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Old 13-05-2014, 01:23   #1
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Lehr outboard long term reviews

Thanks to a very generous donation my yacht club just recieved a new to us S2 7.3. However the boat didn't come with an outboard and the internal gas engine is long past replacement time. We have been kicking around the idea of getting a Lehr propane engine to eliminate all the problems of gunked up carbs, which have been a constant problem in the past.

Before we go this route I am curious if anyone who has one could give a longer term review than the short use ones I have seen here already.
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Old 26-05-2014, 12:04   #2
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

I've been planing to buy a 5hp Lehr this spring and have also been looking for reviews. The only ones I can find are on West Marine's site and honestly they aren't impressive. There are consistent knocks on the quality of this product. I have to admit this is putting me off of buying one right now, although I need a new motor for my dinghy right now. So I'm confused. I've been psyched about this product since it came out, and now not so sure. I'd love to see more/honest reviews from CF members that I have come to trust.

Thanks,

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Old 26-05-2014, 12:58   #3
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

JR, I can't claim to give an unbiased report as I'm a Lehr dealer. I will be honest with you about the problems I've encountered.

The first container load of engines to arrive in the US had a lot of problems.
All of the ones we sold were replaced by Lehr.

One 5.0 I sold had a propane leak in the internal fuel line. Lehr provided a new fuel line.

One 5.0 I shipped to the West Coast quit pumping water in the first hour of operation. Lehr sent the customer a new engine. I haven't heard what caused the problem.

One a fellow I sold a 5.0 to, on the west coast of Florida, called me last week to say it wasn't idling right. I put him in touch with an engineer at Lehr. They are currently working on the problem.

Lehr asked me to help a customer who purchased a 2.5 from West Marine.
It was not idling well and would often die at idle. I installed a new carburetor and it ran well in the test tank. I'm waiting to hear back from him when he's had a chance to use it on the water.

Oh yeah, the latch on the front of the 5.0 doesn't line up very well. They have changed the latch design on the motors coming through now and will send a new latch to anyone with the old style if they ask.

I've been selling Lehr engines for better than two years now. When a problem comes up, Lehr fixes it.

I own a 2.5 and plan to buy a 15.

If you decide to buy one, I'd like the opportunity to quote you on it.
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Old 26-05-2014, 13:27   #4
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

Their Q/C doesn't seem to be the best, but perhaps that's endemic in our out-sourcing age. At least they're quickly stepping up to the plate on the after-sale support.
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Old 26-05-2014, 14:08   #5
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Lehr outboard long term reviews

I bought a 5hp in January for my dinghy replacing a 4hp Yamaha. I had some initial starting issues- idle was set too low. There is also a diaphragm bleed valve that a paper clip and 10 seconds fixes hard start. After using that on the first try, I am starting great! Started good in 45 degrees coming back up Tenn-Tom this spring. I had the clips replaced on the cowling. Overall I am pleased and glad to be rid of the ethanol problems that have plagued me for last few years. Quality could be a little better but overall is good. Main thing is I can depend on it to run when I need it. I got a 3 foot 3 inch PVC pipe and put a clean out plug on one end and a cap on the other. It holds three cans of propane.
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Old 26-05-2014, 15:47   #6
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

HopCar - thanks for your response. I have read your other posts and your enthusiasm for this product and hoped you'd chime in.

The troubles you've noted are consistent with reviews I've read. There is one other you didn't mention - oil leaks. Have you seen any of that?

I'm willing to chalk up early problems to teething pains and usually try to avoid buying version 1.0 of anything. So the question is if this product is in a more reliable place. I have an old unreliable motor now and sure don't want a new unreliable one regardless of how much I love the idea of a propane fuel source.

JR
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Old 26-05-2014, 16:54   #7
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

I've only encountered one oil leak and I caused it. When I tested the engine that was shipped to the West Coast, I didn't get all the oil out before I packed it up. In shipping it was put on the wrong side and the remaining oil leaked out. It's surprising how much mess a couple of ounces of oil can make. That poor guy. His motor was the one that over heated. He got a new motor and I sent him a couple of nice shirts to apologize for the trouble. He was really nice about the whole thing.

Back to the question, As with all four stroke outboards, you can't lay them on the wrong side without oil leaking out. On the Lehr engines if you put them down on their side, you have to put the tiller side down. I think a lot of people used to laying 2 cycles on either side didn't read the owners manual and that is why you hear of oil leaks. There may be actual oil leaks but none of the engines I've sold have leaked.

J Clark, They finally put the paper clip, or as I call them Lehr Bleed Tool, into the starting instructions. As you found, if you don't bleed the air out of the fuel line, you can pull your arm off before it will start. Get rid of the air and it usually will start on the second pull cold.
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Old 26-05-2014, 18:46   #8
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

Hopcar: you are the one who recommended it to me, and I thank you very much for your advice. I have been considering drilling a hole in the cowling and putting a removeable plug in it so I can get to it when I first put the propane on. Any suggestions or cautions about doing that?
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Old 26-05-2014, 21:07   #9
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

"I have been considering drilling a hole in the cowling and putting a removeable plug in it so I can get to it when I first put the propane on. Any suggestions or cautions about doing that? "

That sounds like a good idea. You might have trouble hitting that little hole in the carb.

You could use one of the rubber plugs like the one in the lower cowl of your engine.
It's number 16 in this parts list: Parts

I think number one on my wish list for improvements is an external bleed button.
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Old 26-05-2014, 21:27   #10
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

J Clark, I forgot to mention I like your storage idea for the 16 oz. bottles. That should keep them from rattling around. I suggest you put some vent holes in the tube so if there is a leak, the gas can escape.

You might want to spring for a remote tank. The propane is a lot cheaper that way.
The 11 pound fiberglass tank would give you more than 5 hours run time at wide open throttle. You can even buy little 5 lb. steel tanks at Northern Tools. In a couple of years when it gets ugly, toss it and buy another. They're cheap.
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Old 18-06-2014, 22:36   #11
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

I just popped for two 31# (7 1/2 gal) composite liquid feed propane tanks from Lehr. These are the same tanks that forklifts use in Europe, because they have restrictions on lifting heavy objects above waist level over there. The tank in use will sit beneath the thwart seat of my RIB, and the spare will wait its turn in a vented locker that drains over the side. They are designed to lay horizontally and feed liquid propane to the carb of my new 15 HP with electric start. And, I just discovered that the 15 has a hose connection for freshwater washdown. Sweet.
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Old 19-06-2014, 09:20   #12
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

Roy, when you get this rig set up, I'd really like to see some pictures.
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Old 19-06-2014, 09:32   #13
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

5 lb. steel tanks at Northern Tools

HopCar:

I couldn't find this on their site. Where might it be?
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Old 19-06-2014, 13:08   #14
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

Hi Bill, I couldn't find it either. I've seen them in the stores but maybe they've discontinued them.
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Old 19-06-2014, 13:12   #15
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Re: Lehr outboard long term reviews

I think it is the Worthington 4.25 pound cylinder that I saw at Northern.
http://www.worthingtoncylinders.com/...able.sflb.ashx
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