Ive wanted to build an Amphibious Vehicle for years and just never made the the time or didnt have room in the garage to do it. This past summer I decided to just do it. I bought a doner car for $325.00. The doner car was a 1991 Subaru Justy 5 speed. It started as a maroon 4 door hatchback. Now its a no door open top. It still has the original 3 cyl engine and the frame and drive train is pretty much untouched.
I decided that i was going to use a 4 horse briggs engine and prop to move the car in the water. Speed really wasnt a concern. I just wanted it to float and move in the water. I designed the rear of the car for this setup. The first time I tried to start the briggs under water, it wouldnt start. There was too much drag from the prop. I decided to use a smaller prop and that still didnt work.
At this point I wasnt going to give up. I decided to put a jet-ski engine and impeller jet in it. After some more fabricating I made it all fit. The engine is a 550cc Kawasaki 2 stroke(approx 40 horse). The very first time I tried it in the water,it worked. It was slower than I was hoping,but it moved. After about 5 minutes in the water I realised that the jet wasnt sucking enough water. After a friend and myself moved towards the rear of the car,the faster it went. Steering wasnt accurate,but it moved!
After some ajustments the car steers great. I alsoadded some ballast to the rear and a belly pan under the car and it will do approx 10 - 15 mph in the water! I have more to add and some more improvments to make. I will keep you all posted. As of the end of Summer of 2011 the Suboataru has logged more than 40 hours in the water with the only problem being a bad starter and a bad fuel filter. That isnt bad for a summers worth of fun! You can type in SUBOATARU in YouTubes search engine and see many videos of this vehicle in action!