How to tell if thrust bearings are in place???

This sounds like a dumb question, but I am having a clutch problem minutes before my first test drive yesterday. Heres what happened. Car starts and runs great. Push on the clutch pedal and engine bogs down, makes a scraping noise and cannot be shifted into gear. I figured I must have knocked the release bearing out of place installing the engine and the forks are now hitting the pressure plate. I stayed up last night and removed the engine. I found that everything looks perfect so I thought I must have a bad pressure plate. Spoke with John Friese and am about to order his new hi-perf clutch but then I started thinking what if it still has this problem after putting in the new setup and after thinking about the symptoms I thought the guy who assembled the shortblock must have forgotten the thrust washers. That would account for the bogging down and the noise since the crank is being pushed into the chain housing as welL as the clutch not releasing. I pryed against the flywheel and the block and with a C clamp on the flywheel and engine rear plate and found no movement either directuion. So, before I remove the pan and go in for a look, IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEE MOVEMENT IN THE CRANKSHAFT USING THESE METHODS OR WOULD I NEED THE PRESSURE FROM THE CLUTCH TO MOVE THE CRANK?? This is driving me crazy, any help is appreciated. Thanks!
My dad was explaining how this works to me when he was rebuilding an Amphicar engine recently. I've got a video I'll upload now and put link below. You can just pull and push the front pulley with your fingers, even with engine in the car and everything connected and you should then hear a click and just about see some movement, will be less than 10 thou.


Midwest Amphicar

Worlds Largest Amphicar Destination
post a pic of your pressure plate installed. Also of release bearing. Does your input shaft on trans spin freely? Does trans shift when not running? Dave
Release bearing is new, trans spins freely and doesnt make any noise when engine is running. Trans shifts fine with engine off. Pushing and pulling on pulley seems fine with just about 10 thous. movement. Cannot post pic of clutch, left it in NH after swim in past 3 days., BTW, thanks to all who let my daughter and I tag along in their Amphis this weekend, Ron, Brian, Mike and newest club members and Amphi owners in NH, Tracy and John Erdahl. I should have Friese clutch in a few days and will update after its installed. Thanks!


Active Member
Silly Question, but...
Release bearing in the right direction?
Graphite or rolling part pointing to pressure plate.



Amphicar Expert
Anybody using/ reuseing a original Amphicar clutch systems needs to go way back in the Lovers history to a post Tommy in Tampa put in.
The 3 arms on the center ring need to be ajsuted so there is no wobble of the ring that rides against the throw out bearing when the engine spins
You wrote that there was a scraping noise with the parts in the photo above when installed.

Is there any evidence of where the scraping was happening inspecting the parts closely? (Not seeing anything in the photo)
Any strange wear patterns or contact areas which might give you a clue?


Active Member
This photo of a perfect original clutch was only for illustration.
It was not my problem, canitfloat had the scraping noise.

I wonder why engine bogs down?

I am guessing that whatever is making the noise is making it slow down a little too. When I installed the clutch cable I thought is was strange that the nut had to be adjusted a long way down to get proper freeplay and a good pedal, more than 1/2 way down the treaded part of the new GI cable end. So maybe the carbon block thrower bearing is pushing too far into the pressure plate and causing the noise. There are very slight scrape marks on the pressure plate. So slight you wouldnt even notice them unless you were looking for them. Camerons video makes me feel that it is not a problem with the thrust bearings and has to be just a bad pressure plate. JACK


Active Member
Is the pilot bushing 1-03-09 (leading transmission shaft in crankshaft) in place?

This alignment instruction i found in this forum:

fix your clutch shudder - like this

Hi, This will take about four hours. I installed a new clutch up against a
resurfaced fly wheel and it shuddered so bad it was UNDRIVABLE. So with the
advice of all those who posted about this problem this is what I did. After
you jack Amphi up, remove the rear tires and pull the drive shafts and stuff
a clean rag into the double lip seals. Remove the shift linkage, unbolt the
mounts and raise the motor with the transmission attached, about a 1/2" off
the transmission mounts. I did this with a board that ran from the front to
back with an eye bolt and an 8" turn buckle. I did not remove the motor cover
or even the air filter. remove the four bolts that attach the transmission to
the bell housing NOW get a piece of vinyl and cover the area forward of the
transmission. Pull it out and sit it on the vinyl, it is gonna leak some gear
oil but the vinyl fabric will contain it. If you drain your transmission into
the bilge before you remove it you have a lot of oil to clean - so don't do
that. Lift the transmission out drain it and REPLACE the drain plug so you
don't have to do your contortionist routine to replace it later. If your
double lip seals are over two years old call Hugh and get new ones from them.
OK here we go, look at your clutch you see three nuts with bendable retainers
you need to gently bend down. Take a socket and put an extension into it, use
it like a nut runner and tighten the three nuts tell they are finger tip
tight. There is a ring in the center that the throw out bearing presses
against. As you tightened those you nuts you saw it move toward you. You need
to measure the distance from the top of the ring to the clutch in the three
places between the arms that hold the ring, you can use anything from a
combination square to a Vernier Caliper. Find the closest point and loosen
two nuts to lower that part of the ring 1/16" Now use that distance as a
benchmark and set the other two locations to that same distance. You just
need to set them to the same distance. Bend up the retainers recheck to see
that the distances are the same, if they are, do a little Amphi dance. You
can put this back together, if the transmission won't go all the way in you
may need to lift the motor a little more. Put the drive shafts in and fill it
with AMSOIL that you order using the clubs customer number 508472. I think
using that number pays for the clubs web page at no cost to you. You REAL
Amphi guys please review this and tell us if this is not correct. I don't
type so good but I also found out how change your drive shafts in less than
45 minutes for both. That will be next post. Good luck and smooth shifting,
Tommy in Tampa

Hope that helps
Just reinstalled 1147 with new Friese clutch. Works perfectly! No noises, disengages/ engages smoothly. Daves transmission works great too shifting through the gears driving it in my driveway, no grinds or noises. Thanks for everyones input!