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Tolling motor wires getting hot , why?


Gadgetman

Question

I have a minnkota Endura 30 on my 14 foot boat. The wires from the battery are about 10' long and are 6 guage. The problem is that when I run that motor for more than a couple of minutes that wire gets so hot that you can barely touch them. In fact it has started to turn the yellow crimp on connectors brown. What is generating all this heat and how do I solve it? Dont want to burn out my motor. Oh, I also have the square inline fuse that is recommended attached at the battery. Any ideas?

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I dont know your answer.. but that cant be right.. you must have a problem some where... That just doesnt sound safe.. sounds like a fire waiting to happen.

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Not too worried about the fire aspect as it is a basic Lund aluminum boat, not much to burn. I do agree tho that something just isnt right

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

You most likely have a dirty or loose connection at the battery.

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I agree with Surface, it is a bad connection. Take them all apart and redo them, solder where you can for the best connection. If there is an in-line fuse, make sure the connections are good there too. If there is no fuse, put one in! Or better yet, get a circuit breaker at the auto parts store.

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Loose connection somewhere.. could be on the switch inside of the motor too... there could be something wrong with the motor also..

Still one thing to burn in that boat ... you!

Open flames and batteries dont mix.

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Is the entire length of the wire getting hot, or just one (or multiple) connectors? Do you have access to a multimeter (voltage/current tester)? I'd be curious how much current your motor is drawing, and how much resistance you find along the different connectors.

-rus-

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You have a bad connection somewhere... I am all too aware of this happening... I had a plug with a loose connection last year I ending up melting the plug until the plastic on the plug caused the trolling motor to not run anymore. Went and got a new plug...made sure on install that all connections were secure and have not had a problem with it since.

Hope this helps!

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I would say if the ENTIRE wire is getting that hot.. the motor has an issue and is drawing way more current than normal. If it's just a short span.. too much current is trying to squeeze by a narrow spot- either caused by a bad connection or broken strands inside the wire. An Endura 30 doesn't draw much current... and you are using 12v right?

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A story about trolling motor wires getting hot. smile.gif I was fishing with my buddy Brad at a friends house, using the friends Coleman aluminum square stern canoe, with the garage sale trolling motor my buddy had brought up. With the long reach back to the stern, and short wires, they ran across the seat between Brads legs.We were at the far end of the lake, casting, when Brad decided to move. The motor wouldn't start. mad.gif I continued casting while he banged around back there trying to get the motor to work. All of a sudden I heard pop, pffft! confused.gifThere was a huge cloud of smoke! For a moment I thought he had tipped the battery over shorting it out, and thought about bailing over the bow! Then, the noise stopped and the smoke slowly cleared. Brad was standing in the stern with eyes as big as saucers! shocked.gif

Seems the switch was bad, sticking open, then it went to a dead short, turning the power leads into heating elements and vaporising the insulation, before burning up. They also put a brand mark on Brad's posterior! blush.gif

Moral: Don't sit on the power leads to the trolling motor. Especially when you got it at a garage sale! grin.gif

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Gadgetman, I experienced the same problem with a 12v Powerdrive I had. Called Minnkota, explained the problem, the tech gave me a few things to check and they were all good, so he suggested I bring the motor in and he'd check it. Well, he tested it for 6 hours and couldn't get the wires hot for love nor money. He suggested I check 2 more things in the boat and BINGO!! I found it. Turns out it was the pins in the socket of the power plug were squeezed together. I took a narrow bladed screwdriver and slightly spread them apart and never had a problem after that. PLUS, I knew the electrical condition of the motor. The BEST part of it all was, The bill was nada, zip, zero!! They WILL help you, over and above what you would expect. Give 'em a call!

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Well I finally had some time to get out and look a the wiring this wknd and all the connections are clean and tight. To answer a couple of the inquires/questions, the only place the wire is hot is where I have used the crimp on connector from the actual motor wires to attach the three hole female plug, probably 6 inches in either direction from the crimp. I could probably find a voltage tester, how much should it be reading? As far as having it connected right all the black wires are conncted to black all the way thru and the same with the red wire, dont have them crossed any place. I think at this point I may have to give the folks at Minnkota a call and see what they have to suggest.I also think that I will get a new plug in and try that and see if taht may be the problem as it is the only thing that I havent replaced

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I would guess that for some reason the crimp is a bad connection. There is some resistance there causing heating. Maybe if you could solder the crimped connection that would help.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If its hot at the crimp then thats your problem. Those connectors aren't the greatest, either are the 3 pronged plugs for that matter. I'm assuming you have a 12 volt motor and your using the black and red wires only leaving the orange open.

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ST, yes it is a 12 volt motor, and I am using the black and red leaving the orange empty. Do you suppose that I would be better off trying to solder and then just taping over the connections on that plug? My soldering skills are not real good but it cant be that hard. Or could I just twist the ends together and tape them tightly to hold them together?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I soldered mine just because I couldn't find a connector I felt good about. Maybe someone has a heavy duty crimp of clamp type they can can recommend.

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Are these wires buried? (plug recepticle on boat).. If so, the proper size wire nut should give great contact, but I would only recommend them in areas where its protected from the elements.

Now.. that I looked at the post again.. its on the splice from the motor wires... Personaly, I would try getting new connecters(best quality I can find) and use a quality crimping tool to connect them, and cover them with elecrical tape after to help keep the water away to help prevent future corrosion.

One issue you my be running into is the wires you are splicing are 2 different sizes... the motor is likely around 6 guage, and the plug is around 10 guage. These wires would normally take different sizes of splicing connecters. One thing you can do is when splicing the smaller end of the wire, is to put another wire in with it to make it roughly the same diameter of the larger wire, twist them together, then crimp them down.. this should give you proper contact. The *extra* wire you can snip off tight to the connecter.. then coat these things with shrink tubing or electrical tape works really well.

Or just go with wire nuts and be sure the weather is sealed out.. A little unsightly, but the connection will be good.

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Your crimp connection needs to be as capable as the wire its connecting... For this size I like the heavier copper sleeve connectors. they are however, fairly difficuly to find.

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go to Fleet Farm, They have the right size pigtail connector for trolling motors. I had the same problem with my motorguide. The pigtail that I had wasn't the same size wire as the motor wire and the wire would get hot and I could smell the plastic. Put on the new pigtail and problem solved! It has all the connections ready to go.

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