float test



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<font size="4">I think we're almost ready to do a float test on my Amphicar. (I guess I'd better do this before I buy insurance.) Can anyone send out some ways to do a float test? I don't want to use a swimming pool.</font>
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<font size="4">Ina in the Boro</font>


--- In amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com, "ROBERT CABANAS" <ribcab@...>
> I think we're almost ready to do a float test on my Amphicar. (I
guess I'd better do this before I buy insurance.) Can anyone send
out some ways to do a float test? I don't want to use a swimming
> Ina in the Boro

Recommend that you turn the shop lights out and have someone in the
car with a trouble light going along the interior seams, sheet metal,
tunnels, steering seal, prop seals, etc while someone is on the
outside looking for light shining through.

I went to a local ramp early in the morning that had a dock and is
used very little. Remove the rear seat and cover, open the hood and
trunk compartments and batten down the doors. I slowly drove mine in
with a rope attached to the front and rear and swung it over to the
dock. I had a few helpers at the dock. I let it sit for 30 minutes
and checked out the bilge and front and rear compartments to see if
there were any leaks or dribbles.

If all appears well I throw the ropes in and go for a little cruise,
not to far from the dock. If you suspect the doors are leaking take
it out of the water and put tape at the 3 doors holes and go back in.
This will allow the water to flow onto the floor in lieu of the bilge
and you will know right away the doors are leaking. If so readjust.

Some do the opposite and fill the bilge with water and look for leaks.

I'm unsure as to how you would get an Amphicar into a pool without a
lot of work or damage.

Ron Green
Camp Hill, PA.

Bill Connelly

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<font size="2">Ina,</font>
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<font size="2">Congratz on finally getting your Amphiready to launch! I wish I could be there!</font>
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<font size="2">Well, the first test you can do is with the garden hose in the driveway. With the top down, and the rear seat and spare tire and its platform out and the bilge plug in, justfill up the hull with about an inch or two and check for leaks. Try to get all of the water into the car and not on the ground. This is also an excellent opportunity to check the proper operation of the bilge pumps (yes, I said "pump<u>S</u>"...You DO have an extra automatic backup bilge pump installed, right?... If not, before proceeding any further, please see http://www.geocities.com/soho/8389/autosploodge.html).</font>
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<font size="2">Assuming all seems watertight in the driveway,pull the bilge plugand letthe Amphi drain.Having the front wheels up at a very slight incline will helpreally drain it. Next, replace the bilgeplug so that you will not forget about it later in the excitement at water's edge (Yes, that would be bad).It's time to toss in your life jackets, fire exinguisher, a big fat rope, and head on downto a nice quiet boatramp at a place without too much of a current, preferablyon a weekday when it's not too crowded. Crowds make for distractions, and that's not what you'll be wantingright about now. </font>
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<font size="2">First, make sure that bilge plug's in place (that's always job one before any water entry).Next, make sure the front hood is secured (don't worry about securing that rear engine lid...ever), remove the rear seat (so you can easilyspot any serious leakage in the drink), close and secure the doors with the little rearward levers, and proceed to water's edge. Stop. With clutch in and footbrake on, engage the water drive into forward (Serious note: ALWAYS come to a full and complete stop before even thinking of touching that water tranny knob...In fact, even in the water it's a good idea to tap the brakes to stop any wheel spinning before engaging the water drive, like when exiting, putting it into reverse and so on. Failure to make sure those wheels are dead still can tear up acostly water tranny needlessly. Remember: "Give your water tranny a brake!"). </font>
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<font size="2">Now that the Amphi is at water's edge, with footbrake on and both the waterand land drives bothengaged,you're ready to take the plunge. First,take a moment to enjoy that sensation of "wrongness" you'll be feeling right about now. You're a bad bad girl...You're about to drive your car into the river...What the F%# is wrong with you? Peculiar feeling, ain't it? OK...Heeeeeerrrre we go...Clutch out and Glubbity glub glub! Wooot!</font>
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<font size="2">Now the thing to do is to just head out away from the ramp just a littlebit, come about (i.e. turn around) so you're facing the ramp, and putboththe waterand land drives in neutral (you remembered about that brake thing before touching that water tranny knob, right?). Nowjust malingeraround the boat ramp for fifteen minutes or so, looking into the back to see if you can spot any leaks. In the unlikely eventthere's any serious leakage...like areal gusher coming especially from the right or left of the tranny, put both the water and land tranny's back into gear and proceed out and up the ramp NOW. You could have a poorly-seated or leaking bellows...But like Isaid, this is unlikely. Most likely the only serious dampness you'llnotice is the fact that you need a freshDepends from all the excitement. After about 15 minutes or so, put both the water and land trannies in gear and come on back up the boat ramp. It'll take a little practice to do so elegantly, but you'll soon get it down. Now run off to a nice level spot, park, open up the front hood to see if you can spot any leakage up there, and finally pull the bilge plug. This is your real test for leakage (since you may not spotsmaller leaks, even with the rear seat out). If after just sitting at water's edge like that for about15 minutes, anything more than a pintor so pours out, youmight have a little driblet somewhere or other, but nothing a bilge plug couldn't handle. More than a pint or so, and you might want to head on back to the shop for further examination.</font>
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<font size="2">Otherwise, you should be good to go. Just put back in the passenger seat, have some fun, and we'll see you at Celina!</font>
<font size="2"></font>
<font size="2">For moral support, you might also want to have the following handy for your first water test.While they're not strictly-speaking "necessary", having everything "just-so" might help you go through fewer Depends:</font>
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[*]<font size="2">A big 4-wheel drive vehicle near water's edge to haul out a water-engorged Amphi in case there's a real gusher</font>
[*]<font size="2">A big fat rope (In fact, if you're really spooked, you can do what a lot of the German Club members do, and tie one end of a rope to that tow hook underneath the front of the Amphi and sort of loop it near the sideview mirror so it's ready to use).</font>
[*]<font size="2">Another Amphicar owner...or atleast someone's phone number</font>[/list]
<font size="2">Best of Luck!</font>
<font size="2">~Bilgey~</font>
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<div style="FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message -----
<div style="BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: black">From: ROBERT CABANAS
<div style="FONT: 10pt arial">To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
<div style="FONT: 10pt arial">Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:47 AM
<div style="FONT: 10pt arial">Subject: [amphicar-lovers] float test

<font size="4">I think we're almost ready to do a float test on my Amphicar. (I guess I'd better do this before I buy insurance.) Can anyone send out some ways to do a float test? I don't want to use a swimming pool.</font>
<font size="4"></font>
<font size="4">Ina in the Boro</font>

Mike Israel

Bilgey covered it pretty well. Most likely place for big leaks would be doors
if not repaired properly.

Only thing I would add is that you should have the insurance in place BEFORE
your float test.

Good luck.


Ina -

Bilgy and Ron outlined the best ways to go. Follow those instructions
and will be out for a day of fun and more photos taken of you than
ever before! I am so very happy that finally you will have a swimmer
after the long wait. To reiterate, never latch your engine cover! If
something goes wrong (fire or whatever), you need immediate access w/o
looking for the key. It won't fly up while on the road, so not to
worry about that. With all those louvers, water will get in anyway. I
only latch mine when it's traveling on the trailer... most of the time.

Just to be clear, the 3 holes Ron mentioned are the ones in the door
sills you see when you open the door. Those allow any water that
enters through the door jams to drain into the rockers. By covering
them with tape, you redirect that water to come over and into the
floor where you can monoter how much it may be leaking. I use a dollar
bill inserted in the door to test the seals. By placing a dollar bill
and closing the door, you should feel some resistance when pulling it
out. If you don't then that is a place that is a possible leaker. Do
this test all the way around at least up to the waist moldings.

The dribbles that most will have come from the 30 or so screws that
hold the 2 rear horizontal bumper sections on. (the aluminum pieces
that goes from one side to the other)

John Bevins

> I think we're almost ready to do a float test on my Amphicar. (I
guess I'd better do this before I buy insurance.) Can anyone send out
some ways to do a float test? I don't want to use a swimming pool.
> Ina in the Boro