First Swim - what do I do?

sublimate

New Member
So, I'm hoping to have my first swim with my new-to-me Amphicar sometime this week or this weekend (weather permitting).

I've read Mike's "First Swim", but I'm looking for something a little more detailed so I (hopefully) don't screw anything up.

In particular:
1. I've heard that one should never engage the props while the wheels are moving. Is this true? If so, I assume the best thing to do is stop before going down the ramp and engage the props (lever forward is forward, right?) and the drive in. Does this sound right?

2. What do all the buttons on the dash do? I figured out which one is the blower bypass. I assume one is for the bilge pump. But there are a couple more.

3, Any other gottchas?
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Victor,
The best thing to do with knobs it put some stickys on till your use to them.
starting at top left you have.
a Nav, and wiper switch.. they have been seen in both , wiper / nave.
sometimes the switches do not work if pulled right out so you may have to play with the out location.
below them is the throttle lock and choke.
below that under dash is 3 more
vent/ heat control.
heater fan.
and temp control.

in middle of dash top is bilage switch with blue light and on cars with blowers, a switch is located at bottom between guages,

below radio area is headlights, key then lighter.
dont forget the light under the glove box area , a leaver turnd it on.


1st swim.. take out all the rear seat stuff so you can see the trany. leave life jacked in conv. boot area.
unlock rear trunk and open. drains in.
doors locked. engage props on land, only when fully stopped.
drive slowlly into water(SLOWLY>>>THATS TO FAST)till wheels float and take out of gear.. let clutch out to drive props.. put foot on brake to stop. now look for leaks..,,, yes I was only kidding about brakes but you will do it for a while.. also if you are alone,, and are on the heavey side car will list!
1st time in do not venture far,, same goes for 1st time of the year.
drive back out and inspect car.
a sign of water getting by door seals is to open doors, sills should be dry of water.
usuall water leak areas are, e brake cables.
drive axle bellows.
screws at back from horizontal bumper
door seals.
front hood rubber in waves.
rust holes..in rear quarters , battery area, floor,
front inner fenders at bottom.
have seen rust in front frame leak threw and out at rear of frame into car.
GORD
Canadian 4 Amphs
 
R

Ron Green

Guest
Get a owners manual and memorize what the switches / knobs operate. Keep it in the glove box for reference.

I always do the door seal dollar bill test when I install new door seals. Take a dollar bill, put it between the door seals, close the door, latch the water handle and you should not be able to pull the dollar bill out very easily. Tug on it and it should stay in place (don't forcibly rip it out). Do this all the way around the door seals. If it does easily pull (or fall) out in certain areas there is a chance water will leak in.

Another way of testing the door seals is to place tape over the 3 holes in the rockers that are directly below the 3 holes in the doors. Placing tape over these rocker holes will prevent water (if you have a leak) from going into the bilge and will drip out onto the floor.

When testing mine for water I do as Gord does and remove the rear seat. I also open the front trunk and engine hood and drive or pull Amphi with ropes over to a nearby dock. I let Amphi sit there and with a flashlight see where water is coming in, if at all.
 
Hey Gord! Thanks for all of these reminders for us "NEWBEES" or, as I am, a long time owner with my Amphicar in the shop over 90% of the time, so "OLDIE/NEEWBEE".

I too, as you know, am re-learning how to swim with my Amphicar & am SCARED TO DEATH!! All of these 'words of wisdom' will be memorized before I go into our VERY SMALL lake in Pemberton, NJ. (No motors allowed but the Amphicar has been in it over 4 times in the past 2 years & I haven't gone to jail yet anyway.)

At least I'm past the 'first time' swim when there was nothing in the Amphicar but me & a plastic milk crate. I sat on the plastic milk crate holding the steering wheel as the Amphi (which was tied to ropes) was pushed by 4 people out into the lake. My friend & mechanic, Jim, said, "Start up the engine & let's hear it." Well, I was so excited when the engine actually moved the Amphicar I almost cried!! They all let go of the ropes & I was told to just swim around. After about 15 seconds I panicked & headed for land as the steering wheel came off in my hand & I screamed. My friend Jim had forgotten to screw down the steering wheel. It's on now.

I know we all have those great 'first time' AND second or third 'first time' stories to tell.

Lookin' for some nice weather to relearn how to swim. GOOD LUCK VIC. Ina (in the Boro)
----- Original Message -----
From: Canadian four amphs
To: ribcab@verizon.net
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 7:27 AM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20014] Re: First Swim - what do I do?


Victor,
The best thing to do with knobs it put some stickys on till your use to them.
starting at top left you have.
a Nav, and wiper switch.. they have been seen in both , wiper / nave.
sometimes the switches do not work if pulled right out so you may have to play with the out location.
below them is the throttle lock and choke.
below that under dash is 3 more
vent/ heat control.
heater fan.
and temp control.

in middle of dash top is bilage switch with blue light and on cars with blowers, a switch is located at bottom between guages,

below radio area is headlights, key then lighter.
dont forget the light under the glove box area , a leaver turnd it on.


1st swim.. take out all the rear seat stuff so you can see the trany. leave life jacked in conv. boot area.
unlock rear trunk and open. drains in.
doors locked. engage props on land, only when fully stopped.
drive slowlly into water(SLOWLY>>>THATS TO FAST)till wheels float and take out of gear.. let clutch out to drive props.. put foot on brake to stop. now look for leaks..,,, yes I was only kidding about brakes but you will do it for a while.. also if you are alone,, and are on the heavey side car will list!
1st time in do not venture far,, same goes for 1st time of the year.
drive back out and inspect car.
a sign of water getting by door seals is to open doors, sills should be dry of water.
usuall water leak areas are, e brake cables.
drive axle bellows.
screws at back from horizontal bumper
door seals.
front hood rubber in waves.
rust holes..in rear quarters , battery area, floor,
front inner fenders at bottom.
have seen rust in front frame leak threw and out at rear of frame into car.
GORD
Canadian 4 Amphs
 
R

Ron Green

Guest
Ina,

Be careful taking your amphi into a waterway that is posted "no motors".

I was at a large 243 acre lake last weekend that only allowed electric motors. After a few days I finally asked the ranger permission to take amphi for a dip and he couldn't say no fast enough. If you get caught there is always a fine and in some case they will impound your boat, in your case the amphicar.
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
On the other hand, a few years ago I was driving the perimeter road at
a local county lake off limits to power boats. It was off season and
I had fantasies of what it would be like to float the Amphicar there.
Glancing back at the road I noticed a 25mph speed limit sign at the
same time I see in my rear view mirror the county sheriff closing fast
with lights on motioning for me to pull over. My thoughts were, What
the heck?, these guys sure are touchy about their speed limits.
Couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 over. As I pulled into the marina
lot, before I knew it, I was surrounded by two deputies. Before I
could say anything, he bust out - "That's an Amphicar! My uncle had
an Amphicar! He used to give us rides when we were kids!" Phew, what
a relief, these guys are friendly. He started asking all kinds of
questions, asked to look under the hood and wanted to sit in it.
After several minutes I looked back at the lake and mentioned, "You
guys need to patrol the lake don't you?" He lit up and said, "Yah,
let's go!" So there we were, motoring about the "forbidden" lake. He
even gave me permission to continue on for another hour or so until
closing. Only in an Amphicar. Those were two nice cops, but like Ron
said, I wouldn't bet my Amphicar on it.

Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Red



On May 20, 2008, at 11:27 AM, Ron Green wrote:


> Ina,
>
> Be careful taking your amphi into a waterway that is posted "no
> motors".
>
> I was at a large 243 acre lake last weekend that only allowed
> electric motors. After a few days I finally asked the ranger
> permission to take amphi for a dip and he couldn't say no fast
> enough. If you get caught there is always a fine and in some case
> they will impound your boat, in your case the amphicar.
>
 

sublimate

New Member
Thanks for the advice all.

Just so I'm clear:

GORD, you said "drains in". I only know of the one big drain. Are there more? I'd hate to miss one.

And Ron suggested getting an Owner's Manual. Does anyone have a link to it or a copy they could email me? Amphicar.com has a link to an online reproduction by James Oliver, but the link is dead. I paid for a membership to Amphicar.com but I only see the maintenance manual in the 'Member's Only' section, but no Owner's manual. Or is there a source to buy an Owner's manual?

Thanks again for all the help.
-Victor
 
Got your note. Thanks for the info. I wanted to go into the Delaware River but you have me very scared. Will call you to talk. Ina
----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Green
To: ribcab@verizon.net
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:27 PM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20014] Re: First Swim - what do I do?


Ina,

Be careful taking your amphi into a waterway that is posted "no motors".

I was at a large 243 acre lake last weekend that only allowed electric motors. After a few days I finally asked the ranger permission to take amphi for a dip and he couldn't say no fast enough. If you get caught there is always a fine and in some case they will impound your boat, in your case the amphicar.
 
You can get the manual from Hugh Gordon in California. Ina
----- Original Message -----
From: sublimate
To: ribcab@verizon.net
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:08 PM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20014] Re: First Swim - what do I do?


Thanks for the advice all.

Just so I'm clear:

GORD, you said "drains in". I only know of the one big drain. Are there more? I'd hate to miss one.

And Ron suggested getting an Owner's Manual. Does anyone have a link to it or a copy they could email me? Amphicar.com has a link to an online reproduction by James Oliver, but the link is dead. I paid for a membership to Amphicar.com but I only see the maintenance manual in the 'Member's Only' section, but no Owner's manual. Or is there a source to buy an Owner's manual?

Thanks again for all the help.
-Victor
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Ina... Im shocked ,,, after all I do for you you tell them to go to the compition..
I have exact copies of the original manual for $25 plus s/h

Drain plug(S).....Amphicar came with 1 drain but over the year people have put more in,, some have them under the engine.
I always install new ones in the inner rear quarters(thats where water stays so....) unless you use my fribre glass inners oand outer skins then you don't have to worry about RUST.,
others have put them in the frame at the front end.
GORD.
 
R

Ron Green

Guest
Ina,

I don't mean to scare you but the Delaware river can be dangerous (as per Billy Syx's rescue helicopter ride out). There are huge ships in these waters along with fast running currents on occasion along with rocks.
 
1,000 pardons, Gord. Please forgive me because I didn't know that you had the manual for sale. Sooooo sorry.

Now that I made you angry you probably won't spend hours at Celina fixing the convertible top, re-aligning the driver door, & checking the molding around the back windows so the driver's door will close with the window up. Just my luck to make one of the greatest guys angry!

PS: By the way I think the new engine I bought from you is fantastic!! Did that help a little?

Ina in the Boro (that's Pemberton Boro!, NJ)
----- Original Message -----
From: Canadian four amphs
To: ribcab@verizon.net
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:49 AM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20014] Re: First Swim - what do I do?


Ina... Im shocked ,,, after all I do for you you tell them to go to the compition..
I have exact copies of the original manual for $25 plus s/h

Drain plug(S).....Amphicar came with 1 drain but over the year people have put more in,, some have them under the engine.
I always install new ones in the inner rear quarters(thats where water stays so....) unless you use my fribre glass inners oand outer skins then you don't have to worry about RUST.,
others have put them in the frame at the front end.
GORD.
 

Ed Price

Member
Victor:

The Owner's Manual is accessible at the Members Only section of the IAOC
website. I just checked the link, and it's working fine. If you still can't
download it, then I can send you a copy of the file.

BTW, you didn't join Amphicar.com, you joined the International Amphicar
Owners Club (IAOC).

Finally, please expand your sig so that we know who you are; "Victor" is a
little too cryptic.

Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
61 Rust Guppy





_____

From: sublimate [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 8:09 PM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20014] Re: First Swim - what do
I do?


Thanks for the advice all.

Just so I'm clear:

GORD, you said "drains in". I only know of the one big drain. Are there
more? I'd hate to miss one.

And Ron suggested getting an Owner's Manual. Does anyone have a link to it
or a copy they could email me? Amphicar.com has a link to an online
reproduction by James Oliver, but the link is dead. I paid for a membership
to Amphicar.com but I only see the maintenance manual in the 'Member's Only'
section, but no Owner's manual. Or is there a source to buy an Owner's
manual?

Thanks again for all the help.
-Victor
 

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
Drain plugs, I have seen a couple of very early cars with a small drain plug directly under engine. Hopefully this week end I will get a door put on BW4. Then garden hose will come out and leaks will be found and bilge pumps will be tested. Another worth while addition is the oil dipstick extension. Not much time left to get car running, driving and floating for Sabula Swim. Later Dave the Wave
 

sublimate

New Member
I went looking for it again, and this time I found it.
I had been looking at the drop down menu that appears when you put your mouse on the "MEMBERS ONLY" bar at the top of the screen - that lists the Maintenance Manual and Parts Manual (among other things) but not the Owners Manual. But I clicked around a bit and found my way to it.

There's also a dead link to the Owner's Manual on James Oliver's page in the Restoration Resources & General Information section about 1/2 way down which tripped me up.

Thanks for your help, Ed, you're a lifesaver.

-Victor (signature added below :) )

Victor:

The Owner's Manual is accessible at the Members Only section of the IAOC
website. I just checked the link, and it's working fine. If you still can't
download it, then I can send you a copy of the file.

BTW, you didn't join Amphicar.com, you joined the International Amphicar
Owners Club (IAOC).

Finally, please expand your sig so that we know who you are; "Victor" is a
little too cryptic.

Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
61 Rust Guppy
 
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