Huffy "Panama Jack" WARNING!!!

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Sgt. Howard, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    GADZOOKS!!! Here I have been touting the Cranbrook as a reliable machine to start with... and I still stand by that claim, once you remove or replace the fenders... then my son breaks BOTH of the upper wishbones on a Panama Jack right where the rack is welded on! I am talking about the upper back portion of the triangle that holds the rear wheel. Oddly enough, he drove it some miles that way without notice! While it speaks well of the rest of the frame, I can't help but wonder what errors where made regarding the welding of the back rack, as the fracture is on both sides just below this junction. And no, the RACK is still welded on, but the FRAME just below is kaput!
    My first thought was to weld it back together, but for some reason I don't trust this idea- any opinions?- Has anybody else experienced this issue? This is a three-year-old machine, and my 200+ pound 16 year old rides is routinely in good weather. He also rides my 4-year-old Cranny without harm. Of seven machines, this is the first frame failure I have experienced with the Huffy Cranbrook series- I have another customer on a Panama Jack and he loves the blazes out of the silly thing... he also drives like a little old lady, seldom tops 20mph... that could be a factor. James read on this forum "Ride it like you STOLE it!" and he takes that to heart. If HE can't break it, I know it's good.

    Thought you ought to know.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

  2. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    If you have access to a tig machine, I imagine a simple fusion weld would have that bike up and running like the day you bought it
  3. dougsr.874

    dougsr.874 Active Member

    I posted a warning concerning the Huffy problem several months ago...All of the bikes that have a welded rack have this problem...including the newer Schwinn's...I've seen both break in the same spot....they can be welded...
  4. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    unless he is 6'5" and pumping iron...personally, methinks you should take the engine off the bike. "accidently" spill hydrochloric acid on his xbox and television...that sort of thing...

    oh. this was a :rant: about a frame! oops... hmmms. time for a new one :( if it hasnt happened with the same frames before, consider it a one-off failure :)

    edit. now theres another post, saying its a common fault...gussets are the answer!
  5. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    He benches 375 pounds, can drop a 30" diameter tree with a double-bit axe in less than 30 minutes and does most of my metal bending for me... by hand... we don't have television or x-box in this house. His shoes are size 14 EE
  6. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    had a customer's kid do the same - seems he had his friend riding on that rack

    buy new frame & tell him not to do that
  7. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member


    can he come and fell some trees for me? :) nice australian hardwood, mind you...might slow him down a bit!

    sending submarine over now :jester:
  8. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Dunno- what diameter is the hatch? He's gotta fit down it, you see and that might be an issue. Eucalyptus, right? How many stoned koalas will he be rendering homeless? Not that I am a PETA sympathizer... more likely would like to do some trade in pelts... what does koala taste like? Do you have recipes? As for bring them down (the trees), I would recommend C-4 and det-cord... never known to fail. James (my stepson) is well trained in such things, he will bring with... but if it is a LONG voyage, you will need to stock several hundred pounds of food, mostly meat. Mutton is acceptable as long as you curry it. Otherwise he might eat the crew in mid ocean.
  9. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    pffft, eucalyptus is mere soft wood compared to some of the stuff that grows here :wacko:

    buloke (black casuarina) rates as the worlds hardest (commercially milled) timber, but most tree loppers will say black wattle is about the hardest for actually getting anything through. might as well go stick the saw into a brick wall!

    i have $200 sitting here waiting for the first person that can get a block splitter through the centre of my 1ft slices of iron bark in one swing :) barely leave a mark on the they cleared the farming lands with just axes back in the day...who knows? probably assisted with dynamite :evilgrin:
  10. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    C-4 is dynamite on steroids with an attitude problem- I can get artistic with it. Uncle Sam taught me a LOT about dangerous playtoys- bring on the wood....
  11. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    Hey Sarge, How ya been? Long time eh? After my stroke my memory got a little befuffled, And I forgot my danged password. FINALLY, just now, remembered it. Did anyone really miss me though? Probably not this old hard headed SOB.
    But anyway. I've been telling people about the Jack Rack for a while now, I THINK I heard about the problem on that OTHER SITE. I've got a panama in my shop right now and have already informed my shop manager of the problem with the rack welds so he may in turn inform the customer. The regular Cranny is a great frame to start with. Steel frame with decent welds, Steel rims with 12 guage spokes. I've been riding mine for a while now, no major problems.
    Big Red.
  12. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Hey Red- good to hear from ya. If you are up to it, I have some business to discuss with you- I will PM you later, as right now I need to do the dishes
  13. fattirejack

    fattirejack Member

    I saw this thread and had to inspect my Panama Jack. I have over a 800 miles on mine, chain stays look fine. After looking at the welds on mine (very poor quality) I can see how they could effect frame integrity, if rack was used to carry heavy loads. Good thing to be aware of, I will check those tubes when I do my routine bike inspection. Routine inspection is critical on these gas powered vibrators, I have prevented many problems just by regular tightening of bolts.