thanks for all the input guys. I put down a few decent beads just a bit ago. I blew out the insides of the unit(it was a bit dusty/dirty in there) and also blew out the liner. Tension on the drive seemed fine. I think I just didn't have the wire speed up high enough. At low speeds it was doing the on/off arcing but once I got the speed up enough it sustained the arc. Worked pretty durn good too. I'm just starting out restoring the metal work on a 62 Austing Healey Sprite. The person who owned the car prior to my dad back in the 60s cut a big hole out for a radio. I tackled the simple task of cutting a piece of sheet metal and welding that in today. I got through tacking it good then the welds started pitting and cracking -- out of gas!!
I'm pretty excited to have my first welder working now. Here's a link to what I picked up by the way. Thanks again for the help!