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Extending MK Ulterra I-Pilot from 60" to 80+"

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Extending MK Ulterra I-Pilot from 60" to 80+"

Old 03-07-2019, 08:16 AM
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Default Extending MK Ulterra I-Pilot from 60" to 80+"

hi,

I currently have (2016 I guess) Minn Kota Ulterra I-Pilot 80lbs 60" 24V that I used on my smaller center console. Sold the cc, and upgraded to GW Seafarer 228 SV2. Based on what I've researched so far 80V thrust should be enough for the new boat.

60" shaft length will not be enough for the Grady. I know I can sell the 60" and buy a longer one, but I happen to like to perform mods during my spare times.

I was wondering whether anyone ever committed to a similar shaft extension job themselves? what is involved? etc etc
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Did it once on an older model trolling motor. Just changed the shaft, butt sliced the power wires going to the motor (making sure that the splices were made near the top part of the shaft that would not be submerged, and shrink tubed them). Don't know how it would work with the new fangled trolling motors, but the old one worked just fine doing this.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:17 AM
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You need a MK engineer to give you the answer to this one. Ulterra being an auto stow/deploy brings some complexity into the equation. There is software in the unit dictating how far that trim motor will drive the shaft up/down. Without having intimate knowledge of the software it's impossible to know if it would even allow an 80" shaft to extend past 60" for your unit. Out of curiosity, where would you be able to get a shaft 80"+ for that motor? MK only sells it up to 72.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Powers View Post
You need a MK engineer to give you the answer to this one. Ulterra being an auto stow/deploy brings some complexity into the equation. There is software in the unit dictating how far that trim motor will drive the shaft up/down. Without having intimate knowledge of the software it's impossible to know if it would even allow an 80" shaft to extend past 60" for your unit. Out of curiosity, where would you be able to get a shaft 80"+ for that motor? MK only sells it up to 72.
yep MK doesn't have anything over 72", i was planning to fabricate by extending the existing shaft with epoxy/fiber, and extending the teethed belt by ordering another one, but as you pointed out software-wise I don't know how it would react to the extension.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OceanCityHank View Post
yep MK doesn't have anything over 72", i was planning to fabricate by extending the existing shaft with epoxy/fiber, and extending the teethed belt by ordering another one, but as you pointed out software-wise I don't know how it would react to the extension.
Sounds like you're a pretty handy guy. I'd still be very concerned about the structural integrity of the shaft at that length. Hell, I'd be concerned about the structural integrity of the mount at 80" too. There are a few reasons they don't make an 80" shaft. Torque from that length of an arm is a major one. We all know they design with some safety margin though.....

You'd have to find the proper spec for the belt too since MK won't sell you an 80" belt. I'm pretty sure it's just a timing belt, so that might not be too difficult.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:49 PM
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I just installed an ulterra on my 32' boat. It works great, but an additional 10" or 12" would be great, as some length is lost with the deploy/stow feature. The belt would be easy enough to get. McMaster Carr sells it, I just haven't measured to determine the size yet. The unknown part is extending the shaft and the software. The part that makes the shaft difficult is the D shape inside and the groove for the belt. Im not sure exactly how you could splice in a section and have enough strength. If you figure out something, please post it.
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