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What welder for chassis manufacturing.

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  • What welder for chassis manufacturing.

    I am from Rutgers Formula Racing. We build a small formula style racecar for Formula SAE competition each year in Michigan. We are currently in the market for a new welder. Previously we had an econotig and has been giving us problems obviously due to the duty cycle. Right now we are looking into the Syncrowave 180 SD, and 250 DX. We are unsure which welder we should get since funding is tight right now.

    Most of the steel welding we do is thin wall. The thickest we get up to is .095" chromoly steel. We also do a fair amount of aluminum welding generally in the range of .049" thick.

    So I am looking to get some other opinions on which welder we should get for our application. Obviously the 250 DX will work. But how will a 180 SD handle in a situation like ours?

    Also welders that are water cooled, do we need to run the miller coolant, or is it possible to run with just plain water? Our welder is always indoors in a temperature controled environment.

  • #2
    Welcome Rutgers!

    If you are already using an aircooled unit like the Econotig and have no problems with torch heat, I would go with the Dynasty 200 and an aircooled torch kit. You could even use the same accessories that came with your other welder. All you would need is a different torch adapter and a new ground clamp&cable. It would be less money than the Syncrowave and have more portability to take to the racetrack if needed.

    Dynasty 200 gets my vote.

    Good luck



    • #3
      Re: What welder for chassis manufacturing.

      Originally posted by RFR

      Also welders that are water cooled, do we need to run the miller coolant, or is it possible to run with just plain water? Our welder is always indoors in a temperature controled environment.

      You need to run deionized water at the very least! A good low conductivity coolant, such as what Miller offers, is the best choice. It contains corrosion and algae inhibitors and is manufactured for low conductivity to keep the high frequency from bleeding over to the coolant causing poor arc starts.

      Plain water is full of minerals and is highly conductive. It will give poor arc starts from the HF bleed over and also clog your torch from the minerals that become deposited within the torch tubes.

      This is the reason Miller stopped making the tap water coolant adapters some time back. Torches were getting clogged with tap water minerals. Tap water to a water cooled torch is like cholesterol to your ateries and veins.


      • #4
        For a little more background this is what we build.

        Would the Dynasty 200 be up to what we need it to do. I notice it is a lower duty cycle than the Syncrowave 180. And our Econotig didn't want to take any more from us. We are looking more for a reliable machine that will give us little trouble in the future.

        Generally we don't need to carry a welder out with us on driving days. So size/weight isn't a big concern. Only time it is taken with us is for our Main competition held in Michigan every year. But for that we are willing to have a couple of guys carry it to the trailer from our shop.

        Any other suggestions for which unit we should get?

        For water cooled units how often do you change out the coolant?


        • #5

          The Dynasty 200DX is rated for 150 amps at 60% on single phase power. The Syncro 180 is rated for 150 amps at 40% duty cycle. I have run my Dynasty 200DX for 3 and 4 minutes solid at 200 amps even though it is rated at 20% and it never faltered! It looks like you have it backwards. The Dynasty 200DX has the greater duty cycle of the two units. These ratings are for GTAW. SMAW is obviously lower.

          I could not get your link to open so I am not sure what you need the machine to do. I can tell you this: If the Econotig has been getting the job done, the Dynasty 200DX will knock its socks off! The Dynasty will easily handle .049" aluminum and .095" chrome moly. You are only talking roughly 55 amps AC for the aluminum and around 105 amps on the chrome moly. The Dynasty 200DX is rated at 100% duty cycle at 100 amps!

          Please remember the inverter arc of the Dynasty will accomplish more work with less amperage than a transformer machine. I regularly weld 1/4" aluminum with my D200DX and 100% argon. A typical transformer machine requires around 250 amps to accomplish the same weld. I have run thicker weldments by adding helium to the mix at a 75% helium and 25% argon.

          I change the coolant once a year in my coolers. This is the recommended interval. I run a Coolmate 4 and a Coolmate 3. I do run a water cooled torch on the Dynasty 200DX simply because I do a lot of welding with it. The water cooled torch is much smaller and lighter and takes the heat when I am running on the top end.

          HERE'S A THOUGHT AND A QUESTION FOR ANDY: The published duty cycles for the Dynasty are presumably for AC output. Are the duty cycles for the DC output higher. I ask this question because the Maxstar 200DX, the DC only cousin of the Dynasty, has a higher DC duty cycle rating than the Dynasty. It is rated at 175 amps at 60%. I bring this up because you also do a lot of steel.

          From what you listed as your material and thickness range the Dynasty 200DX sounds like it will easily handle your needs. If you feel the need for extra power, step up to the 300DX Dynasty which give 250 amps @ 40%. I have run mine a 300 amps ( top end ) with 75% helium and 25% argon for 3 minutes solid and it never balked! It's a real machine!

          The Syncrowave 250 will also do the job. However, I prefer the inverter arc of the Dynasty series. I learned on a Lincoln sinewave machine, then grabbed a Lincoln squarewave 175, and now on to the Dynasty series. I honestly believe they are the best TIG machines on the market today. The Dynasty 300 with all of its wave shaping capabilities will outweld any of the Syncrowave machines! The 200DX also has all the same wave shaping control and will do anything you give it up to .250" on pure argon. For extra heat on aluminum throw in some helium and go get it.

          I recommend the Dynasty 200DX with either air or water cooled torch from what you have stated throughout your posts. It will do you a fine job. My next choice would be the Dynasty 300DX with the extra amperage. I think it's overkill for what you are describing, but a very nice machine. The Syncrowave 250 is an excellent machine, but would be my last choice as I have been spoiled by the advanced squarewave arc and all the programmable parameters the Dynasty series offers.

          All through I have mentioned the DX series of the Dynasty. It has the additional features of pulse and sequencing for only a few hundred extra dollars over the SD and is well worth it for arc stability, thinner walled material, and anodized aluminum or even cast and recycled alloys that are otherwise hard to weld.

          Happy decision making!!!


          • #6

            After that last long post here's a good option. Get the 200DX with the air cooled torch adapter and a new ground cable as Andy suggested. When more money is available add a Coolmate 3 and a water cooled torch. The Dynasty can be had for around $2300.00 and might even come with the torch adapter. Mine did.


            • #7
              HAWK: Thanks for all your suggestions. Definatly brought up some good points that we haven't looked into. And seem to definatly be talking from experience with these machines.

              I made a mistake with the web address. This is the correct one:

              Just to clarify what you said:
              All through I have mention the DX series of the Dynaaty. It has the additional features of pulse and sequencing for only a few hundred extra dollars over the SD and is well worth it for arc stability, thinner walled material, and anodized aluminum or even cast and recycled alloys that are otherwise hard to weld.

              You are saying that the DX series Dynasty machine will be able to weld all that you said in the end, including cast alloys? Because since you said that remembered that there are some parts that we had trouble welding with our econotig which included cast oil pans.


              • #8

                Many times cast alloys are nasty to weld with lots of impurities. You can set the pulse rate on the DX in the 300-500 PPS range to help float the impurities to the top of the weld. This will help you achieve a better weld. This technique also works well on anodized aluminum.

                The SD is your basic Dynasty TIG machine. The DX has the extra features of pulse and sequencing.

                Thanks for the link. Good looking racer!


                • #9

                  I am difinitely partial to the Dynasty series. This comes from experience. I like the Sycrowaves, there is something about the inverer arc of the Dynasty you will have to experience for yourself to know what I am talking about. I really believe the 200DX will do all you want or need.


                  • #10
                    RFR, you have gotten some good information. The Dynasty 200DX would have been my recommendation also, even without reading the other replies. It is as good as it gets for tig welding.

                    I would not even consider running the water-cooled tig torches without a coolant such as Millers. Over the years, I have seen a lot of equipment failures due to using water as a coolant. For the few extra dollars that the coolant costs up front, it is a big savings in performance and life of the equipment. Collant is really a misnomer, it is a conditioner that extends the life of coolers, pumps and torches. Plus, it makes them perform better. It's use is really a no-brainer.

                    Another big consideration in the Dynasty's favor is power consumption. Your Econotig at 150 amps on 230 volt input power is drawing 52 amps. A 180SD will draw about the same. The Dynasty 200, on 230 single phase, is only going to draw 15.8 amps. That is a real savings in power consumption, less than 1/3 the cost to operate.

                    If you have been getting by with an Econo-tig, you are going to be amazed by the Dynasty. A little more up front cost over the 180SD, but performance upgrades worth every penny of it, and then some.


                    • #11
                      What is the overall size of the Dynasty? They are fairly small correct? I am just asking just to find out. This sounds like a really good machine from what I am hearing for you. We will definatly look into it.

                      Like I said funding is definatly an issue right now. Don't wanna make a quick decision and regret it in the future because of problems with pushing the welder too much.

                      I think it was mentioned earlier. But will the Dynasty work off of our existing torch, ground and pedal from the econotig? Thanks again.


                      • #12
                        I agree with Hawk, I own both a 250 synchrowave and a Dynasty 200DX, I started on an Econotig, found that oil pan welding was a problem also....Try using easyoff oven cleaner on anodized Al, it should remove the anodizing, and use vinegar to neutralize then wash with water. Esab recomends Toluene for grease removal as it evaporates so fast and cuts better than acetone, I have used it extensively with great results. Don't use gasoline,mineral spirits, kersosene for cleaning,they will live a greasy residue [hydrocarbons]. Best REgards, Paul
                        More Spark Today Pleasesigpic


                        • #13
                          RFR, if you have a fairly new EconoTig the foot control will work on a Dynasty. If it is the 14 pin model RFCS-14 (#043-554) it will work fine. I believe the Tig Torch, if it is the newer quick connect style, will plug right into the Dynasty also. If it is an older style torch, a few adaptors will make it work, one way or the other. You may need a DA-917F (#194-720) air cooled tig torch adaptor.

                          The Dynasty is 21.5" deep x 13.5" high x 7.5" wide and weighs 45 lbs. Just another plus over the other machines. Don't let the size fool you. It is full of features that will make life easier for you, and the arc characteristic on Miller inverters is just beautiful, for lack of a better term.

                          Here is Link to the Spec Sheet..Dynasty 200 and the product Info....Product info These may be helpful in your quest for the ultimate Tig machine


                          • #14
                            RFR I think you can not go wrong with the Dynasty 200 DX. It surely will do what you need at least for your present needs. I started to learn TIG at the local collage using the Red machines and they worked very nice however my instructor thought I would be better off witn a Miller because of the local support and Millers reputation. After finding this site and a lot of soul searching I went with the SD180 syncrowave, a great machine and perhaps more welder than I will ever need. Welding can become addictive no doubt about it. At the SD Miller road show I broke down and went with the Dynasty. Great show price and a couple of us got together and talked to the distributer for a even better deal if we both bought. We did. Love both machines but there is no doubt which is the better and more versital unit.
                            Try one you will see what I mean.
                            Craftsman Colormatic AC
                            Victor Journyman Setup
                            Syncrowave 180 SD
                            MM210 With Spoolgun
                            Dynasty 200 DX
                            Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
                            Miller HD Tape Measure


                            • #15
                              I believe you will have to change the torch adapter. The Econotig has a "flow through" gas connector. The connector you need for the Dynasty is a 194720 as klsm54 stated.

                              Good luck!