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Thread: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Default Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    This is the 80 lb. thrust trolling motor that I cannibalized for my fantail launch. I've been experimenting with RC plane propellers and went out this morning with the newest one. Satisfactory results with speed and battery charge until I hit some weeds. Prop did not break, but weeds wrapped around propeller shaft and slowed motor, plus severe vibration. I rowed to shore (close by) and removed the weed. Forward gear worked fine, but no reverse.
    Back in my driveway I found that the prop turns in the forward direction easily by hand but is harder to turn by hand in reverse. When turned on in reverse, there is nothing, not even the sound of the motor straining to run. Did I fry something? The motor has circuit breakers so it shouldn't have fried.
    In the picture, you can see how far out on the shaft the prop sits. Lots of shaft to wrap crap around. Other shot is straight at the rear of the motor. There is no evidence of anything caught in there.
    Any ideas other then it's time to buy a new motor?

    IMG_4173.jpg

    IMG_4172.jpg
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    I'm thinking some sort of mechanical damage to most likely the brushes from the shock of it loading up suddenly,the brushes come to mind seeing that it will turn in one direction OK the trailing edge of the brushes when turning in reverse could be catching on the gaps in the commutator.
    whatever it is you will need to open it up and inspect the stator,rotor bearings as well as the brushes and commutator surface...........$.02

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    What will happen if I loosen those two bolts at the end of the motor and pull the rear casing off? Will a dozen little pieces fall out on the ground? Right now I can go in forward. I'm afraid if I pull this thing apart, it will be the end of it.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    I would expect that the brushes will be pushed out of their slots by their springs, but there "should" be a way to keep them in place to reassemble but i do not know what method they used it's often just two holes in the housing that you stick a piece of wire or a small Dia. pin through.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Often enough trolling motors are brushless, I think, and what do you have to lose if you're alternative is to replace the entire unit anyway?

    Besides, you've aroused the group curiosity. Don't you think you owe it to the lot of us for being so supportive for so long?

    There appears to be a bit of roughness on the shaft. I would clean that off and oil or grease the shaft first in order to avoid scratching the seals.

    You will probably have to disconnect the wiring somewhere in order to pull the guts out. While you're at it look for damage. You may have simply burnt some of it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Just watched Dave's suggested youtube. That looks pretty easy. Ain't he just a helpful booger?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Just watched Dave's suggested youtube. That looks pretty easy. Ain't he just a helpful booger?
    People who know what they're doing always make it look easy!
    Good advice so far. I'll wait a day or two before opening the thing up. Probably best to check electronics first. Guess I'll have to go out and buy a meter for that.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    I just checked out the price of a new switch (controller) for my motor. If that's the problem, there's no way I'm spending $200 to repair it. An entire new motor would be around $800. Remember, this motor was given to me and I've no idea of it's past use or age. I'm thinking it's around 12 years old.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Rich, my philosophy has always been: Somebody put it together, so I can take it apart. And, I can fix it.

    I say go for it. You will find a way.

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Rich, my philosophy has always been: Somebody put it together, so I can take it apart. And, I can fix it.

    I say go for it. You will find a way.

    Jeff
    I don't mind giving it a shot, but if I screw it up, the boat will probably sit on the trailer all summer. Plus, I'm a terrible mechanic. At least, as is, I can go in forward. It would be a nuisance not having reverse, but I could live with it for the season.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    I wouldn't count on forward lasting too long at this point. Perhaps you have a friend who enjoys tinkering?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    I googled 80 lb. thrust trolling motor and that was the second video I saw. I have owned a trolling motor for almost 40 years and plan to hook it to a battery someday to see if it works. That is the extent of my expertise, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. If the reverse part of the circuit board is fried, maybe you could rig a switch to reverse the polarity to get it to run in reverse.
    Probably best to check electronics first. Guess I'll have to go out and buy a meter for that.
    The meter in the video showed that there was voltage, but not much else. The light bulbs showed that the power was variable by starting dim and brightening as the handle was twisted. Having a meter is a good idea, but in this case the light bulbs gave better information. A nearly dead reverse circuit might still read 21 volts and barely light the bulbs. I really don't know, but once you hook it up and turn the handle you'll find out.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Using a set of trailer lights, I could get the light to work in forward but not reverse. So, I guess it's the controller/switch. I also took the motor apart to see what it looked like. Brushes look good, commutator looks good. Cleaned that up and was able to get it all back together and it actually runs (miracles do happen!). Still no reverse, though.
    Now I'll open up the head and see which controller/switch I need. Since I don't know the year of the motor, I'll have to compare what I have with MiniKota's parts diagram for the various years. The one for 2006 was $200, the other ones somewhat less.
    The good news is that I've got plenty of other boats to use while this one is in drydock.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    more google-fu
    <<<EDIT: I suppose it would help if you could find it: https://www.minnkotamotors.com/suppo...-serial-number
    EDIT 2 https://www.minnkotamotors.com/sites...s-01-09-18.pdf
    More recent motors
    Year of Manufacture:
    J = 2009
    K = 2010
    L = 2011
    M = 2012
    N = 2013
    O = 2014
    P = 2015
    Q = 2016
    R = 2017
    S = 2018
    T = 2019
    U = 2020
    >>>


    How To Determine What Year Minn Kota Trolling Motor You Have

    2008 and earlier serial numbers:

    1. Serial numbers start with the two-letter prefix MK (Minn Kota), GN (Genesis), DH (DeckHand), CP (CoPilot), WW (Weedless Wedge 2 models), TT (Trim Tabs), or PT
    2. After the two-letter prefix will be a two-letter year code:
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    A B C D E F G H I J
    Example: If you see a motor with a MKAI designation, it will denote a Minn Kota that is a 2008 model motor

    2009 and later serial numbers:

    The first letter is the year code, the next 3 numbers is the number of the day of the year (out of 365), The next 2 letters are the product code, the last numbers are the serial number.
    Example: If your number were this:
    J003MK99999
    J = 09
    003= Manufactured 3rd day of the year
    MK= Minn Kota
    99999= Serial Number
    The motor would be a 2009.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 07-09-2018 at 10:30 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    more google-fu
    <<<EDIT: I suppose it would help if you could find it: https://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/locating-your-serial-number>>>
    How To Determine What Year Minn Kota Trolling Motor You Have

    2008 and earlier serial numbers:

    1. Serial numbers start with the two-letter prefix MK (Minn Kota), GN (Genesis), DH (DeckHand), CP (CoPilot), WW (Weedless Wedge 2 models), TT (Trim Tabs), or PT
    2. After the two-letter prefix will be a two-letter year code:
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    A B C D E F G H I J
    Example: If you see a motor with a MKAI designation, it will denote a Minn Kota that is a 2008 model motor

    2009 and later serial numbers:

    The first letter is the year code, the next 3 numbers is the number of the day of the year (out of 365), The next 2 letters are the product code, the last numbers are the serial number.
    Example: If your number were this:
    J003MK99999
    J = 09
    003= Manufactured 3rd day of the year
    MK= Minn Kota
    99999= Serial Number
    The motor would be a 2009.
    Thanks! By the serial number, I now know I have a 2009 model. New switch/controller is around $140. Next problem is removing the lead wires from the controller. Looks like they put a dab of glue on them before slipping them over the terminals. Nothing's easy....
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    You don't need reverse

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    You don't need reverse
    With that in mind, I've decided to just put the thing back together again and use it as is for this season. I'll ponder my different options over the course of the summer and do something this winter when I can put the boat in the shop.
    I'd like to re-power with an electric inboard but the prices for those units are insane. Most want an average of $5,000 just for the motor, not including controller, propeller, shaft, etc. Why are they more then twice the cost of a gas outboard of the same HP? I can't justify spending that amount right now. My daughter is getting married next spring. My wife and I are picking up cans along the side of the road to pay for it.
    Using the 80 lb. thrust motor was an experiment in the first place. It was available and did work out to a satisfactory degree, but I knew that re-power might very well be down the road.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    There's always Craiglist too.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    Back in my driveway I found that the prop turns in the forward direction easily by hand but is harder to turn by hand in reverse.
    Has the rebuild solved the stiffness turning by hand in reverse. If not a new/used working switch may not be the complete fix.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcodger View Post
    Has the rebuild solved the stiffness turning by hand in reverse. If not a new/used working switch may not be the complete fix.
    I really didn't rebuild anything, just took it apart and put it back together again after finding no culprits for the stiffness. For all I know, it's been like that forever. But, it does give me pause on how long this motor is good to go.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Here's a still in the box 80 lb for $950. Been up for a while, so an offer might be accepted. Near you too!

    https://vermont.craigslist.org/bpo/d...619358321.html

    Here's one that comes with a fishfinder - but it's in Syracuse NY: https://syracuse.craigslist.org/bpo/...617429396.html

    & one right near me that's listed as "salvage" ("First offer that has my attention gets it."): https://vermont.craigslist.org/bpo/d...612218974.html
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I really didn't rebuild anything, just took it apart and put it back together again after finding no culprits for the stiffness. For all I know, it's been like that forever. But, it does give me pause on how long this motor is good to go.
    The stiffness might be what fried the reverse circuit.
    No signs of anything rubbing? Slathering trashed bearings with molybdenum disulfide grease can delay failures.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 07-08-2018 at 12:57 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Here's a still in the box 80 lb for $950. Been up for a while, so an offer might be accepted. Near you too!

    https://vermont.craigslist.org/bpo/d...619358321.html

    Here's one that comes with a fishfinder - but it's in Syracuse NY: https://syracuse.craigslist.org/bpo/...617429396.html

    & one right near me that's listed as "salvage" ("First offer that has my attention gets it."): https://vermont.craigslist.org/bpo/d...612218974.html
    Thanks for the research! That one near me is nice, but for another $75, I can get a new one. I will keep it bookmarked, though.
    A new one goes for $1050, but a double pod (160 lb. thrust) goes for $1200. That might be the route I go. Still pondering the pros and cons. No rush as it's something I'll probably attend to this winter.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Trolling motor trouble: No reverse. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    The stiffness might be what fried the reverse circuit.
    No sings of anything rubbing? Slathering trashed bearings with molybdenum disulfide grease can delay failures.
    The bearing was in great shape. No wobble and it spins just fine. I did put a dab of lithium grease on the bearing before putting it back together.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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