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HWooldridge
02-04-2013, 03:56 PM
I bought one of these machines for not much money because it had been sitting idle for a while and would not start. I took it to a local Honda generator dealer who got it running for about $600 in parts and labor so it starts easily and runs fine; putting out the correct power at all of the plugs. The engine is strong and the machine only has about 300 hrs on it.

However, the welding circuit has a problem because the machine will suddenly put out full power when welding, which melts the weld and rod all over the place. I was welding with it last week using 5/32" 6011 rods and all was going great then it suddenly starting acting like an arc gouger, blowing metal everywhere. I've done all types of welding for over 30 years so it's not operator technique and although I tried to pull the rod out to let the puddle cool, there just isn't much that can be done when the machine puts out full current.

My son and I have tried to use the machine to weld several times and the occurrence rate is unpredictable. It happens frequently but not on every weld; maybe three or four times in any welding session and the timing is erratic - almost as if a relay is sticking. The Honda dealer said the "motherboard" goes out occasionally and it would be another $600 to replace it - but I'm not sure whether his diagnosis is anything beyond simply replacing more parts and hoping for a good outcome. I don't mind spending more money to get it welding consistently but I also don't want to throw good money after bad since it works as a gen-set.

Any advice from someone who has experience with this model would be appreciated.

Thx, Hollis W

7A749
02-04-2013, 04:55 PM
I bought one of these machines for not much money because it had been sitting idle for a while and would not start. I took it to a local Honda generator dealer who got it running for about $600 in parts and labor so it starts easily and runs fine; putting out the correct power at all of the plugs. The engine is strong and the machine only has about 300 hrs on it.

However, the welding circuit has a problem because the machine will suddenly put out full power when welding, which melts the weld and rod all over the place. I was welding with it last week using 5/32" 6011 rods and all was going great then it suddenly starting acting like an arc gouger, blowing metal everywhere. I've done all types of welding for over 30 years so it's not operator technique and although I tried to pull the rod out to let the puddle cool, there just isn't much that can be done when the machine puts out full current.

My son and I have tried to use the machine to weld several times and the occurrence rate is unpredictable. It happens frequently but not on every weld; maybe three or four times in any welding session and the timing is erratic - almost as if a relay is sticking. The Honda dealer said the "motherboard" goes out occasionally and it would be another $600 to replace it - but I'm not sure whether his diagnosis is anything beyond simply replacing more parts and hoping for a good outcome. I don't mind spending more money to get it welding consistently but I also don't want to throw good money after bad since it works as a gen-set.

Any advice from someone who has experience with this model would be appreciated.

Thx, Hollis W

Don't do anything with Thermal Arc machines, but complete loss of current adjustment usually goes hand in hand with a board failure. It is a solid state machine & the board sends signal to the SCRs in the rectifier to regulate output current. Lose that signal & you get either nothing or full output. Could be a heat issue causing the problem.

Can't say I know more because I don't, but count on it being expensive to fix.

Good luck with it.

dubl_t
02-10-2013, 08:39 PM
Hollis,
try pulling the board and cleaning the contacts. Sometimes they get corroded just enough to mess things up. I had that 275 in my sig, and it had a similar problem. Took it in for $100 diagnosis and the tech couldn't find anything but said sometimes pulling and re-inserting the board sometimes solves erratic problems.

Good luck.

HWooldridge
02-12-2013, 03:03 PM
I pulled the cover off on Sunday afternoon and found the isolation mounts that hold the main PC board were all rotten so the board had fallen and was sitting on top of the primary wires that are directly underneath (which means it was probably getting hot). I ordered a half dozen new mounts (they are only $8 each) from the local distributor, which should be here within a week. I also called the factory and talked to one of their technicians - he said I should make sure that wires 21 and 22 were clean and well seated in the multi-pin cable connector. He also said the heat sink on the front of the board should be clean as any corrosion/oxidation can reduce its efficiency. I'm going to replace the iso mounts then pull and re-insert the board - hopefully, this will correct it. Otherwise, I'll be shopping for a new motherboard.

HWooldridge
02-15-2013, 09:21 AM
Well, I'm not ready to declare total victory but after replacing the vibration isolator buttons, resetting some wires and unplugging/replugging the main wire connector, I was able to weld with several different size electrodes without the machine running away.

The only odd thing at this point is that the hi-lo idle switch is backwards. The "turtle" sign is full speed and the "rabbit" is idle. This was happening before I did anything but I thought it might go away after the repairs. I looked at the back of the switch but it's buried in a small board with some other items so I'm going to leave it alone. One of the duplex receptacles on the front panel is also dead but that's easily replaced.

All things considered, I'm quite satisfied so long as nothing else craps out. I only used it for about ten minutes but had no issues during that time. This machine is a real joy to use when welding correctly - nice quiet arc and little spatter.

Thanks to everyone for the responses...Hollis

dubl_t
02-17-2013, 11:30 AM
Good deal.
Thanks for keeping us updated, it's a good learning experience when we can read how things end up. Kinda makes me mad when people solve their problems and just drop their post, not letting others know what happened.

Regarding the hi/lo speed controller, could the wires have been reversed at the controller itself? I know this wouldn't be the case on an older machine that has an electro-magnetic puller of sorts with just one wire running to it, but just throwing this out there.

HWooldridge
02-20-2013, 02:52 PM
I like to provide feedback when possible since it allows everyone to confirm advice given on a subject.

The hi-lo switch was correct before I took it in for servicing the engine so the technician may well have switched them. I'll dig into it when the weather improves...

papaharley03
02-20-2013, 04:37 PM
The hi-lo switch was correct before I took it in for servicing the engine so the technician may well have switched them. I'll dig into it when the weather improves...

Yup, I think you found your solution, since you know it was okay before being serviced.

Any chance that the board with that switch is physically mounted upside down?

Papa