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Old 20-06-2013, 19:12   #1
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Lehr Propane Outboards

I have just sold two Lehr propane powered outboards to customers who specifically requested them. I have no experience with them, but I will relate their experiences in the next few weeks as they go off on vacation to use them. One unit is 2.5 HP, the other 5 HP. A third model is 9.9, but no one has chosen that yet. These are interesting outboards. I look forward to seeing the results.

They can operate off their own small canisters, or off a larger propane cylinder. I am particularly curious about the actual power they represent, and the unique quality of not having carburetors subject to "varnish". I have heard reports that the cylinders are refillable, somewhat like the Sodastream gas cylinders, but that is another subject which I'll investigate. The other factor that interests me is the duration of operation per hours per cylinder. More later.
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:54   #2
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Hi Roy. I sell Lehr outboards as well.

There are two things I can tell you about them. Right out of the box they can be hard to start. There is air in the fuel lines that needs to be bled out and then they are easy to start. The ones that I've sold seem to idle fast when first started. I make it a point bleed the lines and adjust the idle before I deliver the engines. When I do this, I get no complaints. It might take me ten minutes to do this. If the customer is a local this gives me a chance to teach him about the engine as well.

The 2.5 should get about an hour of run time at wide open throttle (WOT) and the 5 should get about 1/2 hour at WOT when run on the small 16 oz canisters. Of course if you throttle back a little you can almost double these times.

As for power output, they seem to put out at least their rated power. In fact I asked them to make a 1.5 hp engine for my canoe as I think the 2.5 is too much power for it.

I bought a 2.5 for my own use and have had it out three times. So far I love it.
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Old 21-06-2013, 18:24   #3
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Thanks, HopCar, I just spoke to the folks with the 2.5 and they mirror your observations. Do you know if Lehr is going to produce a 15? I suspect it's only a change in the carburetor, like the 9.9 in conventional outboards, but it would be a cool addition to the series. Thanks again for the input, as these folks took off before I could do a setup for them.
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Old 21-06-2013, 18:41   #4
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Love my 2.5, been super reliable so far.
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Old 21-06-2013, 23:12   #5
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Roy the rumor is that a 15 will be released in early 2014. My guess is they plan to show it at the Miami International Boat Show. I'm building a little plywood 14 foot skiff from Glen L plans that I've been planning to put a 9.9 on. I keep making the darn thing heavier. I might need that 15. It's now a race, will I finish the boat before the 15 comes out or will it be available when I finish the boat?

Did your customers figure out how to bleed the air out of the lines? The instructions are not in the manual for some reason. It's probably considered too technical for the consumer as it requires a very special and expensive tool, a paper clip.

Minaret, Did you need to bleed your 2.5 and adjust the idle?
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Old 21-06-2013, 23:44   #6
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

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Roy the rumor is that a 15 will be released in early 2014. My guess is they plan to show it at the Miami International Boat Show. I'm building a little plywood 14 foot skiff from Glen L plans that I've been planning to put a 9.9 on. I keep making the darn thing heavier. I might need that 15. It's now a race, will I finish the boat before the 15 comes out or will it be available when I finish the boat?

Did your customers figure out how to bleed the air out of the lines? The instructions are not in the manual for some reason. It's probably considered too technical for the consumer as it requires a very special and expensive tool, a paper clip.

Minaret, Did you need to bleed your 2.5 and adjust the idle?

No, idle was adjusted already. Learned the paper clip bleeding method from you, just pulled the cord lots before that.
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:10   #7
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Okay, so what's the secret? You can use pig latin as code, no one will find out....
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:30   #8
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

I saw these motors for the first time at my local boat show a month ago, didn't seem to fussed about them, I would prefer my Tohatsu
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:31   #9
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Roy, there is a small metal plate on the carb held on by four screws. There is a small hole in the center of it. Just gently poke a wire into the hole. You'll hear a hiss and maybe smell a little propane. You've now bled the air out of the line and the engine will probably start on the third good pull. The plate on the 5 is real easy to see, it's on the side. The plate on the 2.5 is on the aft end of the carb and harder to see.

The method I use to set the idle is easy as well. I start the engine in my very expensive, highly engineered test tank (half a plastic barrell). I slow the idle until the engine stalls when I put it in gear. Then I increase the idle until it doesn't stall when I put it in gear.
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Old 22-06-2013, 09:53   #10
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Thank you!
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Old 22-06-2013, 19:12   #11
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

I used my Lehr 2.5 today for the first time in about two months. I decided to start it before taking it down to the canoe launch.

I hooked it up to my 11 pound fiberglass tank with a ten foot hose. I pulled the rope ten times and it didn't start. I bled the air out and it started with one pull.

Over a couple of hours of poking around the mangroves and doing a little fishing I stopped and started the engine ten or twelve times with no problems. Only once did it need two pulls. I'm very pleased with this little engine.

Oh yeah, I caught one tiny mangrove snapper and my buddy caught one almost keeper size mangrove and three little baracuda. I saw a small shark and watched several cormorants feeding their babies in the mangroves. It was a good adventure.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:29   #12
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Thanks, HopCar, I just spoke to the folks with the 2.5 and they mirror your observations. Do you know if Lehr is going to produce a 15? I suspect it's only a change in the carburetor, like the 9.9 in conventional outboards, but it would be a cool addition to the series. Thanks again for the input, as these folks took off before I could do a setup for them.

Seems like these days in 4-stroke motors, the 8s and 9.9s are the same basic engine, and the 15s/20s are the same basic engines.

-Chris
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Old 23-06-2013, 09:07   #13
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

What I learned in my outboard motor repair class was that 10 HP motors were ruled too polluting for fresh water reservoirs, hence the 9.9. And the difference between the 9.9 and the 15? A tiny little replaceable air jet.
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Old 23-06-2013, 09:39   #14
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

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What I learned in my outboard motor repair class was that 10 HP motors were ruled too polluting for fresh water reservoirs, hence the 9.9. And the difference between the 9.9 and the 15? A tiny little replaceable air jet.

Could well be true. I'd also suspect 10hp motors might be taxed or otherwise regulated differently than 9.9-hp (i.e., under 10) motors in some jurisdictions.

But if you look at new U.S.-available "portables" on the Big 4 websites -- Yamaha, Honda, Tohatsu/Nissan/Mercury, Suzuki -- it seems most new 4-stroke motors, are paired differently than the 2-strokes. And probably not just a jet difference, maybe ECU programing, etc.

-Chris
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Old 23-06-2013, 13:34   #15
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Re: Lehr propane outboards

Hey HopCar and Roy,
Just thought I'd add to the info here as I actually have the Lehr 9.9. I don't have a lot to add, but I am pretty happy with it. I feel it's power is equal to a gas mercury one I had before it. I like the portability of the propane which is why I opted for it in the first place (oh yeah and to be "greener" ) but power is where it counts and I don't have any complaints.
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