Chicago Electric Mig Welder 180 problem
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  1. #1

    Chicago Electric Mig Welder 180 problem

    Hello, guys, my very 1st post in the forum. I found you as I was reaching of possible faults on my welder.

    I have been using it for a few years now, welding a few hundreds lbs of spool.
    Yesterday I felt like I pushed it a bit more, even though the overheating LED didn't light on. I was welding 1/4" steel on MAX 2 setting, and the speed dial at 7.5
    Everything was fine until one point when -without me changing any settings- it started to "pop". I do not know the correct word, but it does like 5pops per sec,with wire melting outside the nozzle, but not actually welding. If i press the trigger without any contact the wire feeds great, no obstructions.

    I am not too much into electronics, but I checked some videos and one guy suggested to check the diodes on the rectifier. My findings are that 7 diodes operate fine (4.5V one way 0v,the opposite way), but the 8th diode has zero voltage either way.

    Do you thing that my symptom is consistent with my finding? If so, any ideas how to fix this? I cannot find a spare bridge rectifier part online. Any leads plz? Could I replace only the faulty diode?


    Thank you!
    Last edited by polemidis; 07-12-2019 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Chicago Electric Mig Welder 180 problem

    Just an update to anyone may need this info in the future and cannot get any answers like me. It did work!

    From a quick testing I can say that the machine looks like A LOT stronger! Maybe its my idea only, but the "hissing" is more intense/continuous now, and I feel like the Max/1 setting has more power than the Max 2 before the fix. I am not sure yet for that, but it definitely sounds like a different machine!

    What I did was to install 2ea 70HF140-ND and 2ea 70HFR140-ND in place of the 8 original diodes. They are longer diodes so I had to bend the contact in order to fit in. With the use of the "diode" testing of the multimeter I found which one diode replaces which one set of diodes. ITs pretty straight forward. 2 diodes go to each aluminum plate of the bridge rectifier. The hardest part was the soldering as I had never soldered before, but hey, google is my friend!

    Take care guys!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    College Station, Tx
    Posts
    14

    Re: Chicago Electric Mig Welder 180 problem

    I know this is an old thread, but my HF 170A welder started welding "cold" suddenly, kinda like yours and I have been trying to figure it out. I tried in vain to find a replacement rectifier, and no luck.
    Can I ask you why you used two different diodes? I thought they were all the same. I guess I need to investigate mine tonight. Did you get them off ebay?
    thanks

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