If you’re a DIY guy or you just hate waiting for the maintenance department at the car lot to fix your car or waiting for the backlog of repairs to lighten up at your trolling motor dealership, then this Do It Yourself Guide to Removing and Replacing a Minn Kota Prop is for you.
There are many reasons you may want to remove and/or replace your prop. One reason might be that you hit a rock, a stump, or something hard and damaged or broke the prop while trolling; another reason might be that you got twine, fishing line, netting, or grass caught up in your prop.
Another problem that’s often reported is lots of vibration coming from the motor, much like a loose tire on a car. This vibration can be caused by a broken prop, a bent armature shaft, or even something as small as a broken prop pin inside the prop casing, which of course will need to be replaced.
To ensure proper operation of your trolling motor, you’ll want to ensure that the propeller is always in good shape and fully operational. Minn Kota recommends inspecting your propeller often for fishing lines and weeds and debris or damage.
Table of Contents
How do I remove a Minn Kota prop?
These instructions will work for most Minn Kota trolling motors, with only slight variations in parts for different models.
Where to Start To Replace Your Prop
Before you begin, you’ll need a clear space to work and you’ll only need a few tools. Make sure you have a workbench or table with enough room to lay your motor with the shaft on the table or bench. You’ll also need to hold the prop shaft still while you work on it.
Here are the tools you’ll need before you begin, which also answers the question:
What size is the Minn Kota prop nut?
The prop nut is either a 1/2” or 9/16” (depending on the model and motor you have)
You’ll need a 1/2 or a 9/16 (depending on your engine or prop model) socket or open-end wrench (Socket, deep socket, or open-end wrench will all work)
Flat head, flat blade, or regular (depending on what you call it) screwdriver.
You should also know that the screw you see at the end of the armature shaft, at the bottom of the shaft, is not a screw, although it looks like a screw. It’s part of the prop shaft itself. It’s important to know so you don’t try to pull out what you thought was a screw after you loosen and take off the prop nut and washer.
Before you begin disassembling your prop make sure you’ve disconnected all power sources. Make sure to disconnect the positive motor lead from the battery; you can even disconnect both the positive and negative leads from the battery. Remember that Johnson Outdoors Inc. will not accept any responsibility for any damage or injury due to not following the instructions and improper rigging or installation.
How do I change my prop on Minn Kota?
First, Hold the propeller in place and loosen the prop nut with an open-end wrench. If it doesn’t come loose or the motor or prop spins, hold it in place on the prop shaft by using a flat head screwdriver to hold it still then loosen the nut with the wrench. It should loosen and come off at that point.
You will need to use a screwdriver on the prop shaft if the prop drive pin inside is indeed broken.
Now remove the prop nut and washer. Next, you’ll need to remove the prop itself. Position the prop horizontal, then pull and/or tug on one side of the blade, then the other, and keep gently tugging on both sides until the prop comes off. Don’t force it. But if it’s stuck, you may have to work on it and pull on it several times to get it to come off.
And if it’s stuck due to broken parts inside the prop, use your flat head screwdriver to pry the prop off.
At this point, you can inspect the inside of the shaft for debris, fishing twine, or netting. You can now also inspect the prop drive pin. This may have been the cause of the vibration in the first place if it’s broken or sheared.
Before you go any further be sure to remove any debris, fishing twine, grass, or garbage that may be lodged behind your prop.
If the prop drive pin is broken, you’ll have to remove it to replace it. First place a block under the armature shaft for stability of the prop shaft itself, then use a nail punch or a small screwdriver and a small hammer and knock the prop drive pin out of the propeller shaft.
It is possible to bend the armature shaft if you are not careful when removing the broken prop drive pin. A bent armature shaft can lead to other problems such as more vibration and even wobble. So be sure to place the block under the armature shaft for stability and safety when punching out the prop drive pin.
For a visual of this process, check out these two following video:
If the prop drive pin is not broken or if you’ve replaced it with a new pin, make sure it is inserted evenly in the armature shaft and it aligns with the new or replacement prop. You’ll be able to see the grooves for the prop drive pin in the prop. If the prop drive pin and the grove on the prop are not aligned, the prop won’t fit back on the armature shaft.
Now once everything is aligned, you can place the new prop back on the armature shaft. Next, you’ll need to place the prop washer and the prop nut on the armature shaft and tighten the prop nut.
How tight should a Minn Kota prop be?
No more than 1/4 turn past snug, which is 25-35 inch lbs.
Minn Kota also cautions that over-tightening can damage the propeller and/or bend the drive pin.
Minn Kota company information also recommends that if you do experience vibration or problems, sometimes it can be easily fixed simply by removing the prop with the instructions outlined above, then rotating the prop 180° then re-install the prop. Doing this will either lessen or eliminate vibrations in many cases.
Will a Motorguide prop fit a Minn Kota?
Typically, one company won’t make a product that is interchangeable with another company’s products simply for proprietary reasons. No one wants to help the competition. However, this does not help the end-user or the customer.
There is a lot of online discussion about this. Most props won’t fit on another model, let alone another manufacturer; however, if you find a place that sells Minn Kota props, you can size them up to each other to find a match. The hub sizes have to match in order for it to fit.
Many people buy the prop they want and using a Dremel or similar tool, make adjustments on their own to make the other prop fit. So in many cases, you may have to make adjustments to make it fit.
Some marine dealers also have used props which you can look into. However, no matter which direction you go, make sure that the diameter of the hub is the same.
If you really want a different size prop, the best thing you can do is to call Minn Kota and ask them directly what size Minn Kota props will fit your Minn Kota trolling motor. That way there are no interchangeable problems.
Inspect your prop on a regular basis as neglect will lead to bigger and possibly more costly problems, such as broken props and lower performance. It’s a simple and inexpensive procedure to change or adjust your prop so you can make said adjustments frequently or when needed.
Always call or visit the Minn Kota website for any questions related to repairs, replacement parts, advice and best practices on performance and maintenance. With proper care, your Minn Kota motor should last for years of service.
Always remember to disconnect the battery before you work on your motor.
Before you buy a replacement prop make sure to first look up the part number for the motor model you have, which you can do on the Minn Kota website. Search for Your Part Number.
HERE is a basic set of instructions for replacing your Minn Kota Prop