Yamaha Hubs

Due to well-known problems with rubber hubs in propellers used on Yamaha V6 outboards (Google it for a litany of complaints) we are not able to warranty rehubs on these propellers.

For Yamaha-made propellers, the best option is the original OEM 61A-style hub, which is now available.  Remember that the 61A hub spun originally–it is not a magic solution.

On aftermarket propellers, we must use the aftermarket HMS VS-14 or VS-45 hub, which has proven to be unreliable due to the horsepower and heat generated by the new fuel injected two stroke and four stroke motors.

We do have both the 61A and the aftermarket HMS hubs in stock.  We will use the 61A whenever we can.  Unfortunately, some aftermarket props (and some Yamaha props that were manufactured by third parties) will not accept the 61A hub. 

UPDATE:  Yamaha has introduced the SDS hub, which still can “spin” but offers a lock up system that should get you  home (unless the bow tie lock washer tears up the top of the prop, which we have seen).  That is being replaced by the SDS II, which locks in a different way if it gets loose but can get clunky when it gets worn.  The old rubber hub props are not upgradable to SDS hubs. 

Suzuki has had its own problems trying to run up to 300 hp through rubber hubs–they introduced the Water Grip, which is a square hub system that interchanges with the Mercury Flo Torq.  While it will fail (like the Flo Torq II) it’s easy to replace and more durable than the rubber hub.  Mercury has introduced new systems that are more durable than the Flo Torq II–the SSR and SSR Solid.  And Solas has introduced square cavity B versions of their Rubex hubs that work better in saltwater due to brass splines and reduce clutch rattle.  Whew!  Call us if you need to find the right hub kit for your application.

See below for an explanation that was first posted on the Florida Sportsman forum and is making its rounds across the Internet:

This is the real story on all these rubber hub failures that everyone is talking about, from a prop professional who’s been doing it for 21 years and has rehubbed thousands of propellers:
Rubber hubs have been around a long time. They do a fine job at what they’re supposed to do: protecting the drive line from a propeller that suddenly goes in motion or suddenly stops. And they’ve been spinning prematurely since the beginning, primarily when subjected to excessive heat, excessive horsepower or excessive load. It is, afterall, just chunk of rubber squeezed into a small hole.
The last 15 years has seen a huge increase in the horsepower and heat generated by new motors. Hubs started failing way too early and way too often. Mercury saw this early on, and they came up with the Delrin Flo-Torq hub to deal with it (and also solve a huge problem they were having with square rubber hubs failing). The Flo-Torq replaced the hubs in all those propellers, and it worked so well that every Mercury propeller for motors 40 hp (Big Foot) and up uses a Delrin (plastic) insert rather than a rubber hub. The Flo-Torq also allows for universal fit of Mercury props on many motors.
Other manufacturers have followed suit with non-rubber hubs. BRP supplies the plastic TBX system in many of their large gearcase props, PowerTech developed the Cushion-Loc, Michigan Wheel has the Flo-Torq-compatible XHS and Solas has the Rubex, to name a few.
The big problem in our shop the last few years has been Yamaha V6 propellers, for both two and four stroke motors. For years we and every other shop used aftermarket hubs from HMS, parts VS-14 and VS-45, and had few problems. The OEM 61A hub was never available and never really needed. But then we started seeing 10-15% repeat hub failure, costing us and our customers lots of money and aggravation. Along with horsepower, it became clear to us that high exhaust temperatures were causing hubs to melt. Yamaha got involved, and we discovered some small but apparently significant differences between the 61A hub and the HMS replacements. Several prop shops, including ours, tested 61A hubs supplied by Yamaha with great results. So Yamaha started selling the 61A to prop shops and props shops have been using it since the first of this year.

Problem is that the 61A is very expensive, and availability has been spotty because Yamaha needs them for its own production. Yamaha is also allegedly developing its own rubber-alternative hub system.
If you have repeated hub failure, it likely means you have an application that simply generates too much heat, horsepower or load on your propeller. Especially until recently, when the 61A became available, your prop shop was doing the best it could.
You should consider switching to a prop with non-rubber hub (like the Flo-Torq or the Cushion-Loc). If you have a V6 Yamaha, if you have your hub replaced make sure the shop uses the Yamaha 61A hub if possible. That might solve your problem, but remember that the first hub to fail was likely a 61A also. How long will the replacement last?
I’d be happy to answer any specific questions about spun hubs.


Bob Musselman

Admiral/C&B Propeller