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93 thunderbolt lead terminal hardware

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  • #16
    Once again we seem to be ignoring that resistivity is relative to cross-section and other design factors. Perhaps you'd prefer all this current go through a single strand of 19 AWG copper.

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    • #17
      Here's an idea. Run the welder WFO until you've reached its duty cycle limit. Then open it up and use an IR thermometer to get the temperature of these nuts that are supposed to be so resistive. Then do the math you learned in engineering school. Unless those nuts are melted at the end of this experiment, I'd bet that less than 1% of the welder's output power is being consumed by the resistance in those nuts.
      Last edited by Helios; 12-16-2017, 05:44 AM.

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      • #18
        This may hurt feelings
        But I seriously cannot imagine spending that kind of time 'improving" a welding machine that really doesn't (IMO) weld worth a crap. It's just a cheap beginner/small shop buzz box.
        If I was an electrical engineer I would be spending my expensive educated years of experience on machines much more worthy, like a ABP 330 or something of that nature if I wanted to stay away from modern electronics. Then you could be rewarded with a sweet stable arc for all your efforts.
        no matter what you do to a Thunderbolt it's still gonna be a Thunderbolt.
        As far as you connections go, IMO the arc on a thunderbolt is such as you would never know the difference between connector resistance values from an operator's standpoint. The design simply doesn't let it perform on that level. If you don't believe me put a High frequency box on it and Tig weld aluminum, and hear it squeal for mercy!!!
        Once you are a capable weldor... you deserve a better welder......just sayin'

        www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
        Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
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        Miller 30-A Spoolgun
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        • #19
          Originally posted by Almond farmer View Post
          The two steel flange nuts make no sense , very high resistivity, when is the last time seeing a steel truck battery lug.
          Actually, steel is a better conductor than lead. My hunch is that the reason they use lead instead of steel for battery lugs is because you'd need a 4-foot-long wrench to be able to tighten the bolt on a steel battery lug enough to grip the post on the battery. Plus, it would rust pretty fast from the sulfuric acid fumes...
          Last edited by Helios; 12-16-2017, 08:54 AM.

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          • #20
            Ha! I actually put a high freq box on my thunderbolt when I first wanted to start tig welding aluminum! You ain't kidding about making that machine squeal...me thinks you've done it too....

            And as far as the arc goes...it's my last choice of machines to weld with. I just keep it because it's was my first machine, was given to me by a dear friend who is long since passed away, it could possibly be a backup if North Korea hits us with an EMP and it's really not worth much and I don't need the money that bad.

            And if there is an electrical engineer that has a hankerin' to poke around in an old 330 abp, helga probably won't mind. She could use an overhaul anyway.

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            • #21
              Update on rewiring the 1993 thunder bolt from corroded connections from residing 5 miles from the Pacific ocean with salt air for 25 years.
              Researched environmental corrosion and galvanic corrosion, current capacity of lug connectors and wire for two weeks.
              This is the configuration finally converged upon.

              use a tin plated 1/0 copper lug with 1/2" diameter hole, sandwiched between the aluminum transformer conductor .22" x .22" with loop and aluminum strip , 3/4" x 1/16" with 1/2 diameter hole using 1/2-13 aluminum bolt with AL nut and two AL washers one split lock washer, anti oxidant at contact surfaces all AL surfaces are brushed with small SS brush prior to assembly to remove the AL oxide.

              run 4" long 1/0 welding cable from Tin plated copper lug to 1/0 unplated copper lug.
              lugs are crimped using Harbor Freight Tool hydraulic crimp connector tool, no solder.

              Wire brush off corrosion on brass stud that is OEM and run 1/2"-20 die over thread to move more corrosion.
              sandwich 1/0 bare copper lug between two yellow regular thickness brass nuts and one brass split washer, no oxidant sealer.
              another option is to use tin coated copper lug on the brass stud.

              found a Miller repair kit for the Thunderbolt at WestAir welding supply.
              it included, plastic cap, nylon washer, 1/2-20 yellow brass stud, brass jam nut, painted steel jam nut, painted steel split lock washer and two painted flat washers. The only useful item in the kit was the brass stud.

              spent some time on the corrosion forum on the topic of AL to Cu connections.
              Tin (Sn) is always the recommended solution between AL to CU.

              AL forms a very thin hard oxide with high electrical resistance that stops further corrosion into the thickness of the metal.
              Cu forms a soft oxide with low electrical resistance that keeps on corroding and will eventually corrode completely through the metal.

              It is difficult to plate Sn on Al. Requires multiple steps Zinc (Zn) first, then electrolysis nickel or copper plating then tin. The tin rubs off quite easily with a pencil eraser. Copper is used if soldering is required, nickel for non solder applications.
              Cu or nickel provides barrier for migration of Zn to the Outer layer of Sn.
              Tin on Al is better if using Al conductor, but the new dual rated Al lugs with An coating are good for both Al & Cu conductors.

              will keep an eye on bare copper lugs, if excessive environmental corrosion will convert to tin coated copper lugs,
              Tin is sacrificial to copper, so when the tin is galvantically removed, left with bare copper, again.
              zero galvanic action between brass nut and bare copper lug since brass is ~ 70% Cu.
              Last edited by Almond farmer; 01-01-2018, 12:48 PM. Reason: Spellong: coroding

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Almond farmer View Post
                ...found a Miller repair kit for the Thunderbolt at WestAir welding supply.
                it included, plastic cap, nylon washer, 1/2-20 yellow brass stud, brass jam nut, painted steel jam nut, painted steel split lock washer and two painted flat washers. The only useful item in the kit was the brass stud....
                Then why not just buy a brass stud?

                Why are you bothering to repair an old POS Miller anyway? Surely you can build a better one.

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                • #23
                  Or a 1/2" brass rod, bore & thread
                  original brass stud is all right, only needs some clean up.
                  only two threads are corroded away.

                  Have read that most transformer manufactures using AL will braze a tin plated aluminum lug on the ends.
                  This Miller has the transformer conductor looped for 1/2" stud , no lug.

                  like vintage stuff to go with vintage, motorcycles, trucks, & tractors
                  any welding is structural through the mill scale.
                  Last edited by Almond farmer; 12-27-2017, 11:57 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Helios View Post

                    Actually, steel is a better conductor than lead. My hunch is that the reason they use lead instead of steel for battery lugs is because you'd need a 4-foot-long wrench to be able to tighten the bolt on a steel battery lug enough to grip the post on the battery. Plus, it would rust pretty fast from the sulfuric acid fumes...
                    I wish the battery terminals on my 2006 Ford Fusion were lead and not the rotted stamped steel they are. I am going to have to turn a steel ring to fit the post and mig weld it on my rotted off terminal when the weather warms up...Bob
                    Bob Wright

                    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                    • #25
                      Sweet! Will you retrofit mine when you're done?

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                      • #26

                        Originally posted by Almond farmer View Post
                        Cu forms a soft oxide with low electrical resistance that keeps on for riding and will eventually corrode completely through the metal.
                        Yeah...sometime between "the heat death of the Universe" and "when H_ll freezes over."

                        Originally posted by Almond farmer View Post
                        will keep an eye on bare copper lugs, if excessive environmental corrosion will convert to tin coated copper lugs,
                        Tin is sacrificial to copper, so when the tin is galvantically removed, left with bare copper, again.
                        zero galvanic action between brass nut and bare copper lug since brass is ~ 70% Cu.
                        Wow. Ever try decaf?

                        1. Actually, in an electrolyte, you WOULD have galvanic corrosion between brass nut and copper lug, since they're dissimilar metals. The brass would be anodic and the straight copper cathodic. The brass would give up its zinc, leaving a matrix of copper behind...in seawater, I've seen a similar thing even with bronze, where the tin disappears, leaving a honeycomb of copper behind.

                        2. In the absence of an electrolyte between the dissimilar metals (such as in a situation where you had dielectric grease between the dissimilar metals, which would exclude air from between the metals, which would exclude dew from forming between the metals, which would prevent there ever being an electrolyte between the dissimilar metals), you don't, won't, and CAN'T get galvanic corrosion. Say it with me: In the absence of an electrolyte, there can be NO galvanic corrosion. Dissimilar metals can be in contact for the next 10,000 centuries, and without an electrolyte between them, there will be no galvanic corrosion, ever. Otherwise, every metal that was ever plated with another metal would have corroded away long ago.

                        What that means is that unless you plan to use this welder underwater, grease will address your galvanic corrosion concerns entirely.

                        This is pretty basic stuff that one would expect an EE to have learned in freshman year, kind of like E = IR...

                        If the goal of this exercise is to prevent galvanic corrosion on the electrical connections on your $150 welder, perhaps, instead of traveling to Australia, buying land, securing the mineral rights, extracting bauxite, smelting it into aluminum, rolling it into hexagonal rods, cutting the rods into discs, and threading the discs into nuts on a lathe ... maybe it would be cheaper, and just as effective simply to GREASE the fasteners on your $150 welder and call it "good enough."

                        I know this is crazy talk but think about it.
                        Last edited by Helios; 12-28-2017, 05:59 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post

                          I wish the battery terminals on my 2006 Ford Fusion were lead and not the rotted stamped steel they are. I am going to have to turn a steel ring to fit the post and mig weld it on my rotted off terminal when the weather warms up...Bob
                          Yep you should see the contraption I made out of two terminals from the junkyard for my 2005 E350 bus. Had to hit the road and no time to make something decent. and now that its working.....

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                          • #28
                            I feel bad for the guys at west air welding supply I'm sure they had to listen to whole history of metallurgy of corrosive table of nonsense, I can appreciate anyone trying to do something right but sounds l you already have your own answer that nobody will change unless they have a bbccbspdq degree and agree with you, I like vintage stuff also mostly motorcycles but I don't use old technology,material or tooling when there's better way with all your advanced education I would think you'd have a dynasty 350 or at least a Syncrowave 250 knowing it's a far superior machine to produce welds **** last schooling I graduated from was the 8th grade and I was smart enough to get a aerowave 375
                            Last edited by pat h; 12-30-2017, 06:45 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Plan on using anti oxidant compound on any aluminum to tin connection.
                              no anti oxidant on tin to copper , tin to tin, copper to copper, tin to brass, copper to brass connections.
                              aluminum is the trouble maker, brush off aluminum oxide with SS brush and apply anti oxide to aluminum surface.

                              brass nut threads on hollow brass stud , tin plated lug with copper wire is sandwiched between to brass nuts.
                              Tin plated lug with copper wire sandwiched between aluminum transformer conductors using 1/2-13 aluminum bolt and nut.
                              Tin plated copper lug pigtail added between transformer lead and hollow brass terminal.

                              The transformer conductors should have had OEM tinned copper lugs braised to the ends.

                              some like to customize trucks, cars, motors cycles, why not your $150 welding machine.

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                              • #30
                                When you beef up an engine, you get mo powwa...when you fancify a motorcycle, you get hot chics.... When you soup up the guts of a Miller thunderbolt, you get a Miller thunderbolt with pretty doodads on the end of a wire. The chics are totally gonna dig it....but they ain't gonna be the hot ones....

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