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Miller Thunderbolt XL 4 position switch

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    That should fix it up.

    ---Meltedmetal

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  • jtap
    replied
    New switch came. Very different design. It looks to be superior in every way.

    It has springs behind each arm on the selector now and the arms aren't as long. There are no plastic bits that hold the copper in as they are now riveted. The plastic screw holes that hold the assembly to the face of the machine are now threaded (1 or 2 of mine were stripped).





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  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post

    Then with out seeing it up close I would have to suspect that the spaces with the welding rod in them are supposed to be empty and the pressure for the contacts is supposed to come from the spring at the hub. Does that spring appear to be weak? I can't think of another reason for the welding rod "fix". You may see it differently in person. Just throwing out an idea. Good luck with it.

    ---Meltedmetal
    That's a possibility. I think maybe there is uneven wear on the copper. It seems like those should be another replaceable part. Maybe they were trying to correct that with the bits of rod and there was no spring in there (as you are suggesting) and the copper pieces on the selector are just supposed to teeter a bit on the circular part.

    I still had some continuity issues with the AC high and the work connector. I certainly could more easily make a new spring that goes inside the dial since I have one to measure. I have no intent to sell this unit so I decided to buy another switch so I have one while they are still available and this one can be parts.

    It's working for now. I just have to jiggle it on AC high to make sure it's sitting right. I ran my first rod on AC tonight (low). Worked fine. It was just a continuity issue before. At least now I know. It will be interesting to see what the other switch looks like. I'll have to take pictures and post them.
    Last edited by jtap; 04-27-2020, 07:36 PM.

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    Originally posted by jtap View Post

    Yes. There is a spring behind it. Another thing that would confirm the orientation of the selector.
    Then with out seeing it up close I would have to suspect that the spaces with the welding rod in them are supposed to be empty and the pressure for the contacts is supposed to come from the spring at the hub. Does that spring appear to be weak? I can't think of another reason for the welding rod "fix". You may see it differently in person. Just throwing out an idea. Good luck with it.

    ---Meltedmetal

    Leave a comment:


  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    Is what looks like a big hex nut behind the contact assembly in the latest picture hollow so it might accommodate a spring?

    ---Meltedmetal
    Yes. There is a spring behind it. Another thing that would confirm the orientation of the selector.

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    Is what looks like a big hex nut behind the contact assembly in the latest picture hollow so it might accommodate a spring?

    ---Meltedmetal

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  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    Do you think the loading spring(s) was/were supposed to be behind the individual contacts or is the entire contact support assembly supposed to be spring loaded from behind the hub and is supposed to slide on the shaft?

    ---Meltedmetal
    Interesting way to look at it. I found this picture online that is very low resolution but it seems to confirm the orientation where the slots are facing all the copper on the switch with the contacts in between.



    Edit: A little bit clearer picture of the 2 position switch where you can make out that the channel faces the other direction.

    Last edited by jtap; 04-27-2020, 09:03 AM.

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    Do you think the loading spring(s) was/were supposed to be behind the individual contacts or is the entire contact support assembly supposed to be spring loaded from behind the hub and is supposed to slide on the shaft?

    ---Meltedmetal

    Leave a comment:


  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
    Get a couple feet of piano wire and make a spring.
    I tried that a bit today. I need to do more refinement of my spring making technique. I would need a small dowel to turn the spring on as the diameter of the spring would need to be 4.5mm max to fit in the slot. I did do a bit of a rig job for the time being. I haven't been able to test it yet.

    I had an issue when I took the center of the switch out. It looked to me like it should have had 2 ball bearings but it only had one and the spring was tearing up the other side. I used a slightly smaller ball bearing since that was all I could find for now.

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  • ryanjones2150
    replied
    Get a couple feet of piano wire and make a spring.

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  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
    you can get spring stock from https://www.mcmaster.com/ if needed...Bob
    Thanks.

    Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
    Thanks for the better picture. I didn't notice from the first one that they had just put pieces of welding rod in there! And I really get that it is now about just not giving in to the hundred bucks fix. I agree completely; I'd find a way. Just make sure the springs are really strong to provide excellent contact, or you'll end up buying a new switch anyway.
    Yeah. That's where I figured knowing how the actual spring mechanism was designed could be helpful in mimicking it. Welding rod pieces make for poor springs btw

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  • Aeronca41
    replied
    Thanks for the better picture. I didn't notice from the first one that they had just put pieces of welding rod in there! And I really get that it is now about just not giving in to the hundred bucks fix. I agree completely; I'd find a way. Just make sure the springs are really strong to provide excellent contact, or you'll end up buying a new switch anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • aametalmaster
    replied
    you can get spring stock from https://www.mcmaster.com/ if needed...Bob

    Leave a comment:


  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    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
    Sorry I was being lazy and didn't post another more useful pic. I was hoping my words would explain that but this will remove all confusion:



    I do agree that a leaf spring is quite possible.

    I may buy the switch just to find out how they solved this and then make my fix for the backup switch.

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  • jtap
    replied
    Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
    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!
    Probably already spent that on research and taking it apart and posting here. Now it's just about being stubborn and solving a problem. I might as well sell the welder if I can't fabricate something to allow me to fabricate

    Originally posted by jjohn76 View Post
    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.
    Yeah, you bring up a good point with pistol stuff. I dug up an old hammer spring but it was just a bit too wide. I could have cut it into some pieces that would have worked well. Almost!

    I am trying to find an old sear spring that I could experiment with. Pistol parts could be the solution here. Thanks for the idea.

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