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frazwood

Trolling motor not working (sort of)

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Let me begin with the fact that I know very little about trolling motors (or motors of any kind). 

I bought a boat (new) in 2008 or so.  It has a bow-mount trolling motor on it.  Last year (mid-June?), the trolling motor stopped working one day while I was out fishing.   Annoyed, I went home, put the boat on the trailer, put the trailer in the garage, and didn't deal with it for a couple of weeks.  When I went to deal with it, the trolling motor was again working fine.  It continued to work until late September when it stopped again (curiously, in the same location).    It didn't work the rest of the year.

I was talking to a guy over the winter and told him the story and he said "oh, sounds like you need to replace the brushes."

I'm reasonably handy, so I looked up a video on You Tube and it seems easy enough to change out the brushes.  

The only question... do I need to change out the brushes?  'cause I don't know if that guy was right or not.

When it trolling motor stops working, it still hums... but the prop doesn't rotate.

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Is it a Minn-Kota? Powerdrive?

Does it have the flat foot pedal(left/right is the left 2/3rds of pedal with speed on the right with on/off switch on bottom right)?

If it does, I would put money that the problem is with the foot pedal.  cleaning the contacts can work, put I have had to usually replace the pedal eventually. 

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SkunkedAgain: I don't know if the head will turn when it hums but doesn't spin.  It was working this past weekend, so I don't know.

ANYFISH2: Yep, it's a Minn-KotaPower Drive with a flat foot pedal as you describe.

Any way to figure out which is the problem?  (Assuming that it goes out again).

Edited by frazwood

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I think Anyfish 2 nailed it.We've had the same problem.Can you borrow a foot pedal from a buddy?It's a pretty common problem so there's probably a video on how to fix but as AF2 said it's on it's way out.

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I not sure how tell for sure if it is running.  Like gunner said if you have one you can borrow next time out bringing it with.

In the early stages of failure I have been able to get the to turn on by folding and wedging a piece of card board under the on off switch to force added pressure on the contact.  It takes a little fiddling  but works in a pinch.

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Those foot pedals can get stuff in between the contacts. The Minnkota service center (after fixing mine once) told me to dunk the entire pedal into the lake every once in a while to clean it off. The pedal is made to get wet so it won't hurt the pedal. I dunk my pedal twice a season: once mid-summer and once late in the fall and haven't had an issue in almost 10 years now. 

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So, an update...

I bought a new foot pedal and a kit for replacing the brushes.  The brushes were fine… the new foot pedal didn't solve the problem either.

I finally decided to do the sensible thing and take it in for service.  The control board was friend.

No complaints, though.  The seals included in the kit for replacing the brushes were used… and based on what you all have said, I'll need a new foot pedal sooner or later.

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