Tunnel Boot install


Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
I recently had the back end of Amphi apart to replace the rear bearings. I've never had any problems with my old, original tunnel boots but thought I'd replace them with a new set from Gordon's since a fifty year old rubber part might not be a good idea even if it looks good.
The side of the new boots that attach to the car are a fair amount larger than the originals. A conversation with Gordon's, and I was assured this wouldn't be a problem. Well, it is. I cannot get it to seal (on the car side). I'm considering fitting the old ones back in place.
My question is, has anyone ever tried to pull the axels/driveshafts out far enough to allow the boots to be swapped out withOUT unhooking the brake line and hand brake cable? Is there enough slack in the flexible connections to attempt this....as I'd obviously rather not take all of that loose again.
I guess another question would be if anyone has any good sealing tips for the new boots that might allow me to use the new ones that are currently installed. My U-Joints are such that I need to be able to loosen them in the future to get to the grease fittings.
This is a new problem for me - with the old boots I could slip them on and off to grease the U-Joints with no worries. I wouldn't even check them for leaks afterwards because they never leaked.

Marc, I checked with Dad, he said no, you are going to have to pull the brakes apart. We wash the original boots in warm soapy water and check them with a bright LED light for any holes (made by screwdrivers that have slipped) but we have not had one fail because of age and so prefer the quality of the originals rather than the reproductions.


Amphicar Expert
I have had no problems that I know of with there repro,s but a bead of good clear silicone would be a good Idea,
and Yes you can pull the AXLES out far enough to change boots, undo the 6 bolts on swing arm ass, and slide out.
you may have to do it by taking the swing arm pinch bolt out to free up more travel in flex line.
. I use a 2x4 to keep axle out while doing the job,

chuck motor in 011.JPG
Our view is never use silicon on the driveshaft boots or any other rubber boots on Amphicar, silicon works as a friction reducer, you can't tighten the clamps correctly if there is silicon there. A number of Amphicar and other engineers have told us this over the years, some very forcibly, we don't use any silicon anywhere on Amphicar and have not had any problem with leaks. We know that if that drivehaft boot slips off either body or transmission in the middle of the lake then within minutes you will have lost the car.

Sorry Gord, we never undo the pinchbolt either ! It's a special 12-9 high tensile bolt but more importantly unless that area is new and perfect, it's very difficult to clamp it up again in exactly the same place such that the housing doesn't start going oval. Even fraction of a mm play there make a big difference to road stability. Without removing the pinchbolt to free up the top hose bracket in a standard car, the brake flexible doesn't stretch enough for you to get the driveshafts out of the transmission - well unless the car is in really bad shape and the splines are frozen or you somehow strap the UJs together against the spring pressure but that is all much more work than getting in to the brakes.


Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
Thank you both for the reply and input.....
Guess I'll dive in to the job!



Active Member

There is a lubricating type silicon and a glue type silicon. I wouldn't use either on those boots.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red

Jon March

A little tunnel-love i did last week

Altho i kept the transmission boot-edges dry, i did put a light smear of inert vaseline on the tunnel rounds, to act as a sealant and lube for keeping them from bonding to the paint. You make a great point about that being the last place youd want to have a boot slip off, but with the band clamps socked down tight, that lip preventing them from slipping past, and what i (think) is rather little pulling-action of the boots off the tunnels, Im wondering if its ok to leave that light vaseline on them (actually non hardening clear dielectric grease)....

tunnel rot.png

Tunnel Masterseries.png

Tunels done.png


Amphicar Expert
I work on Amphicars.and only Amphicars, 24/7, I may not know some things but I DO KNOW these cars.
The number is over 100 cars,and all get rear axles taken apart 100% by the swing arm pinch blot
A buddy makes the special tool to remove and install.(yes we replace with new one's)The bolt.
I DO USE silicone,( sealant,it come in a tube,and dries to a tough,flexible seal, it is not a lubricant) because once it sets there is a glued joint that can be removed in the future without tearing.
Advice I give on the chat page has been proven by me/done by me.
I give this advice freely, in hope that folks will order Parts threw me instead of the other place.. that never chats on this page,
I will be giving a TECH, session at the Celina swim in Next week.
Sorry Gord, Apologize if you felt we were criticizing you. Of course we know you and your cars and value and respect your knowledge, opinion and techniques. We were just sharing what we have learnt over the last 30 years working on just a few dozen Amphicars and also bringing in the things we have learnt from the many German Amphicar owners that we have met, some of whom have connections back to the factory. Ultimately we are all still learning about these cars
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