Steering adjustments

K

Ken Chambers

Guest
I got to looking at my Amphi's steering system and guess what I found? Toe-in
was a whopping 0.85 inches! It's no wonder the car
wandered around a bit, seemingly always searching for a puddle as Amphicars are
sometimes known to do. Not only that, someone had
previously installed some after market steering dampener on the long tie rod.
Problem with that (besides being completely
unnecessary) was the first time the car hit a big dip, it bent the tie rod about
1.5 inches. After throwing out that jury rigged
system and straightening the tie rod, I started adjusting the toe-in. (Be
prepared for rusty threads. Helps a lot to have
14mm-1.5 left and right hand taps and dies to clean up the threads).

My technique was this: I used a 1/4 inch dowel rod inside a piece of small
diameter rigid plastic pipe. Telescope the assembly to
take measurements as close as possible to the front and rear OD of the wheel
rims. (Car on the ground, wheels straight ahead).
The front measurement should be 1/32 to 1/8 inch less than the rear measurement
according to the Amphicar maintenance manual. (10
to 30 minutes for those using a real toe-in adjusting system.)

Wow, what a difference proper toe-in makes. The Amphicar handles like a dream
now - at least on the road.

Here's a visual test you can do to see if your Amphi toe-in is in the ballpark.
(BTW, the specs for the Amphicar are 47.31" front
track and 49.20" rear track.) With the car on the ground, turn the steering
wheel so you can sight along the left front tire to
about one half inch in on the rear tire. Now, without touching anything, take a
look at how the right front tire sights to its
rear tire. It should also appear about the same distance - about a half inch
in. Mine previously appeared to be about 6 inches
out front the back tire with that .85 inch toe-in. With toe-in properly
adjusted, both front tires should sight about a half inch
in on both back tires. Hope this helps.

Ken Chambers, CA
64 Amphi - steers like a new car
 
M

Mike Israel

Guest
Ken,

Thanks for the post, this is good information.

When I first got my Amphi the handling was nothing
short of terrifying. I came very close to selling it
as I refused to risk the lives of myself and my family
in a car that wandered and handled so badly. I
replaced the tires with radials, tightened all sorts
of things, etc. All to no avail.

While the car was down at ECA, Billy Syx made a
similar discovery in terms of a bent tie rod. Once
the tie rod was fixed and the toe properly set, it
tracked like a laser. Seriously, I can comfortably
drive at 70 mph with one hand on the wheel.

OK, so now there are three items on the list of
essentials.

1) Stop your wheels befor engaging water tranny.
2) Always have a backup bilge pump.
3) Make sure your toe is set correctly.

Cheers,

Mike Israel
65 Amphi (white)
Amphi Digest Admin


--- Ken Chambers <kenneth3@concentric.net> wrote:
>
> Ken Chambers, CA
> 64 Amphi - steers like a new car
>
>


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C

Cap''n John

Guest
> OK, so now there are three items on the list of
> essentials.
>
> 1) Stop your wheels befor engaging water tranny.
> 2) Always have a backup bilge pump.
> 3) Make sure your toe is set correctly.
^^^

If this isn't done, do we get the afore mentioned black "Amphi-
toe"? :)

JB
 
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