How to Shorten Trolling Motor Shaft?

If you’re looking to modify your bow mount trolling motor by shortening the shaft, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to shorten a trolling motor shaft, specifically focusing on the popular Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 with autopilot. By following these instructions, you can improve the fit and performance of your trolling motor and enhance your fishing experience. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make the necessary modifications.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you begin the modification process, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. Having these items ready will ensure a smooth and efficient trolling motor shaft modification:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 3/16″ machine screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • Hacksaw with a fine-tooth blade
  • Hand file
  • Pin punch
  • Drill with a 3/16″ drill bit
  • 1/2″ copper pipe
  • Yellow female 1/4″ spade clips

By having these tools and materials readily available, you can ensure a successful modification process without any delays or interruptions. Keep them organized and easily accessible for a hassle-free experience.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these step-by-step instructions to successfully shorten your trolling motor shaft.

  1. Unplug the power and remove the head by unscrewing four Phillips screws and a 3/16 machine screw.
  2. Use masking tape to mark the desired cut length on the shaft and wrap an additional layer of tape 1/2″ below the mark as a guide. Insert a 1/2″ copper pipe to protect the electrical wires inside the shaft.
  3. Cut the excess shaft using a hacksaw with a fine-tooth blade and file down the cut edge for a smooth finish.
  4. Mark the depth of the old mounting screw, align the head with the motor, and mark the hole positions on the shaft.
  5. Drill two 3/16″ holes through the shaft using the copper pipe as a guide. Remove the pipe, clean up the holes, and reattach the head, ensuring proper alignment with the motor.
  6. Shorten and reattach the drive wires using yellow female 1/4″ spade clips.
  7. Reassemble the motor and enjoy the improved fit and performance of your shortened trolling motor shaft.

By following these steps carefully, you can modify your trolling motor shaft to the desired length and enjoy the benefits of a properly sized shaft.

Example Table

Step Description
Step 1 Unplug the power and remove the head by unscrewing four Phillips screws and a 3/16 machine screw.
Step 2 Use masking tape to mark the desired cut length on the shaft and wrap an additional layer of tape 1/2″ below the mark as a guide. Insert a 1/2″ copper pipe to protect the electrical wires inside the shaft.
Step 3 Cut the excess shaft using a hacksaw with a fine-tooth blade and file down the cut edge for a smooth finish.
Step 4 Mark the depth of the old mounting screw, align the head with the motor, and mark the hole positions on the shaft.
Step 5 Drill two 3/16″ holes through the shaft using the copper pipe as a guide. Remove the pipe, clean up the holes, and reattach the head, ensuring proper alignment with the motor.
Step 6 Shorten and reattach the drive wires using yellow female 1/4″ spade clips.
Step 7 Reassemble the motor and enjoy the improved fit and performance of your shortened trolling motor shaft.

Tips for a Successful Modification

When undertaking the task of shortening your trolling motor shaft, it’s important to follow these tips to ensure a successful modification:

  1. Take your time: Rushing through the process can lead to mistakes and potential damage to the electrical wires inside the shaft. Patience is key.
  2. Use guides: The masking tape and copper pipe act as guides to help you make precise cuts without compromising the integrity of the wires. Make sure to align them properly before starting.
  3. Check alignment: Before drilling the holes, double-check the alignment of the head with the motor to ensure a proper fit. This will prevent any issues with mounting and stability.
  4. Protect the wires: When drilling the holes, be cautious not to come into contact with the electrical wires. Keep the drill bit away from them to avoid accidental damage.
  5. Smooth the edges: After cutting the shaft, use a hand file to smooth out any rough edges. This will not only improve the appearance but also prevent any potential injuries.
  6. Test the motor: Once you’ve reassembled the motor, take the time to test it thoroughly. This will ensure that everything is working properly and identify any issues that may need addressing.

Following these tips will help you navigate the modification process smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a properly shortened trolling motor shaft.

Table: Troubleshooting Guide

Issue Possible Cause Solution
No power Loose wiring connections Check and secure all wiring connections
Intermittent power loss Worn or frayed wires Inspect and repair or replace damaged wires
Inconsistent motor performance Improper alignment of head Realign the head with the motor and tighten securely
Excessive motor noise Loose or damaged components Tighten any loose components or replace damaged ones
Shaft wobbling Inaccurate drilling of holes Realign the head, fill existing holes, and carefully redrill

Refer to this troubleshooting guide if you encounter any issues with your modified trolling motor shaft. It provides potential causes and solutions for common problems you may come across during the modification process. By addressing these issues promptly, you can ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your trolling motor.

Safety Precautions

When it comes to modifying your trolling motor shaft, it’s important to prioritize safety. By following these safety tips, you can ensure a successful and incident-free modification process.

Handle Electrical Wires with Care

One of the most crucial safety precautions is to handle the electrical wires inside the trolling motor shaft with care. These wires are essential for the motor’s operation, and any damage to them can lead to malfunctions or even electrical hazards. To avoid cutting or damaging the wires, use caution when cutting the shaft and be mindful of their location throughout the process.

Disconnect Power Before Starting

Before you begin any work on the trolling motor, always disconnect the power source. This step is crucial to ensure your safety and prevent any accidental injuries. Unplugging the power will minimize the risk of electrical shocks and allow you to work on the shaft without any power supply.

Use Protective Gear

While working on the trolling motor shaft modification, it’s important to protect yourself using appropriate gear. Wear protective gloves and goggles to safeguard your hands and eyes from any potential hazards. These safety measures will reduce the risk of cuts and protect you from debris or dust that may be generated during the modification process.

By following these safety tips, you can confidently proceed with the modification of your trolling motor shaft. Prioritizing safety will not only ensure your well-being but also contribute to the success of the project.

Safety Precautions for Trolling Motor Shaft Modification
Handle electrical wires with care
Disconnect power before starting
Use protective gloves and goggles

Conclusion

Shortening a trolling motor shaft can greatly enhance the performance and fit of your bow mount trolling motor. By carefully following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and taking the necessary safety precautions, you can successfully modify the shaft to your desired length.

With the right tools and materials, this modification can be done easily and quickly. The benefits of a properly sized trolling motor shaft are numerous. It allows for improved maneuverability, especially in shallow waters, and reduces the risk of damaging the motor or propeller. Additionally, a shortened shaft can provide better control and stability, making your fishing trips more enjoyable and productive.

Remember to keep safety in mind throughout the process, such as disconnecting the power and handling the electrical wires with care. By taking these precautions, you can complete the modification safely and effectively. Embrace the advantages of a properly modified trolling motor shaft and elevate your fishing experience to new heights.

Richard Dodds
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