Foot off the clutch.

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
I've been talking to some serious Triumph engine guys this week as I'm building a high performance 1300 "flyer" for Amphicar

One tip - never start the car with your foot on the clutch. Many of you that have had the engine apart will know that premature thrust washer wear can be a problem and in bad cases the washers end up in the oil pan - after that the block is scrap in about 100 miles as the crank eats in to the rear main bearing housing whenever the clutch is pressed. This is a general issue with the engine not related to Amphicar transmission or the type of Amphicar clutch.

Problem is the thrust washers dry out if the car hasn't been used for a week or more - a situation not helped by thinner modern oils - if you then start with foot on the clutch the dry thrust bearing grips the crank and forces itself past the housing and in to the oil pan. Much more of a problem now that when cars were younger and driven more regularly.

Another tip, the high torque starters are good but only if your oil pump is good or they can start the engine before any oil has reached the rocker gear !

I've learnt a couple more tips re controlling oil leaks. Will write all this up when all done in a few weeks.

David C
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
I was lock out of page for a few days,
You must be looking over my shoulder.
I do not have much lifting strength in my Left leg yet, so tend to leave it on the clutch pedal when driving,but try and keep any load off it.
I usually start a car in neutral with cluch out but if youn push the clutch in when cranking you can hear the motor slow down, so,, you know your not doing it any good.
GORD
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
David,

Why didn't you tell us this good tip years ago? Ha! I'm sure
nobody's thought of it as a problem until someone has witnessed actual
damage resulting from the practice. Makes sense though now that
you've described the scenario. It's going to take some concentrated
effort, however, to brake old habits of depressing the clutch pedal
while cranking. Made even more difficult with the safety feature on
all our other more modern cars requiring the clutch pedal to be
depressed when starting the engine.

Thanks,
Ken Chambers, CA


> One tip - never start the car with your foot on the clutch. Many of
> you that have had the engine apart will know that premature thrust
> washer wear can be a problem and in bad cases the washers end up in
> the oil pan - after that the block is scrap in about 100 miles as
> the crank eats in to the rear main bearing housing whenever the
> clutch is pressed. This is a general issue with the engine not
> related to Amphicar transmission or the type of Amphicar clutch.
>
> Problem is the thrust washers dry out if the car hasn't been used
> for a week or more - a situation not helped by thinner modern oils -
> if you then start with foot on the clutch the dry thrust bearing
> grips the crank and forces itself past the housing and in to the oil
> pan. Much more of a problem now that when cars were younger and
> driven more regularly.
>
> David C
 

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
Ken,

There is huge knowledge about these engines locked away in the heads of a few people here who have rebuilt literally hundreds of them and done spaceship mileages in Triumph powered cars over the last 50+ years.

These guys don't use the Internet, some don't even use the phone, but their knowledge is awesome. I was talking to one about thrust washers and said I couldn't work out why most of the info relating to the problem and how to fix is on American websites, rather than UK and European sites which doesn't make sense given where most of the Triumph cars are.

He of said that made perfect sense as it was mainly an "American problem" as "people who drive automatics always hold the clutch down when they start"

I realised he was right and I had started doing that when I changed to an automatic as a daily driver a few years ago. Remember 90+% of cars here are stick shift, an automatic is still unusual, for that reason the stick shift cars here don't have the "hold down the clutch" safety lock that is common when autos are common to avoid huge dents in everyones garage door !

As for why autos aren't normal here, well apart from tradition the main reasons are fuel economy, that 5% makes a huge difference when you are payiong $10+ a gallon, and our road layouts. Drive across an American town and because of the grid system you have loads of intersections with traffic signals. It's all stop-start-change gear-stop-start etc, drives me potty !

Over here we have roundabouts (traffic circles) so, assuming no congestion, you can drive right across town without needing to change gear.

Corners and hills are also more common here - even modern autos can't read the road and so you often find that they are in the wrong gear. Because our vehicle taxation system is now related to CO2 emissions and autos aren't good at that then the few percent market share they have is unlikely to increase.

David C





----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Chambers
To: david@manbus.com
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 3:54 PM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Foot off the clutch.


David,

Why didn't you tell us this good tip years ago? Ha! I'm sure
nobody's thought of it as a problem until someone has witnessed actual
damage resulting from the practice. Makes sense though now that
you've described the scenario. It's going to take some concentrated
effort, however, to brake old habits of depressing the clutch pedal
while cranking. Made even more difficult with the safety feature on
all our other more modern cars requiring the clutch pedal to be
depressed when starting the engine.

Thanks,
Ken Chambers, CA



Quote:
> One tip - never start the car with your foot on the clutch. Many of
> you that have had the engine apart will know that premature thrust
> washer wear can be a problem and in bad cases the washers end up in
> the oil pan - after that the block is scrap in about 100 miles as
> the crank eats in to the rear main bearing housing whenever the
> clutch is pressed. This is a general issue with the engine not
> related to Amphicar transmission or the type of Amphicar clutch.
>
> Problem is the thrust washers dry out if the car hasn't been used
> for a week or more - a situation not helped by thinner modern oils -
> if you then start with foot on the clutch the dry thrust bearing
> grips the crank and forces itself past the housing and in to the oil
> pan. Much more of a problem now that when cars were younger and
> driven more regularly.
>
> David C
 

Ed Price

Member
_____

From: DavidC [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 10:09 AM
To: edprice@cox.net
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Foot off the clutch.


Ken,

There is huge knowledge about these engines locked away in the heads of a
few people here who have rebuilt literally hundreds of them and done
spaceship mileages in Triumph powered cars over the last 50+ years.

These guys don't use the Internet, some don't even use the phone, but their
knowledge is awesome. I was talking to one about thrust washers and said I
couldn't work out why most of the info relating to the problem and how to
fix is on American websites, rather than UK and European sites which doesn't
make sense given where most of the Triumph cars are.

He of said that made perfect sense as it was mainly an "American problem" as
"people who drive automatics always hold the clutch down when they start"

I realised he was right and I had started doing that when I changed to an
automatic as a daily driver a few years ago. Remember 90+% of cars here are
stick shift, an automatic is still unusual, for that reason the stick shift
cars here don't have the "hold down the clutch" safety lock that is common
when autos are common to avoid huge dents in everyones garage door !

I began driving in the era before automatics were common, and sold my last
manual trans car in 1972. My recollection is that drivers were taught to
start a manual transmission car by setting the transmission to neutral AND
depressing the clutch. I assume it was to be doubly safe, and I always
followed that method.


Over here we have roundabouts (traffic circles) so, assuming no congestion,
you can drive right across town without needing to change gear.

I have rarely encountered a roundabout that I could enter at a moderate
35-40 MPH, whip around the radius, and be out again without a downshift,
even if traffic is absent.

David C


Maybe the most important question is why Americans never seem to have had a
problem with thrust washers allowing their Chevy or Ford or Chrysler engines
to self destruct. Um, now that I think about it, I don't recall those
American engines had thrust washers. Could it be that Triumph's clutch
design unduly endangered the engine?



Ed Price
El Cajon, CA USA
WB6WSN
61 Rust Guppy
1987 MB 420SEL
 

Ken Chambers

Platinum Subscriber
AFAIK, most American engines have a thrust bearing combined with the
main crankshaft bearing closest to the flywheel. Our Triumph Herald
engines appear a bit different and use thrust washers instead. Their
purpose is the same, however, to handle any axial load applied to the
crankshaft. The major load being that applied by the clutch pressure
plate when the clutch pedal is depressed.

I agree that I've never heard of an endemic problem with American
engines due to inadequate crankshaft thrust protection. Maybe the
Herald thrust washers are a weak point in the design and it wouldn't
hurt to treat them better during an engine start.

Best,
Ken Chambers



> Maybe the most important question is why Americans never seem to
> have had a
> problem with thrust washers allowing their Chevy or Ford or Chrysler
> engines
> to self destruct. Um, now that I think about it, I don't recall those
> American engines had thrust washers. Could it be that Triumph's clutch
> design unduly endangered the engine?
>
>
>
> Ed Price
> El Cajon, CA USA
 

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
My 1300 is also having head studs enlarged to 7/16. Dave do you have any other suggestions. I am running stock pistons but between shaving head and block my compression has been increasing. Stock cam profile. Will be using the Weber setup. As starters go the high torque is not going to cause problems. A lot of these 1147s have the death rattle upon start up using the stock starter. Thrust washers/bearings in American cars, We caused this problem by putting much higher rate pressure plates in our "race" cars. You would notice it when using timing light and see crank move in and out. We also wore out our left knee and associated linkage. Later Dave the Wave
 

amphi_sc

Member
Dave C suggested:
> It's all stop-start-change gear-stop-start etc, drives me potty !
>Over here we have roundabouts (traffic circles) so, assuming no congestion, you can drive right across town without needing to change gear.

Some of your roundabouts make no sense to me, and seem down right dangerous. I recall driving down some divided 4 lane roads doing 60-70 mph... what ever the speed limit was, and on this British equivalent of our interstate highway system, there's this bloody tight circle stuck there... so you have to brake to slow down, down shift, make the tight turn spilling your drink, then get back on the gas to speed back up. Whereas we just have an overpass where the majority of the traffic just goes on its merry way without having to disengate the cruise control to change speed nor direction... only the few cars entering or leaving have to use the exit ramp and perhaps a stop sign for a left turn or just a yield on the right turn. Maybe it's the Brit's way of keeping driver's alert.
 

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
Dave,

As long as the compression doesn't get above about 11 it'll be fine with stock parts.
Standard cam is good, the more lumpy cams don't work well in Amphi - give a rough idle.
Check for wear on the rocker shaft and watch for valve bounce at high revs as the springs might be a bit weak depending which head you've got (there were a few versions)
Breathing is a big issue, a 32/36 DGV is a good option on the Pierce manifold. The Triumph guys prefer sidedraft (Stromberg) but us Boaties can't do that - well you can but the exhaust routing ends up in knots so you loose breathing going out.
Timing should be rock solid - check for wobble on your distributor shaft. Nobody here uses electronic ignition.
1500 (large pulley) waterpump is a good tip from John F. It slows down the fan, makes it a bit quieter but also gives you back a few HP as energy use of a fan is exponential to speed - but monitor oil temps to ensure it's not too hot, you should be fine though, I remember where you live !

Somewhere in the 160GB under my fingers I have a pdf of the tuning guide. I'll find and email it to you.

David C
 

Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
Reason I went to electronic ignition was all of the distributors had wobble. New double springs should cure any valve float. I always had issues with moisture and side drafts, then I built an air box. Next year I will look into roller rockers. Snow in ditches has melted, now waiting for rivers to stop flooding!!!! Later Dave the Wave
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hello David,

The Pertronix electronic ignition is a simple drop in and it eliminates the side force that causes wear on the distributor bushings. It eliminates the dwell issue and they never seem to die either.

Fan clutch units are designed to also limit the speed of fans to about 2500 RPM. I think it's because fans cavitate much above that speed. Bye the way, the Triumph fan clutch from their later engines doesn't work on an Amphicar. With it's wimpy blades, it doesn't pull enough air.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
Both run 1296 engines.
 

azpaul50

Member
John - I bought another Amphi and want to tow my teardrop trailer with it. In case the extra load makes it run hotter than normal, has anyone put a thermostat actuated electric puller fan back there? Actually I sized a spare fan I had leftover from use on a past smallblock Chevy and it fit perfectly on the blue Amphi's radiator. I don't think water intrusion would be a problem since any fan might get wet a little driving a "regular" car in the rain. Whatcha think? - Paul



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Re: Foot off the clutch.
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 00:35:51 -0400
From:




Hello David,

The Pertronix electronic ignition is a simple drop in and it eliminates the side force that causes wear on the distributor bushings. It eliminates the dwell issue and they never seem to die either.

Fan clutch units are designed to also limit the speed of fans to about 2500 RPM. I think it's because fans cavitate much above that speed. Bye the way, the Triumph fan clutch from their later engines doesn't work on an Amphicar. With it's wimpy blades, it doesn't pull enough air.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
Both run 1296 engines.



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Rediscover Hotmail®: Get quick friend updates right in your inbox.
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jfriese

Active Member
Hello Paul,

A number of people have added some form of electric fan to their Amphicars but none passed my test for not being annoyingly noisy when you slow down the engine, such as at a stop light. Puller fans work better but I haven't come up with a way to fit one into an Amphicar that pulls air past both radiators. I've found that if you don't increase the compression of the engine too much, it will cool well enough with the normal Amphicar fan, even when I slow it down with a larger water pump pulley. The Amphicar fan is the most aggressive fan that I know of and air flow is the key to cooling in these cars. The radiator is plenty big enough if you can get enough air through it. Even a custom made aluminum radiator didn't make a significant difference to cooling.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
John,

Every time I'm with you I decide to fit a Pertronix and have bought one but it's still on my shelf here ! I've got an NOS distributor with no wear and it's working well. Electronic ignition got a very bad reputation in the UK a few years ago and almost everyone has had a breakdown caused by it. However the Pertronix looks to be a much better system and I'm sure you are right and it'll be reliable. Proof for me will be later this year when Amphicar is tested on a rolling road. I'll fit it then and if it shows a few more HP it'll stay on the car.

Re fans, as you say nothing moves air like the original Amphicar fan and so the idea of using a larger pulley just to slow it down a bit I really like. I've had no luck with viscous fans or electric fans - the centre part restricts the airflow too much. If anyone is going to experiment then I'd suggest putting some sort of thermocouple/thermometer in the land transmission (which is cooled by the engine fan in Amphicar) to measure the oil temperature and also measure the oil temperature of the engine oil. That's the test if the fan is good enough, the engine water temp is much less important.

David C
 

azpaul50

Member
Thank you both for your comments. Towing with my Met (Austin A50, 1500) caused a 5 degree water temp increase but stays stable there without a fan. There's vitually no room for an electric puller or pusher in a Met. Documentation with the Amphi I bought says it has some form of "factory" hitch so therefore might have been intended to pull something at some weight. We'll see but will probably have to wait until this Fall. I don't think it would be good to tow something around with an airtemp consistently above 105. We're expecting a daily norm at 90 degrees starting this weekend and will continue there or higher until October. - AZPaul



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Re: Foot off the clutch.
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 05:12:03 -0400
From:




John,

Every time I'm with you I decide to fit a Pertronix and have bought one but it's still on my shelf here ! I've got an NOS distributor with no wear and it's working well. Electronic ignition got a very bad reputation in the UK a few years ago and almost everyone has had a breakdown caused by it. However the Pertronix looks to be a much better system and I'm sure you are right and it'll be reliable. Proof for me will be later this year when Amphicar is tested on a rolling road. I'll fit it then and if it shows a few more HP it'll stay on the car.

Re fans, as you say nothing moves air like the original Amphicar fan and so the idea of using a larger pulley just to slow it down a bit I really like. I've had no luck with viscous fans or electric fans - the centre part restricts the airflow too much. If anyone is going to experiment then I'd suggest putting some sort of thermocouple/thermometer in the land transmission (which is cooled by the engine fan in Amphicar) to measure the oil temperature and also measure the oil temperature of the engine oil. That's the test if the fan is good enough, the engine water temp is much less important.

David C



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azpaul50

Member
John - Well the story gets more interesting as this car apparently had a mating, floating trailer before the last owner bought it! Yep, it was part of his purchase deal but apparently he decined to take it simply because he had no space for it (the trailer). It is described as some sort of modified "regular" trailer with huge ATV float wheels... like 6 of 'em. It wasn't really for road transport but rather for waterborne transport of equipment. As for that hitch I mentioned, it is apparently a custom hitch rather than from the factory. The hull-through attachment bolts, however, are purported to be a factory job with this replacement hitch remounted. The most recent owner never used it so it is still an unknown factor as to how strong it is and any heat impact. The owner says he hasn't noticed a trailer lights connection either. In reading some pertinent past docs on this car, it is referred to as a "world's fair Amphi." Does that mean anything to anyone? I should get the car in the next 3 weeks or so. Meanwhile, "old blue" is at the shop getting the dent taken out from our recent infamous Colorado River jauntin shallow water. Now for the fun, John.... check out my final signature... LOL... looks like I should know something about these critters, doesn't it? LOLOL



Azpaul50

62 Blue

64 White







To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Re: Foot off the clutch.
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 04:50:46 -0400
From:




Hello Paul,

A number of people have added some form of electric fan to their Amphicars but none passed my test for not being annoyingly noisy when you slow down the engine, such as at a stop light. Puller fans work better but I haven't come up with a way to fit one into an Amphicar that pulls air past both radiators. I've found that if you don't increase the compression of the engine too much, it will cool well enough with the normal Amphicar fan, even when I slow it down with a larger water pump pulley. The Amphicar fan is the most aggressive fan that I know of and air flow is the key to cooling in these cars. The radiator is plenty big enough if you can get enough air through it. Even a custom made aluminum radiator didn't make a significant difference to cooling.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red



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chasgould

New Member
I remember going to the 1964 World's Fair in NY City with my family,
and seeing a fleet of Amphicars on display. I don't recall the details
as I was only 8 years old, but it left an indelible impression on my
brain, as did the Plymouth Turbine cars (several of them, and I
actually rode in one)< as well as the Uniroyal Tire Ferris Wheel, and
the Spirit of St. Louis airplane.
Chas

On Apr 16, 2009, at 7:40 PM, azpaul50 wrote:


> John - Well the story gets more interesting as this car apparently
> had a mating, floating trailer before the last owner bought it! Yep,
> it was part of his purchase deal but apparently he decined to take
> it simply because he had no space for it (the trailer). It is
> described as some sort of modified "regular" trailer with huge ATV
> float wheels... like 6 of 'em. It wasn't really for road transport
> but rather for waterborne transport of equipment. As for that hitch
> I mentioned, it is apparently a custom hitch rather than from the
> factory. The hull-through attachment bolts, however, are purported
> to be a factory job with this replacement hitch remounted. The most
> recent owner never used it so it is still an unknown factor as to
> how strong it is and any heat impact. The owner says he hasn't
> noticed a trailer lights connection either. In reading some
> pertinent past docs on this car, it is referred to as a "world's
> fair Amphi." Does that mean anything to anyone? I should get the car
> in the next 3 weeks or so. Meanwhile, "old blue" is at the shop
> getting the dent taken out from our recent infamous Colorado River
> jauntin shallow water. Now for the fun, John.... check out my final
> signature... LOL... looks like I should know something about these
> critters, doesn't it? LOLOL
>
>
>
> Azpaul50
>
> 62 Blue
>
> 64 White
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
> Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20391] Re: Foot off the
> clutch.
> Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 04:50:46 -0400
> From:
>
>
>
>
> Hello Paul,
>
> A number of people have added some form of electric fan to their
> Amphicars but none passed my test for not being annoyingly noisy
> when you slow down the engine, such as at a stop light. Puller fans
> work better but I haven't come up with a way to fit one into an
> Amphicar that pulls air past both radiators. I've found that if you
> don't increase the compression of the engine too much, it will cool
> well enough with the normal Amphicar fan, even when I slow it down
> with a larger water pump pulley. The Amphicar fan is the most
> aggressive fan that I know of and air flow is the key to cooling in
> these cars. The radiator is plenty big enough if you can get enough
> air through it. Even a custom made aluminum radiator didn't make a
> significant difference to cooling.
>
> John Friese
> 67 White
> 67 Red
>
>
>
> __________________________________________________ _______________
> Windows Live™: Life without walls.
> http://windowslive.com/explore?ocid=...explore_042009
>
>
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hi Paul,

Hey, whoever does the listings calls you an "Amphicar Expert". Enjoy it and avoid answering questions that are too technical. There's some old line about "opening ones mouth and removing all doubt".

If I remember it correctly the World's Fair cars were supplied to the 64 New York World's Fair and they had some sort of special trim treatment. I think they were white cars with red tops and red rubber trim inserts. Hugh knows about them and I think he now can supply all the red parts to make a copy cat version today.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

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