No announcement yet.

Challenger 172 & Aluminum

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Challenger 172 & Aluminum

    I have a Challenger 172 I bought new several years ago specifically for welding aluminum. I have always run .035 4043 or 5356 pretty sucessfully. About 2 years ago I began having problems with birdnesting between the drive roll and liner opening. The wire seemed hard to pull out and had a rough texture. At the advice of the local welding supply, I changed the liner, and went back to welding. It was not as good as before, but at least I could make a couple of welds before clogging. To make a long story short, the problem has gotten progressively worse to the point where if I can start a weld after two or three clogs. I have replaced liners, diffusers, tips, and drive rolls at one point or another. It generally works better at times than at others, with no way I have determined to predict it. I found the plastic liner for the larger Miller guns and installed it. Now I have a smooth wire, but still it birdnests at the start of the arc most of the time. The technician from the dealer came out to check it and determined I can't use aluminum with this welder, I need to buy a Millermatic 250 and all my problems will be solved. My theory is if it worked once, it should work again. Can anyone provide and suggestions? The other dilema I have saved for another post.

  • #2
    172 Challenger


    Hi, Just ran across your post, I'm new to this came somewhat but here is what the fellas at my dealers did for me.
    They installed a Spoolmate 185 adapter, which is a little blue box with some dials. ( Check it out on the miller accesory area) Then set me up with a Spoolmate gun.... Ask your dealer....... I made an aluminum gate for the deck off the house and a Aluminum tray for the back of my van..
    The setup worked for me...... Aluminum wire doesnt like to travel that long distance thru our regular torch... So it needs the short run the spool gun allows..... Hope that help you...... Mortch


    • #3
      Questions and ideas

      I am going to try some alu on my new MM 175.what settings did you use for wire spd & voltage? Also I have been told to use a .035 tip on .030 wire to help on birdnesting problems. How close are you getting the tip on the whip to the drive rolls? Also has it worn enough to oval the hole? Shucks if it worked before it still should probably something simple and easy to overlook. B.C.