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Help Needed Miller 330A/BP TIG welder

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  • #16
    That is a true vintage classic you have there. And the amazing thing is, I'm guessing you will be able fix whatever's wrong for under 50 bucks. There is not a thing in this whole world built that way today!

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    • #17
      What you think, Wayne, his beast is older than my Helga? She’s a 74 model.

      The start circuit switch would be there by that dial under the hood and I see your bus bar was replaced by a heavy blade switch on mine it in the same spot.

      I had a problem with mine a while back and had to replace the HF start-off-continuous toggle switch. Simple problem caused me all kinds of headaches.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
        What you think, Wayne, his beast is older than my Helga? She’s a 74 model.

        The start circuit switch would be there by that dial under the hood and I see your bus bar was replaced by a heavy blade switch on mine it in the same spot.

        I had a problem with mine a while back and had to replace the HF start-off-continuous toggle switch. Simple problem caused me all kinds of headaches.
        Yep--I'm guessing he has the oldest one we've ever seen. Maybe Helga's grandmother! I don't know how long a generation is in welder years but Helga may be just a pup. The oldest manual Miller has is dated August 1973, and its apparently considerably older than that--the guy cautioned me it would certainly not be accurate but the best they could do.

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        • #19
          Might get lucky on eBay if he keeps an eye out or a saved search.

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          • #20
            I think I may have found the issue. Here's a photo of the switch on the lower contactor control. This poses another question. Why was this wire deliberately cut? It doesn't look like it was burned. The original owner was Piasecki Aircraft, and was used for welding helicopter airframes, which my friend was a certified welder for. He bought the welder when they closed down the shop. Could this have been done so remote welding only could be done? Piasecki went bankrupt, and are now Boeing Vertol. If I reconnect this wire, is something bad going to happen? I am attempting to get the switch out to test it, but the spade connectors don't seem to want to come off, and the wiring is quite tight. I don't know what I am supposed to see on my ohm meter. The plot thickens! I await guidance from others who are more knowlegable.Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0525.JPG Views:	0 Size:	88.4 KB ID:	607009
            Last edited by GBertolet; 03-04-2020, 11:45 AM.

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            • #21
              Great find!. First thing to do is look on all the inside panels/sides/doors of the welder and see if you can find a schematic diagram pasted in there somewhere. Those old ones always had one inside somewhere, so if it hasn't fallen off and disappeared over the years, that will be a real help. If you find it, post a hi-res picture.

              If I were guessing, I'd guess when they cut that wire, they were trying to prevent accidental arcs around the airframes, so they disconnected the "standard" mode and you had to think about what you were doing and consciously hit the switch or pedal or whatever they used. Stray arc strikes on airframes can be nasty stress risers, and act as starting points for fatigue cracks years later. Fatigue cracks in airframes cause death. Very serious stuff.

              If you think you still want to get the Fast-On terminals off, put a little WD-40 on them and I think you will be able to work them off with needle-nose pliers. Slow and gentle. But even though it's impossible to say for sure without a diagram. I think you found your problem, and you may not have to worry about getting them off. I've fixed a huge number of things over the years just by looking, and I think you've just done the same.

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              • #22
                You have colored wires inside yours?!!

                I’m so jealous. Mine are numbered, but all the same color. Black.

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                • #23
                  I didn't answer your question "is something bad going to happen?" Never guarantees in this life, but I certainly wouldn't think so. You could try just touching it together quickly with a test lead and see if there are any arcs (wear gloves, safety glasses, and a face shield, always, around hot, high-power stuff like welders when there is any question), but it's what I would do if it were mine.

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                  • #24
                    I pieced out the cut wire and reconnected, with my fingers crossed, threw the power switch, And, And, And, it powered up. I switched over to standard, no explosions or fireworks, and scratched the electrode on a plate lying on my steel welding bench, and behold, an arc. That was it. I waited 7 years to fix this thing. Too lazy I guess. Finally got motivated last week, when I had to weld under a car. Thank you all. I can put this welder in my will to go to the Smithsonian Institute, as a working model, in the ancient artifacts display.

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                    • #25
                      Fantastic! And it cost WAY less than my estimate of "under 50 bucks". That was a great find, and you have indeed got a real classic there. We wish it well!

                      Glad it worked out so well for you.

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                      • #26
                        Nice!

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                        • #27
                          Bravo!!

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