ok guys
i took the cables off the machine handles and stretched them out onto the floor. they were not touching anything else. i also unwrapped the ground clamp off from the handles also. the ground and torch cables we no where near each other.
this did not change anything. i tried everything else i could think of again. still have the erratic arc.

is it possible for the power cable to break down ? this torch and cable are 4.5 years old and 6" from the torch tip have had a great deal of twisting over the 4.5 years from all of the various positions. im just wondering if the cables are capable of breaking down internally and might be causing my problem ?

my current torch is a weldcraft wp-18 good for 350 amps.

i was just searching around and see weldcraft now offers a wp-18sc, super cool, 400 amps torch that offers improved collet and body cooling compared to my torch.
just curious if any of you have had any experience with the sc torch ?

im so frustrated that im thinking about trying a new torch.

thanks for the help guys.