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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    4

    Default Restoring old Airco BusyBee 225 amp, 220v AC stick welder (Miller equivalent M225P)

    I recently acquired an old Airco stick welder, manufactured, I think, sometime in the late 1960's or early 70's, with the thought of restoring it for use. The welder ID is as follows:


    Airco BusyBee Transformer Welder, 225 Ampere A.C. MSM

    • Model 2-25ADT-2P-A
    • Stock no. 1353-01451
    • Made by Miller
    • Manual:MEMCO Miller Welders Model M-180, M-180P, M-225, M-225P Operating and Maintenance Manual Form no. MO-114-8J-C2


    the welder clearly had sat for a few years in a somewhat damp location, and I fortunately decided to remove the cover to verify the condition inside, which revealed a cracked power cord and a mouse nest, and a somewhat rusty chassis. The transformer looks good and the core slides easily, but the case of the large capacitor used for power correction was very rusty. I decided that the condition of the capacitor was suspect enough that I would clean it up to make sure I would see any leaks rather than leave it alone, knowing that when I touched it with a wire brush I might find myself with some leaks.

    Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened: the rust had weakened the case at the bottom and I now have a couple of pinhole leaks. I probably lost only a drop or two of oil so far.

    Initially, I thought I would just buy a replacement Miller capacitor. The Miller part number was listed as 31614, and when I did a search, I found it was replaced by Miller part number 059417. The description is as follows:
    Capacitor, Ppr Oil 30. Uf 460 Vac Part# MI059417. The price of the replacement was well over $200! The welder isn't worth putting that kind of money into it. So...either I plug the leaks and hope the existing capacitor is serviceable, or try to find a cheaper alternative.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is it practical to just clean up the case of the capacitor and seal the pinholes with JB-weld? I believe I lost just a very small amount of oil, perhaps a couple of drops at most. Is it safe to patch the case and put it back in?

    2. Is there a less expesnive alternate capacitor I could find that would do the job? I have done searches and have come across some HVAC dual core capacitors with the same UF and voltage rating, and they are less than $10. Will one of those work? If not, what should i be looking for?

    3. Should I just salvage the cables and cord, and find another welder? I don't mind fixing this machine if it will perform safely and I don't have to spend over a $100 in parts; there doesn't seem to be much to the machine itself.

    On the other hand, I don't want to be foolish and invest in a welder that is outdated. It is only an AC model, but with copper windings, and it weighs about 150 pounds.

    Finally, I should add that the only welding I have done in my life dates back thirty years ago with a torch; this will be a new experience for me teaching myself to weld, and then hopefully finding a class somewhere.


    Thoughts? Advice? I am attaching a couple of pictures for reference, before I took it apart. Thanks.

    Robert

    20130522_121005.jpg

    20130522_121023_reduced.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Andover, Ohio
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the welcome!

    I have enjoyed and benefitted from the various forums available in special interest areas like these. I moved to a rural property in VA about 4 years ago, and soon learned how little I knew about things I needed to know about! Accordingly, I have participated in forums on tractor repair (have a 1970's Satoh (Mistubishi) which, as it turns out, needs a welding repair), chainsaws (have now re-built a few Stihl chainsaws for fun), automobile repair (electrical, fuel injection, transmission), woodworking equipment (re-built a 1962 Shopsmith - what a great machine!), etc.... The world has truly become a smaller place, and along with the technical knowledge shared and gained, I have enjoyed the connection with others from around the world.

    With regard to this welder, I have always wanted to learn to weld, and I enjoy fixing things, so this project seems to kill two birds with one stone, IF it makes sense to spend the money on it. If it were an AC/DC unit, or a MIG wedler, I think I would be more willing to invest, since I understand both are easier to learn, but on the other hand, there are VERY few parts to this machine: a transformer, a switch, a fan, and a capacitor. It is very satisfying to see something that was discarded come back to life and once again have value.

    Now if I can just solve my capacitor problem within my budget!

    Robert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    south west Michigan
    Posts
    81

    Default

    If you've found a cap with the same voltage and UF rating I'd think you should be ok, although I have no idea what a dual core cap is.
    If it is only for power factor correction, why can't you just run without it? Max amperage draw will increase but idle draw will be lower.
    Someone with way more knowledge on the subject than myself should be along shortly to help you out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    890

    Default

    Robert, don't let the absence of DC scare you off. AC will do a lot of welding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by welderboyjk View Post
    If you've found a cap with the same voltage and UF rating I'd think you should be ok, although I have no idea what a dual core cap is.
    If it is only for power factor correction, why can't yimpact.of power factor correction on the output,u just run without it? Max amperage draw will increase but idle draw will be lower.
    Someone with way more knowledge on the subject than myself should be along shortly to help you out.
    I can find a 30 mfd 440 VAC at Grainger for.about $20 or so. I am assuming the 460 VAC of the original was to allow for 230 v input, and I will be using 220v, so hopefully it should be fine. I don't understand the impact of a power factor correction capactor on output, of any, though I have now been told by a few people that it wont hurt anything to just disconnect the leads to the capacitor, tape them off, and I will be fine.

    the dual core caps used in HVAC installations are basically two capacitors combined into one, one a starter capacitor, and the other a run capacitor. The one from Grainger is just a run cap, oil filled.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Orange, TX
    Posts
    1,200

    Default

    welderboyjk is spot on regarding using or not using the power factor correction (PFC) capacitor. As he stated, using the PFC cap increases idle (on but not welding) amperage draw but reduce amperage draw while welding from that without the PFC cap.

    If you need or elect to use it, a motor run capacitor of the proper rating will get the job done.
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