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Trolling motor suddenly quit and now will not power back on

Old 09-03-2017, 08:42 PM
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Default Trolling motor suddenly quit and now will not power back on

I was making a tight U-turn at the back of a cove with my trolling motor when it suddenly quit. Now my trolling motor will not power back on. The fuses at the batteries seem fine. I've read elsewhere on the site that you should not charge the batteries with the trolling motor plugged in. In other words, I should disconnect power if the trolling motor is not in use, charging or in storage. Apparently, that is the number 1 cause of failure and something that I just learned. What I don't know is what specific electrical problems I may have caused by charging my batteries without unplugging my trolling motor. Is the first thing I should do is replace the plug and receptacle where the trolling motor connects to the 24v system?

Any other reasons why my trolling motor suddenly quit while turning and now will not power on?
Old 09-03-2017, 10:22 PM
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Your "fuses at the batteries" should have nothing to do with your trolling motor. If this trolling motor motor was properly installed it should have a circuit breaker (not a fuse) very close to your 2 batteries on the positive wire. It probably looks similar to this.

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If the yellow tab is showng like in the picture the circuit breaker has tripped. Just push it back into to place and you should be good. I've never disconnected my trolling before charging on any of the previous 4 boats I've owned and I don't know ANYONE that does either (for fear of damaging trolling motor anyway). I do manually trip my breaker (push the red button) on my current boat/trolling motor after I get done fishing so there is not parasitic drain on my batteries from the trolling motor.

See if you have this breaker on your boat and hopefully you do and it is tripped, lift the yellow lever up and you should be good.Some manufactures use very cheap circuit breakers and install them directly on the battery post or near it. They look like similar to this.

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You reset these by pushing the small black button on the side.These breakers are complete junk IMO. They corrode and fail regularly. If you have one of these trash it and buy a blue sea breaker like the one shown above.

Not sure what kind of plug you have but if you are not planning on taking your trolling motor on and off your boat I would just hard wire the trolling and not have a plug. If you have your TM on a quick release bracket then I recommend getting one of these plugs.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Battery-T...&wl13=&veh=sem

Coat all the terminal connections down with dielectric grease and you should not have to worry about loss of power from loose connections or corrosion anymore...
Old 09-04-2017, 05:28 AM
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If you were making a tight turn and you do that a lot, may have a broken wire in the coiled wire. Happened to me. Check for continuity on the wires.
Old 09-04-2017, 03:03 PM
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mdees88 I have one of the cheap circuit breakers on my cranking battery but I only have one inline 30amp fuse on the positive cable of each of my two trolling batteries. The outboard cranks so that circuit breaker is fine. I checked the two inline fuses and they are fine as well. I ended up checking every fuse I could find and they are all fine. I can find the only one circuit breaker though.

DIVER2
Which coiled wire are you referencing?
Old 09-04-2017, 03:54 PM
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The wire that goes from the head of the trolling motor to the mount.
Old 09-04-2017, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TR4321 View Post
mdees88 but I only have one inline 30amp fuse on the positive cable of each of my two trolling batteries.
Okay. You really only need one fuse/breaker on the positive wire that goes to the trolling motor.... That other fuse is just protecting the jumper wire that is likely less than 2 feet long. Minimizing the number of "breaks" in the wire will help to prevent corrosion and resistance.

I would pull both fuses out and clean them off and put them back in. I would also check for loose connections on your TM batteries and where your TM plug is. If you still have problems it is most like the trolling motor itself...
Old 09-04-2017, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TR4321 View Post
I was making a tight U-turn at the back of a cove with my trolling motor when it suddenly quit. Now my trolling motor will not power back on. The fuses at the batteries seem fine. I've read elsewhere on the site that you should not charge the batteries with the trolling motor plugged in. In other words, I should disconnect power if the trolling motor is not in use, charging or in storage. Apparently, that is the number 1 cause of failure and something that I just learned. What I don't know is what specific electrical problems I may have caused by charging my batteries without unplugging my trolling motor. Is the first thing I should do is replace the plug and receptacle where the trolling motor connects to the 24v system?

Any other reasons why my trolling motor suddenly quit while turning and now will not power on?

There is zero truth to that old wives tail about the charger damaging the trolling motor. Cant happen.

For one, if the trolling motor is turned OFF there is no electrical connection to the TM circuitry so no way to cause damage. Secondly, the charger output voltage (unless its broken) is within the range thats tolerated by any trolling motor, so even if you turned it ON while charging, for some unknown reason, there would again be no damage.

Lots of boats out there with 12 v trolling motors that get stowed and then the main motor charges the batteries while the trolling motor is still connected.
Old 09-04-2017, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TR4321 View Post
mdees88The outboard cranks so that circuit breaker is fine.[B]
Just FYI, the power wire for the outboard will not have a fuse or circuit breaker on it. Starting your outboard can pull a couple hundred amps. That "cheap" breaker is likely on the wire going to your livewells, horn, nav lights, bottom machine etc. So if they are working it is good...
Old 09-05-2017, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
Just FYI, the power wire for the outboard will not have a fuse or circuit breaker on it. Starting your outboard can pull a couple hundred amps. That "cheap" breaker is likely on the wire going to your livewells, horn, nav lights, bottom machine etc. So if they are working it is good...
Thanks. Learning something new every day.
Old 09-05-2017, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
Your "fuses at the batteries" should have nothing to do with your trolling motor. If this trolling motor motor was properly installed it should have a circuit breaker (not a fuse) very close to your 2 batteries on the positive wire. It probably looks similar to this.

Attachment 876406

If the yellow tab is showng like in the picture the circuit breaker has tripped. Just push it back into to place and you should be good. I've never disconnected my trolling before charging on any of the previous 4 boats I've owned and I don't know ANYONE that does either (for fear of damaging trolling motor anyway). I do manually trip my breaker (push the red button) on my current boat/trolling motor after I get done fishing so there is not parasitic drain on my batteries from the trolling motor.

See if you have this breaker on your boat and hopefully you do and it is tripped, lift the yellow lever up and you should be good.Some manufactures use very cheap circuit breakers and install them directly on the battery post or near it. They look like similar to this.

Attachment 876407

You reset these by pushing the small black button on the side.These breakers are complete junk IMO. They corrode and fail regularly. If you have one of these trash it and buy a blue sea breaker like the one shown above.

Not sure what kind of plug you have but if you are not planning on taking your trolling motor on and off your boat I would just hard wire the trolling and not have a plug. If you have your TM on a quick release bracket then I recommend getting one of these plugs.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Battery-T...&wl13=&veh=sem

Coat all the terminal connections down with dielectric grease and you should not have to worry about loss of power from loose connections or corrosion anymore...
Good info! Ive been looking for a decent plug!

Since I got my ipilot a few months ago...
1. My cheapie Grey circuit breaker tripped, switched it out to the one above. Had to figure it out the hard way.
2. My cheapie plug would make the TM cut out at higher speeds. Had to figure it out the hard way. Tightened plug connections so it's working good for now. Got the grease too but I'm getting the new plug for sure.

So hopefully you'll save the OP some time and major aggregation.
Old 09-05-2017, 02:43 PM
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I lost the "motherboard" on a 24-volt iPilot earlier this year. Replacement was In excess of $300; the tech told me that he has seen a number of similar failures, and all had on-board chargers. His recommendation was to unplug the trolling motor before charging. I have had on-board chargers for about 20 years, and probably 8 different trolling motors, without failure before this one. Since I now have 2 iPilots, I follow his advice.
Old 09-05-2017, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
I lost the "motherboard" on a 24-volt iPilot earlier this year. Replacement was In excess of $300; the tech told me that he has seen a number of similar failures, and all had on-board chargers. His recommendation was to unplug the trolling motor before charging. I have had on-board chargers for about 20 years, and probably 8 different trolling motors, without failure before this one. Since I now have 2 iPilots, I follow his advice.
MinnKota has had issues with some mother boards, thats true. From what I have read it was a QC issue and they fixed the problem.

But.... virtually every bass boat in the world has on-board chargers, so his statement is silly on the face of it. Plus, if what he said was true, they would have been replacing them far more often than the few Ive read about.

I stand by my statements. If the switch is OFF, then there is no electrical connection, and its not possible for the charger to damage the TM circuitry.

But - lets say it is possible for the charger to by-pass the switch in some mysterious way, or you managed to forget and leave the motor turned on. The only way damage could happen is if the charger was putting out voltages well beyond what it should.

That of course is possible, but pretty unlikely.

On the other hand, unplugging it every time cant hurt anything
Old 09-07-2017, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
I lost the "motherboard" on a 24-volt iPilot earlier this year. Replacement was In excess of $300; the tech told me that he has seen a number of similar failures, and all had on-board chargers. His recommendation was to unplug the trolling motor before charging. I have had on-board chargers for about 20 years, and probably 8 different trolling motors, without failure before this one. Since I now have 2 iPilots, I follow his advice.
As mentioned already unplugging the TM surely can't hurt. I persobally would recommend tripping the breaker instead of unplugging the TM.

But him thinking the onboard chargers caused the failure in the motherboards because all the broken TM's had onboard chargers is completly irrational. Every bay boat I have ever seen with a 24 or 36v TM, ipilot or not, has an onboard charger.... not saying they couldn't have caused the damage but his logic is flawed...
Old 09-07-2017, 05:07 AM
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Minn Kota and Motor Guide used to have a warning in the owners manual about unplugging the motor while charging. My Riptide does not as far as I can find.
On a vacation in Alabama a few years ago I had lightening hit the boat house where my boat was stored and charging. At the time I had a Motorguide Pin Point system where 2 depth finders, GPS, and a Pin Point trolling motor were all net worked.
It caused massive failure to all the electronics and charger. Ruined a vacation for me.
Thank goodness for insurance.
Now I don't take chances I unplug every time before charging.
Old 09-07-2017, 05:31 AM
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The installation manual still has this warning - but its not to protect the mother board. Its to protect you from accidentally turning on the motor and because of the internal bonding they do.

For safety reasons, disconnect the motor from the battery or batteries when the motor is not in use or while the battery/
batteries are being charged
and

Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be designed with an internal bonding wire to reduce sonar interference. Most alternator
charging systems do not account for this bonding wire, and connect the negative posts of the trolling motor batteries to the
negative posts of the crank/starting battery. These external connections can damage connected electronics and the electrical
system of your trolling motor, voiding your warranty. Review your charger’s manual carefully or consult the manufacturer prior to
use to ensure your charger is compatible.
Minn Kota recommends using Minn Kota brand chargers to recharge the batteries connected to your Minn Kota trolling motor, as
they have been engineered to work with motors that include a bonding wire.
Old 09-13-2017, 04:58 PM
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Trying to understand:

Your Minn Kota trolling motor may be designed with an internal bonding wire to reduce sonar interference. Most alternator
charging systems do not account for this bonding wire, and connect the negative posts of the trolling motor batteries to the
negative posts of the crank/starting battery. These external connections can damage connected electronics and the electrical
system of your trolling motor, voiding your warranty. Review your charger’s manual carefully or consult the manufacturer prior to
use to ensure your charger is compatible.
Minn Kota recommends using Minn Kota brand chargers to recharge the batteries connected to your Minn Kota trolling motor, as
they have been engineered to work with motors that include a bonding wire.

My question is precisely what is internally bonded? And how is isolation impacting the internal bonding? And what impacts are associated with charging a trolling battery whether by a plug in charger, or by a combiner, a 4- way switch, or a secondary alternator wire?
Old 09-14-2017, 09:20 AM
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Internal bonding is where they run an additional ground wire inside the shaft, down to the foot from some location in the controller head at the top. They discovered a few years ago that doing that reduced a lot of interference with sonar units.

As far as why "alternator charging systems" would have a problem with that, I dont know for sure, but it must have to do with the bonding in some way. Perhaps they are creating a floating ground? I would have only expected galvanic corrosion to be a possible issue, not damage to electronics, but they are not at all clear, so who knows.

Note they are not worried about the charging - its the ground wire connection that seems to be the issue.
Old 09-14-2017, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Yrral3215 View Post
Internal bonding is where they run an additional ground wire inside the shaft, down to the foot from some location in the controller head at the top. They discovered a few years ago that doing that reduced a lot of interference with sonar units.

As far as why "alternator charging systems" would have a problem with that, I dont know for sure, but it must have to do with the bonding in some way. Perhaps they are creating a floating ground? I would have only expected galvanic corrosion to be a possible issue, not damage to electronics, but they are not at all clear, so who knows.

Note they are not worried about the charging - its the ground wire connection that seems to be the issue.
i am struggling with this. Don't trolling motors typically have isolated electrical/charging systems from the rest of the boat and no common ground with it? furthermore, since the engine isn't running when i use the trolling motor battery charger and the boat is on the hill how will there be any electrical interaction between them? hell even the boat hull is one big insulator! i have yet to use both motors at the same time!
Old 09-14-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jmarshall28 View Post
i am struggling with this. Don't trolling motors typically have isolated electrical/charging systems from the rest of the boat and no common ground with it? furthermore, since the engine isn't running when i use the trolling motor battery charger and the boat is on the hill how will there be any electrical interaction between them? hell even the boat hull is one big insulator! i have yet to use both motors at the same time!
Yes they have a common bond, at least in an aluminum boat it is the case. When you bolt an electric motor onto an aluminum boat, depending on the bow materials it is likely the trolling motor shares a common ground with the aluminum hull. Since the motor and cranking battery are allways grounded to an aluminum hull, everything is bonded. This fact forms the basis for my question about internal bonding of an electric motor. Exactly what is bonded to what, and what is isolated from what?

For fiberglass boats many share a common ground if : the trolling batteries are fed from a common 4 way switch, a combiner, or a 2nd alternator circuit, all of which may charge the trolling batteries.

These scenarios are so common, why would an elec motor manufacture design their motors to impose a requirement to disconnect common grounds, e.g., charging with the plug in? If this is really the case, it is extremely incompetent! Worse is no documentation is provided to shine light on the issue. Very bush league!!!!
Old 09-15-2017, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Inlander View Post
Yes they have a common bond, at least in an aluminum boat it is the case. When you bolt an electric motor onto an aluminum boat, depending on the bow materials it is likely the trolling motor shares a common ground with the aluminum hull. Since the motor and cranking battery are allways grounded to an aluminum hull, everything is bonded. This fact forms the basis for my question about internal bonding of an electric motor. Exactly what is bonded to what, and what is isolated from what?

For fiberglass boats many share a common ground if : the trolling batteries are fed from a common 4 way switch, a combiner, or a 2nd alternator circuit, all of which may charge the trolling batteries.

These scenarios are so common, why would an elec motor manufacture design their motors to impose a requirement to disconnect common grounds, e.g., charging with the plug in? If this is really the case, it is extremely incompetent! Worse is no documentation is provided to shine light on the issue. Very bush league!!!!
I should have clarified I was speaking only about fiberglass boats. I would be leery about hooking my trolling motor bank to my outboard's charging system simply due to the size of the bank and I would rather use my alternator output to keep my cranking and house batteries charged. (IMO)

I agree in principle with you regarding the bonding issue. I think what is happening is still QC issues. All the clear as mud information regarding grounding and motherboards being damaged by on board chargers is more of a red herring

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