Where's Your Head At?


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by Dave Tackett in Sterling Il

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After working on a few trolling motors I think it is best to take it in and have a pro work on it because I see a lot of damage caused by lack of knowledge. I see bearings that have been put in too tight or put in backwards. I seeplastic tops and other parts where screws went in wrong stripping the holes. I see cracked housings from forcing it down the shaft to remove.

I bought two trolling motors on ebay. One was for $100 and I had to drive 3 hours to pick it up. It was totally trashed and hardly anything was of use. Even the armature was bent. It was descrobed as needing a lower bearing. Bearings rarely go bad and if they do it's likely from abuse. Both bearings were bad and so was about everything else.

I just got the other that I paid even more for and it was said to have a broken cable. Cables rarely break and if they do it's possibly because of a bent shaft. Buying a used trolling motor is risky, they sell it because it has too many problems to mess with and they just want a new one. Heres what happened, his trolling motor kept sliding down and wouldn't stay up, so the mount was stripped. On mine, I took a long bolt and heated it up and bent it over for an easy lever to get really tight. But this guiy must have fought this for some time and the top outer shaft was all dented. Being down to low the main shaft hit things and it was severely bent. I have had this problem years ago and I just took a piece of plastic [i[e about 10" long and split it. I then taped it around the upper shaft to keep it from dropping below the pipe.

What they don't want you to know about trolling motors.

After doing some endless searching on the web and only finding trash sites that offer little more than ads, I decided I would share what I have been learning. I have quite a few old motor guides and so I have parts I am using to keep them running. I am learning what to do and what I can't do. Most things you can fix yourself.

If your bearing on your shaft is dropping, don't try to raise it up because thats not the problem, the problem is at the top bearing under the hood. The shaft is coming unscrewed and if you don't fix it it will only get worse. You have to tighten the round cyclinder at the top of the shaft, and it has an allen screw to hold it in place that has to be unscrewed and rescrewed when finished. The stainless steel cylinder takes a pipe wrench to tighten, it is hard to get a bite on it.

This is the armature. I had a wobble in my motor and regardless of what they tell you, there is no inside bearings to replace. Once the armature shaft has a worn spot it will wobble. The shaft sits in two bushings, front and back. You can replace the armature but it costs about half the price of a new trolling motor. Chances are, if you are hearing a clunking sound then it is the two spring loaded brushes that fit on the shaft giving it juice. They do wear out and break and they are easy and cheap to replace.

Brushes are the parts (above) that wear out or break, not bearings.

This is one of the bushings


Above and below - when I switched heads I had problems, one motor was an electrical foot peddle and it was 52# thrust and my original was 62#, so the variable didn't work right. To fix this problem I am going to switch this part where the wires are connected to. I don't know what the white stuff is, but its gewy. This is the only part remaining that is different, otherwise I will be using all my switches, wires and everything and only the armature and housing will be from that other trolling motor I am getting parts from, which was not as long, so I couldn't just switch armature.



There are rubber seals in-between the housing parts, they probably should be replaced to make sure no water gets inside. You can see the other bushing here too.

This is everything laid out in the order that it goes









Well I hope this gives you some idea on what your dealing with when taking a trolling motor apart. They aren't that hard to fix if you have parts laying around. Maybe now you'll have an idea on what the repair service is doing so you don't get taken to the cleaners. It is time consuming to take all this apart, so chances are they earn their money, but you'll never know if someone threw used parts in.

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Dave Tackett has been making art and cartoons since 2004. He has made many logos for businesses and he has made numerous custom cartoon T-shirts. His photography is great for cards and prints, and all his art can be found in canvas prints and many other products offered by Zazzle. If you would like a name added to any picture just send me an email.
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