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Old 25-04-2019, 22:04   #121
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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Did you use a regulator with a big tank. The pressure can vary on a 20# cylinder from 50 to 150 psi depending on the manufacturer and temp of the LPG.
I think his problem was caused by the leaking hose. Pressure varies in the small canisters more than the bigger tanks. In fact the small canisters supply liquid propane to a Lehr until they are more than half empty. Then they supply propane gas. The Lehr handles both fine.
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Old 25-04-2019, 22:39   #122
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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Lehr never meant the 1 pound cans to be the primary fuel source on the 5hp. I think it was meant as an emergency back up in case the larger tank ran out. The 1 pound tanks were often used as a primary fuel source on the 2.5 as you could get about an hour running time. Enough to get several dinghy rides to shore and back. I always run my 2.5 on an 11 pound fiberglass tank.
I bought an 11 pound fiberglass tank and the genuine Lehr hose for it to use with my 5 hp Lehr. It would never run with that tank. The Lehr would only run with the expensive little canisters. I always installed a new canister before using the dingy because we never wanted to be caught in a rolling seaway trying to change canisters. (They are not easily changed. My spouse cannot do it.) So I was not able to use the dingy for fishing or any real exploration of an anchorage. That's part of the reason the outboard had only about 10 hours of use after a couple years of ownership.

It sounds like Lehr knew about the faulty crimp but never contacted me, as the registered owner. I was in Mexico, far from any warrantee facility when the crimp failed and developed a propane leak under the cowling. Fortunately, I sensed the leak before the whole thing exploded or burst into flames. That was my first-ever experience with a propane leak in any device and it was not a pleasant experience.
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Old 25-04-2019, 22:55   #123
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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I think his problem was caused by the leaking hose. Pressure varies in the small canisters more than the bigger tanks. In fact the small canisters supply liquid propane to a Lehr until they are more than half empty. Then they supply propane gas. The Lehr handles both fine.
Thanks for listening and talking through this, Hop Car.
I bought a new, innovative product in good faith and I feel betrayed. All it would have taken was follow-up by the company and I would probably be praising instead of posting the dismal truth.
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Old 26-04-2019, 01:24   #124
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

Someone posted a question about corrosion issues with these Lehrís... Having owned a 5 hp version for two years both in the Chesapeake Bay (Blackish waters) and now in the Bahamas salt water..the lower unit shows signs of corrosion.. Also the water pump outlet tends to get blocked from the salt residue. Though recommended to flush with fresh water..fresh water is a premium commodity here in the Bahamas.. I believe there is a sacrificial zink on the bottom side of the lower unit..
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:09   #125
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

Before I retired I knew Bernardo the guy who started Lehr pretty well. He was passionate about propane as a fuel for off road engines like outboards and gardening equipment. So am I.

I think he went off the tracks with trying to build bigger propane engines. Instead of spending time developing the 15 and 25 they should have spent time and money on quality control and a service network.

They should never have allowed West Marine to sell the engines. They should only have been sold through dealers who could service them.

The thing I like most about the Lehr engines is how easy they are to start even after sitting unused for months. No gasoline to evaporate and gum up the carburetor. The problem is you need to prime them if theyíve been unused and you need to remove the cover and a tool to do that. I suggested they put a primer button on the outside but they never did.

The other thing they need to do is offer the 5 and 9.9 with an extra long lower unit. These would be perfect for use as an auxiliary motor on smaller sailboats.
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:34   #126
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

An issue to me is the cost and availability of propane.
Itís not so easy to find even in the Bahamas and itís usually about $20 for a 10 lb tank, then take into account that propane only has about half the energy of gasoline, it can get expensive pretty quick.

Something that I havenít seen brought up is that based on my experience with propane powered forklifts, the propane burns so clean that spark plugs last nearly forever, and the oil never really even changes color as I assume there in no carbon produced by burning propane.
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:54   #127
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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An issue to me is the cost and availability of propane.
Itís not so easy to find even in the Bahamas and itís usually about $20 for a 10 lb tank, then take into account that propane only has about half the energy of gasoline, it can get expensive pretty quick.

Something that I havenít seen brought up is that based on my experience with propane powered forklifts, the propane burns so clean that spark plugs last nearly forever, and the oil never really even changes color as I assume there in no carbon produced by burning propane.
Cost and availability are an issue especially outside of the US. Propane is available everywhere but not on the dock like gasoline. Also fittings may be different in other parts of the world.

Propane has less energy density than gasoline but it is only about 20% less than gasoline. I think some of the difference is made up by being able to run propane at a higher compression ratio than gasoline. The octane rating on propane is about 110.

You are right that the oil stays clean and spark plugs seem to last forever. They donít but it seems that way.

Propane also produces less CO than gasoline. This is why you can run a propane forklift inside a building. At one boat show the fire marshal allowed me to run the Lehr outboards inside the building. He wouldnít let any of the gasoline engines run inside.
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Old 26-04-2019, 13:50   #128
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

You right, itís 27% less, my mind thinks half I guess remembering the propane conversions for cars in the 70ís from the oil embargo.

Propane has its uses, for a standby house generator I think you would be a fool to not have a big propane tank to run one, just itís been my experience any problem that propane is supposed to solve in an outboard is also solved by fuel injection, and Iíd expect to see it in little motors soon, itís not there now, but as long as people keep having carb problems in small motors, I bet itís coming.
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Old 26-04-2019, 15:13   #129
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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You right, itís 27% less, my mind thinks half I guess remembering the propane conversions for cars in the 70ís from the oil embargo.

Propane has its uses, for a standby house generator I think you would be a fool to not have a big propane tank to run one, just itís been my experience any problem that propane is supposed to solve in an outboard is also solved by fuel injection, and Iíd expect to see it in little motors soon, itís not there now, but as long as people keep having carb problems in small motors, I bet itís coming.
This, exactly.

Fuel injection is the key to solving all the outboard problem. My outboards were selected because they have fuel injection and I've never had a problem.
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Old 26-04-2019, 20:17   #130
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

In the event that a propane motor runs well on a 1# tank, but not on a larger tank, one thing that you may wish to check is the orientation of the larger tank. Depending on which way the larger tank is turned, it may feed out liquid propane or propane gas. Most forklifts run on liquid propane because they have vaporizers before the mixing valve. I believe that the Lehr motors require the propane feed to be gas, not liquid. I believe that the outboards do not have vaporizers. If I am wrong about that, please let me know.
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Old 27-04-2019, 09:14   #131
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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In the event that a propane motor runs well on a 1# tank, but not on a larger tank, one thing that you may wish to check is the orientation of the larger tank. Depending on which way the larger tank is turned, it may feed out liquid propane or propane gas. Most forklifts run on liquid propane because they have vaporizers before the mixing valve. I believe that the Lehr motors require the propane feed to be gas, not liquid. I believe that the outboards do not have vaporizers. If I am wrong about that, please let me know.
Jim, the 5hp and larger do have vaporizers.

For some reason the 2.5 doesnít seem to need one. My theory is that the propane draw is so small that it has time to vaporize in the hose.

The 2.5 and 5 actually get liquid propane when running on the 1pound canisters until the canister is more than half empty. Then it starts to deliver propane gas.

I run my 15 on liquid propane delivered from a forklift tank. I donít think the 3/8Ē hose can deliver enough propane gas to continuously produce 15hp.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:09   #132
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

I have a Lehr 9.9 extended shaft. Runs great but ought to be serviced and I want a spare prop. No one answers the phone number or the e-mail address in the manual. Any ideas as to who does maintenance on these? Located in Chesapeake Bay-Maryland.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:06   #133
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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I have a Lehr 9.9 extended shaft. Runs great but ought to be serviced and I want a spare prop. No one answers the phone number or the e-mail address in the manual. Any ideas as to who does maintenance on these? Located in Chesapeake Bay-Maryland.
PM HopCar. He should have an inside contact.
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Old 08-11-2019, 17:45   #134
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

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I have a Lehr 9.9 extended shaft. Runs great but ought to be serviced and I want a spare prop. No one answers the phone number or the e-mail address in the manual. Any ideas as to who does maintenance on these? Located in Chesapeake Bay-Maryland.
HopCar probably has answers.
As HopCar said before, the company probably knew about my defective crimp but I was never contacted. I was fortunate to discover the leak before I had a fire or explosion. I had repairs done in Mexico, far from any warrantee shop - if there is one. The company has still not contacted me.
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Old 08-11-2019, 21:17   #135
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Re: Lehr Propane Outboards

Iím afraid I donít know what is going on with them. I havenít had any contact with them since I retired. Their last Facebook post was in February 2018. I suspect they are at least temporarily out of business. Maybe someone will buy the assets and revive the company.

I think they made a several mistakes.

First they sold through dealers who couldnít provide service, like West Marine. They should have only sold through independent dealers with service shops.

Second they expanded the line too quickly. They should have stopped at the 2.5 and 5 hp and worked on quality control. Then later come out with a 9.9.

Third they should have made the 5 and 9.9 with an extra long shaft. Itís a great sailboat auxiliary.

Fourth the owner had a vision of building BIG engines. I think 9.9 is as big as it is practical to run on propane. Above that you need to feed them liquid propane which means forklift tanks. The tanks are large and hard to secure in a small boat. I know this from experience as I have a Lehr 15 on a 14í skiff. They spent a lot of time and money developing the 15 and 25 that should have gone to improving quality.

I think propane is an excellent small engine fuel and Iím disappointed that Lehr never seemed to get their act together.
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