had my first swim today!


New Member
hello everyone.

i just received a 66 amphicar last week, and took it in the water today.

things i learned on the road:

- everyone loves amphicars
- people don't drive as safely on the freeway when gawking at amphicars
- i think i need an electric fan and/or an aluminum radiator - it gets hot!
- the amphicar suspension wasn't designed to go 70 mph on our modern freeways
- the amphicar hardly uses any gasoline
- my carburetor probably needs adjustment b/c i'm at 6000' feet above sea level - after the motor ran for a while and i stopped it, it wouldn't start back up until i let it sit for 10 minutes. :mad:

things i learned in the water:

- the front of amphicar is not exactly "aerodynamic"
- the front of the amphicar seems to "dive" when i try and go fast in the water, and it's kind of scary
- amphicars are pretty slow in the water, and it seems really unlikely that i will be able to achieve my dream of having someone water ski behind my amphicar
- when getting out of the water, i need to put it in 1st gear while still propelling forward and drive/swim out (duh, but it took me 3 tries to figure this out.)
- i have some relatively minor leaks and need to fix 'em or get a faster bilge pump ;)

so, that's the report. i'm going to work on the carb, maybe fix some of the easy leaks (parking break wire boots?) and go from there.

at some point i'd like to spend money on getting the engine revv'd up - get some head work done, upgrade the carb, maybe a cam, etc. but i'm really not sure that would actually help at all in the water - maybe just on the road.


Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Congratulations. Everyone always remembers their first swim!

You will find lots of people willing to help out here with any questions you may have.

Make sure your thermostat is up to date and maybe add some water wetter to the coolant. Running synthetic oil will also help it run a tiny but cooler.

As for leaks, most let in a little bit of water but your pump should not be running full time. Best way to find leaks is to remove the floor, put the seats back in, and take a swim. Also note that the original bilge pump is inefficient and a poor design that will burn up if run dry. A Jabsco will look correct and is far better. Many people also put flow jet in the bilge so that you have two pumps. Hook the pump to a relay so that current is not all running through the dash switch.

Here is an old post that may be helpful.


Amphicar Expert
100_2884.JPG Don't soup up a 1147 cc motor! Chuck Chuck tryed and it runs like $%&&
My stock but to specks Rebuilds leave him in the dust!
To stop the Dive bit... Losse weight... keep trunk empty and run 1/2 tank gas
Drive from rear seat steering with legs..Just kidding
But my Fiberglass Amphi is much better in the water due to front end lightness.
I set it up then stand in back and steer by leaning from side to side!


New Member
Yes your thermostat needs to be in good working condition like Mike said, also your radiator can be the problem shooter.
I had mine radiator done by a radiator specialist and he told me that there are radiators that cool better they call them SAHARA or Desert radiators.
So he changed my radiator element and no overheating problems any more, and you can't see the difference.
Yes you have to watch out for the other drivers on the road, they forget to watch where they are going when they see a Amphicar.
Take 2 mermaids with you let them sit in the Back , than you will see that the nose of the Amphi goes more up.


Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Recore, or even just good cleaning, of radiator will make a big diff.

I have noticed that some Amphis, including my own, tend to nose dive more than others. I keep my trunk empty and still see this happen. May just be the way it is, or else I weigh too much!
Hey Mike,
Still fighting a hot runner too, but have made progress by adding a better heat shield and turning my fan around the right way. Remembered to tighten fan belt and that also helped. Do you have a part number for thermostat or just get one for the 1147?
Thanks, Mark R


Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
It may seem like a minor thing...but I found a huge improvement when I replaced the rubber seals around the radiator shroud. Years ago, after putting Amphi together, I didn't bother with those seals because I figured they couldn't be that critical. Amphi ran hot. I put the seals in and it made a huge improvement - completely solved the problem. It is important that all of the air going through the radiator comes through the center section of louvers on the engine cover, rather than pulling air from within the engine compartment. Check that the rubber seals against the engine cover along the top of the shroud...plus along the back panel of the car (behind license plate) along the back.

Good idea, I will check those seals. I used the foam rubber style garage door bottom seals when I put it back together, but will check seal to deck lid.

Hey Gord, You have any thermostat kits left?
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