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Old 05-03-2004, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm going to get an onboard welder - which one?

I've made the decision to get an onboard welder for the Cruiser, but would like some fresh opinions and first-hand experience from all of you.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/on-boardwelder/index.html


This is the route I've been thinking about. You might check it out.

I did an adjustable hand throttle using an old 10 speed gear selector and cable. Cost was about $5. I simply routed the cable through the firewall and clamped the lever to my shifter.
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I second the vote for the homemade welder. If you piggyback a Ford externally regulated alternator onto your existing system, the wiring is super simple and there are no alternator modifications to do. You can make it light and simple with just the alt and cables or you can get a little more involved, with quick disconnect cables, hand throttle, DC voltmeter and 120v outlets. Itís up to you.
I looked into Premier, Zena, ReadyWelder and Mobi but finally came to the conclusion that I couldnít justify purchasing a commercial system knowing I would only use it for occasional trail repairs. I read a few online articles a realized I could make a system that performed just as good as the commercial welders for a lot less money and a days work.
You have the hand throttle already Ed. Build an alternator bracket and the rest is simple.


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Old 05-04-2004, 03:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipwreck
I second the vote for the homemade welder. If you piggyback a Ford externally regulated alternator onto your existing system, the wiring is super simple and there are no alternator modifications to do. You can make it light and simple with just the alt and cables or you can get a little more involved, with quick disconnect cables, hand throttle, DC voltmeter and 120v outlets. Itís up to you.
I looked into Premier, Zena, ReadyWelder and Mobi but finally came to the conclusion that I couldnít justify purchasing a commercial system knowing I would only use it for occasional trail repairs. I read a few online articles a realized I could make a system that performed just as good as the commercial welders for a lot less money and a days work.
You have the hand throttle already Ed. Build an alternator bracket and the rest is simple.


ok that's fawkin cool! Got any pics of how you route the belt while in use?
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ed,
I vote for the large case Ford too because they are cheap, easy and they work as well as the others. However, they are definitely "Whisky Tango" in comparison to the commercial stuff. Somehow, it wouldn't look right in your engine compartment with all the *bling* in there. A Ready Welder would look better.
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very funny, Charlie! The big problem I have with an extra alternator is the single serpentine belt setup I have. I have been looking at the Premier Power Welder, and if I can wedge it into the engine compartment, that might be the way I'll go. I do like your setup for being inexpensive and simple.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Vortec Cruiser- what's the width of your serpentine belt? I have a premiere power welder setup I've been planning on putting in my pig- but the 190 amp Ford alternator has the serpentine belt pulley... Either I will sell it, or change the pulley to work with my junk. Anyone know how easy it is to change a pulley? I haven't even tried yet.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You guys ever read some of the old threads?

Most guys consider the welder as a wake up call in the middle of the night to help out the drunk wheelers who broker thier junk.


If you get one, camo the baby and call it a high output alternator and that way you will get a good night sleep.
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As far as I'm concerned, the drunks are all on their own.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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personally i want a premier because i really don't have room for a second altenator.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Ed,
if you poke around some OBA places, you can find a combo pulley that has a serpentine belt area and a v-belt area, that way you can mount the 2nd alt, and not have to have it dragging all the time. Another nice thing about the 2nd alt deal is if you carry a regulator for it, it can be a backup to your primary, non welder alternator out in the boonies.

Checkhere under accessories and you will find what you need interms of the combo pulleys.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You can also swap a GM serpentine pulley onto the second alternator and order a longer belt. I had to do that when I set up my system. The large case alternator I used had a serpentine pulley on it when I pulled it. I searched around the junk yard until I found a small diameter wide v-belt pulley and swapped it on before I paid for the alternator.
Since Glo asked; I just run my 2nd alt off the York with a small belt. I remove the belt and the alternator for everyday driving and hook it up before I head to the trail. I don't have a picture with the belt on but it lines up like this:
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