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Miller MIG 185 old style "1997" Sheet metal welding question

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  • Miller MIG 185 old style "1997" Sheet metal welding question

    Hi Group,

    I've had a miller 135 MIG 120v machine for a few years and it has served me well. Auto sheet metal repair and smaller steel projects. Home hobbiest type of welding.
    This weekend I purchased a Miller 185 older style machine "1997 yr mfg", for a good deal, $400.00. It came with a AL spool gun, 2 bottles, very low hrs.

    The question is, in testing the 185 MIG on steel 16ga sheet metal I have the volts to the lowest setting "10" and I'm still getting burn through, not consistently but once in a while. I have adjusted the wire speed from a high of 30 to a low of 10 and changed my travel speed to correspond. Still the same results. With the 135 MIG I can do the same 16ga metal without the burn through. With the 185 MIG voltage at the lowest setting can I do anything to compensate for the extra heat? Gas is 25/75 and flow is set at 20 cfh.

    I think I may need to keep the 135 for light things, which I was hoping to sell to keep my slush fund in the black.

    Any and all comments appreciated.

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

  • #2
    That voltage knob is a percentage of the difference between the max and the min. It’s likely that the minimum on your smaller machine is lower than the minimum on the newer, bigger machine.

    Comment


    • #3
      So basically, I'm out of luck in terms of selling the 135 machine, since I will still have sheet metal projects in the future. Sounds like I may want to sell everything and get a newer multi process machine and learn TIG then.

      Look forward to any other comments or suggestions.

      TX
      Mr fixit
      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Tig is a very valuable skill to have and excels in thin material provided you have a machine that meets your needs.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think there is something wrong with your "new" machine--both the 135 and 185 have a minimum current rating of 30 amps, so you should be able to weld sheet metal. Since you didn't provide a serial number, I picked a manual at random and looked at the schematic diagram. I don't know how the various manuals differ, so posting your specific serial number will be a help.

          First, are you sure the polarity is correct? Be sure it's not set up for flux core.

          Second, the schematic diagram and spec sheet show this welder is designed to run on either 200/208 or 230v. If someone before you connected the transformer primary wires for 208, and you're running it on 230, it is going to be doing exactly what you are seeing--running too hot.

          The manual explains how to set up both of these things. Give a quick check and let us know. Hope you can find a simple fix. Simple and cheap is always good!

          Comment


          • #6
            Chris. You want to flog it, flog it.

            I wouldn't. That's just me thinking I'd keep it as money spent on something that's still to serve a purpose in portability and come in handy, but that's my opinion. The 185 should do what it, the 135 does and more, except be more portable.

            You have other options. I'll give you three.
            #3...change gas. Go from mixed to CO2.
            #2...Increase wire size.
            #1...Lengthen your stick out.

            I'm not sold on input power being the issue, but I'm not expert enough to say that it isn't.
            It's mention has me thinking such a concern would be noticed on the maxing out end of things rather then the lower scale? But I'm no expert on such matters and would still check it out as a solution to your problem for just that reason. It effects things.

            While I think the 185 would weld differently with different input voltage, it would be due to having the effect of changing slope and inductance values. Again, not expert advice, just a guess at best building on what's been previously mentioned as a cause to the issue as presented.

            What I would suggest is your noticing a difference in the slope and inductance between the two power sources. Not to be demeaning, do you understand those terms? What they mean and the effects to the depositing metal transfer and deposition? Forgive my smarty pants, Voltage, WFS, how that stuff works together? If not say so. No harm no foul.

            Hmm? I'm seemingly pointing fingers again and blaming the "weldor" instead of the welder? While that isn't viewed as being supportive, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. Try option #1. Simple and cheap.


            Comment


            • #7
              My 185 was the best machine ever made. I welded from .023 sheetmetal to well about anything. Just use the right wire for the job. She didn't like to weld the real light metals with .030 wire but drop down a notch and she would do it all day. Mine ran the best with .030 wire as there was a real sweet spot...Bob
              Bob Wright

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Alright, we’re on another case. This time to figure out why this machine puts too much oomph in its chooch.

                I think bob made an excellent point about dropping down a wire size. That’s what experience gets you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Guys for the input.

                  I will try the .023 and see how the 185 performs, hadn't thought about that since it's listed as a .030 and larger .035, and that's what tips It came with. . Will have to see if tips can be had locally first. Input taps are correct and I have checked the house power too, All normal at 240v.

                  I've heard the terms slope and inductance and have a vague idea what it means, slope is the current vs the voltage adjustments they go opposite, which is the slope. Inductance when increased causes slower current change, a hotter weld, so between the two power sources the 135 is adjustable and the 185 is set taps so it's some of both that causes the different welders to perform a bit differently?

                  OK now to throw in a real curve, I just found a syncrowave 250 in the distant family that they are ready to unload for a song. Now I can do the TIG welding and STICK welding with a tank of a machine, so now, is the choice to keep all 3 or sell something to get some cash. The 250 is just stick now, but TIG setups in air $ or water $$ are not that much in the big picture.
                  Choices, choices what's a guy to do!

                  Thanks for the comments.

                  TX
                  Mr fixit for the family
                  Chris
                  Last edited by Mr fixit; 07-29-2019, 08:13 PM. Reason: Added SL # 185 is KK142578 135 is LC347780

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keep them all. It’s not unusual for me to use two or three different processes on the same job. That flexibility is quite valuable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                      Keep them all. It’s not unusual for me to use two or three different processes on the same job. That flexibility is quite valuable.
                      For sure! I'm just a hobbyist, but have 9 welders. Just keep finding the deals and they follow me home; do a little fixing and they're good as new. My latest find was an old Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC/DC for $250 Just needed some cables and internal lubrication. What a sweet, smooth arc! Runs 7018 like you are simply pouring liquid metal out of a tube. Keep 'em!

                      So, if I'm crazy enough to have that many, you can surely have 3 without being anywhere near my level of craziness.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr fixit View Post
                        the choice to keep all 3 or sell something to get some cash.
                        Sell the 185 I am going thru withdraw since i sold mine...Bob
                        Bob Wright

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you're sure the amperage is running high, or think you're sure, try cheating it on the ground side with some 1/32 strap about an inch wide.

                          Remember, the strap will get very hot.
                          Do NOT grab the strap

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