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Please help A/C trouble

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  • Please help A/C trouble

    I am having some issues with a 180 sd. D/C works fine A/C not so well. The arc will spit and sputter about 3 times before it blows a hole through the aluminum, I had both scrs tested they are about 1 ohm apart from each other looking for some suggestions on what might be wrong thanks.

  • #2
    Had the same problem with mine, minus the hole blowing. High frequency transformer, and one capaciter fixed her up. Total cost was around $200. I would wait for Cruizer to pick your brain a little though.

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    • #3
      which 180SD is it, a serial# would be handy. cause it works in DC, the SCR's are not a problem.

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      • #4
        I'm sputtering too

        Hey guys just joined up ... Hope you don't mind that join in on this thread but my 180SD is doing the same thing, sputters and I can't keep the arc from wandering. I bought mine used from a farmer in pa, works real well on EN and EP but the AC is killing me... 3/32 aluminum brushed clean, 3/32 green tipped tungsten argon flow at 20-25 garage door closed and all I get is spatter can't get it to puddle to save my life tried 5,6,8,and 10 cups all yield same result.

        i read manual, checked all the settings and tried all sorts of combinations and nothing makes it better?
        My SN is LF119554 stock no is 907054

        im a total rookie but did take the basic and advanced welding course at community college ... Can't get my teachers on the phone... I have a chance to make a few bucks repairing some welds on a buddies quad footrests but I'm dying here any guidance would be appreciated.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jorge View Post
          the AC is killing me... 3/32 aluminum brushed clean, 3/32 green tipped tungsten argon flow at 20-25 garage door closed and all I get is spatter can't get it to puddle to save my life
          One possibility is that you may have a contaminated electrode.
          Try the brown ones first before looking at the machine.
          Green will work in a pinch but they're not as good as brown.
          Look for the word "Zirconiated" on the package.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Matrix View Post
            One possibility is that you may have a contaminated electrode.
            Try the brown ones first before looking at the machine.
            Green will work in a pinch but they're not as good as brown.
            Look for the word "Zirconiated" on the package.
            Matrix, I started with brown/orange 2% ceriated, checked with miller manual that called for pure tungsten so I called my local Gts welco guy and he said contamination go green :-) 1/16 out of the can, #8 cup amps @ 90 lit it up just about next to the ground clamp and sputter... Balled the tip up nice and clean but no puddle was gonna happen. Tried more amps and it balled up the tip but good and then plenty of splatter... Tried 3/32 green same deal... I did not try a new collet but would that make a difference?

            i did not sharpen electrodes on two tries to rule out contamination, then I tried sharpening the 3/32 and I'm still the same. I am lighting up on fairly crappy pieces do scrap... But nothing too thick and its not really that dirty - I think I should be able to move around on a piece and get a puddle going at some point
            Last edited by Jorge; 10-18-2012, 04:19 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jorge View Post
              Matrix, I started with brown/orange 2% ceriated, checked with miller manual that called for pure tungsten so I called my local Gts welco guy and he said contamination go green
              Not ceriated, I said zirconiated.
              Not brown/orange, I said brown.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Matrix View Post
                Not ceriated, I said zirconiated.
                Not brown/orange, I said brown.
                Gotcha... Just wanted to throw that intel out there in the event someone had feedback about my efforts... Gts-welco is getting a visit in the am for the zirc tungsten blend that I don't have here... I will report back in the am...

                feeling confident its the man not the machine or al least the component mix not the man so much...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jorge View Post
                  ....
                  feeling confident its the man not the machine or al least the component mix not the man so much...
                  LOL! You said a mouthful.
                  It's long been my observation that about 80% of welding problems are caused by operator error and only about 20% are caused by machine malfunction.

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                  • #10
                    Noob to TIG

                    I've welded before, but only MIG & stick. Not a lot of experience but I can get by. I had issues such as described here. Fortunately I have a friend if mine who came over & helped me work through it. I bought my 180 from a guy who had it sitting up for a number of years in his wood shop. I took the torch a parts & cleaned it thoroughly. Only problem was I reassembled it like a moron by not reading up. I also didn't clean the inside of the cup either. Once that was all cleaned, reassembled properly & the ground buffed clean, everything worked just fine both AC & DC. Also a new electrode that's ground properly I've found helps a lot too!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mattcreswell View Post
                      I've welded before, but only MIG & stick. Not a lot of experience but I can get by. I had issues such as described here. Fortunately I have a friend if mine who came over & helped me work through it. I bought my 180 from a guy who had it sitting up for a number of years in his wood shop. I took the torch a parts & cleaned it thoroughly. Only problem was I reassembled it like a moron by not reading up. I also didn't clean the inside of the cup either. Once that was all cleaned, reassembled properly & the ground buffed clean, everything worked just fine both AC & DC. Also a new electrode that's ground properly I've found helps a lot too!
                      Thanks matt, I have had this machine for a year now, a farmer had it first and I cleaned it real well and it has worked great on DC, the cups I used were all new and nice and clean and I was able to weld DC in text book form so I think the torch is good to go... I'm going to be able to sleep tonight with the idea that I need zinc blended electrodes and just to take the grounding contamination out of the equation I'm trying to light up with a 1/16 that should just ball up nicely ... No need to put a point on it

                      trying to upload a pic because everyone likes to see pictures

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                      • #12
                        Here is my test piece

                        Photo upload test... This is one of my test pieces... It was getting bad towards the end...
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Not to be a constant nitpicker but it's zirconium, not zinc. Like cubic zirconium, the stuff fake diamonds are made of.


                          Still ..... That pic looks awful. Are you sure it's even aluminium?
                          That looks like a more multifaceted problem than just the wrong tungsten.
                          Although starting with the right tungsten is always the best way to start.
                          Where is your balance control set?
                          What kind of amperage are you running?
                          And the spatter all gathering together in clumps, I don't quite get that.
                          The first thing that comes to mind is you might need to set your balance for more cleaning (EP) and less wetting (EN). I think of that because of the yellowish oxide but even then it's still confusing because the oxide is outside the weld area.
                          You may also want to decrease your argon flow to 15 CFH and go back to using one of the larger cup sizes you have been trying. You could be drawing air into the shield gas by having it flow too fast.

                          Let us know how you make out.
                          Last edited by Matrix; 10-18-2012, 10:47 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Other things to double check:

                            You said you cleaned the aluminium with a wire brush but is there any chance the surface could have some grease or oil on it or some other chemicals?

                            Which filler rod are you using? There's lots of filler rods but the two main ones are 4043 and 5356. Chances are good you're using one of those. Prolly 4043. Whichever one it is, you might try the other. You could also try some 4047.

                            What kind of arc length are you holding? You could tighten it up a little just by looking at your pic. It's easier to contaminate your electrode by holding a tighter arc but I think you may need to anyway.

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                            • #15
                              Make sure no leaks in your argon line including back cap o ring. Pick a tungsten what ever color prep it un wrongly. And i might suggest taking a grinder to workbench if you ground to it..

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