Greasy Front Brakes

Removing the hub from the front passenger (RH) side to inspect the brakes, this is what I found.

Everything is grimy with a dry-ish coating of a greasy film. I see water got into the (not the outer chrome one) hub cap and turned that grease a light yellow color. It is possible I put too much grease into that cap, or there is no rubber O-ring there. Not sure there ever was an O-Ring there or if one is available or necessary, but that is where I think the greasy film came from. Wheel cylinders show no sign of leaking, so I don't think that is the source.

Also likely the greasy film caused a lack of braking performance on that side, and the shoes are probably are in need of replacements, although still about 50% left on the pad material.

So, the major concern is this. If I purchase new front shoes (Gord may be getting a call) what are the main things I should do to help ensure that I do not have the same thing happen again?

Any advice is welcome!

Thanks in advance.


  • IMG_20200202_183844281.jpg
    205.5 KB · Views: 16


Amphicar Expert
Mark, do not go on this daily but..
Water in front bearings is a std. problem.
I have talked to you about the seals but also , when hub is cleaned make sure the surface that the seal runs on is not rough, grooved or rusty.
If it is you can machine a few thou off and make like new, if too far you will have to get a oversize seal to make up the difference.
I also make up a bearing buddie like boats have for Amphicars, not sure if I have them in Fl. Have to go look on shelfs again Took this pic this
101_1295.JPG..Took this morning.
Hi Gord,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I see you have a treasure trove of parts there!

That grease seal was hard as a rock and had some damage as well. The hub sealing surface is in good shape, so the new seals should seal out water and grease from that side. The bearing buddies sound interesting as the old caps are just not able to completely seal out water.

This job has taken on a whole life of its own, and I am replacing more than I thought I would once I took it apart. Good thing I work at a bearing company, as those also are getting replaced.



Active Member
Gordon's double lipped inner seal for the front hub isn't useful if you seat it all the way in because the inner lip goes too far in and misses the running surface of the hub. I found that making up a spacer ring from 8 or 10 gauge solid copper wire will space the back seal out a bit and allow both lips to run on the running surface of the hub and make the seal work better. This then allowed both lips to run on formerly unused parts of the hub. This part of the hub is plenty wide enough and perhaps isn't worn or rusty.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
Last edited:

Good info there! I didn't get my seals from Gordon's as they are a standard size available from other local sources, but they are double lip seals.
Sounds like it is possible that all versions may have the same issue though and you want to have both seal lips on the running surface to keep grease and water out.

Once you seat them, I am thinking they will get destroyed trying to remove them if both lips are not on the hub running surface, so will probably just go ahead and try the wire spacer trick.

Thanks for the tip!


Active Member
I also use bearing buddies on my cars front hubs, and grease them very lightly and infrequently. Once I got all the seals working on those front hubs I fear more of getting too much grease in them and having it ooze out onto the brakes. I did a few inspections to be sure things stayed dry and working. Once you get those issues right you will rarely need to grease them.

I'm also wary of too much grease in the rear hubs and only give them about one squirt of grease a season. Again it's a fear of getting grease to foul the rear brakes. Been there too many times over the years.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
...This then allowed both lips to run on formerly unused parts of the hub. This part of the hub is plenty wide enough and perhaps isn't worn or rusty.

John, Exactly! My drivers side hub actually has a groove where the old seal rested, probably trapped water rather than actual wear that caused it. I put the new double lip seal on the hub and the damage is actually between the two lips on the seal if properly spaced using the wire as a spacer. I am reluctant to machine the hub a smaller diameter so the seal has the best chance to do its job.

As for bearing buddies, this is a new concept for me. I am not sure these can be bought from a store that will work without some modifications?


Active Member

That hub is so badly worn I would look into sleeving it. I forget the company that makes the sleeves but I used them in a couple of places on Amphicars and they work really well.

There is no Bearing Buddy that will work without cutting the "off the shelf unit" shorter and lathe turning it to the correct Diameter. There is one that everyone starts with because it is fairly close. I can't remember what the model is but I assume Gord starts with that one too. There used to be a few folks that would sell modified unit but I guess Gord is the only one who can be talked into doing them today. They work well enough to be worth a little begging.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red


Amphicar Expert
Mark.. I see a front hub and some Bearing Buddies kits in that Photo above. Think hub is NOS, will see if I have any good used ones here too.
DO NOT use the hub in your photo!(btw, CK came)
I have the same problem. I remove all my brake drums twice a year while greasing everything and I always have front bearings loaded with water! I have replaced seals numerous times. I have rubber caps on my front hubs and have never heard of a double lipped inner front hub seal, need to try some of those.
Hey Strandweiss,

I remember those caps and was searching a couple days ago to see who had them. Guess you are out, but thanks for chiming in!

Here is a picture of the douple lip seal and one of a rubber O-ring I found for the groove in the hub that could work.



  • Oringhub.jpg
    552 KB · Views: 10
As for the damage to the sealing surface, I am going to attempt to insert a redi-sleeve shaft repair kit to provide a new sealing surface.
Part is on order and may need some modification once installed as most everything does.

I will post when I figure it out with results.

Thanks for the advice as always!


Active Member
Hi Mark,

Yes, Redi-sleeve is the company and you should find they work very well. There are only a few places in Amphicars that might use various sizes of the sleeves and I once suggested to Gordon's that they stock a few of them but I don't think they ever did. I found mine through an Ebay listing but each one is a special order item since there are so many size possibilities.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
Thanks John,

Still waiting for the sleeve to arrive. The bearing company I work for (NTN) stocks some, but not the size I need. My neighbor's son is a machinist and may be able to help with needed modifications.

What do you think of the O-Ring idea? I think with the copper cap installed over the rubber O-Ring, it will seal quite well. At least better than nothing at all which is where it was.



Active Member
You can tighten the cap, but this doesn't solve the whole problem. You drive on the road to the lake and the hubs with the grease and the air inside get hot. Then when you drive into cold water, air and grease shrink and suck water through the lip seal into the hub.

In this case, the original rubber caps bulge inside and no water is sucked in.
Last edited:
Well, If the original rubber caps were available that would be an inexpensive and logical solution.
As far as I know, those rubber caps do not exist, so choices are:

1. Expensive modified bearing buddies or-
2. The $1.99 rubber O-Ring above.

Since I work for a bearing company, it doesn't make sense to spend $200 to protect $20 dollars worth of bearings.

What I am really concerned with is keeping grease out of the brake shoes and being able to stop.
I think with switching the backing plates and all of the other new parts, I should have this solved!

Are those rubber caps available somewhere?
If my car ever had them they were long gone and the copper metal cap had replaced them before I took that drum off.

The parts manual shows a cap but does not comment on the material of it.




Amphicar Expert
All cars I restore get the Modified Bearing Buddies, There $100 a set not 200 ,, There that price cause I do the machining on a one or two kit at a time way and they take a long time to do. Have some in Fl. They work on the same principle as the rubber cap, Move in and out as heat/cold happens.
Do not use them to grease or it will over grease.


Active Member
Are those rubber caps available somewhere?
There is a mold in the USA but it is probably missing. That's why I had made a new mold and some dozen rubber caps. They are sold out now. But there were some problems with delivery by USPS. I want to have new ones made this year and someone else will distribute them in the USA. But it would be interesting to find out how the demand is here in the forum.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
F Front bumper General Amphicar Discussion 2
RalphF Reinforcing front corner of convertible top frame General Amphicar Discussion 1
auburnamphi FLEXIBLE FRONT BRAKE HOSE General Amphicar Discussion 7
Kruser Anybody know the story of the front damage? General Amphicar Discussion 2
Jon March Looking to buy front shocks (thru body) General Amphicar Discussion 7
SNOWBIRD Engine front plate General Amphicar Discussion 0
DougFromBaltimore Socket bases for the front turn signal assembly General Amphicar Discussion 2
SNOWBIRD Fiberglass Front hoods General Amphicar Discussion 1
M Front wheel cylinder rebuild parts cross General Amphicar Discussion 1
MAE Front license plate bracket General Amphicar Discussion 7
SNOWBIRD Front hoods General Amphicar Discussion 0
peterboz Brake wheel cylinder front General Amphicar Discussion 3
auburnamphi Front seat sliding rail assembly General Amphicar Discussion 3
rhysaccess Rubber front axle grease caps? General Amphicar Discussion 3
Midwest Amphicar Hemmings on line front page General Amphicar Discussion 0
Bill Todd Installing new front spring/shocks General Amphicar Discussion 7
Midwest Amphicar Amphicars front page of Boats in the Belfry General Amphicar Discussion 0
Jacques B. Question about of the front lights. General Amphicar Discussion 2
LSolheim Front Edge Door Adjustment? General Amphicar Discussion 2
CapnJohn WTB - Front seat General Amphicar Discussion 1
jfriese Front Wheel Bearing Covers wanted General Amphicar Discussion 7
T Fitting Front Deck Lid General Amphicar Discussion 9
auburnamphi Front Seat General Amphicar Discussion 2
T Front Seatback Upholstery Installation General Amphicar Discussion 4
auburnamphi Front Seats?? General Amphicar Discussion 0
Ken Chambers Front coil-over shocks General Amphicar Discussion 32
S Tie Rods - Front End Rebuild General Amphicar Discussion 4
C Where is your front seat belt mounting bar location? General Amphicar Discussion 1
azpaul50 Front License Plate Bracket General Amphicar Discussion 14
T Front Suspension/Steering Adjustment??? General Amphicar Discussion 0
auburnamphi Rechromeing Front Bumpers General Amphicar Discussion 6
B front shocks General Amphicar Discussion 10
T Front Bumper Bracket Mounting??? General Amphicar Discussion 4
T Amphicar Makes front page of Fort Worth Star-Telegram General Amphicar Discussion 2
T Front Turn Signal Lens Color? General Amphicar Discussion 3
T Front Brake Backing Plates General Amphicar Discussion 2
T Front Brake Hoses General Amphicar Discussion 4
T Front Bumper Brackets General Amphicar Discussion 10
J Rust at the Front Wheel Wells General Amphicar Discussion 0
S Installing Front Wheel Bearings General Amphicar Discussion 5
D Kens front axle rubber caps - GET THEM ! General Amphicar Discussion 4
M Front license plate smichensplate General Amphicar Discussion 0
M FRONT AXLE BEARING GREASE CAPS General Amphicar Discussion 0
G Front wheel bearings and water General Amphicar Discussion 1
A Front bumper bolts General Amphicar Discussion 1
T New front wheel bearings and seals General Amphicar Discussion 0
T Front wheel seal: Spring facing in or out? General Amphicar Discussion 4
T Front Wheel: Seal Install Problem General Amphicar Discussion 2
T Front Wheel Bearing problem General Amphicar Discussion 2
L Weight of Front End General Amphicar Discussion 0

Similar threads