IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING. Amphicar suspension parts failure

Traben Trarbach

New Member
Our event in Germany went very well and all Amphicars worked great until the front suspension collapsed on a good condition Amphicar being driven normally at slow speed. When this happened the wheel locked but lucky, that although there were many people about there were no injuries.
Many in the Amphicar community have warned the supplier of these "new production shock absorbers" that they are poor quality, as a community we MUST stop buying and fitting sub standard parts that can make our cars look and perform badly and in some cases can even be dangerous. Maybe then the supplier will take notice.
For the safety of us all please check very carefully any "new production" Amphicar parts that you are offered.
Pictures here,
https://plus.google.com/photos/101902206111520298095/albums/6046328427452699697?authkey=CO7ascKggcvUgQE
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Anything can happen with replacement parts. even on everyday drivers.I have spent alot of time trying to repair cars over the years only to find the new part was as bad as the old part.
 

jfriese

Active Member
Several times I've replaced old working parts with new ones, just to be safe, and had the new ones soon fail. This is also true of GM parts. One of these efforts cost me an engine rebuild. There's no perfect answer when it comes to new parts.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
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Traben Trarbach

New Member
Yes of course we have bought things from parts stores that we have then discovered are not as good as this original but this is different for 3 reasons.

1. Our hobby is not “price sensitive” as it would be for a normal old car that maybe only has a short working life left. Amphicar owners want quality as good as original and will pay for that.

2. The supplier is in our community and has been told by different people on different occasions there is a problem with this part but he still sells it as a quality replacement.

3. When the part fails it’s not cosmetic or even causes a car to stop, it is potentially much more serious.
 

dutchamphi

Proud Sponsor of the Amphicar Digest
Spot on. I also bought these shocks a while ago when they just came out and I haven't fitted them yet. But I also do have some new meaco shocks that I initially wanted to use before the new replacement was announced. I didn't know there was an issue with these new shock absorbers. Maybe I will wait and try out the maecos first.
 

amphi-Ben

New Member
I just fitted them on my car a couple of weeks ago, until now no problems. Hopefully it stays like that.
I have seen what can happen at the Amphib meeting.
If that guy was driving faster, bbbrrrrrr i don't want to emagine what could have happened.

He to all of you that go or are already in Boston for the swim-in have a great and successful weekend, have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
The reproduction Props are potentially the most dangerous part to fail. They are not made of the correct material. They are very brittle and many have inexplicably failed without impacting anything. I have experienced this myself and when I brought this up, my customer was immediately blamed for the failure and no apology, replacement or refund was offered. I was shocked! I was told they needed the old prop pieces back. My customer was too busy trying to get his Amphicar with his 3 year old on board back to safety as he had no idea what the problem was so he was not looking for prop pieces in the water. He was looking for safety for his child.

Just last week friend had the reproduction prop on his car fail (split in 2 and shed the entire prop) without warning or contact with anything as it was in 200' of water. It started out as a slight vibration then quickly ended with the catastrophic failure of the repop-prop. The photos of the failed prop clearly show why it failed. The brittle plastic used rather than the correct nylon can not handle the vibration nor cold water and are poorly made. You can see the void (the dirty area in the cracked portion) that was in this prop. The dirt shows that this large void that drastically weakened it was there from production and NOT from an impact. This shows little if any quality control is employed during production. It broke in half and left the owner traveling in circles with his scarred family (including 1 child) on board. At least one lady now refuses to ride in the Amphicar at all due to her experience. His remaining repop-prop is now relegated as an emergency TEMPORARY spare only.

The original props are designed to absorb heavy impacts or shed a single blade leaving you with some control. DO not believe the hype that those stress cracks somehow diminish the integrity of an original, it does not! I have beaten the crap out of an original prop with many stress cracks in it with a hammer on concrete floor and I could not get it to break. Dented and beaten it's still viable. It took a mere 4 hits by the same hammer to snap the repop-prop in half exposing a large defect Inside.

When you loose the entire prop, you have zero control. Imagine you are on a river without control, you could be rolled over on rocks, shallow water or a dam. Terrifying at best. I will NEVER use nor install a reproduction prop on another car. I refurbish the originals and install them. To the best of my extensive knowledge, there has never been and original prop experience a catastrophic failure such as this (a single blade as designed but not the entire prop), but I know of many examples of the reproduction props failing. The originals have been safe for 50 years and still remain the only choice for me. Many others feel the same way I do but choose to keep quiet. When I 1st had this problem several years ago, I was inundated with private emails from others who also had the same experience with these repop-props but felt like they had to remain secretive about it. I was personally attacked (one man surely has mental deficiencies and since mysteriously and without explanation left the board) for voicing my concerns at the time and it cost me dearly. This is a shame! Somebody will get hurt or worse, then what will happen??

Any reproduction part should not just look the part, it MUST perform safely and reliably. Use of the correct and not cheaper materials is the key. Our concerns need to heard and rectified before a tragedy happens. It's not personal, it's a safety issue like the shocks and other parts. I don't mind paying premium prices for premium parts but I do mind paying good money for substandard parts.

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