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Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Cruising Test

Some pictures of the first cruising test at Kiiu, August 2009.

Morning swim to map the bottom. Lucky me, I had my windsurfing wetsuit.

Running around, planning, controlling, worrying.

Aligned for entry.

  It raises. It works. Wow.

Cruising at idle throttle.

Anchored for lunch.

Half of the test time I was in the water releasing the car from different rocks I found.

Coming out I got stuck! Tire pressure was too high and the bottom too soft. Fortunately I wasn't stuck long.

The rope coat broke, rope stuck and with multi-tool scissors I had to cut away the coating. Half of it under the water (wetsuit needed one more time) and half later of total 26m of rope.

Test complete.

It worked. I made more than 20 notes for improvements before the next test. The most serious is the paperwork to register the car's reconstruction at the road safety agency.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Some build process photos

Some photos from the building process (2008-2009):

It all was done first in the computer, 3D of course. It's just cheaper to modify a drawing than a real car. General design must be well in place. Some components, as with the car, lack details.

Then you add the details.

Then came basic components like major frame beams. It's an interesting job to drill a 20mm hole through 5mm-thick stainless steel. One hour - one hole. If you're lucky.

When frame components are ready, installation is a fun and endless job. Major beams took two months for installation. Special thanks to Marek Pedak from Offroad Service who delivered car components while en route to other jobs. In this photo: rear beam with winches. Wooden poles model the wire rope path. With seven tons of pull you better be sure there's nothing in the way.

The wires are not small, and there are not a few wires needed! As usual, first I connected them wrong just to make life interesting.

Then you can set the frame together and align winch ropes through the frame. And then redo almost all steps three times, as there are always some tolerance, alignment or installation procedure issues.

Now the rubber meets the road. Will it work? Can the winch raise the car off the beams. Wow, it's cleared the ground!

Shiny new U-Fab Boats pontoons from Canada may now be attached to the frame.

Installation of the hydraulic pump into engine space required two companies' maximum effort and help from even more. All 127 kW of engine can be now transferred to the hydraulic pump. And free room around major components is 5mm at most. But thanks to Hydroscand and Offroad Service, it's done!

The hydraulic fluid tank was a real test for my design skills. Fitted in place of one car battery, it has almost no straight edges. Finest Steel cut the plate and Spurtfaas welded it. The stainless steel fits perfectly to freed space to allow maximum capacity.

The hydraulic system was designed and built by Hydroscand. Designer Margus Kukk giving a final inspection to the system.

And after making countless other small adjustments, Amphibear is ready for her first test.