Steering adjustments

Discussion in 'General Amphicar Discussion' started by Ken Chambers, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Ken Chambers
    Online

    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
     
  2. Mike Israel
    Online

    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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  3. Cap''n John
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    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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