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Thread: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

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    Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    My neighbor gave me a Solar 165 mig machine. It is an older 230v machine. It will arc enough to burn the wire but no heat no penetration. It has new ground wire, clamp, liner and gun. I have cleaned the internal ground lugs the heat selector switch, and the power switch. I am at a loss as to what’s next....or if I am wasting my time messing with it. I have an old lincoln ac225 that I stick weld with but would like to start mig. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Wire? Polarity? Metal thickness? ....

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Your neighbor may have gave it to you because it is dead. Put wire speed and voltage at the middle settings and see what it does. Is the wire coming out at a good steady speed? That controls heat/amps.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Wire? Polarity? Metal thickness? ....
    I was trying to run a bead on a piece of 1.5” angle iron, it currently has flux core in it (has regulator and valves for gas they seem to be working son’t want to spend $$$in a tank if this thing is a boat anchor) I cannot find polarity or a way to change it.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Your neighbor may have gave it to you because it is dead. Put wire speed and voltage at the middle settings and see what it does. Is the wire coming out at a good steady speed? That controls heat/amps.
    wire feed seems to work great and responds to adjustments to feed speed, the amp settings are what seems to not change. It has 118v in each leg of the input power, across the power switch, and on both outputs of the solid state relay.
    Last edited by Legacy37; 07-05-2020 at 08:35 AM.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Pics??? of the welds, machine, gun, etc... What kind of tip is in the gun? size of wire?... what thickness of metal??? how does it sound when trying to weld? how does it sound when you short the gun? maybe a video or two??? what/where do things get hot after a 1-2 minute weld? gun/tip/ground/inside machine connection????

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Pics??? of the welds, machine, gun, etc... What kind of tip is in the gun? size of wire?... what thickness of metal??? how does it sound when trying to weld? how does it sound when you short the gun? maybe a video or two??? what/where do things get hot after a 1-2 minute weld? gun/tip/ground/inside machine connection????
    Bear with me, I will try and upload some pics and video. New here so it may take a little learning

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

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  9. #9
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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Wire is .030 flux core. Heat 5, wire speed 5. Trying to upload a video

    Last edited by Legacy37; 07-05-2020 at 10:42 AM.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Curious how far the tip is from the work when you try to weld. Also looks like polarity could be wrong. I think in that machine the polarity is switched in the wire feed area. You want ground on the + post.
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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    I can’t find any polarity change jumpers. For flux core it probably is wrong

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    Curious how far the tip is from the work when you try to weld. Also looks like polarity could be wrong. I think in that machine the polarity is switched in the wire feed area. You want ground on the + post.
    i can’t find any means to change polarity....and it likely would be wrong for flux core. Name:  63561AF7-AFA6-45AC-92EB-AA70D4D76699.jpg
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  13. #13
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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Be interesting to see how much voltage drop on the power is when you strike an arc.
    Mike
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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    As in line in voltage?

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Be interesting to see how much voltage drop on the power is when you strike an arc.
    Mike
    Put my meter on one leg of input power, 118v. When arc was struck dropped to 116v then returned to 118 when I stopped.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Hard to tell n the video but I'm gonna guess you're using way too much gap from metal to guntip... should be no more than 1/4 inch... also looks like you have too much tension in the rollers... possibly from wrong rollers for wire size.... plus you need to restrain the wire roll so it doesn't have a bunch of loose wire on it(needs to spin easily but not free) and in the video it looked like you were jumping all over the place the tip of the gun should move slowly with where you want the weld bead to be.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Looks like the the cables need to be switched for polarity change. The bottom/ground looks like copper stranded the top on the power lug looks like the wire in back is copper stranded.

    Perhaps your neighbor neglected to change the polarity and thought it no longer worked.

    Good luck

    Looking forward to the results.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    It does look like you have way too much wire stick out. What are the other controls on the front of the machine? Wire speed controls amps. Voltage basically makes it weld smooth and shapes the bead. Clean off the tag in the machine. It might tell you how to change polarity but polarity may not be the issue. Did you put the flux-core wire in it? It doesn't look hard to change polarity. There's only 2 cables for welding power. The machine was most likely made by Century which was bought out by Lincoln. Weldmart may have some info to help you.

    https://www.weldmart.com/main/techni...eshooting.html

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    He said it quit working properly after he tried to weld stainless with it. It had a weird copper looking wire in it. I put the flux core for testing as I had it on hand. I am good with buying some good wire and gas if this thing is salvageable.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Looks like the the cables need to be switched for polarity change. The bottom/ground looks like copper stranded the top on the power lug looks like the wire in back is copper stranded.

    Perhaps your neighbor neglected to change the polarity and thought it no longer worked.

    Good luck

    Looking forward to the results.
    the leads are both solid wire, Not sure how to change polarity

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    judging by the distance between the wires I am not sure they were meant to be switchable??? but yes normally you'd swap the one going to the ground plug and the one on the torch...WARNING!!! some machines were grounded differently and swapping the leads could short out the whole machine!!!! kind of a similar thing to the really cheap chopper power supply welders that use an earth ground for the mains input as the work ground - but in that case when you swap things it makes the work ground connect to the HOT input mains so touching the work piece will electrocute you !!!!

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    judging by the distance between the wires I am not sure they were meant to be switchable??? but yes normally you'd swap the one going to the ground plug and the one on the torch...WARNING!!! some machines were grounded differently and swapping the leads could short out the whole machine!!!! kind of a similar thing to the really cheap chopper power supply welders that use an earth ground for the mains input as the work ground - but in that case when you swap things it makes the work ground connect to the HOT input mains so touching the work piece will electrocute you !!!!
    i am guessing it is not switchable. Flux core will not work properly unless reversed from what I understand. Guess I am off to by gas and wire tomorrow.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    I see a mter in one of your pictures, what polarity is the machine currently configured to? In the one picture there appears to be some instructions covered in dirt and grime, maybe they would shed some light on if it is switchable?
    Mike

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Those instructions are what I was referring to in post 18. I'm sure the polarity could be switched but can't see how long the upper cable is at the drive rolls is. Bottom cable looks like it would be long enough. This is most likely a Century machine and although lower end not some $80 dollar special at the liquidation store. Lowest end machines are usually straight polarity only for flux-core not the other way around.

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    Re: Mig will start an arc but has almost no heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Those instructions are what I was referring to in post 18. I'm sure the polarity could be switched but can't see how long the upper cable is at the drive rolls is. Bottom cable looks like it would be long enough. This is most likely a Century machine and although lower end not some $80 dollar special at the liquidation store. Lowest end machines are usually straight polarity only for flux-core not the other way around.
    those instructions show how to move a jumper wire to change from 208 to 230. The upper cable appears to be solid. I don’t think it will bend very much

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