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Thread: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

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    Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Just wanted to run this up the pole to get some feedback on my 'new' find. I bought this from a retired pipe fitter over in Illinois yesterday. He bought it from the original owner, who was a farmer that purchased it for welding around the farm. He taught his son to weld on it, and the son sold it to the guy I bought it from. I was told it had VERY few hours on it, and man, does it look well kept. Mike, the seller, put a new gas tank on it since the old one rusted out from sitting in the machine shed of the PO for so many years. He fired it up, and it just purrs! It's been used so little, he told me the PO before him had never even taken the distributor cap off, and he said he hadn't either. ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it!") The engine is a CJ2A 4 cyl Jeep, and leaks no oil. He told me he put new spark plugs in it (AC Delco) because he doesn't like Champions, and also put new belts and hoses on it since the old ones were looking pretty dry rotted. Sits on a nice, big trailer, too. (He told me the wheels are supposedly off of an early 60's Mustang[4 bolts]. It's got a nice little swing out work platform. But the welder, which is DC only, runs great. No hour meter, but it does have a 110v outlet. He's painted the front/back and top sheet metal, and gave me the two side panels in original condition. We talked for awhile about the fact that it's built like a tank, and the parts are easy to find at NAPA. We had both had Lincoln Rangers before, and I told him the one I had, which only had 400 hours on it, needed an idle solenoid, to which he replied, "And those things have the pc board, which is an expensive fix, and that the old dinosaurs like this one don't have a bunch of unnecessary technology that can be a pain. He's added a 'dash lamp' for night visibility, and a red lamp on the rear in case he had to move it at night. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with using this as a power source for anything else, such as a wire feeder or other functions? Haven't taken any pics yet, but will post some later today. It's really a clean, well preserved machine, and I feel like I've stumbled into my first really nice 'barn find', in a way. Any replies or comments on these would be appreciated. The only number I could find (yet) that seemed to point to a year date is the 061 on the engine tag, which makes me think it's probably a 1961 model.
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    There should be an aluminum tag affixed to the front faceplate of the machine with a number starting with a "G" followed by other letters or numbers. Relay those along with photos. The 1kw DC only generator portion really isn't going to help much but a voltage sensing suitcase like a Hobart "Hefty", (as I have) will run great off of the welder portion. The auxiliary power is great for a grinder, or a grinder and set of lights up to about a 500w halogen for night work. Don't overload that circuit as it's not fuse protected.
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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    So, here are some pics. The tag says G261. The engine tag is marked G261, CJ2A, Willy's Jeep Name:  Photo598.jpg
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    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    That is sweet!
    Dave J.

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Those were quite popular in the mid to late 1960's. I don't think it's as old as a 1961 model myself. I see it has the polarity switch installed which makes it a G-261 from a G-250 series such as I have. The engines are sound and parts are easily attainable. No real cautionary notes except to check the rear bearing for grease and brushes for wear. Those were good, solid welders for certain.
    Slob

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    That is one very cool old welder in great condition. Congrats.
    Headhog

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    I don't know the welder, but the engine is very familiar. Willys stopped using that engine in 1953. I wonder if it lived on a number of years in other applications, or an older engine was transplanted. Someone else has a Miller with the later F head version. In Jeep either engine mated to the same transmission. I wouldn't expect more than 180 amps with that engine. They weren't a real power house.
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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    As mentioned you can run wire off a CC only machine like that, but it's not like most people think of as "mig". To mimic CV the VS feeder will attempt to constantly change the wire speed to maintain a constant voltage. However the feeder really can't change the speed fast enough for this to work well in short arc, which is what most think of when they think of "mig" push the amps on the machine up higher and you go into spray mode and the feeder will run better. However spray mig is a very hot fluid process, so it's not well suited for vertical or overhead welds, or thin sheet metal. Fc wire tends to go into spray at lower amps, so it tends to run a bit better than solid wire and gas off CC.

    If you need to do thin stuff with mig, a small 110v machine will do a better job for the same amount of money a used VS feeder will set you back. If you need to do heavier stuff, say 1/4" and up, a VS feeder will cost you less than a bigger mig, within the limits the VS on CC will run.
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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    I don't know the welder, but the engine is very familiar. Willys stopped using that engine in 1953. I wonder if it lived on a number of years in other applications, or an older engine was transplanted. Someone else has a Miller with the later F head version. In Jeep either engine mated to the same transmission. I wouldn't expect more than 180 amps with that engine. They weren't a real power house.
    Hobart used them to mid 1971 I know of. Ford engines replaced them in this size. It will run 250 amps easily for a good 60% duty cycle if clean and in good tune and will air arc for about five minutes maxed out but the welding generator gets hot. My G-258 uses the same engine and they really are a good unit.

    DSW is correct on the analogy of the wire feeder on one of these machines. They really can't be considered for thin work for a feeder apparatus. I only use mine for stick welding repair and it's a great starting engine no matter how cold. Pretty easy on fuel too.

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    Last edited by Slob; 02-27-2016 at 09:34 PM.
    Slob

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Name:  Photo603.jpg
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Size:  84.6 KBI'm pretty happy about it. Kind of surprised it's 1800 rpms instead of 3600. All the 1800's I've ever seen were diesels. Per the age, Mike told me the original buyer told him it was bought new in the early 60's, and I'm the only number I'm seeing in the engine or face plate that is even close to the 60's is the G-261, but I don't know and that's why I'm asking. The engine was never swapped, it was bought in this configuration, I'm told. Mike is a good guy, and I trust him. He says he's known the original owner for a long time, so I've no reason to doubt anything he says. (Weird thing there is, two years ago when I was looking for a trailer for my Ranger 8, HE was the one who I bought it from.) It's almost 2 hours from my little town to Marissa, IL where he lives in the rolling hills of bean fields, with a view of Ballwin Power House about 5 miles away. Also, the tag says 250 amps, 60% duty cycle, 40 volts. No AC welding, but it has a polarity switch. He kept it in his shop, and the thing is as quiet as a Miller Big 40, it seems to me. I'm just happy to have it. $1,200 cash, and I drove it away. He also has interchangeable roller/pad foot for the trailer jack (with an easy-out pin). He also installed a volt meter on the faceplate. The silver switch on the pic above is for the 'night light' above it. The rear red lamp is activated by an alligator clamp that can be connected straight to the battery if needed. I had a few more pics but it only let me put 5 on here. I'll see if I can get that engine tag on too.Name:  Photo607.jpg
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Size:  59.7 KB The hubcaps came off of an early model Ford something. They have lightning, or as I see them, electric arcs.
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    The polarity switch is for the welding rod holder. The former stencil used to read "reverse" to the left, and "straight" to the right. A 1961 machine would have had silk screened placards with small phillips head screws attaching them. I don't see the holes in your faceplates so tend to believe the machine is about 1964 or later when Hobart switched to the "stepped" face as your machine has. My G-258 is a 1965: Name:  025.jpg
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    What is strange for certain is that the two piece brush and bearing cover is earlier than 1964 as can be seen in both yours, and my photos. Could be your faceplate has been changed to the later style due to damage in years gone by? It's an easy swap if so. I don't think you done bad on the price at all for a good serviceable machine. Those little engines are near bulletproof in their design and parts are readily available should anything be needed. WillieB knows much more about them and has probably forgotten more than I'll ever know, but mine has sure been a good one. I only run premium gas in my machines and they seem to weld much nicer on the higher octane than the lower grades.
    Slob

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Those old L-heads were referred to as "Go-Devils" back in the day. Not quite sure why, considering the F-head was the "Hurricane." Most of the mechanical parts are still available, although they're probably made in knock-off shops in the Philippines alongside the replacement body tubs.
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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    The hub caps are from Opel cars from the late 60'S or early 70's ... They have that center emblem on them. Just in case you want to know.
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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Hey, Slob, thanks for that info. Mike told me he'd checked the brushes, and re-set them, but he told me that the brushes on these are very long, and he expected them to outlast him. (or me). He's been retired for a few years now, and from the look at his huge shop with tons of part bins, I'd say he's probably had the thing completely apart and re-worked anything that didn't look perfect. He told me he changed the hoses and belts because they looked a little dry rotted, and he painted the outside tin "because he wanted it to look like the inside". The only thing not like new are the two side panel doors. They're good, but still have the original layer of paint - or two- on them. They're in the back of my truck and sometime this spring I'll clean and paint them too. I am pretty happy about this. As long as it welds DC reverse, I'm happy.
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Thanks, Tinker. Mike was saying he thought they were from a Mercury or Ford, or something. To be honest, I heard the Mustang wheels, then I was back to inspecting the swing out work plate, and I kind of missed what he said. Those wheels are 13". They look so tiny compared to todays 16's and 20's. I remember when I was a kid, everything had 14's!
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: Bought an early 60's Hobart welder w/ Kaiser-Jeep engine yesterday

    Update on date of manufacture-- I called Hobart yesterday and gave them the numbers on my welder. It was built in July, 1965. They also sent me the manual to it, but my computer is playing games. (It gets all the way to 99% on the download, waits 10 or 15 seconds, then says 'cannot download - fail' and 'retry') Tried 3 more times, but it's not coming through, though I have the attachment. Anyway, I know now that it was produced in July 1965. Thanks for the phone number, Slob!
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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