Front wheel bearings and water



Strangley enough, I have just experienced (within the last hour) the
same issue another subcriber just had. I popped off my new Gordon
bearing cover and got a lap full of water. I still had some of the
original rubber caps, but I believe Hugh has a better seal with his
steel cap. My feeling is that the water came in thru the seal.
I've had my rear bearing covers off a number of times and have never
seen water. These rear bearing covers don't have near the tight fit
as the front ones do. When I saw the problem I immediately picked
up my cell phone and gave Sheli a call before she went home. I
often call after hours and weekends and find someone at Gordon's.
Ordered new bearings and seals for both sides. I'll be swimming
again this weekend. Bottom line. Grease your front bearings often
and take the cap off when you do to purge the grease thru the outter
bearing and not the seal.

As far as getting the inner bearing off the spindle: I shattered
the bearing cage similar to everyone else. Popped the seal out
(used the same seal puller I had modified to remove the tranny seals-
-thank you to whoever it was that suggested that idea to me) and
got a small 2 prong gear puller to pull the rest of the bearing off
the spindle. Quick and easy. There's plenty of bearing 'meat' for
the puller to grab onto. I got the puller years ago from MAC Tools
to work on aircraft magnetos. Had to drill some extra holes in the
pawls to extend the grab on the puller. Auto Zone rents tools for
free. I have used their wheel hub puller twice to get my rear hubs
off. It fits perfect. I'm sure they'd have a gear puller that will
work on the front bearing.

The outter race in the front wheel hub is another issue. What a
dumb thing to do. I don't have access to a wire feed welder to add
a lip to hammer on. I plan to take it to a local machine shop to
remove the race and perhaps file 2 notches abeam each other in the
hub to where a small drift could knock the race out in the future.

I'd like to thank all the people who dole out such valuable info on
this newsgroup and to Hugh Gordon and his staff for excessively
running my cell phone minutes over limit several times over the
years. I'd be lost without you guys.

glenn in oregon

David Chapman

OK, I've got to write this up properly, I'll put something in a club
newsletter soon but here is a summary.

First I should say I've learnt a lot about this over the last 20 years from
the engineers in the German Amphicar club and also from talking to a
specialist in boat trailer design, the 30204 and 30206 taper roller bearings
Amphicar used are the ones most trailer manufacturers use.

The problem is when Amphicar goes in to water the temp drop causes pressure
differences and water is sucked in past the large seal and the steel cap.
The way a lot of boat owners fix this is to use a "bearing buddy" this
slightly pressurises the grease and so when the pressure drop happens it
isn't enough to pull in water. However for various reasons the bearing
buddies don't really work well on Amphicar.

You must remember the Amphicar engineers and designers were truely world
class and in the early days had no shortage of money. They did of course
recognise this problem and came up with a solution. The groove in the hub is
to allow a dome shaped rubber cap to fit. This forms a watertight seal but
also deforms when in the water to equalise the pressure inside and outside
the hub and so stops water being sucked in, brilliant, simple and effective.
Only problem was when Amphicar changed to use the black Moly based grease
(which was to help with the rear axle problems). This reacted with the
rubber caps causing them to disintegrate. By the time this was discovered
the Amphicar Corporation had other more serious problems and so didn't
invest to fix it but instead just slapped on the generic metal cap.

What we need is someone to remake the original rubber cap to the same design
but in modern grease tolerant materials. I've spoken with Hugh about this
many times and I think it is on his list - but it's a long list and it
hasn't got to the top yet.

Regarding the inner race, yes, remove it once and then cut two small slots
each side with a wide hacksaw to enable you to remove the bearing race in
the future. I've seen some late cars with two small holes (about 3mm)
drilled so you can push the race out with a pin, it was most probably a
factory mod or dealer advisory.

David Chapman in the UK