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SUEDEGRENADE 03-24-2006 07:56 PM

Welding Dilemma
THANKS :pimp:

Henry Highrise 03-24-2006 07:59 PM

I would go with the 175. But to safely weld in your suspension......that is going to depend on your welding skills...not the welding machine.

SUEDEGRENADE 03-24-2006 08:06 PM

Welding Dilemma
Thanks For The Information, Are There Any Other Welders That You Would Suggest, Another Question Do You Know If Can Use A Gasless Mig Welder?? Or Should I Use Gas, Does It Make For A Stronger Weld Either Way??

oldred 03-24-2006 08:10 PM

No need to yell (ALL CAPS) we are here to help :) That Lincoln 175 is a fine machine and will do nicely, the 135 is a bit limited and is better suited to sheet metal. Lincoln is and always has been my first choice but the Miller machines are extremely popular and for a darn good reason!

Henry Highrise 03-24-2006 08:10 PM

I prefer to use gas... Hobart and Miller are good welders. Lincoln is OK too.

oldred 03-24-2006 08:19 PM

Sude, I would strongly recomend you avoid gasless as it is not as strong as a MIG weld.

BTW, All MIGs use gas-(M)etal (I)nert (G)as and a gasless welder is a flux core.

weirdbeard 03-24-2006 08:22 PM

The Linclon pro. core 100 is a good welder that will penetrate up to 1-4 inch mild steel for under $300. The mig conversion is under $100. :drunk:

oldred 03-24-2006 09:06 PM

I would never use flux core on something as critical as a suspension. I have been repairing mining machinery for over 35 years and we have used flux core in sizes from .030 to 1/8" and I can assure you it is not as strong as MIG nor does it claim to be, look at the specs. Flux core in the smaller sizes (.030-.035) is ok for sheet metal, although a bit messy, and other non critical welds but should never be considered for something requiring maximum strength. Flux core is very useful in drafty conditions and in situations where strength is not an issue but it is not a replacement for MIG, TIG or stick when strength counts. Over the years we have tried every trick in the book to make the most of flux core but with little success, if you look at the spec sheet that comes with the flux core wire you will find that one of the "ingredients" is aluminum :pain: nuff said!

black66 03-24-2006 10:26 PM

Oldred I do not mean to throw a wrench in the works but could you show me the specs on .030 flux and.035 solid wire? Flux core wire, just like SMAW ( stick welding) is much more ductile than hard wire. Hard wire is good

I have built bridges, ski lift towers, high rise buildings and many other types of steel structures in my day. All using flux core, SMAW ( stick ) and sometimes dual shield. Even when I worked indoors building ski lift towers for CTEC-GARAVENTA, the largest ski lift manufacture in the world, inert gas welding was not an option. I am not attacking your experience. But I want to make sure everyone gets the correct information.

Suede please read this info below and make your own decision.

General Usage Rules


As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to use a compact 115volt input (or 230 volt) MIG wirefeeder/welder indoors on clean new steel that is 24 to 12 gauge thick. 12 gauge is a little less than 1/8" thick. 24 gauge is less than 1/16" thick. The smallest wire(.025") will make it the easiest to weld the thinnest(24 gauge) material. The .030" diameter wire will weld a little faster deposition rate. If you need to weld 1/8" to " thick material with MIG, you will need the higher capacity compact machine which will require 230 volt input. The higher amperage range of this machine can better handle your welding needs in a single pass and you may not have to waste time with second or third passes. The 230 volt machine could also run .035" diameter wire. To MIG weld material more than " thick, you need a higher capacity truly industrial machine. If most of your welding will be performed indoors on clean material that is less than 1/8" thick, a MIG machine that operates on 115 volts is probably your best bet for economic reasons in that a 230 volt input machine will be more expensive.


The flux-cored process is only recommended on materials as thin as 20 gauge, a bit thicker than the 24 gauge we said for MIG. In general, this process is best for welding thicker materials with a single pass, especially if you need to weld outdoors such as to repair a tractor out in the field. A 115 volt flux-cored machine using an electrode such as .035" Innershield NR-211-MP will generally allow you to weld steel up to "thick. Note that this is more than double the thickness maximum of 12 gauge with MIG on 115 volts. With the proper electrode on a proper machine, such as .045" Innershield NR-211MP, and a 230 volt input machine, you can weld steel up to 1/2" thick. Note that NR-211MP requires that the machine be setup for DC negative polarity.


While there are advantages and disadvantages to both processes, we will try to outline for you some of the most common.



* The best choice when cosmetic appearance is an issue since it provides lower spatter levels than flux-cored. The arc is soft and less likely to burn through thin material.
* The lower spatter associated with MIG also means no slag to chip off and faster cleaning time.
* MIG is the easiest type of welding to learn and is more forgiving if the operator is somewhat erratic in holding arc length or providing a steady travel speed. Procedure settings are more forgiving.
* If you are skilled and get specific proper guns, shielding gas, liners, drive rolls, and electrode, MIG can weld a wider range of material including thinner materials and different materials such as stainless, nickel alloys or aluminum.


* Since a bottle of external shielding gas is required, MIG may not be the process of choice if your are looking for something that offers portability and convenience. MIG also requires additional equipment such as a hose, regulator, solenoid(electric valve) in the wire feeder and flowmeter.
* The welders first job is to prepare the surface by removing paint, rust and any surface contamination.
* MIG has a soft arc which will not properly weld thicker materials (10 gauge would be the maximum thickness that MIG could soundly weld with the 115 volt compact wirefeed welders we are referring to or " with the 230 volt input compact wirefeed machine.) As the thickness of the material(steel) increases, the risk of cold lapping also increases because the heat input needed for good fusion is just not possible with these small machines.



* The Self-Shielded electrodes are optimal for outdoor procedures since the flux is built into the wire for positive shielding even in windy conditions. An external shielding gas and additional equipment are not needed, so setting up is simpler, faster and easier.
* The flux-cored process is most suited for applications with thicker materials as it is less prone to cold lapping.


* It is not recommended for very thin materials (less than 20 gauge).
* When flux-cored welding, machine settings need to be precise. A slight change in a knob position can make a big difference in the arc. In addition, the gun position is more critical in that it must be held consistently, and at the proper angle, to create a good weld.
* This process creates spatter and slag that may need to be cleaned for painting or finishing.

And if I am wrong, please excuse me for butting in.... :thumbup:

With a little practice you can make great welds with a flux core 110 welder. My Miller 135 will weld anything on my car I need....

Good luck Suede...!!!

Chopt 48 03-25-2006 12:07 AM

My suggestion from past experiences would be to go with the welder that has the best support (Service people) in your area.
In most areas this happens to be Miller which are normally sold through welding supply stores as apposed to the Lincolns which in this area are sold a Home Depot. There isn't a lot of repair service available there.
Anyone who uses a wirefeed very much will tell you that sooner or later you will have to haul it in for service or have to buy a part for it.
At any rate go with a Miller, Hobart, or Lincoln and stay away from the off brands simply due to the availibility of parts and service.

weirdbeard 03-25-2006 10:02 AM

Black66 thats some good info. ;)

oldred 03-25-2006 11:06 AM

Black, I was fully expecting that from someone and I knew I was opening a can of worms, as the old saying goes. First I am not a backyard welder I have been a certified welder in the mining industry for over 35 years (retired) and I have spent this time maintaining and repairing the largest earth moving equipment in the world. I have worked on equipment from Marion Power Shovel, Bucyus Erie, P&H and Lima to name a few. This is some of the most demanding repair work in the industry and I can assure you that with the exception of a few controlled applications such as tub structure and the like you will rarely find flux core used in critical situations even though it would have major advantages in time savings on a major repair. Ductility is only part of the equation and welding something like suspension components with a 115 volt wire feeder using flux core wire is just asking for trouble. There is a huge difference between welding in a controlled environment where each joint is engineered and layed out before the process begins (Where something like flux core is strong enough and more strength is not needed) and trying to do a field repair or modification such as the auto suspension we are talking about here where strength could be critical. Even the earth moving equipment I mentioned, just as the equipment you worked on, used flux core extensively in the construction and final assembly of pre-finished components. Again this is a well engineered situation just as is the ski lift you mentioned with the short comings of the flux core taken into account. As I said earlier I have spent literally a life time dealing with this stuff because most of our work was outdoors which severely limited the use of MIG (duel-shield) and stick is slow so we used flux core where practical but NEVER in a critical weld! We could go on forever debating the pros and cons but the easiest way to make up one's mind about which to use is to do an HONEST side by side comparison test. I have seen and done this many times when trying to improve the weld quality of the flux core by using different prep methods and procedures, some recommended by welding engineers, and nothing we could do would bring the weld quality up to the standards of Duel-shield or stick in a real world test and this was from certified highly experienced welders! You have a good point and I agree there is a place for flux core but it is not for a critical unengineered(is that a word :confused: )weld since inch for inch the strength is not comparable to a properly done MIG or stick weld.

Weirdbeard, I did not mean any offense but I have burned literally miles of this stuff along with years of using duel-shield and stick in just about every welding situation one could imagine and I am all too familiar with the short comings of flux core and the problems it can cause, that is why I would never recommend it for something like suspension components or frame work.

weirdbeard 03-25-2006 11:56 AM

No offense taken! I am a totally green welder. I try to absorb all the info. I can from guys that weld all day long. I did not mean to reinforce B66s info. What I should have said was (Very interesting.. I did not know that.) :confused:

black66 03-25-2006 12:23 PM

Oldred I obtained a 6G cert when I was only 19. I am 35 now. So my experience does not come from backyard welding.

Eveyone has their oppinions as you have stated. And I can only talk about my experience.

The post I made was out of a well known welding site. Maybe you have heard of it...??

Look for yourself...... I guess we should inform Lincoln that they have stated some incorrect info.... :confused:

I am only providing information .030 - .045 welding wire used on a 115V or 230V portable welder like Miller 135/175 or Lincoln . So these readers need to understand that we are talking about a certain type of welder and wire.

Here is a link for Lincolns .035 flux wire:

And here for their .045 flux wire:

I personally run Miller welders. But Lincoln had a better description of MIG (Metal Inert Gas) vs. Flux (FCAW)

I hope some of this info is helpful and has shed some light on the smaller 115V/230V welders and welding process....

Dave :thumbup:

black66 03-25-2006 12:48 PM

critical welds
And oldred I had to quote you on this:

There is a huge difference between welding in a controlled environment where each joint is engineered and layed out before the process begins (Where something like flux core is strong enough and more strength is not needed) and trying to do a field repair or modification such as the auto suspension we are talking about here where strength could be critical.
A contolled environment does not change whay type of welding process you use. All engineered structures need a special type of welding process whether they are welded indoors or outdoors.

If you welded ski lift towers with a MIG ( Metal Inert Gas) the welds would fail from stress and extreme tempatures. If a bridge was welded with MIG the welds would also fail from stress and possible cold lap depending on the thickness of steel. Mig's weld pool cools at too fast of a rate. And can in some applications cause the weld to become very brittle with very little ductililty.

And as for auto repairs on suspension. Most auto shops weld with MIG because they can not weld with anything else.... Anyone can learn to mig with a little practice. That is why a mig welder getting 10 bucks an hour in a auto shop is a dime a dozen.....

Dave :thumbup:

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