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Converting 460v Thunderbolt to 230

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  • Converting 460v Thunderbolt to 230

    I'm a longtime lurker but this is my first post. I'm looking at an older Thunderbolt AC/DC that is single phase 460V. I don't have that kind of power available. Is there a way to convert the machine to use 230? I looked at the manual on Miller's site but didn't find anything. Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    You'd have to use a stepup transformer, transformer will cost more than the T-bolts worth, soooooooo, not worth your time and effort to do so.

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    • #3
      Thanks Cruizer. Good advice as always.

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      • #4
        hank, Didn't check prices and even if you got the unit for a song quite possibly still not worth it - T1 transformer primary and secondary coils (depending on model) could be changed from 460v to 230v items.
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        • #5
          If it had been a 230v unit it would have been pretty good deal given its condition. But wasn't since it was a 460v. I looked at the manual on Miller's site and there are distinct differences in the parts such as primary and secondary coil and so on. I guess what I was doing is verifying my feeling that it couldn't be resonably converted. It's a shame.

          I have a Miller Sidekick, a great welder, but need something bigger every now and then and a AC/DC stick welder would be an economical answer. Oddly though, there doesn't seem to be much of a market for Thunderbolts around here. I don't know why that is. Guess everyone's into mig's which go for big bucks.

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          • #6
            Actually, whether it's a 225A or 300A model only the primary coil has to be changed. If a 225A the new 220v primary coil PN is 112 498, if 300A the new 220v primary coil PN is 097 958.

            Do you have or can you obtain the unit SN?
            MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
            Syncrowave 180 SD
            Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
            *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
            *HF-251D-1
            *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
            PakMaster 100XL
            Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
            http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

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            • #7
              I did get it. The serial number is KC270013, model no: 902784. The guy wants $200.00 for it so the parts would have to reasonable. He'd probably take less by now.

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              • #8
                Been even better if those part#'s in question still exsisted in the Miller price list but they don't.

                This T-bolt was last tested at the Miller factory 7/17/1992. Miller generally doesn't stock alot of parts for machines 16 years old and counting.....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cruizer View Post
                  Been even better if those part#'s in question still exsisted in the Miller price list but they don't.

                  This T-bolt was last tested at the Miller factory 7/17/1992. Miller generally doesn't stock alot of parts for machines 16 years old and counting.....
                  cuizer,
                  I agree it would be nice to see the required PN in the price book for sure but finding new suction and discharge valves for a 1944 Quincy 2-cylinder air compressor a few years back, new in factory box water pump for a 1950's Kohler 6.5 generator and most recently new in factory box dual tank kit (thanks to an attentive forum member) for my '80s vintage MM200 tells me there's always a chance of finding what you want or need for those willing to take a look see IMO.
                  Duane
                  MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
                  Syncrowave 180 SD
                  Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
                  *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
                  *HF-251D-1
                  *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
                  PakMaster 100XL
                  Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hank View Post
                    I did get it. The serial number is KC270013, model no: 902784. The guy wants $200.00 for it so the parts would have to reasonable. He'd probably take less by now.
                    I've got a Thunderbolt 460v 3phase available for $50.00 plus shipping if you really have to have one. I bought this thing at an auction and never thought to look at the input voltage. Silly me! Who would have thunk that a small welder like that was 460v. Looking at the parts list it looks like most of the high dollar parts would have to be changed. So what is the sense of throwing good money after bad? This thing's been a static display in the corner of the shop for about 15 years. I could probably get rid of it for scrap and get my money out of it considering metal prices these days

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, but I don't really have to have one I guess. It just seems a shame that what are probably pretty good welding machines will be relegated to the trash pile because of their specialized voltage requirements.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aeroweld View Post
                        I've got a Thunderbolt 460v 3phase available for $50.00 plus shipping if you really have to have one. I bought this thing at an auction and never thought to look at the input voltage. Silly me! Who would have thunk that a small welder like that was 460v. Looking at the parts list it looks like most of the high dollar parts would have to be changed. So what is the sense of throwing good money after bad? This thing's been a static display in the corner of the shop for about 15 years. I could probably get rid of it for scrap and get my money out of it considering metal prices these days
                        Look again Aeroweld. I think you'll find it's 460v '1' phase. To convert to 230v 1 phase all you need is the primary coil for the T1 transformer. The challenge is finding one (PN 112498)... now two.
                        MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
                        Syncrowave 180 SD
                        Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
                        *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
                        *HF-251D-1
                        *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
                        PakMaster 100XL
                        Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110
                        http://www.millerwelds.com/images/sm...rolleyes.png?2

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hank View Post

                          I have a Miller Sidekick, a great welder, but need something bigger every now and then and a AC/DC stick welder would be an economical answer. Oddly though, there doesn't seem to be much of a market for Thunderbolts around here. I don't know why that is. Guess everyone's into mig's which go for big bucks.

                          http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w..._384175_384175

                          Best bang for the buck- new, warranty and no worrying about iffin' it will work

                          Free shipping.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by duaneb55 View Post
                            Look again Aeroweld. I think you'll find it's 460v '1' phase. To convert to 230v 1 phase all you need is the primary coil for the T1 transformer. The challenge is finding one (PN 112498)... now two.
                            Hi Duane, Yes, you are correct it is a 1 phase machine. Typo on my part. Thanks for the part number. I have to order some Miller parts next week and just might see if that coil is avalable and the cost.
                            It is low priority. I only bought the machine as it could be used to power my HF251 Hi-Freq box for remote location TIG welding of aluminum. At the time I was getting some work on pin setting machines for bowling alleys. Sometimes the machines were located too far away from doorways to get at with the cables I had for my engine drive. I had borrowed a friends Thunderbolt a couple of times to do the jobs. When this one came on the auction block I figured $50 was a good price even if the machine would rarely be used.

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                            • #15
                              Again being a Miller Tech and all, and having acess to the super secret Miller Tech only site, those parts are NOT available. And looking at the new version 230 transformer unit, you'd be looking at the $450 mark anyways.

                              So considering a used 230 T-bolt AC/DC running is around $200, even if you could buy the other transformer, which you can't, spending the extra $300 to net yourself a $200 machine isn't worth it., or is it.

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