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Old 14-06-2012, 12:38   #61
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

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Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
as i understand it, the Lehrs are being made in China. I'm not a big fan of chinese made mechanicals. Love the concept of a propane engine.
...Ditto!!!
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Old 14-06-2012, 13:37   #62
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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On motorcycles, you're right -- two-strokes definitely don't last as long. I am guessing that this is a function of cooling, however, on those high specific-output motors.

I don't think you can say this about two-stroke outboards, however, which tend to be slow-running and low stress engines. My 25 horsepower Mariner is 430cc -- so the specific output is only slightly more than my main diesel engine (100 hp out of 2000cc). It's raw water cooled like all outboards, so does not have cooling issues of motorcycles. It redlines at all of 5500rpm. Two stroke engines don't usually rev as high as four-strokes, because they don't need to -- they have twice the power strokes at a given RPM as a four-stroke.

My snowmobile has a very high specific-output two-stroke made by Rotax -- 120 horsepower out of 600cc. It is water cooled, with a snow-to-water heat exchanger in the tunnel. But it only revs to 8000 rpm, and pulls like a freight train from 2000 rpm. The equivalent four-stroke Yamaha revs to 13,000rpm, is I think 900cc, and is nearly double the weight, has an extremely narrow power band, etc., etc. Those Rotax two strokes are extremely long-lived for such a high output motor -- they easily go a couple thousand hours without any service at all other than plugs and cleaning the RAVE valves. Mine is semi-direct injected which overcomes the main disadvantage of two-strokes (see below), and so fuel economy is similar to that of a four-stroke. It is a fantastic engine.

Two-strokes are inherently less fuel efficient than four-strokes, because (a) they need to run richer for cooling; and (b) some part of the fuel-air mixture is wasted out the exhaust during the overlap period of the cycle (unless they are direct or semi-direct injected). This makes them more polluting. But these are just about the only disadvantages I can see -- otherwise, two-strokes are fantastic. The main advantage of them is that a 430cc two-stroke, say, works like an 860cc four stroke, in terms of the volume of fuel-air mixture you can burn on every rotation. Yet they are smaller and lighter than even a 430cc four-stroke.

I guess you can tell that I love two-strokes. I dream about a two-stroke diesel as a main engine -- if someone would modernize the old Detroit Diesel concept.
I too love the 2 stroke engine...They also waste a lot of fuel thru the carb in the form of blow by unless it has a reed valve...the power to weight ratio is like you stated great...I have seen several(small) diesel 2 strokes at the Sun-n-Fun air show in Lakeland Fla. over the last few years,havent any experiance with them myself but they are interesting...My experiance with them has been that they tend to rev higher than 4's though...My Rotax 503 tends to run at 7400 rpms at full throttle and will idle at 800-850,It will rev all out at 9500-10000 if lean...I have a yamaha KT 100 that operates at 12000 to 13000 rpms w/ a 2.0 reduction and have been told they will hold up for a while at 18000 rpms!! thats screaming...cant beat a 2 stroke...suck ,bang,boom! ..DVC
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Old 14-06-2012, 13:48   #63
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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Aint all the improvements grand! Ran my Yamaha 3 years in the caribe every day, no fuel issues at all... err... except remembering to open the vent cap!
"Oh the British Seagulls run just fine. That's the problem. They smoke like hell and make an infernal racket. "
I think you are the first person in 35 years I've heard say that! Lucky you!
Cheechako,
Don't think for a minute that Seagulls are dead and gone.
This weekend is the Round Bermuda Seagull Race, and guys will have flown in from all over the world. Still big in parts of OZ and NZ.
Google and you may be surprised.
A 50 yr old Silver Seagull brings more than a new 3-4 hp yallahama or Hindu.
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Old 14-06-2012, 14:08   #64
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

I have only had the Lehr 2 weeks now but I do like it a lot. Very Clean, Green and simple. Starts on the first pull every time so far, 4 stroke and so far I have only used it with the small bottles. A couple of spares in the dinghy and I'm good to go. I only use it for short hops of a mile or less. Mostly tho walk the Dogg and the GF on the beach 3 times a day!
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Old 14-06-2012, 14:23   #65
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

I'd have another go at fixing it. In my experience Yamahas, Honda's and Tohatsus are about equally reliable.

You say it ran well for the first season (in the US) but then has had troubles after being stored for a lengthy time. All the marks of ethanol fouling. No one outside the US understands how hard this problem is to fix. Running out the fuel does not completely empty all the fuel in a Yamaha (or Honda).

The stuff is the made by the devil himself. It forms an insoluble varnish that could protect space craft during re-entry.

Since you are out of the land of ethanol, I'd replace any parts that the ethanol touched including the carburator a 2nd time (make sure it's a US sourced carburetor as I believe the US Yamaha's are different), the fuel filter, hoses, fuel tank and tank hose.

Carl
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Old 14-06-2012, 15:17   #66
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Gasoline with ethanol in it might leave a varnish, and ethanol might dissolve things which then form a varnish, but I can assure you that the ethanol itself is a pure alcohol and evaporates with no residue.
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Old 14-06-2012, 16:17   #67
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Mark,

You are, of course, right. The varnish is presumably some nasty stew of water, hydrocarbons, resin and perhaps some "eye of newt" that remains after the ethanol has cast a spell on an outboard.

Carl
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:09   #68
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Angry Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

I also bought a 9.9 hp propane powered Lehr from West Marine in Vancouver Canada.
It was extremely difficult to start. It ran for less than an hour and came to a grinding stop after suddenly spilling all the oil!!

West Marine doesn't service them, neither do they know who does!! They won't take it back.

I'm stuck with an expensive useless o/b. Lehr's quality and aftermarket service is appalling, West Marine doesn't stand behind their products.

Save yourself a headache, don't buy from West marine, nor from Lehr.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:51   #69
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jjbb.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:14   #70
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Don't understand what you mean by not having the time or money to do it right?? I carefully looked at the different options and went with propane because of it's environmentally profile. I paid more the $300 more for this.
In terms of having the time to fix it you are right. I will leave it in the hands of my lawyer to deal with West Marine and Lehr and I simply will buy another tested and proven Honda...
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:32   #71
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Warning I'm a Lehr dealer.
I bought a 2.5 Lehr for my personal use and I love it. Starts easy, runs reliably. No worries about Stabil, run the carb dry, or varnish. It just eliminates all of those carb problems.

I really like not having to pour gasoline into small tanks. The propane is not only clean to burn but clean to handle.

It seems as well made as any of the big league outboards, time will tell.

If you buy one, you should buy it from a dealer (preferably me) who will start the engine and discuss how to run and maintain it with you.

When I sell a Lehr, I put oil in it, I bleed the air out of the fuel lines and I test run it. I adjust the idle if needed. I also show my customer how to bleed the fuel lines if he ever has to. If I ship the motor to the customer, I drain the oil and put the engine back in it's box for shipping. Instructions are given by phone or email.

jjbb, you may want to contact Lehr directly about your problem. They are very sensitive about building a good reputation.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:52   #72
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Angry Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Thank you dealer, sadly West Marine didn't help at all! Either with the set up, nor with the after market service. Lehr wasn't helpfull at all. They send me to a "dealer" who was in an island two hours from Vancover, who admitted not having the training to fix it yet. Clearly, at least in Western Canada Lehr and West Marine are a long long way from being competitive, and frankly it's obvious that they don't even care. Bottom line never deal with them!
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:36   #73
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Jjbb,

Up front I will say I have no experience with the Lehr, the hard starting issue sounds like the system needs to be blead. HopCar posted the procedure in the other thread on Lehr motors.

Spitting oil out is a common problem with any 4 stroke motor that has been placed on the wrong side (even briefly). It appears the Lehr is based on another common 4 stroke motor, any of which have only one side they can be laid on.

Bleed it, clean the plug and have another go at it!

Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:09   #74
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

"I have a yamaha KT 100 that operates at 12000 to 13000 rpms w/ a 2.0 reduction and have been told they will hold up for a while at 18000 rpms!!"

Tropicalescape, What do you fly with that KT-100? Don't lean it until it will turn 18K! The TBO is measured in seconds at that RPM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:18   #75
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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Another tick for Tohatsu, I have a 6hp 4 stroke it's five years old and starts first time, couldn't ask for anything more than that
I'll also put in a plug for the Nissan/Tohatsu 6hp. I liked my little Honda 2hp, but it didn't have much power. No reverse either. My old Avon rollup died, and I wanted something that I could lift easily but which would also put my new Walker Bay air floor up on a plane. The Tohatsu, which weighs a tad more than 50lbs, does that, and after sitting in my basement all Winter it started on the second pull. Plus it was the least expensive 6hp out there.

My only minor complaint is that it idles a little high. No big deal.

I could have bought a used 2-stroke, but mixing gas and oil is a pita.
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