Radiator Top Seals



A tip given to me by our own Tommy in Tampa. Go to your local Home
Depot type store and get the rubber seal that goes along the bottom
of garage door. Fits perfect. looks correct and works well. All this
for bout $7

John Bevins
Rocky Mountain Amphicar

Larry & Nancy Solheim

Tried it. Did it. Works great, as advertised!


--- a_colo_native <colo_frontrange@netzero.net> wrote:
> A tip given to me by our own Tommy in Tampa. Go to
> your local Home
> Depot type store and get the rubber seal that goes
> along the bottom
> of garage door. Fits perfect. looks correct and
> works well. All this
> for bout $7
> John Bevins
> Rocky Mountain Amphicar

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Arnold Hite

Rodger in Seattle has given me lots of new leads for finding the source
of my overheating engine. I'm going to wait to check out a few other
Amphies in Mt. Dorao before I take more action. Personally, I'm hoping
the problem is the top seal. It's a lot more easy to fix than pulling
the radiator and oil cooler out AGAIN. I already bought the garage
door seal as suggested by John Bevens and Tommy in Tampa. I'm going to
install it eventually, but before I do, I want a few others to see the
condition of my originals. Thanks again for all of the advice. I'll
post my results in a couple of weeks.

Johns Island, SC

>You say: "When the temperature needle finally edges up to the hot zone, I
>slow down to 45-50 and she begins to slowly cool. If I stop and idle, she cools
>This evidence indicates you likely do have a cooling problem, not just a
>miscalibrated temperature gage. BUT, since it is easy to do, I recommend that
>first check the actual water temperature. If you don't have a thermometer
>that will work, you can get a cooking thermometer cheaply (probably $5 or
> To check the temperature, simply remove the radiator cap (when the engine is
>cold), and stick the thermometer in the hole. Drive the car until it gets
>over temperature (on the dash gage) and then go back and check the thermometer
>in the radiator. I think the Amphi thermostat is a 160 degree thermostat
>(quite cool by today's standards). If the temperature is more than 10 degrees
>set temperature of the thermostat, then you definitely have a cooling problem.
>Now, I'm quite skeptical that the rubber seals around the radiator are your
>problem under the conditions you describe. At 70 degrees and highway speeds, I
>doubt that even missing seals would cause a problem. The seals would be more
>important at lower speeds with high power requirements form the engine (like
>climbing a steep hill in 2nd gear, or running "flat-out" in the water).
>However, testing if the seals are a problem would not be hard to do either.
>hang a normal thermometer above/behind the radiator. You can hang it from one
>of the louvers on the engine cover. Again drive the car until it gets hot.
>Then stop and very quickly read the thermometer (before the temperature can
>change much). I if the temperature reads under 90 degrees, then I would be
>confidant that your rubber seals are not the problem (in 70 degree air I
>you will find the temp here is more like 75 to 80 deg.)
>OK, so here are my thoughts on other possible cooling problems:
>Clogged radiator -- I agree with your assessment. Even with the flow test, I
>think a clogged radiator is the most likely problem. Since Amphicars don't
>have the excess cooling capacity that modern cars have, even if your radiator
>is only 1/3 clogged it might cause the problems you are seeing. Also, as you
>noticed with the oil cooler, the fins can be clogged preventing air flow. I
>assume the radiator shop cleaned these out before painting it, but you should
>check just to make sure. If the fins and tubes are otherwise in good
>then you can have the tubes "rodded out" -- removal of the end tanks and
>cleaning of the tubes. However, it might be just as cheep to have the radiator
>re-cored as was already suggested. Re-coring means replacing all the tubes and
>fins with new ones (the end tanks are reused). This assures optimum cooling
>Loose fan belt -- While I don't think this is real likely, it's very easy to
>check. If the belt is loose, it may be slipping and thus not spinning the fan
>and water pump fast enough. While your checking the belt, take it off for a
>minute and check that the water pump and generator both spin freely.
>Bad head gasket -- If the head gasket is bad, it can let exhaust leak into
>the cooling system causing overheating. The best way to check for this is to
>to a shop with an exhaust gas analyzing machine. They can stick the probe in
>your radiator and "sniff" for exhaust fumes.
>Stuck thermostat -- It fits with your description, but since you had the same
>problem with no thermostat, this is obviously not the solution.
>Bent fan (or missing fan blades) -- While this could cause cooling problems
>(especially on an Amphicar that relies heavily on the fan to move air), I doubt
>this is your problem. If it was, then your car probably wouldn't cool faster
>at idle.
>Damaged water pump -- The water pump could be missing blades, or the blades
>could be loose and spinning on the shaft. But again, you probably wouldn't get
>better cooling at idle if this were the cause.
>Big exhaust leak (maybe) -- If your exhaust is going into the engine
>compartment instead of out the back of the car, it might add enough heat to the
>compartment to make your engine overheat. But, if this were your problem,
>you should HEAR it LOUD and clear.
>That's all I can think of. Check your fan belt, and verify that the engine
>is actually getting too hot. If it is, then have the radiator rodded-out or
>re-cored. I'd bet money that this will fix your problem.
>White '63