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  • Ready to throw my trail blaizer in the trash

    I'm currently running my welding rig on a job and my miller trailblazer 325 EFI with excell power is giving me allot of problems. She has 3700 hours on her and had the alternator completely replaced under warranty in 2015.

    the symptoms I'm having are mostly to do with stalling / stubbing rods. When capping a 2" SCH 80 with 3/32 8018 at 85 Amps and the dig set between 0 and plus 5 it sticks a rod every time I tighten up my arc. It does this even with the machine set at high idle. To be honest it sticks every size rod in all positions within every range. I took it into Kristian electeic in Calgary Alberta to have the problem fixed. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. SoI purchased brand new 2/0 cable and all brand new connections hoping that might help...and nope it didn't help at all.

    Maybe my problem has to do with how I set my dig. Any advise for dig settings with 6010 roots up and down hand as well as 7018 would intrigue me. I can plug into an xmt and run my dig at zero and do a beautiful cap so I fail to understand what this things deal is

    I hate this machine with a passion right now and am very seriously look at lincoln 300d and ranger 305 welders.

    any advise on how to iron out this issue would be greatly appreciated. In the other hand any advise on what welding machine to buy next would also be appreciated

    thanks for your time

    Russ

  • #2
    Russ...I'm not sure if I can help... but I'm going to go out on a limb and try.
    Arc control. Softer or stiffer?
    Lol...How does a guy explain that I ask you? Ice cream. Soft serve ice cream.

    You mention 85 amps. It's a number bud. Don't over think it. A number that with SMAW is equated, colder or hotter to other numbers. Actually, to avoid bogging down in some of the deep science on why it's less or more, for now we can go with colder or hotter.

    Most ice cream machines keep the product at a set temperature. To cold, frozen solid. To hot, milk shake. Some where in between. Do you see the picture? You should, your in Calgary. See the snow?

    Now...if I go to make a cone and the temperature is just above frozen solid, it's going to come out slow and firm melting slowly.
    If I make a cone and the temperature is set just below milk shake, it comes out fast and melts quickly.

    Now...I didn't mention how far away the cone was from the spout delivering ice cream, or the temperature of the ice cream shop?

    Voltage and amperage. Now add arc control.

    If the ice cream machine wants to push and the cone is jammed in the spout prevents that from happening the only way it can get it out is to push harder, or make things thinner by adding temperature, amperage. As in more not less, or what becomes, hotter not colder.

    Dig adds amperage.....amperage. When you tighten the arc and low voltage is picked up in signal, the dig kicks in and the rod starts to spit because more electrons are being sent to fight the battle.

    So...what does all this mean? Darn good question? It appears complicated, and it almost is. Until you grasp when it works, how it works, and how you control it's advantage when welding., all in relation to how you weld...some like it hotter some like colder?
    But it kind of means this.
    More...it adds more.
    Arc control adds around 20+
    additional
    amps.

    Now...I'm going to mess with your head. It also takes away. What if the spout was made larger or smaller? I mentioned I was going to try and help. I'm doing so by getting you to think? Think of how arc control, dig, inductance all work.

    Depending on what temperature you've set the ice cream machine, what distance you keep the cone from the spout, it may or may not kick it at all? But if your welding with low amps, sticking and stubbing, high arc control can seem to prevent it by adding more amperage. The end of the rods melts faster.
    In the same voice, if you're welding hotter already with high amperage and find your self in a tight arc kicking in the arc control giving you more it won't be long before your blowing holes you can't fill because more means the rod is melting faster then you can move to control the heat and its spitting more metal as heat builds.

    Open the manual and look at the Volt amp curve. Arc control is like a gate on a dam, low voltage signals too dry and a gate opens water flooding out. More. So running 10% or 100% shows up as thinner or thicker depending on the base setting for value? Softer or stiffer?

    Not to confuse you more then I have, but... before the days of inverters and arc control, you welded knowing you could manipulate the arc speeding up or slowing down the melting relationship between amps and volts through arc length. These days you can't vary the arc length with much appreciable variation to arc characteristics so setting the dial to the temperature is more precise in making nice ice cream cones.

    Any how, I'm sure more coherent minds will prevail to answer your questions in better detail. But if your stuck with just my response, you can't say I didn't try to help. If you think about it at all, maybe I did?

    Edmonton says hello.





    Comment


    • #3
      Understand the stick Welding dig.
      So how does it work on spray transfer mig as with dual shield.
      Like inductance setting on 350-p with dual shield mig ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Well...as you breath, I'm going to put my hands around your throat, depending on the size of my hands, little girl hands or big man hands, I'm going to squeeze. I purposely left out the size of your neck but, depending on it, I'll need more or less squeeze to limit your breathing. How rapidly I squeeze and the length of the squeeze is choking you or allowing you to breathe another breath.

        While no expert on how Miller makes it work, inductance is current rise over time. Do I squeeze slowly to my maximum squeeze pressure or just full strength grip you? Soft or stiff? The opposite of dig.

        Inductance limits or expands arc on duration during short circuits. How slowly or quickly current rises during a short effects the frequency of stripping droplets, how fluid the droplet becomes, and the force the droplet is transferred across the arc.

        As far as your 350-p goes, again, I'm no expert. But if you take what I've said with a grain of salt, you'll discover that if you notice anything, it will be the droplet appearing hotter and wetter, or cooler and more solid.

        I should mention again, I'm no expert. While I can't say with certainty it holds a value to any effect in spray transfer, my limited experience suggest something is still controlled due to the placement of this in the welding circuit. Simply stated, you will still notice a softening or stiffness in the arc turning the dial up or down which equates to a thinning out or sluggish thickening of the weld puddle depending on your welding parameters.

        Now...having said all of that, these power sources are something else. They operate like a multi stage rocket, just when it appears your out of thrust, bam, the next stage fires up and off you go again. That's pulse.

        While I won't say with certainty it isn't less complicated then that, I can say for sure that it is. I do hope it helped however to better understand it's principles by giving you something to think about?

        Comment


        • #5
          subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread

          Comment


          • #6
            This problem is rare but I've seen it before.
            I think your stabilizer is bad. If a welding tech can't find your problem it's because it's one of those rare issues that doesn't show up on any of our tests.
            One question I want ask.
            Does it weld fine on flat welds?
            The stabilizer really helps the arc on up hill or caps. If it welds great on flat welds I would say I'm 90% sure it's the stabilizer.

            Comment


            • #7
              It doesn't weld fine in the flat. It honestly will stick a 3/16 in the flat any where between 230 and 270 Amps regardless of dig

              Comment


              • #8
                Well Russ...it sounds then like your Trail blazer isn't blazing? What to do, what to do... I haven't a clue?

                "
                I took it into Kristian electric in Calgary Alberta to have the problem fixed. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with it."

                You're looking for an easy answer. Change this and it's fixed. It's not that easy.
                Let me ask you, have you opened up the manual? Asked your self, how the thing works? I'll admit it looks complicated. A
                little study goes along way however, as does asking questions.
                My reply was to rule out the operator side of error with some understanding? It appears that wasn't the problem? Solid... Must be the equipment?

                Buddy 1997CST threw out in reply the possibility of a bad stabilizer? Now...far be it for me to suggest what I would do with that bit of information, but if it was me, I would have followed up with a added response of thank you, and requesting an explanation how that might cause the problems or trouble your experiencing?

                "3700 hours on her and had the alternator completely replaced under warranty in 2015."

                Alternator eh? Hmm? Not sure what to say about that? But if I was following up with a question it might be how many hours since? Any other maintenance?

                "
                It honestly will stick a 3/16 in the flat any where between 230 and 270 Amps regardless of dig
                "

                Your symptoms suggest a lack of voltage pressure/ force, insufficient amperage/ current. That or you can't hold a steady arc length? Giving you the benefit of the doubt, it sounds like a equipment issue?
                You could go back to Kristian Electric with a list of symptoms and conditions when the problems occur, and maybe even some electrodes for them to test again with. I'm thinking out loud but if you dropped it out and said check it out...if it started, produced out put and struck an arc it would "check out".
                I might suggest test driving before you leave or pay the bill.

                Having said all that...sounds like your due to purchase a brand new depreciating business asset?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Noel. I appreciate some of the points your making regardless of the fact they seem a bit condicending. I'll disregard what seams to be a bit of sass because I understand how my post may be interpreted as a result of its haste and a few errors I mode while hamering it out before bed last night. I'm going to try and respond to each of your points piece by piece so that hopefully you, me and everyone else who's replied can hopefully be on the same page


                  #1. Believe it or not I have read the entire manual. Give or take a few pages. I also understand it was the stator that was replaced under warranty. I had a brain fart while typing out my post last night before bed. I also fully understand that this machine generates AC current which is then rectified before it travels through a bank of Capacitors to smoothen out the lumpy DC. Although I'm not sure if the trail blazer is classified as rectifier or a full blown inverter.

                  #2 I have welded pipe sporadically with this machine and never had any trouble with it until recently. it really only started giving me trouble about a week into a new job I started where I am steady with my rig on pipe.


                  #3 as far as operator Error goes...I've been a welder for 10 years 4 of which I've been a pipe welder. In that 4 years I've done all processes of pipe welding and welded with all different kinds of inverters, rectifiers and generators made by manufactures including Miller, ESAB, Lincoln, Everlast, Fronius, and many more. I am an accomplished welder with a good reputation and a sizeable stack of welding tickets. Having said that I'm new to the mobile welding world. Which is how I ended up with this high hour trail blazer. If my skill level / competency is still in question I will add that too of the other welders I work with have tried out my machine and said the same thing I have.

                  #4 when I took this machine in to kristian electric I gave them every single piece of information I could. Every symptom and condition I could possibly convey to the service team I did.

                  #5 you have to appreciate that I work 800km from home. So I dropped off my welder during the few days off I had and once it was serviced I had no choice but to pick it up and drive North. I did test it out before I left and it seamed...better kind of. But the thing is I tested it with 6 foot leads and this problem is also some what intermittent. also burning some rod on a plate isn't at all the same thing as doing an entire pipe weld.

                  #6 as far as my lack of replies on this forum. And in particular my lack of a reply to 1997CST you also have to appreciate that I was flat out at work all day and didn't really have a minute to look at or interpret all the replies I've received. I had a quick second this morning to eat a sandwich and skim through the info I've received which was when I typed out the one quick response I did. Maybe you have the day off today or maybe you have the time at work to spend reading forums and replying to people but I certainly do not. I have an hour at best an evening I can spend doing stuff like this.

                  #7 I have received some really awesome explanations of Dig and how it works. I totally understand the correlation between volts and amps and what dig does to your volt amp curve. With the trail blazer I do not understand how dig is being represented. it is represented as -25 to 0 and 0 to +25. im used to it being represented as a percentage i suppose. so i understand whats going on at -25 and plus 25 but what is happening at 0? Ive done some digging online but have not really found a solid answer.

                  #8 you are absolutely correct it's time for a new depreciating asset. I was hoping I could run this welder for a few months and make some money before I bought a new one. despite its high hors the engine runs like a top and still makes good compression and oil pressure. I cant remember the numbers I got on the compression test I did on her about 6 months ago when I bought it but they were near perfect. so with the healthy running engine and the some what recently replaced stator assembly I was hoping I could at least squeeze a job out of this unit. maybe a year.

                  #9 I seriously appreciate the time you took to respond to my post. I also appreciate everyone else who has responded. I'll have a better read through all the replies after I'm done writing up this response, let it all sink in, take the information I receive do some research and then reply to every one else.

                  #10 the final point I will make is you clearly have lots of expertise in the world of welding machines and you used that expertise to help me...but also to talk down to me and swing your internet **** around on a forum. As a result I really had to laugh at this comment "Your symptoms suggest a lack of voltage pressure/ force, insufficient amperage/ current. That or you can't hold a steady arc length?" At no point during a pipe weld.....or really any out of position weld is a welder "holding a steady Arc length" steady is a pretty relative term for welders. a steady hand means your making the rod or torch go where you want and do what you want it to do. for instance while capping a pipe with a weave you might say long arc over the center of your puddle to give it some wetness then tighten up on your edges to avoid undercut and cool things down before heading over to the other side of your bevel. welders are constantly manipulating arc length during a weld. Maybe I am misinterpreting your response and maybe you by no means meant to be patronizing. and I really hope thats the case but some how doubt it. I always get a kick out of how people hide behind their computer screens and act tuff, or put people down or maybe act extra intelligent. but in real life they would act totally different and are the total opposite. kind of like people who honk their horns in traffic and give people the finger but out side of their car face to face in the real world are totally incapable of handling confrontation or even standing up for them selves. I posted this problem on another forum where I have other people throwing around criticisms rather then solutions and I will say you are far more diplomatic and helpful then them. any how...I do sincerely appreciate your input and the time you took today to reply to my post. hopefully I can find a solution to my problem fix this thing up and keep it as a spare.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1997CST.

                    I appreciate your response today. My apologies if my hasty response was rude.

                    so now that I think about it and have some time to reply. it does weld much better in the flat then in the vertical...in fact the vast majority of rods it sticks are in the over head and vertical position. I had 30 minutes to play with it after work today and it welds decently in the flat on plate. where my comment about the 3/16th steamed from was It was sticking 3/16 8018 on the 48" pipe I did a few weeks ago in the flat. but that was starting at 12 o'clock heading to 1 o'clock. I wasn't welding all the way to one o'clock though maybe just 12 to 12.25 so there is a bit of a down hand progression there. having said that its barley down hand. I generally would never weld in that direction but this pipe was pretty high off the ground and we didn't have adequate step stools to reach the top comfortably...we also aren't aloud to climb on the pipe. the other welder I was tag teaming the pipe with was having to do the same thing. If I fire up a quarter inch rod at 300 to 325 it will weld like a dream and then half way through the rod stick. even in high idle. maybe this is normal for a trail blazer? maybe quarter inch is to much for this machine?
                    I hope this info is useful to you and from it we are able to find a solution.

                    Thanks for your time

                    Russ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Evening Russ, thanks for your reply. Lol...lengthy. I like it.
                      Your response was refreshing. No harm no foul intended. I hear you, and understand a bit of where your coming from.

                      Remember leasing equipment is 100% write off, you don't have to buy to keep working. As well, you could rent, it buys you time to solve problems.

                      Talking about running roots and a steady arc length, some walk the dog and some jerk the dog along? Just saying? This day and age, skill sets and knowledge vary, I apologize again for any condescending tone that appeared to question your abilities or knowledge. I did however hope to solicit a further response to gauge it. My bad. But that doesn't solve your Trail Blazer issue. Honestly, I'm not that smart, just lots of free time it seems, and if I told you the story of a random misfire PO300 trouble code, you'd surely agree on the not that smart.
                      I'm also aware, assuming to were trained in Alberta, 1st year basic electricity didn't cover much for welder repairs, and it wasn't part of Welder training in Alberta on how to understand much more than the basics of function.

                      Speaking for myself, saying that's sucks is easy, spending an hour typing a lengthy reply not so much. I'm sure someone knows how it all works and like you I wait to hear or keep reading to find out. My knowledge is basic, rudimentary at best. But ruling out the obvious is part of the process.

                      Failing further good advice coming forward, remember you have open circuit voltage, welding voltage, and welding current. How does it perform on AC? Same issue?

                      - W
                      hat is happening at 0?
                      Not much I suppose? I'm under the impression, so don't take my word as gospel, that you should run a bit on the dial. Think of it as preload? I'm told it's a dampening to the current flow? Like air in a gas shock? I would think a more knowledgeable explanation is out there?


                      If it's a healthy engine it is worth fixing. Just remember, like the other welders around you, some won't walk the dog or jerk the dog, no, they're chasing that mutt all over? If your not happy with the service or response from Kristian Electric, other businesses are out there. I've seen the Miller tech line mentioned in a previous post? I've seen some very well done you tube video's? And I do think you'll get it fixed easily if you find some one who knows how and what to check?

                      https://www.rbcompany.com/files/rb/f...-EQUIPMENT.pdf

                      As frustrating as things appear, don't take it personal. Don't take me personally. If nothing else for good comes from it, you'll make a decision on what to do that best suits you from the results.

                      By the way, I'm in Edmonton, you come this way lets do a coffee. I'm in the phone book. I'll tell you the story of the trouble code and you can tell me what you did too fix the Trail Blazer problem. I'm sure though that if you posted it, it would be appreciated by all.

                      I'll start...that PO 300 random misfire trouble code of mine, fuel pressure regulator. $43 tax in. Easy fix.
                      Eric the car guy, you tube, thanks.
                      Russ, you find a guy that explains how it all fits together your golden. And we can still do coffee, I relish the explanation.





                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Although I'm not sure if the trail blazer is classified as rectifier or a full blown inverter.
                        https://www.millerwelds.com/files/ow...49795b_mil.pdf

                        Looking at this manual, which I'm not sure is your machine, it's just a transformer type welder. 3 phase from the generator feeds into the rectifier and then the filter then to the lead.

                        I notice there are two negatives. One for stick and one for the other processes. I assume you've checked and are using the correct one but I thought I'd throw it out there.
                        Last edited by MasterKwan; 09-15-2018, 10:42 PM. Reason: Spelling

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey MasterKwan. I am hooked up to the correct negative. when I read this I ran out side praying this was the solution. how ever it was not the case.

                          Noal. No hard feelings. I might be in Edmonton during my days off to buy another second hand welder. A good friend of mine has a Vantage 400 with 2700 hours and a Lincoln Clasic IIId with 4000hours. He is willing to sell me either one. not really sure which direction to go. I would also consider a pipe pro if the right one came my way. Any how if I have the time I would consider meeting for a coffee. And if I over reacted I apologies. I am under a tone of stress right now. I finally broke out as a contractor and right off the hop my equipment is giving me problems. which ultimately is my fault. I should have maybe thrown a new welder on the back right off the bat but works slow out there and I could only justify spending so much when I started out. As far as Kristian electric goes I wouldn't say they are the problem here. I think i just have a temperamental welding machine on my hands.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Russ, As I mentioned, I'm in Edmonton, the economy sucks all over, here's not much better, and FT Mac, it's not smelling like money much any more. MY opinion, It's going to get worse yet before it gets better. Far be it for me to offer advice, but If I did, leverage your money. It's nice to own new, and you can, lease to purchase. These guys need to sell product to keep the doors open. That's to your advantage. I've known a few salesman, Some are more willing to deal then others. You can buy from a lot of places, use it to your advantage.
                            You need reliability not another head ache, and keeping a job is showing up for work.

                            My trouble code was your temperamental welder. You just need an answer to what the problem is that your confronted with? It's a strong man with a hernia. Most days not a problem, but it can act up, or become worse if it isn't dealt with.

                            https://www.continentalengines.net/

                            Years ago, these folks impressed me. It might be worth giving them a call. I wish I could drop a name but it was a long time ago as mentioned. Boyd or Steve rings a bell maybe?

                            I can't speak for Kristian Electric in Calgary, but in the past I had taken the Miller power course in the Edmonton location, as well in arms length dealing, understood them to be very helpful? I sometime think it's staffing? Like going to a parts counter, new guy old guy thing? Same thing with instrument tech. Some have experienced more, or use the tools to a greater advantage? Like going for a blood test, if it falls with in a range it must be ok? Not always.

                            I did a quick Kijiji search for used welding machines. Alberta has a few for sale. I'm not saying you have to be brutal, but remember there is no shortage of machines, just buyers.

                            Good luck in your endeavors.



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crustyrusty View Post
                              1997CST.

                              I appreciate your response today. My apologies if my hasty response was rude.

                              so now that I think about it and have some time to reply. it does weld much better in the flat then in the vertical...in fact the vast majority of rods it sticks are in the over head and vertical position. I had 30 minutes to play with it after work today and it welds decently in the flat on plate. where my comment about the 3/16th steamed from was It was sticking 3/16 8018 on the 48" pipe I did a few weeks ago in the flat. but that was starting at 12 o'clock heading to 1 o'clock. I wasn't welding all the way to one o'clock though maybe just 12 to 12.25 so there is a bit of a down hand progression there. having said that its barley down hand. I generally would never weld in that direction but this pipe was pretty high off the ground and we didn't have adequate step stools to reach the top comfortably...we also aren't aloud to climb on the pipe. the other welder I was tag teaming the pipe with was having to do the same thing. If I fire up a quarter inch rod at 300 to 325 it will weld like a dream and then half way through the rod stick. even in high idle. maybe this is normal for a trail blazer? maybe quarter inch is to much for this machine?
                              I hope this info is useful to you and from it we are able to find a solution.

                              Thanks for your time

                              Russ
                              No worries. I was just trying to think of a solution. I don't think it's time to completely trash the welder. Trailblazers aren't cheap, but replacing a stabilizer isn't cheap either. Without me actually looking at the welder I'm still confident in my conclusion. Almost everything on that machine is not difficult to troubleshoot. If it doesn't weld or make AC, etc. But stabilizer is usually diagnosed by the welder/owner himself. I.E. this welder is welding like crap.

                              If I were to pick a replacement from the 2 you listed I'd go with the Classic IIID. JMO

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