power of the 1300 engine is a stretch for the weak
> original clutch but, of course, my cars have my high performance
> clutch in them and that clutch will easily handle a 1500 engine. The
> extra power hasn't caused any other problems with the drive shafts
> or the transmissions. One of my transmissions is original and has
> never been rebuilt (other than seals) and the other was rebuilt when
> I restored the car 7 years ago by Theo Sahli and both tranny's are
> quiet and work fine.
>
> Low end pulling performance is definitely better with a 1300 but not
> as strong as with a 1500. For reasons already mentioned here I won't
> run 1500 engines in my cars. I want them to run at California
> freeway speeds, which means they have to do 75 MPH. My cars will do
> about 88 MPH and I've run them for extended periods at about 82.
>
> John Friese
> 67 White
> 67 Red
>
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
For handling issues, also check the steering box for side to side
movement. Car on the ground, have someone turn the wheel 1/4 turn
left and right, observe steering box. There should be NO movement.
Check for broken welds and add a brace.

(oops, I meant Ditto) what David said about the swing arm connection
at the pinch bolt. Both rears on mine were loose and ovaled. The car
was oversteering all over the road. After machining and fitting in
new steel sleeves it was night and day. Drives like a real car now at
any speed.

Regarding the article on my front wheel bearing puller, the email
address stated is incorrect. Try this one: ken25690 at yahoo dot com

Best,
Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Red


On Jun 18, 2009, at 6:33 PM, jfriese wrote:


> Paul,
>
> If your car doesn't handle well at speed, there is something wrong
> with it. The most common problem (and free to fix) is over inflation
> of the front tires. The front end "floats" if the radial tires are
> run at over 20 PSI because the front is so light that it just
> bounced off the road too much time to keep control of the cars
> direction. I run mine at 18 - 20 and they are solid on the road. I
> run the rear tires at 30 - 32 PSI, but that number doesn't affect
> steering. Front end alignment can also cause steering problems and
> so can front shocks that are too rigid. I feared the "boat shaped"
> front end would lift the car at high speed but that is not the case,
> the car is even stable at 90 MPH with no sign of lift. Hugh thinks
> that the hood and windshield press the car down at high speed. I
> don't know anything more than "it just works". I once had a 64
> Pontiac Bonneville convertible that would barely steer above 105
> MPH. It had a huge front bumper that I always expected lifted all
> the weight off the front wheels at high speed.
>
> The extra power of the 1300 engine is a stretch for the weak
> original clutch but, of course, my cars have my high performance
> clutch in them and that clutch will easily handle a 1500 engine. The
> extra power hasn't caused any other problems with the drive shafts
> or the transmissions. One of my transmissions is original and has
> never been rebuilt (other than seals) and the other was rebuilt when
> I restored the car 7 years ago by Theo Sahli and both tranny's are
> quiet and work fine.
>
> Low end pulling performance is definitely better with a 1300 but not
> as strong as with a 1500. For reasons already mentioned here I won't
> run 1500 engines in my cars. I want them to run at California
> freeway speeds, which means they have to do 75 MPH. My cars will do
> about 88 MPH and I've run them for extended periods at about 82.
>
> John Friese
> 67 White
> 67 Red
>
 

azpaul50

Member
Yeah.... I need to do all of that x 2 cars, lol... actually 4. As it is, the cars turn on a dime (which is scary at speed) but goes one way or the other if I'm distracted for just a second, especially with poly tires. These cars just feel like they have a high center of gravity and rear end road heaviness when compared to my other cars. I'm thinkin' I'll turn this puppy over on turns because of these feelly factors.



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 08:17:46 -0400
From:




Ditto what John says.

Once the steering and suspension are setup properly Amphicar is perfectly driveable and safe and steady at 80mph.

Something else to check is the rear wheels - in the area of that pinch bolt. There must be no wobble there or the rear wheels will try and steer with every change of direction and you will be all over the place. Best way to check:

Jack rear and put on secure stand.
Remove rear wheel and disconnect shock and move it out of the way.
Refit wheel and position it at about the level it would be when car is driving down road.
Brakes off and hold wheel at 12 and 6 oclock and try and move it toward and away from you. It will rotate of course but shoud be no forward to backwards movement at all, if there is get someone to sit in the car and apply the brakes hard. If the movement has gone it was rear wheel bearings. If the movement is still there then there is something wrong with the swing arm / pinch bolt. Important to fix this ASAP.

If you can see the swing arm moving where it joins the axle - in a way that it looks like tightening the pinchbolt will fix - then it's too late and you need a machine shop to sleeve and fix. This will make a HUGE difference to the way it drives.

David C



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jfriese

Active Member
Paul,

What David and Ken have said is certainly correct but I didn't have the swing arm problem on either of my cars. I did fabricate a steering box brace for both my cars when I restored them so that wasn't a problem for me either. The steering box issue was talked about a lot back when I restored my cars, and I could see the movement, so I fixed it right away. The braces are just 1/4" thick steel, cut and fitted to attach to the existing ring mount in the Amphicars. The location of this mount varies a bit from car to car so I fitted them to each situation. Photos enclosed. (P.S. Yes, I did see that loose washer, laying in the background of the red car photo, and removed it.)

If you're still using bias ply tires on one of your cars, just use the Amphicar recommended pressure of 14 on the front and 30 on the rear. I did that for years on one of my cars but recently replaced those worn tires with new radials. When I put on the new tires I also went tubeless for the first time. I've talked to many people who have done that and I finally decided to do that too. The only problems I ever had with tires going flat were tube problems on radial tires. I've been told that there are special tubes made for radials but this time I left them out. I decided that if the car was ever in a situation that might rip the tire off the rim, chances are the car is going to flip over anyway. LOL

John Friese
67 White
67 Red



 

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
My favorite combo was the 1147 punched over with big cam and dual SU's . Only problems I had were the su did not like getting wet. One time I did get it to 90. Took about 4 miles! Later Dave the Wave
 

azpaul50

Member
Juanito! Yep, Blub needs one of those for sure. The white Amphi is buried so as I really can't get the front open for a few days... about 100 here today with tumbleweeds blowing by the front door. Really!! I see there's a few ways to brace this box. Did anyone make extras out there for sale? - azpaul50



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 16:41:54 -0400
From:




Paul,

What David and Ken have said is certainly correct but I didn't have the swing arm problem on either of my cars. I did fabricate a steering box brace for both my cars when I restored them so that wasn't a problem for me either. The steering box issue was talked about a lot back when I restored my cars, and I could see the movement, so I fixed it right away.

If you're still using bias ply tires on one of your cars, just use the Amphicar recommended pressure of 14 on the front and 30 on the rear. I did that for years on one of my cars but recently replaced those worn tires with new radials. When I put on the new tires I also went tubeless for the first time. I've talked to many people who have done that and I finally decided to do that too. The only problems I ever had with tires going flat were tube problems on radial tires. I've been told that there are special tubes made for radials but I just decided to leave them out. I decided that if the car was ever in a situation that might rip the tire off the rim, chances are the car is going to flip over anyway. LOL

John Friese
67 White
67 Red







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jfriese

Active Member
Paul,

Since the length varies a bit from car to car, make up your own from a strip of 3/4' x 1/4" steel. You should be able to find such a thing locally.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

azpaul50

Member
Thanks John. I see there's a way to do it as a bolt-on rather than having to use a welded pad-eye. My welded pad-eye guy is gone for a few weeks and I'm not able to get on this anytime soon anyway. Thanks a lot, bub.... just what I needed... another thing on my car "to do" list!!! I'm sure lesser men have given up and traded for an Isetta 300 by now! - azpaul



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20464] Re: Engine advice
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2009 15:35:45 -0400
From:




Paul,

Since the length varies a bit from car to car, make up your own from a strip of 3/4' x 1/4" steel. You should be able to find such a thing locally.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red



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