Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit Assembly and Unboxing

The Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit for 12-16 hp engines, what seemed to be the most requested product review since JTgatoring started playing with mud motor kits.

American Mud Motor Kit

The Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit that JTgatoring purchased, is meant to fit 12 to 16 hp single-cylinder engine.

This is an American Style long tail mud motor. The previous longtail mud motors that were tested were Thai longtails with Swamp Runner winning and outperforming the competition.

Now it’s time to see how the American Style Backwater Kit will perform!

Engine Choice for Backwater Kit

This Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit is meant for 12-16 hp engines. I will be mounting this Backwater kit on a stock Harbor Freight 13hp Predator Engine Item/Model #60349 (hemi version)

This engine was used to test the other mud motor kits so I know that it works. It is a Harbor Freight 13hp Predator Engine. I bought this engine new and it has a little over 20 hours on it now. This engine has also been left stock so viewers will know what to expect straight out of the box. – 76lbs

Features & Specification

Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit 12 – 16 HP _ $1,395 + shipping

  • 5″ bolt circle on the mounting flange
  • 1″ output coupler
  • 8″x4″ Stainless Prop (recommended for 13hp engine by Backwater)
  • 65″ S.W.O.M.P LITE Shaft & Coupler
  • 55-ish lbs for the kit weight

Backwater Swomp Lite Kit Parts List

  • Main shaft & coupler housing
  • Transom bracket (I opted for the clamp on bracket even though they recommend their Versa-Mount [I didn’t want to drill any holes in my transom])
  • One stainless steel prop
  • One Tiller Handle with throttle assembly and safety kill switch mounted on the tiller handle
  • Tiller handle mounting bracket
  • Mounting hardware
  • Stickers/decals, hats,

Jon Boat Hull


  • 1436 lt Alumacraft Jon Boat (would not recommend – get a tracker or something else other than an Alumacraft) {135lbs}
  • Custom front deck and floor {~75lbs}
  • Battery, trolling motor, fishing supplies, cooler, anchor, etc… = {~100lbs}
  • My weight = 150lbs

Total weight = 460 pounds + 76lb (engine) + 55lb (backwater kit) = 591-lbs Total

Unboxing the Backwater Swomp Lite Kit

The backwater kit came in one box.

This box was approximately 70″ x 16″ x 16″ – you could move it by yourself, just awkward.

Inside was three boxes that were lined along one length of the box with the longtail shaft and coupler unit along the other side of the box.

The shaft and coupler housing unit looked to be spray foamed into place. Nothing was moving inside that box.

Overall great packaging. I would be 95% sure that all of the items would arrive undamaged.

Assembling the Backwater Swomp Lite Kit

So the Backwater Kit. We finally got to it. If you truly want to know about the Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit, look no further. This will be my experience with the Backwater kit with previous knowledge and experience with running the Thai longtail kits in previous years.

The assembly of this kit was definitely a new experience. This kit by Backwater is completely different than the other Thai longtail kits that I have assembled and played with.

I researched online through YouTube videos and emails back and forth with Backwater while reading over the instruction multiple times that they sent through email. The only thing I was not looking forward too and hoping I wouldn’t have to do is cut the engine PTO shaft… which I did have to do…

So I was able to find a 4″ grinder with a cut off wheel on it and successfully cut off 1.25 inches of the engine PTO shaft.

Having to use that type of tool and perform that kind of task to customize (modify) the engine that way just to make the backwater kit work on the engine was non-sense to me. With having to do this, I would say the installation of this kit was not easy and would require extra tools and skills. The installation would be ranked more towards moderate difficulty.

After the cutting process, it got a little better. It is definitely a two-person install unless you have a crane to lift the engine. The part where two people are required is when you put the engine with the coupler and shaft onto the transom bracket. It is very difficult to get the bolt aligned through the coupler and the transom bracket not to mention the engine is very heavy after adding the shaft and coupler. Too heavy for me to carry. I needed a second person to help me lift and move the engine onto the transom bracket while getting the bolt through. After that, you could probably do everything else with one person.

Read your directions, understand them, know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and know your limits.

This assembly took me from 9 in the morning till 16:00. This also includes setting up the boat, engine, and filming the whole process.

I would say a good install time would be 3 hours.

Final Thoughts on the Backwater Assembly

Assembly was not as easy as I had hoped.

Having to cut the engine PTO shaft rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t think that should be required of the purchaser of the kit to do.

It was a little difficult lining up the coupler and longtail shaft unit to the engine PTO shaft to hammer it on. That took a lot of time and patience.

The directions were wonky in one area where they had you tighten everything down with blue lock tight and then test your tolerance to see if it was correct. Of course, mine was not so I had to disassemble it, adjust it, check it before torquing anything down and thread locking it, make sure it was correct, and then torque everything back down and thread lock it.

A few frustrating things, but the backwater kit is now assembled and mounted…time for a water test!!!

Backwater Website

Backwater Swomp Lite Glider Kit 12-16 HP

Supporting JTgatoring

If you’d like to make my day and help support JTgatoring here’s a few things you could do that are organized from easiest to most helpful.

1. Visit the JTgatoring YouTube Channel. If you enjoy the videos, please share them with others who may like them, and let me know in the comments if you liked it yourself, have a question, feedback, or if you had a similar experience and could lend a few tips for others to see.
2. If you enjoy the JTgatoring YouTube channel, subscribing always helps. This allows JTgatoring to reach out to other companies, show that there is interest in the channel, and provides the opportunity of getting new products out in front of the JTG community.
3. If you really enjoy JTG, follow our other social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat @jtgatoring.
4. Some links & codes provide funding without making you spend extra money to support JTgatoring, so its always greatly appreciated if you ever use our links to purchase something: