Problem with HP muffler on early cars

Discussion in 'General Amphicar Discussion' started by Ken Chambers, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. Ken Chambers
    Online

    Ken Chambers Guest

    I received the High Performance Muffler Kit (8-28-01HP KIT) today along with
    the HP Exhaust Pipe (8-28-02HP). The muffler is constructed of heavy gauge
    steel and appears well built. Hugh tells me they are European in design and
    manufacture. The tail pipe and engine manifold "J" pipe are locally fabricated
    - and that's where the problem begins. While there is nothing wrong with the
    quality of the pipes, there is in the design of the "J" pipe when used on early
    cars.

    It turns out the bottom of the "J" pipe just contacts the hull near the prop
    mounting. I recently installed Hugh's heavy duty engine mounts along with new
    transmission mounts. The engine is sitting quite high, high enough that the
    center of the engine drain plug is about 1/4 inch above the center of the bilge
    hole.

    I spoke with Hugh at great length about this today and he is baffled since he
    has sold a number of them and I'm the first to mention a problem. There should
    be about 1 inch of clearance between the pipe and the hull. He confirmed that
    the pipe I received is properly constructed. (Holding a carpenter's square
    across the mounting flange, go out, then 90 degrees down to the lowermost point
    of the bend should be 6.5 inches.) After much discussion, we settled down to
    the theory that cars with serial numbers 100xxx - believe it or not - have a
    slightly different hull stamping than later cars. Hugh offered other evidence,
    as well, to support this theory. It may be that cars with the underside fins
    are the ones with the different hulls. Some fins were later removed by the
    factory but a telltale ridge was left remaining. This is still just a theory
    at this point but Hugh will be checking various model year cars at Celina. So
    don't be alarmed if you see some guy fondling your Amphi's "J" pipe.

    I checked my other cars and they all appear the same. My fleet are truly
    sister cars, all most probably having been on the assembly floor at the same
    time. All the serial numbers are very close.

    There's a comparison list out there somewhere. Could someone check serial
    numbers vs. underside fins. Also, has anyone else installed, or tried to
    install, this High Performance muffler kit and run into a clearance problem,
    especially on the early cars?

    The solution to this problem is quite simple. During fabrication, the "J"
    pipes just need to be located further up into the mounting flange another inch
    or so before welding. That will provide an inch of clearance on the early cars
    and about 2 inches on later ones.

    Despite the apparent high quality of the muffler itself, it's not a quick
    installation process. Then again, when was exhaust system work ever easy on
    any car? It would be nice, however, if the required muffler clamps were
    included, as well as the additional brackets that must be fabricated to attach
    to the engine mounted muffler brackets. (The instructions call for a 36 inch
    length of 1/8 x 3/4 bar stock to make your own brackets). A new exhaust
    manifold gasket will also be needed (8-28-10) along with the three special
    exhaust nuts (1-01-15).

    And a tip for removing the old exhaust nuts. While the instructions recommend
    removing the exhaust manifold and cutting off the old nuts, it's much easier to
    heat the nuts in place with a welding torch. They'll come off easily. Of
    course, you'll need to be extremely careful with that torch in the engine
    compartment. Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose at close reach. Chase the
    threads afterwards on the three studs with a 5/16-24 die. Use plenty of
    anti-seize thread compound when installing the new nuts. You'll be very
    thankful the next time you to remove them.

    Ken Chambers, CA
    '64 Amphi (3)
     
  2. Mike Echemann
    Online

    Ken:
    Recently I installed one of these systems from Hugh. My serial number is
    101688 on my 64 green car and I had no problem installing it. The car has
    the lower fins also or prop shields. I just checked it and the clearance is
    only about a quarter of an inch below the bottom of the J. When I put it on
    I remember being concerned at first that it was to tight a fit and had to
    wedge it in place but this was because I was installing it with the manifold
    as one piece. The car has the original engine mounts but does have new
    Trans mounts.

    Could it be that the pipe when welded on the flange was angled to much
    towards the rear of the car. Just a hair off there would take your
    clearance away quick. You should like the system once installed. It's nice
    and quite.

    Mike

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Ken Chambers" <kenneth3@concentric.net>
    To: <amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com>
    Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2001 7:17 AM
    Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Problem with HP muffler on early cars


    > I received the High Performance Muffler Kit (8-28-01HP KIT) today along
    with
    > the HP Exhaust Pipe (8-28-02HP). The muffler is constructed of heavy
    gauge
    > steel and appears well built. Hugh tells me they are European in design
    and
    > manufacture. The tail pipe and engine manifold "J" pipe are locally
    fabricated
    > - and that's where the problem begins. While there is nothing wrong with
    the
    > quality of the pipes, there is in the design of the "J" pipe when used on
    early
    > cars.
    >
    > It turns out the bottom of the "J" pipe just contacts the hull near the
    prop
    > mounting. I recently installed Hugh's heavy duty engine mounts along with
    new
    > transmission mounts. The engine is sitting quite high, high enough that
    the
    > center of the engine drain plug is about 1/4 inch above the center of the
    bilge
    > hole.
    >
    > I spoke with Hugh at great length about this today and he is baffled since
    he
    > has sold a number of them and I'm the first to mention a problem. There
    should
    > be about 1 inch of clearance between the pipe and the hull. He confirmed
    that
    > the pipe I received is properly constructed. (Holding a carpenter's
    square
    > across the mounting flange, go out, then 90 degrees down to the lowermost
    point
    > of the bend should be 6.5 inches.) After much discussion, we settled down
    to
    > the theory that cars with serial numbers 100xxx - believe it or not - have
    a
    > slightly different hull stamping than later cars. Hugh offered other
    evidence,
    > as well, to support this theory. It may be that cars with the underside
    fins
    > are the ones with the different hulls. Some fins were later removed by
    the
    > factory but a telltale ridge was left remaining. This is still just a
    theory
    > at this point but Hugh will be checking various model year cars at Celina.
    So
    > don't be alarmed if you see some guy fondling your Amphi's "J" pipe.
    >
    > I checked my other cars and they all appear the same. My fleet are truly
    > sister cars, all most probably having been on the assembly floor at the
    same
    > time. All the serial numbers are very close.
    >
    > There's a comparison list out there somewhere. Could someone check serial
    > numbers vs. underside fins. Also, has anyone else installed, or tried to
    > install, this High Performance muffler kit and run into a clearance
    problem,
    > especially on the early cars?
    >
    > The solution to this problem is quite simple. During fabrication, the "J"
    > pipes just need to be located further up into the mounting flange another
    inch
    > or so before welding. That will provide an inch of clearance on the early
    cars
    > and about 2 inches on later ones.
    >
    > Despite the apparent high quality of the muffler itself, it's not a quick
    > installation process. Then again, when was exhaust system work ever easy
    on
    > any car? It would be nice, however, if the required muffler clamps were
    > included, as well as the additional brackets that must be fabricated to
    attach
    > to the engine mounted muffler brackets. (The instructions call for a 36
    inch
    > length of 1/8 x 3/4 bar stock to make your own brackets). A new exhaust
    > manifold gasket will also be needed (8-28-10) along with the three special
    > exhaust nuts (1-01-15).
    >
    > And a tip for removing the old exhaust nuts. While the instructions
    recommend
    > removing the exhaust manifold and cutting off the old nuts, it's much
    easier to
    > heat the nuts in place with a welding torch. They'll come off easily. Of
    > course, you'll need to be extremely careful with that torch in the engine
    > compartment. Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose at close reach.
    Chase the
    > threads afterwards on the three studs with a 5/16-24 die. Use plenty of
    > anti-seize thread compound when installing the new nuts. You'll be very
    > thankful the next time you to remove them.
    >
    > Ken Chambers, CA
    > '64 Amphi (3)
    >
    >
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    >
    >
    >
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    >
    >
     
  3. Eric Mattlin
    Online

    Eric Mattlin Guest

    Ken;

    My car is 100116. We can check it while you're here on Saturday.
    I've been considering a new muffler ... sounds like mine would have
    the same problem as yours. It's titles as a 62. Has the early
    transmission, no lips, single piece front bumper, no bilge blower and
    the rear fins.

    Eric
     
  4. Ken Chambers
    Online

    Ken Chambers Guest

    Just a follow-up on Hugh's new High Performance muffler. Looking at a few
    responses, it's safe to say the early cars have insufficient clearance at the
    bottom of this new "J" pipe. Therefore, it's not recommended to be used on
    the early cars without first modifying the pipe. It also affects more than
    the 100xxx numbers. There's a report of a 1016xx car having small clearance
    as well.
    Hugh had a couple hundred of these pipes made and says the manufacturer uses a
    fixture to align the parts before welding. We're pretty sure the tolerances
    are very close from one pipe to the next. The pipe apparently has about an
    inch of clearance on later cars.

    I cut the pipe off at the mounting flange, bored out the flange and rewelded
    the pipe so it's an inch higher. I built a simple fixture to make sure the
    pipe was just raised, not misaligned in any other way. The pipe, muffler and
    exhaust pipe all still fit nicely. I see no reason why that mod wouldn't work
    so one pipe could be used on all cars. Hugh is definitely interested in
    improving
    the design. He just needs to be convinced. I'll follow up with him, others
    should do the same.

    Sorry I can't make Celina this year.

    Ken Chambers, CA
    '64 Amphi

    PS: I'd like to reinforce what Amphipoda said yesterday. When driving about
    Celina, SMILE and WAVE at everyone who waves at you, and then some. The crowd
    is there to see you and your wonderful Amphicars. Have fun!
     
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