Predator Pro problems
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  1. #1

    Predator Pro problems

    Hi All,
    My newest Portable is a Thermal Arc Predator Pro 270
    I love the three phase welder, EXCEPT:
    With just over 800 hours it now needs a third circuit board as the thing will spike to max amp and sometimes stay there, no matter where the dial is. Stop welding and sometimes it will be fine , other times not.
    This is getting too pricey at $800.00 in parts to fix again.
    Is there a cure for this issue or just give up and move on to another welder?
    I am now looking at a Miller 302 (3 phase) to replace it if all else fails.

    Thanks,
    Duhnis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    2,404

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    Do call thermal arc tech support. talk to Jeff or David,
    Ask why your welder is doing what it has been doing.
    If they can't give you a good answer as o why the pcbs are failing.
    then go blue.

    Tel: (1) 800-462-2782
    Fax: 603-298-7402
    taitech@thermadyne.com

  3. #3

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    Thanks, I will call and hear what they have to say.
    The first board died at around 600 hours.
    I took the welder to the local welder repair guy,
    He had spaced the board out away from the steel panel with 4 little rubber mounts, Part of an update kit to address the board failure issue due to exhaust heat.
    It ran better after he got done with it, with the dial settings closer to other welders, as when this welder had the original board in it, the dial settings were about 25- 30 amps hotter.
    I was told by a miller/ lincoln welder repair guy that the Predators tested closer to 310-315 amps than 270.
    The original board seemed confused as It would shut the motor off due to a random low idle condition.
    It would "die" 4-5 times one day, other days never bother.
    This happened much less often with the #2 board.
    I do a fair amount of wire feed welding with it, running .045 solid with 95/5 mix and usually running very hot and i have been known to run a lot of 3/16 and 1/4 " rods when needed.
    Most of the time ( 85%) it runs 1/8 or 5/32 7018 or 308 / 316 / 420 stainless.
    It was my only brand new welder, but after 6 months the powder coat started to bubble badly,
    even talked to the distributor about the stainless steel hood.
    Other than the way this welds, It hasn't been a very good machine.
    I bought this after buying a well worn out miller that I worked on more than I welded with.
    I keep thinking I should dig out the old Airco AC with the ck twin cylinder Onan, rope start only.
    Talk about a miserable machine, miserable to crank over when cold out, hard starting when hot, ran out of fuel evry 2 hours,
    the bare gullitine switch to change to ac gen power,which bit you often,and every welding supply house kept giving my gophers 7018h4r rod . (I think they did that on purpose) LOL .

    Any how, I haven't heard any thing bad about the 302 , But I have heard a few people complain about the 305g.
    I use a Ranger 250 and a Ranger 9, for J.D., not bad welders ,but not very reliable due to the corrosion they suffer on the F-750 service truck, less than 700 hrs on each.
    Unless I can find a welder that needs an engine, I am shopping.
    How are the big 40 three cylinder machines?

    Thanks again,
    Duhnis
    Last edited by Duhnis; 12-22-2011 at 10:19 PM. Reason: spelling/ grammer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    2,404

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    On the TA welder. Check the pc board plug connections I have seen them break and the wires loose contact.
    Lincoln welders can be ordered with an environmental package. Costs a little more, but you get everything double coated inside and some units get the stainless steel sheet metal covers. Makes them stand up better to being outside all the time.
    Haven't got to work on any of the new big 40s. They are large units though.

  5. #5

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    The connections have loosened up so many times the repair guy tried to silicone them in place. I ended up cutting a large hole in the top cover so i could remove a very large rubber plug and reach in to push the connections back together. (Engine off)
    I've been pricing welders and still on the fence about buying someones problems with a used unit, but with the long list of house repairs, I don't really have the time to work off a new one.
    I wish i could find someone in this area who would convert this to a older style machine
    with a manual throttle and perhaps a rheostat (many other parts too), to eliminate that damn circuit board.
    Anyone know of a engine drive welder with a bad engine??
    Thanks,
    Duhnis

  6. #6

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    Duhnis, I feel your pain. I had a predator pro 270 on my service truck. It was a good welder except for when you really needed it. Mine suffered the exact same problems as you describe. I ended up buying a 82 model SA200 for less than I've spent on repairs to predator and have never looked back. I still have the predator, it makes a good generator.

  7. #7

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    Well after buying a used TA-270 to take the circuit board out of for the Predator Pro ,(It doesn't have one), the machine was quite different , So I sold it , Got what I had into it and after doing a great deal of shopping I am ordering a New Miller 302.
    I sure hope these machines are reliable.
    Duhnis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Milford NY
    Posts
    481

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    I don't know where your located, but I have a bobcat that I fixed, only for a week later the motor blew, I replaced bridge rectifier, diodes, fuses, clean connections and installed a new rheostat. I'm not 100% on what I'm gonna do with it yet because I'm having a hell of a time finding. A Onan p216 for it....
    Miller bobcat 225g - spoolmatic 1
    Mm250 - 30a spool
    Miller spectrum 375
    Thermal arc 95
    Everlast Ex 250

    As the boiler turns, these are the days of our lives

  9. #9

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    Hopefully this problem is over as I received my NEW Miller 302 with a Kohler from Harris Welding Supply on Weds. I finally got the new cables on it tonite and I will be giving it the first job Saturday morning.
    When I first tried it here at the house for the first trial weld,with 1/8" 7018 , I wasn't tickled with the sound of the arc, but I figuired it was that it wasn't adjusted right. After some fiddling with the controls , it is much better. It even burns 3/16" pretty good. The 302 is a little quieter than the Thermal Arc 270 I'm hoping this unit will be my last new machine, But I said that when I bought the Predator Pro too!
    Does anyone have a 302 with a bunch of hours on it? I am curious as what to expect, But I am hoping for the best..
    Thanks for all the replies,
    Duhnis

  10. #10

    Re: Predator Pro problems

    The miller now has 15 hrs on it and has been working great until today.
    I was running 7/32 7028 at max setting and the engine started dying as if it was too lean, It happened twice today. I was sticking 1' thick plates onto a grapple.
    I was trying to make a little time.
    so far I really like this machine, With this lean condition being a product of cleaner emissions, Does Anyone know of the proper jet # this shouild have for a pre - emission 23 hp Kohler?

    Thanks,
    Duhnis

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