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Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

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Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:49 am

This is my functional restoration progress and hopefully it will help someone later. I'm a total noob to tig so I will add some of the learning hurdles on that realm as well.

I've wanted a tig machine for ~20 years and found this one for sale locally. It has been whipped like a rented mule and it probably was in rental circulation at some point. I was only able to do a brief inspection which makes this purchase a high risk. It was from a brick and mortar business however and they did perform some basic testing. It came with absolutely zero auxiliaries to run it.

The Machine:
Miller Syncrowave 250DX 06/07 year model. This has an integrated cooler or "coolant on demand"
Attachments
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby exnailpounder » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:25 pm

Welcome to the forum. I believe you can "call up" the arc times and hours on that machine. I had a Syncrowave 200 that I was able to do it on and my new machine does it as well. Might give you some insight as to what she was into. Check out your manual. Great welder but your electric bill is going rise :shock: . I got a new inverter because my electric was so high running a transformer machine but other than that it's a great machine.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby Otto Nobedder » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:08 pm

exnailpounder wrote:Welcome to the forum. I believe you can "call up" the arc times and hours on that machine. I had a Syncrowave 200 that I was able to do it on and my new machine does it as well. Might give you some insight as to what she was into. Check out your manual. Great welder but your electric bill is going rise :shock: . I got a new inverter because my electric was so high running a transformer machine but other than that it's a great machine.


Yep. I don't have the manual in front of me to tell you how, but you can call up both the number of starts and total hours arc time on that machine.

Steve S
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby exnailpounder » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:13 pm

Otto Nobedder wrote:
exnailpounder wrote:Welcome to the forum. I believe you can "call up" the arc times and hours on that machine. I had a Syncrowave 200 that I was able to do it on and my new machine does it as well. Might give you some insight as to what she was into. Check out your manual. Great welder but your electric bill is going rise :shock: . I got a new inverter because my electric was so high running a transformer machine but other than that it's a great machine.


Yep. I don't have the manual in front of me to tell you how, but you can call up both the number of starts and total hours arc time on that machine.

Steve S

Steve I just can't believe that you don't know how to do it by memory. You must be gettin old :lol:
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:53 pm

exnailpounder wrote: your electric bill is going rise :shock: . I got a new inverter because my electric was so high running a transformer machine but other than that it's a great machine.


Oh, wow, what are you welding on over there buddy? We need to change your name to "Weldpounder" :shock: Believe me, I'm already drooling over the Dynasty 350 and 700. Want them and need them now but I need to sell the house and my favorite two limbs first. Thanks for the welcome!

This is the arc time:
IMG_20170103_211224814[1].jpg
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Miller 350P w/Python
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:46 am

Initial inspection:
The existing power cable was too small. Added a 6ga power cable and nema 6-50 plug from the home store. Confirmed that the mains jumper links were set to 230V. It fired right up and the coolant pump was pulling a prime. Things are looking good so I proceeded to order all of the other items to run it.

Cleanup and arrival of necessary tig/stick items:
The spark gap was adjusted to .008 (do not do ANYTHING to clean these like I did). The coolant tank was washed out several times until the funk on the bottom released. The tank fittings were rusted and wasted. The current sensing coil behind the front water/gas panel was broken off. The pump assembly, filter, and line hardware was gunked up. Everything that touched coolant was dissasembled and cleaned. I also noticed that the coolant on/off relay was bypassed. It was wired to run constantly when the machine is turned on.

Spent some time cleaning the overspray off of the control panel too.

    The list of items purchased:
    Tig torch and leather cover
    Pair of dinse connectors and torch water adapter
    Tig torch consumables and 2% lanthanated tungsten assortments to cover .040 through 1/8
    1/16 aluminum 4043 and steel ER70S-6 filler rod
    Ground clamp
    Stick welding electrode holder
    40ft of Welding cable
    Foot pedal
    Diamond wheel and mandrel for dremel (tungsten sharpening)
    6011 3/32 electrode for general purpose stick welding
    Argon owner gas cylinder
    Tig gloves
    Assorted stainless brushes for aluminum cleaning
    Repair kit for the rusted water tank fittings and a new front water connection panel
    Already had a gas flowmeter, gas hose, and welding hood/helmet
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Miller 350P w/Python
Miller Syncrowave 250DX - Beaterwave project
Hypertherm Powermax65
Hobby class lathe and milling machine
MFleet
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Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:26 am
Location: Houston, Tx.

Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:24 pm

What I didn't know about gas cylinders:
I had two 250 cu. ft. cylinders in my shop that I took to my local welding supply for exchange. I knew nothing about them as they were included with a different equipment purchase. I only knew that I wanted a big supply of argon.

I have shuttled the same smaller 125 cu. ft. customer owned cylinder for exchange with them for 10 years. This cylinder was given to me with my smaller mig machine and it was shiny new at that time. Never had a problem with this. I have always looked at them as being super simple exchanges like the little propane cylinders.

One of the 250 cylinders had raised lettering on the neck ring. The other neck ring had some grinding done to it and re-painted to hide the lettering. The manager started getting an attitude with me when he looked at them and maybe rightfully so. The guy working the cylinder dock was a little nicer. Through talking to both of them and doing more research when I got home, I realized that these can be considered stolen goods. Any raised lettering is a leased cylinder(owned by the welding business) or was at one time.

I ended up buying a 250 cylinder from them and now I know how to buy cylinders from individuals. I just purchased another 250 cylinder from an individual for $35 with a current test date and a clean neck ring. The LWS gladly exchanged it. I also know that an expired test date is a small fee if I find another clean one.

I guesstimate that 90% or better of the cylinders for sale locally are not owned by the seller knowingly or unknowingly. This includes the modified neck ring scams.

A leased cylinder is always an option. It just isn't for me unless I need a special mix for particular project.
Miller 350P w/Python
Miller Syncrowave 250DX - Beaterwave project
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Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:26 am
Location: Houston, Tx.

Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby Otto Nobedder » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:18 pm

Sounds like you're in business, then! I use the 250DX at work all the time and do all the maintenance on them.

I wanted to add, sometimes one MUST clean the HF points for one reason or another, and there's a pretty reliable way to do it. I'll remove them entirely, chuck them in the drill press , and run them gently against a fine flat stone a few times, moving the stone between touches. This keeps the faces parallel when you re-mount them. Once their re-mounted and the gap set, I rinse them with electrical contact cleaner to eliminate any debris or fingerprints from the faces, and let them dry.

I rarely have to do this, but there's a lot of metal dust in our shop and it seems like it can get cooked into the points over time.

Steve S
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby exnailpounder » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:12 pm

MFleet wrote:What I didn't know about gas cylinders:
I had two 250 cu. ft. cylinders in my shop that I took to my local welding supply for exchange. I knew nothing about them as they were included with a different equipment purchase. I only knew that I wanted a big supply of argon.

I have shuttled the same smaller 125 cu. ft. customer owned cylinder for exchange with them for 10 years. This cylinder was given to me with my smaller mig machine and it was shiny new at that time. Never had a problem with this. I have always looked at them as being super simple exchanges like the little propane cylinders.

One of the 250 cylinders had raised lettering on the neck ring. The other neck ring had some grinding done to it and re-painted to hide the lettering. The manager started getting an attitude with me when he looked at them and maybe rightfully so. The guy working the cylinder dock was a little nicer. Through talking to both of them and doing more research when I got home, I realized that these can be considered stolen goods. Any raised lettering is a leased cylinder(owned by the welding business) or was at one time.

I ended up buying a 250 cylinder from them and now I know how to buy cylinders from individuals. I just purchased another 250 cylinder from an individual for $35 with a current test date and a clean neck ring. The LWS gladly exchanged it. I also know that an expired test date is a small fee if I find another clean one.

I guesstimate that 90% or better of the cylinders for sale locally are not owned by the seller knowingly or unknowingly. This includes the modified neck ring scams.

A leased cylinder is always an option. It just isn't for me unless I need a special mix for particular project.

Around here AirgASS will not exchange a competitor bottle no matter what. My NEW happy nice LWS will take anyone's bottle but you have to pay for a hydro even if it's still in hydro. There isn't really any advantage to owning a bottle other than you can always sell it and usually get all your money back as opposed to when your lease is up you have to re-lease and pay all over again but the lease is 7 years. My LWS did tell me that 300cf cylinders are not for sale and if you buy one, it is considered stolen property. Anything smaller can be owned. Whether that's true or not I am not sure but I was going to buy 4 300cfs full of helium from a farmer and I called my LWS to ask them if they would exchange them and they told me not to buy them. My owned bottles are documented through the LWS as they took my bottles as an exchange but have their stamp in the neck but I can keep them forever. The whole ground off neck stamp scam doesn't go over around here. There are very few plain necks out there and the welding stores know it.
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Re: Tig noob and Syncrowave 250 resto project

Postby MFleet » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:19 pm

Otto Nobedder wrote:Sounds like you're in business, then! I use the 250DX at work all the time and do all the maintenance on them.

I wanted to add, sometimes one MUST clean the HF points for one reason or another, and there's a pretty reliable way to do it. I'll remove them entirely, chuck them in the drill press , and run them gently against a fine flat stone a few times, moving the stone between touches. This keeps the faces parallel when you re-mount them. Once their re-mounted and the gap set, I rinse them with electrical contact cleaner to eliminate any debris or fingerprints from the faces, and let them dry.

I rarely have to do this, but there's a lot of metal dust in our shop and it seems like it can get cooked into the points over time.

Steve S


I used 600 grit sandpaper between them while very lightly squeezing them together. I've also brushed the outside of them. Apparently this isn't recommended. Some much finer sandpaper like 1000 or finer may be ok according another post that I read somewhere.

I tested the hf and it it is doing strange things. No idea if the sandpaper caused part of the problem. After starting the machine cold, It has tiny arcs between the big steel mounting plate and the red insulator while triggering the hf. Once it warms up the hf will start arcing properly between the points. I have seen things like this elsewhere in life. Humidity soaked insulator, carbon arc tracking, high resistance from out of tolerance components. Just don't know yet. I put some printer paper in the points and and let it arc against it. This seemed to help.

You have a good point on the grinding dust. It has a way of getting into everything. For that reason, I try to do most of the grinding outside of the shop which isn't always practical. Thanks for the advice and I will try out your suggestions if they give me more problems.
Miller 350P w/Python
Miller Syncrowave 250DX - Beaterwave project
Hypertherm Powermax65
Hobby class lathe and milling machine
MFleet
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Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:26 am
Location: Houston, Tx.

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