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Miller Thunderbolt XL 4 position switch

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    It is hard to get a good idea of what the original spring was like but from what I see in your picture I would guess a long flat spring like a mini leaf spring. What is the white stuff in the grooves? And what looks like solder or torn metal at either end of it? Maybe find some spring brass and fabricate replacements?

    ---Meltedmetal

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  • jjohn76
    replied
    If you could find a piece of spring steel about the width of the channel and bend it into the shape of a "W" it may work. That or a piece of the spring from an old pistol magazine, if you don't mind cutting it up. It would frustrate me too that probably a 75 cent piece will cost me $100, but your next project will likely cost much more than that, so a new switch may outweigh that frustration.

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  • MAC702
    replied
    Let us know when $100 of your time has been burned up!

    That said, if you nail it good, and it stays together during full operation of the switch, well done!

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  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
    Yes, you are correct that the rectifiers are only for D.C.; they have nothing to do with the AC welding ranges. There may be someone here with an idea on how to repair the switch, but my guess Is you're going to have to spring for a new one. Hope I'm wrong. Good contact there is essential to the function of that machine. In addition to the Miller parts site you looked at, I checked Miller4less.com and BR Welding supplies; both are around $110-120.
    Thanks for the reply. I am thinking about buying a box of assorted springs from harbor freight and filling up the area with whatever I can fit in there.

    My guess is that it would have been possibly quite heavy duty. The thin nature of the slot makes me think it was the type where it was a coiled piece of flat metal (spiral spring) or a v spring of some sort. Leaning towards the V since I would think the coil would need an anchor point and I don't remember seeing one. It would be nice to know as that could help me find something with a similar mechanism to steal the spring from or to buy one most suited to this for another application.

    The problem with the compression springs is fitting it to the gap in the plastic though with it being long and thin. Any springs though should be better than 3 pieces of cut welding rod!

    Edit: Did some measuring and all the HF compression springs are too big for the channel. Pretty obvious the design is something else. It's going to be crazy when I try to cram 5 ball point pen springs in there and try to keep them in while I assemble it.
    Last edited by jtap; 04-26-2020, 09:55 AM.

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  • Aeronca41
    replied
    Yes, you are correct that the rectifiers are only for D.C.; they have nothing to do with the AC welding ranges. There may be someone here with an idea on how to repair the switch, but my guess Is you're going to have to spring for a new one. Hope I'm wrong. Good contact there is essential to the function of that machine. In addition to the Miller parts site you looked at, I checked Miller4less.com and BR Welding supplies; both are around $110-120.

    Leave a comment:


  • jtap
    started a topic Miller Thunderbolt XL 4 position switch

    Miller Thunderbolt XL 4 position switch

    Hello, I'm looking for help with my Miller Thunderbolt XL. I bought it used a bit ago. I had only ever tried it DC and it has been working fine. I tried to run some 6011 on AC for the first time and it didn't work at all. No arcing.

    Today I took it apart and was trying to figure out how it works to know what could be wrong with it. My main issue was that the diagram doesn't really tell me how the 4 position switch SHOULD work. I don't know what happened with the welder before I got it. It kind of feels to me like the switch isn't right. I think that the rectification portion is only for DC and should have no bearing on the AC function. Is that correct?



    So I went through and tried to figure out how the switch would activate the current. I couldn't even get continuity to the electrode or the work wire on low AC. On high AC I got continuity to the work wire but not the electrode.


    PS: I just wanted to look into this more before posting so I went back to analyze it a bit more. I noticed earlier that I saw some electrical tape in there and figured there wasn't much chance it came from the factory that way and someone had monkeyed with it. I decided to take the switch apart. Apparently they used some pieces of rods to push the copper connectors. I would think this should be spring driven to keep constant pressure, especially as the copper wore down and to make up for different tolerances in the contacts from one position to another. I was worried the plastic piece was broken and that is what the tape was holding together. It's actually still in one piece. I'm not sure how the original design worked or what is missing. If anyone has taken this apart and knows I would appreciate some information. I couldn't find parts for the switch, just the new replacement switch (239110 - https://www.millerserviceparts.com/P...roductId=13119) and it's not cheap at 100+, especially when I have a mostly good switch. I guess I'm likely going to have to buy it but with an idea of how it worked I might better be able to rig it in the mean time.



    Thanks for any ideas and also, is the link above the best place to get the full switch if I go that route?
    Last edited by jtap; 04-25-2020, 10:22 PM.
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