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Old 05-27-2006, 01:04 PM
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85 amp wire welder info

i have a chicago electric/harbor freight, mig welder that has so far been used as wire only.i got tired of changing 2 lb. spools and bought a 10 lb. adapter for it.sometimes it works now most times it doesn't unless i loosen wire on spool and then it may work for moments till the wire tightens up again.is my only option to go back to a 2 lb. spool.when it works it works?i think the tip on it may have to be changednow.i cleaned it and i got another with the welder new but can't locate it now.i'll buy another at lowes today.i tought myself to braze then got a 220 lincoln and did the same with it and now am doing well with wire welde when it works.i learn alot watch car shows on t.v..any help would be appreciated.thanks

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Old 05-27-2006, 02:20 PM
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A properly set-up 10# spool should work as well as a 2# pound spool, how much tension do you have on it? It should turn as freely as possible without continuing to spin when the trigger is released. If it is too tight it may cause the problem you describe but if it is too loose it will spin after you stop welding and cause the wire to come off the spool. Since it seems to work ok for a short time after you loosen the tension you may have it set up wrong and the spinning spool is causing the tensioner to tighten, watch it while the wire is running and see if it (the tension adjuster) is trying to turn. You need to get a good supply of tips as these are a consumable item and trying to use a tip that is sticking is just asking for trouble, when they start sticking or feel rough when you pull wire through them then they need to be replaced. Another common problem is grinding, usually grinding goes hand in hand with welding and it is not uncommon to leave the welder exposed to the grinding sparks since it is usually nearby. This is a big cause of wire problems like you described because the spatter from the grinder will stick to the wire on the spool and TOTALLY RUIN it! Not saying this is your problem but it is extremely common so if you have been doing any grinding feel of the wire on the spool to see if it has any grinding spatter on it, if it does the only solution is to toss it and replace it.
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:02 PM
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Another thing to look for is a light coating of rust on the wire if you haven't used the welder for a while. If you have high humidity where you live, this will cause rust on your welding wire pretty quick. rust and gun liners don't mix well and will cause feed problems. oldred is probably right about your problem with wire feeding though.

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Old 05-27-2006, 10:11 PM
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thanks for the replies guys but thing does work sometimes and when it does it weld very well with good looking welds.when it works right this almost seems too simple and makes me look good.i have played with the tensioner and have it in the place where it seem to work best.i do alot of metal grinding trying to keep the welds in good shape or after welding but cover the welder just for that.its just a yr. old now and seems to work as i said with the 2 pouders but the 10's look too big.a full 10 pound roll doesn't leave the wire level going into the adjuster.it sits up to high like maybe it really isn't supose to have a 10 pounder on it.i had to transfer this first roll to another roll and fill another 2 lb. roll also just for that.looks like they are saying it does more than it should.the ten lb. roll does not turn easy at all.i think i am going to be stuck using a 2 lb. roll like it or not.i just wanted to pick someone else's brain to see if i missed any of the obvious things.i think i am going to try and sell it.i got it at a sidewalk sale they have once a yr. at harbor freight and got a good deal i think but this yr they have a slightly better unit thats 220 and something like 125 amps for nearly the same price also mig equipped.wouldn't you know it.i'll muttle thru as usual,thanks.

here it is 2:30 a.m. sunday morning and i was still fooling with it when i cranked the adjuster down to where i was sure it would not work and it did bigger than life.thanks for the help.

Last edited by GoneNova/406; 05-28-2006 at 12:38 AM.
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