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Old 03-04-2012, 09:33 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Lightbulb DIY: Trolling Motor Tips

Unfortunately; I have become very experienced with repairing trolling motors over the past decade. I thought I would share some of my tips and insight in hopes that it helps others. In my opinion MotorGuide is a much better built trolling motor than Minn Kota.

Also; I welcome any tips from others on this board to share!

  • Always use heavy gauge wire when running from battery to motor. I like to buy high quality jumper cables and cut the clamps off. Sears has some excellent 'door-buster' sets for cheap if you keep your eye out.
  • Install a 60amp fuse in line.
  • Buy a battery large enough to only be drained down to 45-55% of capacity after normal use.
  • Charge heavy 10-15 amp immediately after each use.
  • Buy a decent digital battery charger with deep cycle mode (10-15amp). ~$60 *Note; if you use an extension cord; make sure it is a short cord and heavy gauge as to not restrict voltage or to cause a fire hazard.
  • Worn brushes are usually the culprit of faulty motors. $15 for a set online + new O-ring gaskets is an easy fix.
  • The motor housing has an up & a down side; even though it will fit easily either way. If you get this wrong; it will go in reverse in fwd mode-vice versa.
  • You can make a propeller clutch by removing the shear pin and installing a flat washer, spring, and another washer on the shaft. Then; tighten the nut. It is better to buy a longer spring and cut it to fit to get the right tension.
  • Broken motor magnets can be fixed with quickset epoxy and 1" C-clamps.
  • Buy some rubber grommets or stoppers to put under your screw mounts so that it limits the vibration and quietens the motor.
  • A motor skeg is great to use for rivers and easy to install.
  • Always put a safety chain from your boat to the motor mount.
  • You can repair a stripped out propeller hub with a bottle cap in a emergency situation.
Here are some of my pictures to help elaborate on a few of my experiences.


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Last edited by MadisonBoats; 03-06-2012 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:29 PM
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TN Jed TN Jed is offline
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Shawn:
Thanks for the tips! I’m curious….why do you suggest using a heavy charge at 10-15 amps? I use a slow charge for my deep-cycle battery when I get back and use the same 2 amp charge prior to going back out again.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:04 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN Jed View Post
Shawn:
Thanks for the tips! I’m curious….why do you suggest using a heavy charge at 10-15 amps? I use a slow charge for my deep-cycle battery when I get back and use the same 2 amp charge prior to going back out again.
Jed, I think it is key to get a deep cycle battery back up to charge quickly to avoid sulfation and this time frame suits most user's desires of charging in 6-12 hours. The key idea behind the heavy amps is to facilitate a quick and consistent charge for the thicker DC Plates in the bulk and absorption stages. Many people will wait several days or do not like having a battery charging for several days.

I use following digital charger for my deep cycle batteries and it automatically adjusts the voltage & amps to meet the four stages of charging (bulk, absorption, equalizing, float-maintain). It works very well and I can get my battery back up to storage overnight. I usually get about 2 years out of my batteries with around 100-120 charges.

Charging with 2 amps works well if you have the time to let it facilitate.
Schumacher SSC-1500A



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Last edited by MadisonBoats; 03-05-2012 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:30 AM
Rodonthefly Rodonthefly is offline
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Shawn that's pretty good info you posted. I'm on the look out for a good trolling motor, 56 pound thrust or greater, keep your eye out for me would ya.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rodonthefly View Post
Shawn that's pretty good info you posted. I'm on the look out for a good trolling motor, 56 pound thrust or greater, keep your eye out for me would ya.
Rod, that would be a great setup for the Clinch! You will probably have to start looking at 24v and 36v trolling motors once you get above 50lb thrusts. That means 2-3 batteries. However; done correctly-you will have a great setup. You will probably have to pay about $300-500 for one of these big boy trolling motors. That has been the only thing holding me back. Most people look at used 3-5hp motors once they get to this dilemma. However; I think an electric trolling motor works best for me.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:25 PM
Corbo Corbo is offline
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Shawn; I've owned a few minn kota electrics and well it seems nothing holds up very well in a river... when the motor stops and the boat keeps going it's a bad situation.... stuff gets destroyed.

The picture of the inside motor housing is interesting; is that a cracked magnate under the jacket of the motor and can you really glue them back together? Sorta looks like the inside of a Mercury outboard starter...

On my Trackers I threw out the trolling motors and installed an electric anchor system and figured this was a better use of the deep cycle system wiring and the best means to pull anchor safely while storing the line outta the way. A friend of mine got pulled out of his boat on the Deleware several years ago while pulling anchor line against the current; lucky he didn't get killed.

An electric anchor mounts easily on the bow and uses the same 12 volts so you might check into it.

I am surprised that an electric motor would get you around okay on the Clinch and wonder if you launch and land at the same place or drift to a lower ramp and use the motor to push through the slow spots?

Awesome topic, advice and info!
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