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Thread: HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

  1. #1
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    HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

    First problem today with the HF MIG_180 I bought used from the For Sale listings here, in 2017.

    It quit welding and the FC wire stuck like a stuck rod. No wire feed, no current, but the fan kept running and the trigger clicked the relay.

    I opened it up, nothing smelled smoked, no loose connections. Oh well. The diode label said built in 2010. I guess it had a good life.

    I tried rotating both knobs thinking that was the only thing that might help before a complete teardown. It finally made a momentary burp after it occurred to me to hold the trigger while turning the knobs. After more of this, it gradually came back to life.

    Apparently there was a rusty or arced spot in the upper (voltage) rotary switch and working the knob with the trigger engaged, cleaned it up. I've seen those switches on Ebay and I'll get one if it acts up again.

    Went back to work like nothing had happened. That welder nearly went on Craigslist 'broken, as-is'.

    I expect it doesn't like where it is stored at the back of an open-front barn stall. Covered, but not sealed against outdoor humidity.
    HF MIG-180 with all the mods.
    Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig Pulse 130/160.
    Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Re: HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

    I have manual on HF 180 I can email to you.
    The weak stop on the 180 and 170 is the switches and rectifier.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    First problem today with the HF MIG_180 I bought used from the For Sale listings here, in 2017.

    It quit welding and the FC wire stuck like a stuck rod. No wire feed, no current, but the fan kept running and the trigger clicked the relay.

    I opened it up, nothing smelled smoked, no loose connections. Oh well. The diode label said built in 2010. I guess it had a good life.

    I tried rotating both knobs thinking that was the only thing that might help before a complete teardown. It finally made a momentary burp after it occurred to me to hold the trigger while turning the knobs. After more of this, it gradually came back to life.

    Apparently there was a rusty or arced spot in the upper (voltage) rotary switch and working the knob with the trigger engaged, cleaned it up. I've seen those switches on Ebay and I'll get one if it acts up again.

    Went back to work like nothing had happened. That welder nearly went on Craigslist 'broken, as-is'.

    I expect it doesn't like where it is stored at the back of an open-front barn stall. Covered, but not sealed against outdoor humidity.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I have manual on HF 180 I can email to you.
    The weak stop on the 180 and 170 is the switches and rectifier.

    Dave
    Thanks, I have the MIG-180 manual.

    After I bought a China replacement knurled feed wheel to make it feed smoothly, this is the first time I've had a problem with it. The rectifier seems fine so far but I probably will have to replace that upper rotary switch.

    As I started to diagnose it, I assumed it was hopeless and was tempted to just replace it with HF's new Titanium 125. That one is light enough to carry up to the house for better protection from the weather. I've read good things about it. And if I found something the Titanium couldn't do then I have a 130A stick welder and an ancient 230-AC stick welder. But after fixing the MIG-180 today it looks like it will remain in service for a while.
    HF MIG-180 with all the mods.
    Grizzly H8153 Stick/Tig Pulse 130/160.
    Wards PowrKraft AC-230. Stick & carbon arc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Clovis California
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    Re: HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

    The transformer looks is great on both the 170 & 180.
    If look into upgrading the wire feeder too.
    But probably will last a long time with care

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Thanks, I have the MIG-180 manual.

    After I bought a China replacement knurled feed wheel to make it feed smoothly, this is the first time I've had a problem with it. The rectifier seems fine so far but I probably will have to replace that upper rotary switch.

    As I started to diagnose it, I assumed it was hopeless and was tempted to just replace it with HF's new Titanium 125. That one is light enough to carry up to the house for better protection from the weather. I've read good things about it. And if I found something the Titanium couldn't do then I have a 130A stick welder and an ancient 230-AC stick welder. But after fixing the MIG-180 today it looks like it will remain in service for a while.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Re: HF MIG-180 Quick Repair

    The switch can be replaced with relays.
    It is simple way and will last a long time.
    You can find the switch from others but you set switch settings.

    This why I like relays
    You also use 2 pole 2 through switches.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Thanks, I have the MIG-180 manual.

    After I bought a China replacement knurled feed wheel to make it feed smoothly, this is the first time I've had a problem with it. The rectifier seems fine so far but I probably will have to replace that upper rotary switch.

    As I started to diagnose it, I assumed it was hopeless and was tempted to just replace it with HF's new Titanium 125. That one is light enough to carry up to the house for better protection from the weather. I've read good things about it. And if I found something the Titanium couldn't do then I have a 130A stick welder and an ancient 230-AC stick welder. But after fixing the MIG-180 today it looks like it will remain in service for a while.

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