Catastrophic prop failure (new props)

Status
Not open for further replies.

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
How many of you have had one of Hugh's NEW props fail for no reason?

I deliverd the green Amphi (you may have seen photos of it here) to it's new owner a few weeks ago. After only a very few hours in the water it shed one prop completely for no reason and without warning. Now keep in mind the prop nut was still there as well as the 2 keyways. The ONLY explaination is the NEW prop broke in half and fell off.

He was going into the water (slowly) and shortly after the prop just disappeared without any reason. He did not hit anything, he did not wrap it up in anything, it just failed. Hugh said "you should be glad it broke" HUH???? Why should we be glad a BRAND NEW $180 prop with few hours on it failed (broke in half!!!) for no reason and stranded a family with small children on the lake and we should be happy?? It's one thing to loose a blade, but not the whole prop!!! :mad: :mad:

These props (originaly) were designed to loose a blade, but not loose the entire prop so you still had some control. Hugh's NEW props at $180 each are failing for no reason. I know for certain I am not the 1st and probably won't be the last. But I have to say I couldn't be more dissapointed in Hugh right now. Right off the bat he blames my customer and then tries to say the shields caused it (no scars from the prop impacting it at all so they could not have had any effect on the props). He should have offered to send a new one withot hesitation. I have to pay fror it because I stand by my work and restorations. My customer paid hard earned money for this car and should have expectations of great customer service and a safe quality product.

My customer is an engineer and I have been in manufacturing / design / engineering for 25 years. We both agree that the ONLY explaination is a faulty prop causing a catastrophic failure (shedding the entire prop). Either an internal void or inferior materials or manufacturing process. I believe they are more brittle than originals, testing will show this. These props are failing! This could be deadly! What if you loose your prop (or both?) on a river just upstream from a dam or fast water? What about far out in a large lake (maybe at night?) Cold water will also bring about more failures. So many scenarios that people could be exposed to a deadly outcome from loosing a prop or 2.

The original generator went out and I ordered one from Hugh along with a new light pole ($280). We had to replace that new gen again because it was faulty from Hugh and the light pole had an internal short (new too) and had to be taken apart and repaired. Now the new prop is gone and NO help from Hugh. Yes, I am mad and very dissapointed that rather than replacing the defective prop, he blames my customer immediately. :eek:

I respect Hugh a lot for his innumerable contributions and do consider him a friend. But Hugh, c'mon you can really believe that the props that failed like mine did are anything but defective. You are putting people in harms way. I have sent my customer a set of original props so his children will be safe. The remaining NEW prop will be relagated to a spare because sadly at $180 each, they are not fit to be relied on.

I am sorry to be hard on Hugh, but this is not something to be ignored. Lives are at stake here.
 

dougklink

Member
Well done John. Obviously the best way to prove it would be to find the halves of the prop. Any chance of that? I know some guys who like to dive, they might help.

Dumb question, are the props plastic or metal?
----- Original Message -----
From: CapnJohn
To: dougklink@gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:15 AM
Subject: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20131] Catastrophic prop failure (new props)


How many of you have had one of Hugh's NEW props fail for no reason?

I deliverd the green Amphi (you may have seen photos of it here) to it's new owner a few weeks ago. After only a very few hours in the water it shed one prop completely for no reason and without warning. Now keep in mind the prop nut was still there as well as the 2 keyways. The ONLY explaination is the NEW prop broke in half and fell off.

He was going into the water (slowly) and shortly after the prop just disappeared without any reason. He did not hit anything, he did not wrap it up in anything, it just failed. Hugh said "you should be glad it broke" HUH???? Why should we be glad a BRAND NEW $180 prop with few hours on it failed (broke in half!!!) for no reason and stranded a family with small children on the lake and we should be happy?? It's one thing to loose a blade, but not the whole prop!!!

These props (originaly) were designed to loose a blade, but not loose the entire prop so you still had some control. Hugh's NEW props at $180 each are failing for no reason. I know for certain I am not the 1st and probably won't be the last. But I have to say I couldn't be more dissapointed in Hugh right now. Right off the bat he blames my customer and then tries to say the shields caused it (no scars from the prop impacting it at all so they could not have had any effect on the props). He should have offered to send a new one withot hesitation. I have to pay fror it because I stand by my work and restorations. My customer paid hard earned money for this car and should have expectations of great customer service and a safe quality product.

My customer is an engineer and I have been in manufacturing / design / engineering for 25 years. We both agree that the ONLY explaination is a faulty prop causing a catastrophic failure (shedding the entire prop). Either an internal void or inferior materials or manufacturing process. I believe they are more brittle than originals, testing will show this. These props are failing! This could be deadly! What if you loose your prop (or both?) on a river just upstream from a dam or fast water? What about far out in a large lake (maybe at night?) Cold water will also bring about more failures. So many scenarios that people could be exposed to a deadly outcome from loosing a prop or 2.

The original generator went out and I ordered one from Hugh along with a new light pole ($280). We had to replace that new gen again because it was faulty from Hugh and the light pole had an internal short (new too) and had to be taken apart and repaired. Now the new prop is gone and NO help from Hugh. Yes, I am mad and very dissapointed that rather than replacing the defective prop, he blames my customer immediately.

I respect Hugh a lot for his innumerable contributions and do consider him a friend. But Hugh, c'mon you can really believe that the props that failed like mine did are anything but defective. You are putting people in harms way. I have sent my customer a set of original props so his children will be safe. The remaining NEW prop will be relagated to a spare because sadly at $180 each, they are not fit to be relied on.

I am sorry to be hard on Hugh, but this is not something to be ignored. Lives are at stake here.
 

sublimate

New Member
... for no reason and stranded a family with small children on the lake ...

This could be deadly! What if you loose your prop (or both?) on a river just upstream from a dam or fast water? What about far out in a large lake (maybe at night?) Cold water will also bring about more failures. So many scenarios that people could be exposed to a deadly outcome from loosing a prop or 2.

I always assumed (but never tested) that with one prop out you could still make some forward progress with the wheel cranked over to counter-act the turning.

But from what you wrote I gather this is not true? Will it just go round and round in circles? What about in reverse?
 

DavidC

Amphicar Expert
> I always assumed (but never tested) that with one prop out you could still
> make some forward progress with the wheel cranked over to counter-act the
> turning.
> What about in reverse?

Forward doesn't really work with one prop but you can normally make
reasonable progress in reverse if there is no current or wind. It does
depend which prop you loose, things are more difficult if you loose the
right prop.

In reverse, if you are able to hit the slipway square on and it's not too
steep you may even be able to get out of the water - I'm told it's possible
but not seen it done.

David C
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hi,

I bought two of his new props right when they first came out. They were such a tight fit on the shaft that I had to file the shaft holes and the keyways to get them on. I told Hugh about this at the time and they told me they had fixed the problem quickly. I also had to enlarge the opening for the thrust washer and I don't know if they fixed that. If your props were fitting very tightly on the shaft, the internal pressure might have cause such a failure. I've been using those props for at least a couple of years now with no problem.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
It was very interesting to read this note about which prop is worse to loose.

My right prop was dislodged when a rope wrapped around it & pulled it off in the Delaware River last month. I couldn't understand why I was turning the wheel all the way left & the Amphi was turning to the right. I thought something was wrong with my steering until my son yelled, "Mom, your propeller is floating down the river!" (I will write an article about this horrible experience soon.) So, yes, they do float, thank G-d!

We just kept turning in circles & I tried to make them bigger so we could grab the propeller. We finally were able to grab it & a real nice guy towed us back to the ramp. I am surprised to hear that the note that John posted mentioned that the propeller couldn't be found as mine floated. Maybe I have an older one of Hugh's?

I was recently given advice that the next time (there better not be one) I lose a propeller I should drive in reverse. So, to all of you, just in case you loose one too, put the Amphi in reverse & just drive backwards. Remember, I haven't tried this yet but it's a good one to remember AND, it's better than getting towed. Ina (in the Boro)
----- Original Message -----
From: DavidC
To: ribcab@verizon.net
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:45 PM
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20131] Re: Catastrophic prop failure (new props)


Quote:
> I always assumed (but never tested) that with one prop out you could still
> make some forward progress with the wheel cranked over to counter-act the
> turning.
> What about in reverse?

Forward doesn't really work with one prop but you can normally make
reasonable progress in reverse if there is no current or wind. It does
depend which prop you loose, things are more difficult if you loose the
right prop.

In reverse, if you are able to hit the slipway square on and it's not too
steep you may even be able to get out of the water - I'm told it's possible
but not seen it done.

David C



No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
Version: 8.0.138 / Virus Database: 270.6.9/1635 - Release Date: 8/26/2008 7:29 AM
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
The props do float. I was not there it was my customer in his new Amphicar. I am sure he was more occupied with getting his kids safely back to shore than looking for the pieces. It was the right side prop which combined with the clock-wise rotation will make your amphi want to turn to the right, hard. If it were the left, it would counter the right push somewhat.

John F - They fit looser than the originals did. They went on with ease. Even if they did fit tightly, they should not have split or shed the entire prop.

PeterP - DON'T use anything but a nylon prop. There is no shear pin to break so if you have a metal prop and hit something, you stand a good chance of damaging your trans. The nylon props should shear off ONE blade instead of breaking apart and shedding the whole prop.
 

PeterP

Member
Agreed. I actually looked at the Piranha props because they advertise the blades coming off on impact instead of fouling the whole prop, so I assume there is some built in shear there.

Regardless, I would much rather have the stock props on the Amphi, and I lust in my heart for the glow in the dark ones (I am strange).
 
S

SplitPersonality

Guest
Re: Catastrophic prop failure (new ...

I am beginning to think I am extremely fortunate not to have ever lost a
prop. I have the original Nylons but had no idea that they would float. Last
year, I clipped off a minor portion of one of the 3 blades of one prop. I
smoothed it off with a grinder and it has give me no trouble since. I had hit a
rock at Lake Dora. I guess it is only good fortune that I didn't lose the whole
prop. Vic Nelson with the 67 Split Personality



**************It's only a deal if it's where you want to go. Find your travel
deal here.
(http://information.travel.aol.com/deals?ncid=aoltrv00050000000047)
 
R

Ron Green

Guest
John,

Just out of curiosity how do you know for sure that the prop wasn't bumped, or was in fact defective, and is made out of the incorrect material? Not to be argumentative but I know a fair amount of members that are using these props with no issues. Granted that a few of Hugh's reproductions such as the front horn shell rubber leave something to be desired however the man recently has spend untold amount of dollars reproducing many parts that otherwise we would be forced to using old worn out ones.
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
John,

Just out of curiosity how do you know for sure that the prop wasn't bumped, or was in fact defective, and is made out of the incorrect material? Not to be argumentative but I know a fair amount of members that are using these props with no issues. Granted that a few of Hugh's reproductions such as the front horn shell rubber leave something to be desired however the man recently has spend untold amount of dollars reproducing many parts that otherwise we would be forced to using old worn out ones.

Ron - If the prop was bumped at worst it should shed only the blade as designed rather than the entire prop (leaving both keyways and prop-nut intact!) and any impact would probably would have left a scar on the freshly restored hull or shields. There is no other possible explanation. He was entering the water at a modern concrete ramp at low speed. I can only surmise it's material is not correct by feeling it. Compare a new one to an original and you will see what I am referring to. Tap on it with your finger and listen, the new ones sound more brittle. I am not inferring that he made them defective, just that some may indeed be defective and therefore pose a danger.

I do appreciate all Hugh has done for the marque and respect him as a person. This does not excuse him from standing behind his products or producing quality parts. I would be more receptive to finding out that a significant safety issue was at hand and how to prevent it from injuring someone. I also would never immediately blame the customer. I am also not the only one who had this failure. What if you're in colder waters? Upstream from a dam, You could conceivably loose both props, what then?

I hope you understand why I am so dissapointed in the whole situation.
 
I just tried a float test in my pool. Original prop sinks like a rock, New one from Gordon Imports floats. Your customer should have seen his prop bob to the surface.
 

azpaul50

Member
Oh jeeez.... I noticed a hairline crack on one of my props but hoped to have a reliable source should it need to be replaced. Actually, I've been watching this discussion with interest and am impressed that members actually go beyond the usual membership line set by just a few condescending members. The Nash Metropolitan community is like that a little with the Met Pit Stop in North Hollywood, CA and Jimmy Valentine often the subject of criticism. (Jimmy, by the way is not doing well healthwise and I know another Amphi owner also has a Met). I've known him for 20 years and separate the business from the individual. A lot of knowledge there... but given for a price! I personally think that is smart. Corvettes? I'm in that one too (Single Axle) with Nolan Adams' advise often off course. Vintage Harleys?H-D was all but forgotten any obligation to support leaving too many "experts" giving advice that seldom pans out. Yeah, I'm in the AMCA too. Anyway, it comes with the territory with candid commentary a good sign of community health. That is the way things eventually improve.
As for my prop... hmmm... let's see if I can find those pills the VA gave me years ago... Theo briefed me on my own car's condition (some logistical support to come from Gordon's) and I need a break! :eek:
 

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
This message thread is getting ugly. The public forums are not the place to be resolving personal / business disputes. I am setting this thread to closed.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
SNOWBIRD Prop housing units General Amphicar Discussion 6
Jon March im=a looking for a spare prop General Amphicar Discussion 1
D Prop rpm General Amphicar Discussion 0
scottamphi Prop Key Size General Amphicar Discussion 3
Akamphi Prop light question General Amphicar Discussion 2
S Re hood and prop rod General Amphicar Discussion 0
A Prop U Joints on EBay General Amphicar Discussion 0
C Prop driveshaft u-joints sloppy? General Amphicar Discussion 6
amphigill prop rpm General Amphicar Discussion 2
Midwest Amphicar prop shield newly made and installed General Amphicar Discussion 7
T Prop shaft questions please General Amphicar Discussion 11
L Decals (was Re: Noisy Prop Shaft Tubes) General Amphicar Discussion 2
L Prop Shaft Removal Problem (was Noisy Prop Shaft Tubes) General Amphicar Discussion 2
L Noisy Prop Shaft Tubes General Amphicar Discussion 1
T Prop speed General Amphicar Discussion 1
T Prop Cleaning General Amphicar Discussion 6
A Prop Shaft Bearing 3-19-2 Grease General Amphicar Discussion 1
A Space between prop and hull General Amphicar Discussion 2
C Prop shaft torx bolts... General Amphicar Discussion 4
E Inspecting Prop Shaft U-joints General Amphicar Discussion 0
G prop shafts General Amphicar Discussion 4
E Directional Stability, was Looking for used prop General Amphicar Discussion 1
S Looking for used prop General Amphicar Discussion 6
K rear axle arms, prop shaft, 66 lincoln General Amphicar Discussion 0
D One prop General Amphicar Discussion 0
M prop. General Amphicar Discussion 1
B independent prop drives General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Tool needed @ Celina for prop shaft assembly General Amphicar Discussion 0
M Prop shaft removal clarification needed General Amphicar Discussion 2
G broken prop General Amphicar Discussion 2
A Prop shaft tool General Amphicar Discussion 4
A prop shaft u-joints General Amphicar Discussion 0
A prop shaft u-joints and replacement horn General Amphicar Discussion 1
T seal puller/prop removal General Amphicar Discussion 0
T IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING. Amphicar suspension parts failure General Amphicar Discussion 6
LSolheim Strange Brake Failure General Amphicar Discussion 52
C Master Cylinder Failure General Amphicar Discussion 0
B 1st & 3rd gear failure General Amphicar Discussion 0
Top