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Jan 23rd, 2013
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4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? #13593230 06/13/20 11:12 AM
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JC1965 Offline OP
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Hello everyone,

I have a 97 hydra sport I just got, the issue is the 2 batteries for the trolling motor were not connected in the battery area and it has an older Minn Kota 24 volt trolling motor with 4 prong connector at the bow.
The boat looks to have original 4 wire from batteries to the bow, the wires are 2 Red and 3 Black, when reading through a few different threads on different sites I wired with the POS leads on each battery to the Red wires and the batteries Neg to Black wires, is this correct?
When I plug in the trolling on the bow (just plug in, not running it) the connector heats up and wires get hot, seems like something is crossed on the wiring, I have seem a couple of slightly different 4 wire diagrams and would like to confirm what I should be doing?
I do understand that the older 4 wire system allowed for charging from the bow, I dont need that option, just need my trolling motor running.

Thank you in advance!

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13593248 06/13/20 11:39 AM
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JC1965 Offline OP
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I am adding a link, please let me know if it works, what wiring option is correct for my system?

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/vQAgNx1v1QGGbv7H6[/img]

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13593258 06/13/20 11:59 AM
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Look up " 12 volt batteries in series " to get 24 volts .
You would only end up with one positive and one negative to attach to 24 volt trolling motor .
It important that you expose enough of the male and female plugs to ensure that once plugged in the positive negative connection stays correct .
4 wires to the trolling motor is something I have never seen or read about and sounds overly complicated .
By connecting the batteries in a series you will be running 24 volts in the 2 wires that you connect to the trolling motor .
Hope this helps . Use a multi meter or volt meter to check the connections to avoid a fire or injury .
Make sure you are using a fuse or circuit breaker for protection . You can get them online or at Academy or Bass Pro .
Good luck .

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13593260 06/13/20 12:05 PM
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My Cajun is wired the same. It’s a 12/24 volt plug that does the magic. Lol each battery has a red and black going up front to the plug. And it only sees the 24 volt when you plug a trolling motor plug into it. When you unplug it it separates the battery’s for charging. As far as it heating up, you either got a bad plug or loose wire. I had a female end plug go bad on me a few years back. Academy carries both female and male plugs. When you install the new plugs put a anti corrosion grease on the wires. I use white lithium grease. It works great for that voltage stuff.

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13593300 06/13/20 12:59 PM
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Thank you for the help, I will try a new female plug on the bow first to see if I can keep it simple, second option is to rip and strip and go with the 24v 2 wire hook up.

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13594732 06/14/20 10:26 PM
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best off direct wiring, no plug.


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Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13595046 06/15/20 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JC1965
Thank you for the help, I will try a new female plug on the bow first to see if I can keep it simple, second option is to rip and strip and go with the 24v 2 wire hook up.

I am betting that you do not have a plug malfunction. You are likely wiring it incorrectly. When you wire incorrectly, you can trip a breaker (if there is one, probably not but should be), blow a fuse, or burn up wiring.

Step one: disconnect all those wires from the batteries so you don't burn anything up in the following steps:

You only need one red wire and one black wire going to the bow for a 24V system. The other two running the length of the boat (when you figure out what's what) should be left sitting in place but not connected at either end as "installed spares". You Say you have THREE black wires, so you have something you're not telling us about in your boat. The 90's standard had FOUR wires, not five. That 3rd black wire may be something you don't understand, and may be the source of the issue. We need to know where that wire is going when it leaves the battery compartment; it worries me and could be the issue. It may not be a Ground, and may be black by coincidence.

The decades ago way carried all 4 battery terminals forward (so a charger could be plugged in). But, the male plug for the TM had a jumper inside it. That jumper connected one red wire to one black wire. This made the series connection for 24V, but only when that plug (on the TM) was installed. The very bad thing is that you are running with a 30-40 foot "jumper" between batteries, which is very undesirable from a system power and efficiency perspective. (You lose part of your 24V to voltage drop with such a long jumper.)

The best way to do it today is to buy a 12-24 inch 6 gauge jumper cable with proper ring terminals, for connecting one battery POS to the other battery NEG. After that jumper is in place, you keep just 2 wires in use for power at the bow, but which two? Those two wires from the battery compartment that you use would be the only two you keep connected to the receptacle at the bow. (one black and one red). But, how to know which is which Easy. Unsecure the plug from the boat where you can pull it out. Take the strain relief off the male plug for the TM, so you can see where the red and black TM wire connect in that male plug. Now, observe the receptacle as you plug in the male plug. You're going to see that the TM red and black line up with two terminals on that female receptacle. A red to red, and a black to black. The two that line up are the two you KEEP. The other two get disconnected and left laying loose in the bow. Along with that jumper installed at the batteries, you will now be able to deliver 24V to the TM efficiently.

While you have that receptacle out, check for corrosion and make sure the two wires you keep are fully inserted, and the screw that tightens each connection is snug.

Come back to this thread and reply when you find what the mystery black wire is doing, along with questions if you do not understand any part above. You will also need to plan to have a breaker if there is not one now. Operating with that heavy amps can burn up a boat, so great care is warranted. Again, I bet the plug isn't the issue (unless you've already melted it by connecting without understanding the wiring). Do you have a digital voltmeter? Harbor Freight sells some cheapie ones. Even I like to have one to be sure of what I'm doing when wiring high power.

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13595047 06/15/20 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JC1965
Thank you for the help, I will try a new female plug on the bow first to see if I can keep it simple, second option is to rip and strip and go with the 24v 2 wire hook up.

There is nothing to "rip and strip" to install a 2 wire 24V system. It's a matter of correctly connecting the wires you already have, and one simple jumper between batteries in the rear.

Re: 4 wire 24 volt trolling motor wiring ?? [Re: JC1965] #13595051 06/15/20 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JC1965
I am adding a link, please let me know if it works, what wiring option is correct for my system?

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/vQAgNx1v1QGGbv7H6[/img]

What I described in my long post is equivalent to part of the right side illustration in your link.
You will NOT connect those bottom two wires shown with the dashed circle around them. There is no reason to have them at all.
The green wire is the jumper I spoke of.
The top red and black are the two wires I said to keep, but there are very important considerations to follow:

On your receptacle/plug combo, you want the two single reds to line up when the TM is plugged in, and you want the two blacks lined up. The remaining two wiring connections should not have any wire installed. This is because there is often a metal jumper inside that TM plug, and you can short things together that should not be shorted if you put other wires on the receptacle.
Do not pay attention to the position on the connector for the red and black in the illustration; they were arbitrary for that illustration. What matters to you is to use the connections that line up with the TM wires on YOUR connector.

Last edited by Flippin-Out; 06/15/20 05:21 AM.
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