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Old 03-29-2007, 10:16 AM
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Start a car with welder

First off, hey everyone, it has been a while, I haven't posted/read through the site in months... Alot of things going on, not much time (seems to happen a lot!). Still working on my 1970 mustang fastback project, and just acquired a 1988 jeep wrangler 4.2L inline 6 for free. About to fire it up, and see how things go.

So that is what got me to thinking, I was trying to start it last night, with a new starter, some gas in the carb, got it sputtering, but drained the battery before she fired nicely.

I have a Lincoln weld pak 5000HD, 175Amp output. Im no pro, but I think the output is about 22 volts or so? Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of dropping this down to 12 volts, and using it to start a car? If you had a constant DC out of a stick welder or the like, wouldn't it work? So long as you got the voltage to around 12 (14.7 etc.) wouldn't it have enough current to drive the starter?

Anyways, a quick search didn't turn anything up, maybe it isn't enough juice? How much current goes through a starter when you start cranking?

So what do you maniacs think?
Mike

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Old 03-29-2007, 11:26 AM
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This can be dangerous and I would not recommend it to anyone, BUT I have started a heck of a lot of 24 volt and occasionally 12 volt systems on mining equipment with diesel powered welders over the years so yes it can be done. In fact during the winter months this was almost a normal procedure
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:10 PM
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Why so dangerous? If it was built properly, wouldnt the voltage stepdown be fairly simple (with high current capable components)? Not much is happening, so I am not sure where the problem would be?

If you have more info, I would love to hear it!!!

Thanks!
Mike
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:57 PM
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I have seen some problems and I have my own theory about this but this is a darn good question maybe we can get DocVette to chime in on this one.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:28 PM
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I think the biggest problem would be whether you could get a flat enough dc output. I mean, my mig wouldnt work, i think it is square out or something isnt it? I am losing my mind today, can;t think straight. Anyways, could be an interesting topic of discussion, please throw in your thoughts everyone!
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:32 PM
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considering you can get this for 169 (canadian), it almost isnt worth trying !! haha

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/pr...=1175196672993
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigman
considering you can get this for 169 (canadian), it almost isnt worth trying !! haha

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/pr...=1175196672993
The link asks for my zip code/postal code in both french and english... when I click "ok" it does nothing. Maybe Canadian Tire doesn't like Americans lol.

Coker Tire doesn't like hotrodders with any sort of decency. <hr.com inside joke that's true
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:21 AM
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don't feel too left out !! haha

It is just one of those big battery chargers with a built in 200amp engine booster. Maybe ill go buy one and return it in a week?
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:09 PM
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i bought a charger from Canadian Tire near christmas. it has a 75amp boost and it fired up my truck several times in the winter no problem(dam brake light switch). i think i only paid $45 (reg $90)
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:27 PM
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Canadian Tire has American stores....can't remember chain name ,White or something like that
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:41 PM
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Doc here,

In theory, Yes, you could jump a car with a PURE DC welder (NO frequency board) ..in a perfect world..

Some of the pitfalls are, are the diodes up to the reverse bias rating of the demand you are submitting it to? (PIV voltage) AND is the welder well enough filtered to keep from damaging the cars electronics? Dirty DC can destroy Computers, Sensors, Modules, alternators, Audio equipment, Electronic gauges, especially Tach's..alarm systems, and the like..so it depends on how clean the DC is out of the probe..

The major pitfall in jumping high current with a Welder OR a Charger..dead battery's gas under load..a high current spark or "Smack" to the battery can cause it to explode..

Years ago, (50's and 60's..maybe even into the 70's) every Gas station had a BIG charger that could jump start a dead battery..

You may remember, the big ones on a cart , bright red with BIG lightning bolts on the side..? Looked like something out of Frank~N~Stein's Lab with two big cables and clamps on them?..

They quit using them Because of two reasons..batterys Could/would explode under the right conditions..AND if the battery was hopelessly dead..jolting it with a major zap just blew antimony off the plate structures inside..further reducing it's useful life (if it had any at all..) and the battery would go flat dead after two or three starts down the road, doing your customer a dis~service....It did However Promote TBA sales, Tow operations and the Kaiser Foundation Plan for injured workers..Then it shifted to automatic chargers and the course was to leave the battery overnight for a proper charge (the correct way to do it..)

So I guess my answer to this is, Yes under the right conditions, and with luck, you can do it..but Why take the chance ?..

It's too easy to buy a $19.95 duel range (2 amp/6 amp) Automatic charger, and leave it charge while you do major repairs.. A full charge , Healthy battery will stand up to some hard starting trying to get it going the first time..and not give you any grief..and not hurt anything , including your body..

On the other hand..If you get your car cranking but ace a $300 Computer from a nasty AC ripple..what did you save?

My Nickels worth..

Doc
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the input doc that's about what I had figured and like I said we used those things on bulldozers and the like with usually 2 huge 8D batteries, a huge starter motor and no delicate electronics (until the last few years anyway but now even these things are computerized ). I have seen CB radios smoked due to over-voltage and in extreme cases we even blew out some lights but problems were rare and this was done almost on a regular basis for years. BUT, again this was VERY heavy duty equipment and I never attempted to jump start a car with one, that is why I said it can be done but I would not recommend it.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Start Jeep with welder

Was reading your posts for background insights into the subject. Lights were left on for our 1991 Jeep Wrangler 4.0 (6 cyl). Battery was drained all the way, no sign of life. Put a 1amp trickle charge on for about 13hrs.
Still wouldn't start. Silence.

Don't have a better charger than the 1 amp. Should get one.
Read the posts here and understood there was a risk to the electronics.

We have a small 100amp dc welder with a regular household input of 120v.

Hooked up the positive terminal of the welder to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative to the frame since the jeep like most is grounded to the negative terminal of the battery.

Set the welder inside the cab with me. Hooked up the leads and plugged it in, and turned it on starting at lowest setting. Tried starting with the welder on lowest setting. Nothing.
The battery volts gauge showed a little life so I raised the amps on the welder dial. As I did the voltage climbed. When I got it to around 12 tried starting again. Heard a clicking sound.
Turned up the amps so the volt gauge read about 16 volts and tried, the clicking was louder.
Let the battery charge in this way for 4 minutes. Then tried again and it started!
Disconnected everything real quick and ran my errands making sure the first included at least 30 mins of driving time.

Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:50 PM
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this post is over six years old!!!
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:00 PM
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50/10/2 amp starter/chargers are common. I paid $7 for my Schumacher at a yard sale new in the box.
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