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Old 03-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #2491
Colorado970
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Originally Posted by RSRennsport View Post
OK, someone might have asked this already, but I didn't see it.

What would be an overall good MIG welder for doing the usual exhaust, frame, tabs etc. on bikes (140/185)?
And is a 110/120V a good idea?

Ooops, I guess that's two questions, sorry.
Miller 211, runs on 110/220V by just swapping the electrical plugs for whatever current you have.

I then bought a brand new Miller Spoolmate 100 gun for it for $200 - free shipping on ebay at Christmas, looks like the price now is $235 from the same vendor. Plugs right in.

I feel the 110/120v machines are just underpowered.

Erik
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:23 AM   #2492
David R
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I have a welding shop. I bought a Miller passport, the only Blue welder I own. Its also 110/220 and it is one smooth nice welding machine from right down low 110v up to turned all the way up on 220. Because its a passport, price was pretty high, but for what I use it for its great.

It welds small stuff like exhaust almost as good as my 25 year old Lincoln SP100.

The miller output is of course much higher on 220. It maxes out at 180 amps. The passport plus can take a spool gun, but I don't need that, I have a lincoln spool gun.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #2493
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Pissed Shoulda asked a question here first!

My nice little Miller stopped working in the middle of my frame cutting and modifying.
First time the little 220v unit let me down. It just stopped feeding the wire.
I looked under the hood and all was as it should be.
No birds nest wire tangle, tension was good, not overheated, no sign of a problem.
Bummer big time since I have so little shop time as it is.

I take it down to where I bought it at one of the largest welding supply shops in town and they tell me that they aren't authorized to work on the Miller machines locally but they can send it to their Seattle store that is able to work on it.
I would have to pay the airfreight both ways of course....
It never occurred to me when I was shopping to make sure they were factory approved for service.
They are the biggest shop in town! ARGH!
I asked for alternatives and they said I could take it to the other welding supply shop since they are factory approved.

So I drive over to the other shop, looks the same to me, sells Lincoln, Miller, and a few other brands just like the other place. Never knew it was there. So, I haul the Miller in to the service department and tell them what happened. He says "OK, we'll check it out". I tell him I hope it will be fixed in a day or two since I need it on the weekend. He laughs and tells me it will be at least three weeks before they can look at it. Double ARGH!!!!!

I checked in each week and sure enough, it was ready for pick-up three and a half weeks later.
I missed three valuable weeks of shop welding time because of...
A trigger failure.
A cheap part that they charge $29 for was the problem.
What does it take to replace the trigger? 5 minutes? 10 if you are real slow and distracted?
The labor bill was $130 since they charge a one hour minimum for any labor.
So, I lost three irreplaceable weekends working on my custom street tracker AND had to pay a ridiculous amount for a simple trigger switch. I won't be in a hurry to steer more business their way.

I SHOULD have posted on here the problem and learned from others who may have had the same problem.

I am still working on my first bottle of gas so my welder doesn't have many hours of use.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #2494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagLite View Post
My nice little Miller stopped working in the middle of my frame cutting and modifying.
First time the little 220v unit let me down. It just stopped feeding the wire.
I looked under the hood and all was as it should be.
No birds nest wire tangle, tension was good, not overheated, no sign of a problem.
Bummer big time since I have so little shop time as it is.

I take it down to where I bought it at one of the largest welding supply shops in town and they tell me that they aren't authorized to work on the Miller machines locally but they can send it to their Seattle store that is able to work on it.
I would have to pay the airfreight both ways of course....
It never occurred to me when I was shopping to make sure they were factory approved for service.
They are the biggest shop in town! ARGH!
I asked for alternatives and they said I could take it to the other welding supply shop since they are factory approved.

So I drive over to the other shop, looks the same to me, sells Lincoln, Miller, and a few other brands just like the other place. Never knew it was there. So, I haul the Miller in to the service department and tell them what happened. He says "OK, we'll check it out". I tell him I hope it will be fixed in a day or two since I need it on the weekend. He laughs and tells me it will be at least three weeks before they can look at it. Double ARGH!!!!!

I checked in each week and sure enough, it was ready for pick-up three and a half weeks later.
I missed three valuable weeks of shop welding time because of...
A trigger failure.
A cheap part that they charge $29 for was the problem.
What does it take to replace the trigger? 5 minutes? 10 if you are real slow and distracted?
The labor bill was $130 since they charge a one hour minimum for any labor.
So, I lost three irreplaceable weekends working on my custom street tracker AND had to pay a ridiculous amount for a simple trigger switch. I won't be in a hurry to steer more business their way.

I SHOULD have posted on here the problem and learned from others who may have had the same problem.

I am still working on my first bottle of gas so my welder doesn't have many hours of use.
While I 'feel your pain' it seems hard to fault them. they were up-front, direct and honest in their dealings with you. It sounds like they are a good shop. I guess I don't 'get' being Po'd that your problem is not their problem?
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:24 AM   #2495
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I wonder whether or not the fact that faults seem so common on the newer Miller machines, might mean they are perhaps not being made in the US any longer?
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:51 AM   #2496
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
I wonder whether or not the fact that faults seem so common on the newer Miller machines, might mean they are perhaps not being made in the US any longer?

One person had a problem with one switch and the company's whole line of welders is somehow inferior.

I don't think that one bad switch makes faults a common occurance on the Miller machines.

I'm not going to get into a Blue machine vrs. Red machine pissing contest, ( Ford/ Chevy...Tastes great/ Less filling), but come on one bad switch and the company makes an inferior "overseas" product?

I don't get it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #2497
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small_e_900 View Post
One person had a problem with one switch and the company's whole line of welders is somehow inferior.

I don't think that one bad switch makes faults a common occurance on the Miller machines.

I'm not going to get into a Blue machine vrs. Red machine pissing contest, ( Ford/ Chevy...Tastes great/ Less filling), but come on one bad switch and the company makes an inferior "overseas" product?

I don't get it.
You dont get it because your not the person who is out of a welder for three weeks. Service is part of the deal. He is right about Miller trying to keep there products competitive and using lower cost manufacturing contries.

If anyone needs help fixing a made in the USA Lincoln welder please let me know. I might also be able to help anyone looking to buy a new Lincoln Electric welder. Or at least hook you up with a good deal. Just let me know where you live.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:34 AM   #2498
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Eh? Ouch!

Sorry guys, I didn't mean to upset anyone.
You are correct sir, they were up front about the time to service and the $130 minimum labor charge.

I did not mention that when I picked it up, they told me that the Miller triggers don't last long and is a common failure.
I also didn't mention that when I dropped it off they said they would plug it in the next morning and see if it was something simple.

I have worked repairs and service and I know the importance of keeping to the schedule of what is next on the list.
However, I also know we do everything possible to keep our customers happy.
We always do a quick check to see if it is a quick fix and whenever possible, while the customer is there.
We know that customer satisfaction is the best advertising you can get.

I am not blaming Miller, I am very happy with my machine, and I am not blaming the shop for the way they operate.
I will take my machine back to them when it needs work. Of course, I have no option there...

What I meant by airing my frustration is that I should have asked here for your suggestions of what to check BEFORE I lost my welder for almost a month.

I have learned a lot from reading this thread and I know there are very knowledgeable and helpful people on here who really want to help us new guys.

OK?
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #2499
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Anyone know where Miller are made now? Wherever it is, the present day machines dont seem as high quality as the older ones which were made in the US!
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:57 PM   #2500
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The trigger went bad on my MM252 in a light-duty residential setting with 40lbs +/- of filler wire run through it. Welder was bought new and was about 14 months old. The welder itself has a 3yr (I think) warranty on it, but the torch is only 12 months.

Luckily, I was able to troubleshoot with my Fluke multimeter to see that there was no continuity on the switch when depressed.

A $17 ebay replacement part was ordered and I was back in business in about 3 days. Super easy to replace - you don't even need tools. The black plastic end is like a twist-lock. Twist it 90 degrees, slide the switch out of the handle, and pull the female wire terminals off of the switch and replace it.

I have no idea where the Millers are made, but the replacement OEM Miller trigger was made in Mexico if that's any indication.

kirkster70 screwed with this post 03-03-2012 at 05:06 PM
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #2501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
Anyone know where Miller are made now? Wherever it is, the present day machines dont seem as high quality as the older ones which were made in the US!
Appleton, WI

As with all electronics, components come from all over the world...
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #2502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM640Dakar View Post
You dont get it because your not the person who is out of a welder for three weeks. Service is part of the deal. He is right about Miller trying to keep there products competitive and using lower cost manufacturing contries.

If anyone needs help fixing a made in the USA Lincoln welder please let me know. I might also be able to help anyone looking to buy a new Lincoln Electric welder. Or at least hook you up with a good deal. Just let me know where you live.
As you're a Lincoln Electric employee, please post where they source their materials (or top level assemblies) from to produce their current product line. That is only fair to the USA based Miller company (and ADVriders), as you tend to bash Miller.

Having dealt w/ both Miller and Lincoln on numerous occasions, I've always found Miller employees less prone to bash their competitors.

Thanks,
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #2503
JagLite
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Pissed Learn from others mistakes, it's cheaper!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkster70 View Post
The trigger went bad on my MM252 in a light-duty residential setting with 40lbs +/- of filler wire run through it. Welder was bought new and was about 14 months old. The welder itself has a 3yr (I think) warranty on it, but the torch is only 12 months.

Luckily, I was able to troubleshoot with my Fluke multimeter to see that there was no continuity on the switch when depressed.

A $17 ebay replacement part was ordered and I was back in business in about 3 days. Super easy to replace - you don't even need tools. The black plastic end is like a twist-lock. Twist it 90 degrees, slide the switch out of the handle, and pull the female wire terminals off of the switch and replace it.

I have no idea where the Millers are made, but the replacement OEM Miller trigger was made in Mexico if that's any indication.
Thank you Kirkster, that is exactly the kind of help we all appreciate.
I hope others will not make the mistake I made and lose irreplaceable time and some replaceable money.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #2504
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Anytime, Jaglite. I'm sorry I couldn't have helped you sooner to save you some frustration.



Here's the M-series trigger assy fresh from ebay. I thought I paid $17 a few months back, but this is $26. I'm getting old. Ha Ha!

I was even able to drive the pins out of my old switch to see if there was something internal that I could fix, but no such luck.

I've gotten to where I figure I can break something myself for free. I've had numerous dealings with people in the past where I paid them to break it and they couldn't fix it. Anymore I just try my best to fix something by myself, and it usually works out somehow. Plus, I'm hard-headed and don't give up easy, so that helps, too!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:36 AM   #2505
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If you have problems with shoddy Chinese made torch switches on an otherwise properly working machine, surely it would be a good idea to simply fit a higher quality torch that doesnt have issues with switches?
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