Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170
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  1. #1

    Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    I just purchase my 170 work great out box (Nov 2017
    But I did few improvements to extend life and function of the welding
    1) Add a stronger relay
    2) Add a longer ground wire 10FT
    3) New ground clamp
    4) Welding Cart

    Dave

    The last crash of this deleted all photos for Nov 2017
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by smithdoor; 04-11-2018 at 09:18 PM.
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    79

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Great mods Dave.

    Appreciate it if you could you give additional info on the relay upgrade (why, parts needed, cost etc.)?

    Nice welding cart. I just bought the one at HF. Did you make it yourself?

    Mike

  3. #3

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    See Amazon Dayton 5Z538 Relay, SPST-NO-DM, 4 Pins, 120VAC 30 amp
    The relay on welder looks like a 10 amp lite duty

    Yes I made the welding cart
    The ground wire I had with ground clamp

    Dave


    Quote Originally Posted by MBG View Post
    Great mods Dave.

    Appreciate it if you could you give additional info on the relay upgrade (why, parts needed, cost etc.)?

    Nice welding cart. I just bought the one at HF. Did you make it yourself?

    Mike

  4. #4

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Note the drawing show for 240 volt coil I list a 120VAC that will not work
    IF you have a 120VAC it can be use by add one side of coil to the neutral (shown as the red wire)

    https://www.amazon.com/Dayton-5X851-...+240VAC+30+amp

    Name:  61BQyZivClL._SL1072_.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    See Amazon Dayton 5Z538 Relay, SPST-NO-DM, 4 Pins, 120VAC 30 amp
    The relay on welder looks like a 10 amp lite duty

    Yes I made the welding cart
    The ground wire I had with ground clamp

    Dave
    Last edited by smithdoor; 04-12-2018 at 02:37 PM.
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  5. #5

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Here a photo of the relay use on the HF 170
    By size it looks like a 10 amp

    Dave
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Barre Town, VT
    Posts
    801

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Here a photo of the relay use on the HF 170
    By size it looks like a 10 amp

    Dave
    I looked up the relay on the board a couple years ago it is a true 30 amp relay. Incase people are wondering.
    My "collection":

    Homemade Stick Welder
    Victor O/A Torch
    AC 225
    Ideal Arc 250

    HF 90 Amp Flux Core
    HF Mig 170
    Solar 2020 Plasma Cutter
    Power i-Mig 140E
    Harris O/A torch
    HF Dual Mig 131
    140ST
    Alpha Tig 200x

  7. #7

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    It how long will last at 30 amps
    That why change to relay to Haevy Duty type it rated
    100,000 cycles at 30 amps and 1,000,000 cycle
    I have a lot China relays that I to replace with good ones made in the USA

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain P View Post
    I looked up the relay on the board a couple years ago it is a true 30 amp relay. Incase people are wondering.
    6th

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Barre Town, VT
    Posts
    801

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    [QUOTE=smithdoor;8610865]It how long will last at 30 amps
    That why change to relay to Haevy Duty type it rated
    100,000 cycles at 30 amps and 1,000,000 cycle
    I have a lot China relays that I to replace with good ones made in the USA

    Dave



    6th[/QUOTE

    Mine's going on 6 years and 100+ Lbs of wire so I'd say a good long while but there's no guarantee. If I was to replace it I'd go with an inclosed relay to keep grinding dust out of the contacts since my welders seem to suck up a fair amount of dust.
    My "collection":

    Homemade Stick Welder
    Victor O/A Torch
    AC 225
    Ideal Arc 250

    HF 90 Amp Flux Core
    HF Mig 170
    Solar 2020 Plasma Cutter
    Power i-Mig 140E
    Harris O/A torch
    HF Dual Mig 131
    140ST
    Alpha Tig 200x

  9. #9

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    It is good know the HF170 does last
    The transformer will out last ever
    I look wire size used over size

    Dave


    [QUOTE=Iain P;8610872]
    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    It how long will last at 30 amps
    That why change to relay to Haevy Duty type it rated
    100,000 cycles at 30 amps and 1,000,000 cycle
    I have a lot China relays that I to replace with good ones made in the USA

    Dave



    6th[/QUOTE

    Mine's going on 6 years and 100+ Lbs of wire so I'd say a good long while but there's no guarantee. If I was to replace it I'd go with an inclosed relay to keep grinding dust out of the contacts since my welders seem to suck up a fair amount of dust.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 04-18-2018 at 11:43 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    ***************Harbor Freight 170 data
    Setting: --No Cap --- Open Circuit voltage according to manual
    Min 1 -----27.43v -----15.2v
    Min 2 -----32.30v -----16.5v
    Max 1 -----38.55v -----17.7v
    Max 2 -----48.80v -----19.2v


    150 Amp 11%
    120 Amp 17%
    110 Amp 20%
    100 Amp 25%
    80 Amp 38%
    70 Amp 50%
    64 Amp 60%
    60 Amp 67%
    50 Amp 97%
    49. Amp 100%



    Transform Wire size of sec .190”
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  11. #11

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Would someone educate me on what the relay is for? Thanks in advance!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    SE Massachusetts
    Posts
    43

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    ***************Harbor Freight 170 data
    Setting: --No Cap --- Open Circuit voltage according to manual
    Min 1 -----27.43v -----15.2v
    Min 2 -----32.30v -----16.5v
    Max 1 -----38.55v -----17.7v
    Max 2 -----48.80v -----19.2v


    150 Amp 11%
    120 Amp 17%
    110 Amp 20%
    100 Amp 25%
    80 Amp 38%
    70 Amp 50%
    64 Amp 60%
    60 Amp 67%
    50 Amp 97%
    49. Amp 100%



    Transform Wire size of sec .190”
    Have to say the duty cycle on my elcheapo stick welder is MUCH better!

  13. #13

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by Raybonz View Post
    Have to say the duty cycle on my elcheapo stick welder is MUCH better!
    This duty cycle works great for hobby work
    When had my shop most welding was done with 250 amp 60% duty cycle welder
    I also had a Miller 750 amp welder waste of money work great but never even came close to 750 amps

    Dave
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    south Florida
    Posts
    147

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    there is a thread re this welder with mods at.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php...nd-Tests/page5

    might be useful

  15. #15

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Choke wave with no Cap
    I have included for adding a capacitor reducing and problem with the feed board & feed motor
    I did add a capacitor to my welding
    Dave
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by smithdoor; 05-13-2018 at 01:44 PM.
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Wyoming US
    Posts
    3,150

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    The capacitor would normally be hooked to the positive and negative of the bridge diode.

  17. #17

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluewelders View Post
    The capacitor would normally be hooked to the positive and negative of the bridge diode.
    That why I showed on drawing
    Some will have both on the choke and on positive and negative on both sides of the choke .

    Putting a smaller capacitor on will give a good smother DC without changing the voltage must

    Dave

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nor Cal
    Posts
    10

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    What's the relay for and which one did you exchange out ?

  19. #19

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Just the relay
    I included the capacitor just a alternate placement

    Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by Bojangles07 View Post
    What's the relay for and which one did you exchange out ?
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nor Cal
    Posts
    10

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    So wat are the %’s withe capacitor mod?

  21. #21

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by Bojangles07 View Post
    So wat are the %’s withe capacitor mod?
    The week part of the HF170 is the rectifier and relay.
    So use a large capacitors your need to replace your rectifier some
    As size goes around 100,000 mf will do the job.

    Most ever day welding capacitors are not need.

    The transformer had good size wire size (5GA 0.190") for the amperage

    Dave

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nor Cal
    Posts
    10

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    How dose one get to these individual amperage with our settings on the MIG170

  23. #23

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Quote Originally Posted by Bojangles07 View Post
    How dose one get to these individual amperage with our settings on the MIG170
    Mig is CV the amperage is control by wire speed

    Dave
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  24. #24

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    Harbor Freight is having a sale on the 170 welder $159.00
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    HF 170 welder
    HF 4x6 band saw
    South Bend 9N
    Mill
    B&D mag drill
    Victor torch

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Posts
    656

    Re: Update to my welder Harbor Freight 170

    'Liquidation' - ?

    Maybe on closeout??

    I think HF needs an entry level priced welder in their lineup, and the 125AC isn't quite up to serving that role.


    Or maybe 'Liquidation' is just marketing hype.
    HF MIG-180 with all the mods.
    Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig Pulse 130/160.
    Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

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