Fitting an Electric Fan to Amphicar


David Chapman

This has long been talked about and some people have fitted "pusher" fans on the
top of the radiator but these smaller fans are noisy and not very efficient,
also no air would reach the Amphicar oil cooler if the mechanical fan is then
removed - not good.

What prompted me to look more seriously at fitting an electric fan is Kenlowe who have developed a new range of quiet and efficient fans
that are OE on many new European cars, I read a technical arcticle that
explained the many benefits - The big Amphicar benefits are an increase in power
(at least 5%) and a HUGE reduction in noise. I'm convinced, so on to the

Of course nothing is straightforward on Amphicar and if you just remove the
engine driven fan Amphicar will get too warm within a few minutes as there is no
airflow when it's moving so a design that works and is 100% reliable is very

First, Amphicar must be using an alternator, the fan will take about 20 Amps and
is negative earth, electrics are straightforward, relay switched,
thermostatically controlled, with override switch and indicator light.

The most effiicient fans are large diameter, I think we can fit a 16 inch
Kenlowe fan basically in the same place as the now removed mechancial fan, only
problem is that to clear the water pump the bottom of the fan needs to be tilted
back, this works fine but then causes a problem as the Amphicar oil cooler gets
in the way. The solution is to replace the original Amphicar oil cooler with a
modern design that fits on top of the radiator. This is flatter but also more
efficient than the Amphicar original. At the same time I will also change the
sandwich plate that fits under the oil filter. A modern version is available
that looks like the original but has a thermostat, this should help Amphicar
warm up quicker. I have an oil temp gauge fitted and at the moment it takes at
least 15 miles for the oil to reach it's working temperature.

Something else I might do at the same time is get an Amphicar radiator rebuilt
with a new aluminium core - I've heard good things about these, they are more
efficient and much lighter - which must be good.

I hope to start this work at the end of next month (too busy actually using
Amphicar at the moment) I need to do some measurements of air flow (CFM etc) and
also monitor temperature in various places around the engine but I think this
solution will work well. Any comments or suggestions welcomed !

I will keep you informed !

David Chapman