I finally broke down and bought a new trolling motor, tired of messing with old ones that rattle or wobble from worn out aperture shaft. I bought a MINN KOTA MAXXUM 70/SC/BG 24V 70LB and here is my review after using it one day.
The good: It certainly is heavy duty and can take a beating. It is plenty fast enough. It steers easy and the foot peddle is easy to use. The speed dial is a little stiff but turns ok with my foot. It folds up nicely and drops down easy. The shaft is easy to adjust.
The bad: The speeds are weird and now I wish I would have forked over the extra $70 to get variable speed. One is very low, don’t know what good that is. Two is very low, seems that should be one. Three is too much for quiet trolling, there is a huge difference between 2 and three. Four is about the same as three. Five is full 70 pounds of thrust and that is plenty but forget being able to steer it when going that fast. The prop is really big so it has to sit in the water deeper than my motorquide with it’s 4 blade prop. The motor is very heavy, maybe that is what keeps it cool. The prop is full of water when I fold it up and it all runs in the boat. The motor so too heavy to turn it to let the water drain out. I may have to drill some drain holes.
Over all I am happy with it. I just hope it lats longer than the motor guides which last 15-30 years.
———— update July 2014 ————-
I finally broke down and bought a conversion kit for $200. I haven’t put it in yet but I am excited to get it. I gave it a year. I put a bigfoot switch in the front for trolling motor on the back to boost my speed, which really works great until you have a fish running under the boat with your line. Between that and having to put the motor in every time I move all became too much. I could have sold the motor and took a $100 loss, and then paid $100 for a new motor but then I’d have to switch them out and go through all the trouble of selling. Hopefully this is the end of the trouble. Lesson learned, never get a 5 speed ever again.
I do like the motor, the prop goes through weeds without cutting them or getting all tangled uop in the motor (so far). The motor is heavy duty, quiet, steers pretty well, the peddle isn’t bad so I am happy with with it for the most part. It is a bit heavy, I had to drill holes in the prop to drain the water each time I pull it up, but not much bad to say about it.