Seals and bearings



It seems the, "Which way do I install the seals?" question comes up
on a weekly basis. Here's the Amphicar rule. If you can see the
open spring side of the seal after installation, you've done it
right. If you see the flat black back of the seal, it's wrong.

A few years ago, we instructed our supplier to make all future seals
the double lip type. For example, the 5-21-20 front wheel seal has
a main single lip along with a backup additional lip. All our seals
should still be installed the original Amphicar way. Eventually,
all our seals will be the double lip type.

Any good quality wheel or axle bearing will work well in Amphicar
applications. There are three subcategories to learn: (1) country
of origin, (2) capacity, (3) fit.

(1) Country of origin - Bearings from USA, Canada, Europe (all
countries), Japan, and Korea have excellent products. For the
moment, we do not recommend bearings from China. If this changes,
we will advise you.

(2) Capacity - Some bearings have identical internal and external
dimensions, but are made for dramatically different applications.
For example, the double row bearing (4-20-03) is available as a high
speed light machinery bearing or a low r.p.m. heavy weight capacity
bearing. The key for the Amphicar owner is to avoid the light
machinery bearing at all costs! While it is a double ball roll
type, it will not carry the Amphicar rear axle weight. And
eventually, the rear wheels will wobble or "squat out". Here's how
to identify the different types: (a.) bearing number, and
(b.) "MAX". (a.) The orignal Amphicar 4-20-03 bearings carry an
universal code, which is no longer used. It starts with a "3".
Today, the "3" has been replaced by "5". But in the past, "5"
always meant the light duty bearing. (b.) So when you visit a
bearing supply house, insist upon a beginning code number type "5"
of a MAX capacity. They will special order it for you. Do not use
a conrad capacity bearing.

(3) Fit - There are various European codes for the internal and
external fit in fractions of an inch. For example, there are C1,
C2, C3, C4, and bearings without "C" type codes. Most likely, all
these fits will assemble together in various Amphicar applications.
However, our human hands are not strong enough to "feel" the
difference during installation. So just be sure to follow the Parts
Manual numbers when ordering. Also, do not assume the bearing you
took off the car is correct. Years ago when our cars were worth
just a few thousand, owners installed the least expensive bearing
they could find.