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  • Trailblazer 302D too LOUD

    We took delivery on a new Trailblazer 302D yesterday. Checked the fluids, hooked up the battery and attached the tailpipe and fired it up. Man this thing is loud...way LOUD compared to our Multiquip welders. The specs for the TB say it's rated at 81 Decibels. The MQ we have is rated at 69. This doesn't seem like a big difference but the new TB sounds twice as loud as the MQ. Comparing the Miller to MQ's 300 amp machine is even worse. The MQ DLW300 has the same Kubota motor but is even quieter yet at 59Db.

    I called my rep and he gave me the number for Miller tech support. Tech support said it's really a motor issue and gave me Kubota's #. Kubota says that Miller uses their own muffler not theirs. I checked and Kubota's muffler is even louder than Miller's so basically I'm out of luck with service at this point.

    Personally it isn't a big deal to me but my boss is very unhappy and wants to send the machine back. His question is "Why is Miller making a welder so loud when they could make it so much quieter?" comparing it to the MQ. He feels is poor engineering on Miller's part. Lincoln's Ranger 305D is no better sound wise, weighing in at the same sound level.

    I would like to keep this machine because it fits our needs for simultaneous use of power tools while welding and the size/weight. The MQ 225 falls short welding bigger rods and on power to run tools. Our SAM will handle any rod but it's A/C power is almost non-existent, is on a trailer and is really heavy (actually broke it's own trailer in half a couple of years ago while traveling over rough roads around Cincinatti). We are doing xray welds on bridges for multiple DOTs so weld quality is very important too.

    Any tips to quiet the TB down? The machine has to be able to be switched from truck to truck easily so running the exaust elsewhere isn't an option and we don't want anything sticking out that can get knocked off.
    2008 Miller Trailblazer 302D
    2007 Multiquip 225SS
    2001 Multiquip 225SS
    1986 Winco WG270
    1984 Lincoln SAM 400

  • #2
    Str8bridge,

    Sorry you feel that machine is too loud. We don't hear that too often as this is normally in line with other construction equipment.
    It is a bit deceiving with the decibel numbers unless you understand them. From 69 to 81 doesn't seem like a lot, however the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale. for example:
    On the decibel scale, the smallest audible sound (near total silence) is 0 dB. A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB.

    I'm sure that when Miller did the dyno/muffler testing, that combination is what they felt would not hamper the HP under full loading. I doubt there is anything that Miller can do about it.

    Sorry for your issue.
    You still have a killer machine there.

    Andy

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    • #3
      I would be hard pressed to expect any welder to be as quiet as a MQ.I have run them on a job site and they are super quiet.
      BB402D
      TB300D
      DIMENSION652
      MM250X
      MAXSTAR140
      S-32 FEEDER W/1260 IRONMATE FC/GUN
      HT/PWR-MAX1250 PLASMA

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      • #4
        Can you put a tool box or something else between the welder and the operator....for example if the unit is on the drivers side of the truck place a tool box next to it that is taller than the machine and use it from the passenger side...I know it doesn't make it quieter, but will cut down on what you hear.....
        Mike
        George W. Bush was saving your butt whether you liked it or not!
        Fear is temporary, regret is forever
        HH210 with SG

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        • #5
          Have you looked into replacing the muffler with a quieter one? It may be on your company's own dime, but if the noise is that bothersome, I'm sure a quieter muffler can be found and mufflers don't really cost a whole lotta money in the scheme of things.
          Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
          Millermatic175
          MillermaticPassport/Q300
          HTP MIG200
          PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
          ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
          DialarcHF, Radiator-1
          Hypertherm PowerMax 380
          Purox oxy/ace
          Jackson EQC
          -F350 CrewCab 4x4
          -LoadNGo utility bed
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          -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
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          -Suitcase12RC/Q300
          -Smith oxy/propane
          -Jackson EQC

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          • #6
            Please don't take any offence by this, but does it really matter? If you are welding and using other tools, such as grinders or air tools, having a welder in the background shouldn't really be a big deal.

            Besides, if everyone on the job site is following safety protocol and wearing ear plugs, it shouldn't be more than a whisper in the background.

            If your boss is still insisting on quieting the TB down, I have to agree with the others, get an aftermarket muffler. One of our school drag cars is running a Polaris 700 double on the back, if you have ever heard on of these with a "performance exhaust" then you have felt true ear pains. To quell the noise our teacher bought an aftermarket muffler (sorry do know where he got it), with this muffler you can barely tell it is running, even at WOT. It isn't that large either.
            Owner of Burnt Beard Fabrication & Welding Ltd.

            BigBlue 500D
            Dynasty 200DX
            Millermatic 211
            4' Box and Pan Break
            IR compressor

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            • #7
              get a large passenger car muffler and mount it flat on top of the unit. You can find specs for virtually any muffler in a walker exhaust catalog. You might also consider dynamat on the inside of the case, to quell mechanical noise. I can't see the mufer costing more than 100 bucks total and an afternoon to do a nice install. You might start a trend.
              Dynasty 200 DX
              Millermatic 175
              Spectrum 375
              All kinds of Smith OA gear

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Laiky View Post
                get a large passenger car muffler and mount it flat on top of the unit. You can find specs for virtually any muffler in a walker exhaust catalog. You might also consider dynamat on the inside of the case, to quell mechanical noise. I can't see the mufer costing more than 100 bucks total and an afternoon to do a nice install. You might start a trend.
                If this is a brand new machine, I wouldn't advise altering the exauhst. If anything, and I mean anything goes wrong with the welder or engine it will be blamed on the alteration and void the warranty.

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                • #9
                  Any alteration of the exhaust will affect performance of the machine as well....not enough back pressure and it wont have the a$$ to keep a good arc.....to much back pressure and you would be choking it down.....
                  George W. Bush was saving your butt whether you liked it or not!
                  Fear is temporary, regret is forever
                  HH210 with SG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are mufflers that flow exhaust freely and are also quiet. Some of the performance mufflers for cars are still fairly quiet.

                    On the warranty issue, that would be up to the engine manufacturer servicing the warranty, but I do know that putting an aftermarket muffler and/or tailpipe on your new car does not void the warranty on the engine or the car.
                    Millermatic350P/Python, MillermaticReach/Q300
                    Millermatic175
                    MillermaticPassport/Q300
                    HTP MIG200
                    PowCon 300SM, MK Cobramatic
                    ThermalArc 185ACDC, Dynaflux Tig'r, CK-20
                    DialarcHF, Radiator-1
                    Hypertherm PowerMax 380
                    Purox oxy/ace
                    Jackson EQC
                    -F350 CrewCab 4x4
                    -LoadNGo utility bed
                    -Bobcat 250NT
                    -PassportPlus/Q300
                    -XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic15A
                    -Suitcase8RC/Q400
                    -Suitcase12RC/Q300
                    -Smith oxy/propane
                    -Jackson EQC

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                    • #11
                      My father recently purchased a 8500W gas generator to use with his RV travel trailer and also for backup power around the house during power outages. The generator muffler system has a exhaust muffler just smaller than that of a 1990 Honda Civic factory equipped unit. We added a Walker Performance Muffler that was made for a newer Honda Civic. I fabricated a connection for it to slip onto the end of the tip of the generator muffler. The generator exhaust tip was basically 3/4" EMT conduit. The muffler we added was 2" in and out. I added freeze plugs to cap the ends and used 3/4" EMT for the tip on the new muffler to hold the generator spark arrestor in place. The exhaust is stone cold silent. However, the engine noise and cooling fan on the generator rotor are very noisy. The generator is still too loud to run in most state parks after hours but it says on the container and in the manual that it met US Forestry and Park Service Noise Standards at 69 dbl. Our Bobcat and BlueStar Welders are more quiet than this new generator.

                      Anyway, the success of the exhaust noise being silenced worked really well. We intend to do a similar job to our Miller Bobcat 225NT some day. The same treatment will be applied to the BlueStar 2E on our pump rig when the current muffler goes out. It's not factory on it anyway. Our Kubota L275 Utility Tractor and Ditch Witch 4010 with Deutz Diesel came with large muffler setups from the factory. However, the mechanical systems in and on the engines themselves are noisy even if the exhaust isn't. Our Kubota G5200 Lawn Tractor which uses the same series of 3 Cylinder Liquid Cooled Diesel Engine as the Miller welders is noisy at low idle, mainly from the injector system. At full speed, somewhere around 3000 to 3600 RPM, the mower deck blades are making more noise than the engine while cutting the grass.

                      I don't see any harm in adding a second muffler to the welder. The exhaust tip on the unit is just that, an exhaust tip. Getting a easy flowing muffler and connecting it at the same point as the exhaust tip shouldn't be that big a deal. Mounting it where it won't get knocked off or beat up, blocking a lifting eye, or directing the exhaust flow in a safe direction and keeping rain out is the challenge. You don't have to change the existing muffler, just add a second unit to it. However, if you do kill the exhaust noise, you may still find the fan on the generator rotor and the engine injector system may still be quite noisy.
                      '77 Miller Bluestar 2E on current service truck
                      '99 Miller Bobcat 225NT for New Service Truck
                      '85 Millermatic 200 in Shop

                      '72 Marquete 295 AC cracker box in Shop
                      '07 Hypertherm Powermax 1000 G3 Plasma Cutter in Shop
                      Miller Elite and Digital Elite Hoods

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                      • #12
                        If there is nothing mounted over the top of the welder you can try and put a straight pipe with a rain cap flapper out the top instead of the curved outlet, shotting the exhaust strait up instead of head level when on a truck, might be the cheapest and easiest cure for your problem
                        Trailblazer 302G
                        MM 210 with spool gun
                        Thermal Arc Heffty2 CC/CV suitcase
                        Smith torches
                        Porter Cable 14" carbide chop saw
                        griders and hand tools coming out the WAZOO


                        I owe! I owe! so off to work I go!

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                        • #13
                          Yes this paticular engine drive is rather loud, A simple baffled 8-12" glasspack slip on solves the problem and has no significant impact on performance.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Desertrider33 View Post
                            There are mufflers that flow exhaust freely and are also quiet. Some of the performance mufflers for cars are still fairly quiet.

                            On the warranty issue, that would be up to the engine manufacturer servicing the warranty, but I do know that putting an aftermarket muffler and/or tailpipe on your new car does not void the warranty on the engine or the car.
                            The aftermarket mufflers for cars are designed for cars. If you can find one designed for a 3 cylinder welding machine engine I don't suppose the manufacture would object either. But, I bet if you put a 3 cylinder muffler on your new car and it burned a valve the dealer would laugh at you. Just my opinion from dealing with warranty issues.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the suggestions. It does seem strange to be worried about the sound level of a welder when there is much louder equipment on the jobsite like grinders and needleguns but if you need to talk to someone, it is nice to be able to without shutting down the generator or if work is being done on a bridge 100' away it's nice for it to be fairly quiet around the truck. Multiquip has a muffler the same size as a car but as I said before Multiquip has a 300 amp machine that is quieter than our current machines and has the same motor as the new Trailblazer. The machines sit behind the cab between the toolboxes of a mechanics bed on our Class C trucks (International and Freighliner). It will seem a little quieter there than in our concrete block shop. We'll consider adding Multiquip's muffler since it was designed for that motor if it will fit. I'll post pics if we do. There is obviously a market for quiet machines or MQ probably wouldn't be selling them, maybe one of the designers at Miller will notice.

                              Here's how we have them mounted, anything sticking out would likely be broken off


                              2008 Miller Trailblazer 302D
                              2007 Multiquip 225SS
                              2001 Multiquip 225SS
                              1986 Winco WG270
                              1984 Lincoln SAM 400

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