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Problem with Miller 211...since it was new

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  • Problem with Miller 211...since it was new

    Hey guys, I purchased a Miller 211 maybe 2 years back and have been using it for a lot of race car projects as well as my own street rod. The welds I get from it WORK, but they are just not as 'pretty' as what I have come to expect from Miller and the machine doesn't make it easy either.

    Just a little background, I have only been welding for a few years but 4 of those have been professionally for a speed shop and I became the head fabricator/welder for the last year I was there. As far as experience goes, I have layed thousands of beads on the Miller 175 and Miller 212's my shop had. The 212 had an aftermarket ground and tweco torch but the 175 was stock. Both made awesome welds every time and weren't very touchy. I'd get nice welds even when on my back welding roll cages through dashboards and what not, the machines (especially the 212) seemed to be very forgiving both with torch angle/distance and settings.

    Anyway, ever since I bought my 211 for home use I have noticed that it just doesn't weld as nice as the other machines I have used. It's hard to put to words, but the sound isn't right, it seems as though it requires excessive wire speed to get the sound right and then the welds come out kind of sloppy/gloppy. It also spits more than I am used to. Overall, it almost acts as if a welder would when using compromised wire, but I have swapped wire out multiple times with various brands and it made no difference.

    I mean I am getting structurally sound welds but they just aren't as easy to make or as clean as I am used to getting and they look less defined, rougher and gloppier (as one would expect with excessive wire speed).

    For my electric source I have a stand alone 220 that a professional electrician installed specifically for this welder. Even tried the welder on my shops electric and it made no difference. I have been through probably 4 tanks of gas so it's not a bad mix. Swapped contact tips, checked bolts on the ground etc... Everyone keeps telling me to try a new liner, but this problem has happened since new, why would the liner be bad? I suppose it could have been damaged or something from the start.

    The other strange thing i notice is that when you first pull the trigger, the wire feed starts off slow then speeds up after maybe a second. I don't know if this is part of the 'smooth start' feature but I know it has done it since new and I have never used another Miller (or Lincoln) machine that did this.

    Any help is appreciated! I'll be welding control arms up for my own car in a few days and I was really hoping to fix this problem and get some real nice looking welds! Thanks in advance
    Last edited by kris396ss; 11-19-2013, 09:43 AM.

  • #2
    Could you post some pics of these less than ideal welds??

    might help us diagnose the prob...

    It could be something as simple as a bad or poorly connected filter capacitor...

    goofing up "Eli the Ice man"..(Reactance)...... and changing the arc/bead characteristics....

    Or..??? who knows..

    But pics could not hurt...
    Last edited by H80N; 11-19-2013, 12:38 PM.

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    • #3
      The wire starting slow then speeding up is called soft start I think. Anyway it is supposed to do that on the 211.

      I notice pops and spits from my 211 also. usually I blame it on stick out and short 1" welds. I always get good results on 220v and thicker metal. 1/16" thick stop and start short welds = some great and some popping.

      Cut the wire right on starts and ground it good.

      It seems to like a little weave or half circle even when doing short small welds. Also the auto set is a little hot for myself.

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      • #4
        I've never liked mine either.

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        • #5
          Problem with Miller 211...since it was new

          Mine welds great except for the couple times I have the settings for the wrong voltage as I go from 220 to 120 quite a bit. But it is kinda easy to over look so maybe double check that

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          • #6
            What size wire are you using? and gas kind?...Bob

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            • #7
              Are you using auto set ?? Auto set seems to run hot.
              A better ground clamp may help . What wire ? I found that the 211 runs better on .030 wire . My personal favorite is Lincoln L-56. What gas ?

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              • #8
                If you still have a factory ground clamp, best to change it to a better brass version. Problems should dissapear

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                • #9
                  You should also check that your machine is set to run with the 220 power you have, there are little brass tabs on the inside by the spool of wire, sometimes the machines are shipped set for 520 instead of 220

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by S.A.W View Post
                    You should also check that your machine is set to run with the 220 power you have, there are little brass tabs on the inside by the spool of wire, sometimes the machines are shipped set for 520 instead of 220

                    Huh whats 520?, these machines only work on 230 and 120, there is no 460 or 575

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                    • #11
                      Sorry that was a typo, my machine has the option to be set at 120 volts or 230 volts, it was set to 120 when I bought it and it wasn't welding as it should but everything was fixed when I set it over to 230, but it was also because the tabs where dirty and weren't making proper contact, also clean your ground lead at the point of contact at the machine

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by S.A.W View Post
                        Sorry that was a typo, my machine has the option to be set at 120 volts or 230 volts, it was set to 120 when I bought it and it wasn't welding as it should but everything was fixed when I set it over to 230, but it was also because the tabs where dirty and weren't making proper contact, also clean your ground lead at the point of contact at the machine
                        What are you talking about???

                        Isn't the MM211 an MVP machine with NO tabs to set??....

                        Just interchangable "Multi Voltage Plugs" on the power input cable??

                        http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...p?model=M00245
                        Last edited by H80N; 11-20-2013, 10:17 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Problem with Miller 211...since it was new

                          Mm 211 = mvp

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                          • #14
                            Problem with Miller 211...since it was new

                            I've still got the factory ground clamp but use a pice of braided copper all twisted up to use in conjunction with the clamp. It seemed to help out a lil bit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you so much for all the replies everyone. I definitely want to buy a new ground as everyone I have talked to who owned Millers have always told me they saw a big difference in weld quality with a better ground clamp.

                              As far as pictures of the welds, I ran a few beads yesterday and I'll post the pics of them as soon as I can. They came out decent looking, any real flaw in them was probably from technique (haven't welded in a few months and my garage was full so I was doing this on the cold cement with a pulled muscle in my neck lol) but I still feel like it is requiring too much wire speed and that means I need to rush the weld to keep up.

                              Here is what I found. On Auto-Set, the weld sounded OK although wire speed actually sounded a little slow to me (the sound wasn't as tight as I am used to). Thought this was funny because on other 211's I have used, the auto-set always seemed to have too HIGH of a wire speed for my liking.

                              I adjusted the wire speed to the manual settings and it seemed way too low. You could hear/see a distinct pause between each arch and the sound was no where near tight enough.

                              Here is what bothered me. I started laying a bead and adjusting the wire speed knob while welding 1/8th plate on 6 and I started to get the best sound when the knob was MAXED OUT at 100. Now of course the welds were gloppy and high at this point, but this was the only place where the welder sounded right to me. Was almost thinking it was a wire feed problem but when cycling the trigger without striking an arc the wire seems to move smoothly out of the tip.
                              Last edited by kris396ss; 11-21-2013, 10:54 AM.

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