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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who were interested, here is the "final" info about the homemade onboard welder using an alternator.

First, I'll run through a parts list/price list of what I used then I'll show a couple of pictures.

<ul>[*] Large case Ford Alternator $19.62 at Pick-n-Pull. $4.00 of it was using their exchange policy. There was a $5.00 core charge that is not reflected.
[*] Mounting brackets $0.00. I had a bunch of scrap metal around so I had no cost associated with this. If I would have bought it, it would have totalled under $5.00.
[*] fan belt $37.00 at NAPA. As you will see in the pictures, I am running a serpentine belt system... thus, it is a big chunck of change <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">[*] lighted switch to alt $0.00. I had it at home already. Worst case is $5.00.
[*] small wire to field pole on alt $0.00. I have a TON of wire at home. Worst case is $5.00.
[*] 30amp fuse holder. I had it at home already. Worst case is $5.00.
[*] 200 amp stringer. Tweeko TW9110-1101. $31.91 at Central Welder's. I could have used a cheap $10.00 from Harbor Freight, but I've used their cheap stringer before and it sucks.
[*] 2 Female plugs. Miller MIL 057608(yellow) MIL 039800(Red) $7.20 each at Central Welder's. These are the large colored plugs you will see in the panel below.
[*] 2 Male plugs. Miller MIL 039878(yellow) MIL 039608(red) $11.34 each at Central Welder's. These are the male plugs on the "welding" cables.
[*] 16 foot 4 guage booster cables. 782-5253 $28.09 at NAPA. These are the "welding" cables.
[/list]

As you can see, I am into it for right around $150. It could have been made for MUCH cheaper if you didn't use the fancy plugs and quality stringer... probably as low as $50 if you bought new battery cables.

The wiring is VERY simple. Simply use a +12 volt wire to supply power to the field connector when you want to weld. The lug that would goto the battery is your +voltage for the welding cable. And a ground is provided by the alternator case.

Here are a couple of pictures:



These first two show the Ford alternator mounted in the gap on the Chevy 5.0L TBI engine.

<IMG width=519 height=242 SRC="http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/lj_panel1.jpg">
<IMG width=378 height=280 SRC="http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/lj_panel2.jpg">These next two pictures show the panel that has the switch and two welding plugs on it. The red one is my +voltage and the yellow is the ground(only did yellow because they didn't have a matched set of black in stock)

<IMG width=317 height=343 SRC="http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/lj_ground.jpg">
<IMG width=292 height=253 SRC="http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/lj_plugs.jpg">
These last two show the end of my welding cable with the stringer, ground clamp, and two plugs.

I haven't officially tested it out yet because I am still playing with the upper radiator hose as well as wiring the welding alternator to the plugs. Should be able to test it out by this weekend... when I do, I'll post some weld pictures.

Hope this helps someone else.

[ 10-22-2001: Message edited by: Lil'John ]
 

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WOW!!!!
good info dude.

i'll be looking for the test picks.
steelman
 

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Can't wait to see you burn some rod with that thing. Post an update with live action shots. Also where in CA is Central Welding?

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Central Welder's Supply has three locations in Northern CA:
<ul>[*]One in Gilroy(the guys there don't seem to know their head from a hole in the way <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> )
[*]One in Salinas(haven't been to this one yet)
[*]One in Watsonville(this is where I got most of my stuff from.... this is also where they do the companies welding machine repairs... VERY good crew when I was there)
[/list]

I should have the thing fired up by this weekend <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> I'm now waiting to get two radiator hoses <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> I'll post some pics on how well it does. Hopefully it will work well enough for me to do some running boards for my Taco.... the super low duty cycle of the Century portable welder hurts(10-15 minutes of welding to 8 hours of charging <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> )
 

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Ok can you post pix or diagrams of the wiring? Looks like the alt runs full time to the switch but stops there. Then you turn the switch to "on" and it is then hot? I am assuming the yellow runs to the alt casing/motorblock. If thats the case it seems easy enough. like a 2bannana project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by Just make it stop Skyetone:
<STRONG>Ok can you post pix or diagrams of the wiring? Looks like the alt runs full time to the switch but stops there. Then you turn the switch to "on" and it is then hot? I am assuming the yellow runs to the alt casing/motorblock. If thats the case it seems easy enough. like a 2bannana project.</STRONG>
Ask and ye shall recieve <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> (I'd show my wiring directly but I'm still not QUITE done with it... I haven't wired the alt to the plugs.)
<IMG width=491 height=449 SRC="http://www.pirate4x4.com/ubb/uploads/lj_weld_wire1.jpg">

I copied this diagram and hacked it a little from another web site. So, the 1 pin it shows on the alt with +12 coming to is actually the field plug on the Ford alternator. Also, in my case, I used 10 guage wire instead of 16:)

Also, from the alt to the plug in pannel on mine, I am actually using 2/0 guage wire <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> But from the panel out, it is only 4 guage <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> In the future, when I want the 50 feet of stringer, I'm ready <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

And yes, you are correct, the yellow plug is actually the ground to the alt case <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

And yes, once the switch lets +12 to the field connector on the alt, it is hot and ready to make sparks.

I actually rate this as a 1.5 banana job... the hardest part of the whole thing is finding the right alt and mounting. The wiring is easy and the "beautification" shit I did was just to make it look good <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by Brandon:
<STRONG>Just curious but has anyone seen the tech article on this? ???</STRONG>
Yup have read on more than one occasion. Wife wonders why I drag the computer into the throne with me.

Joe
 

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Originally posted by Lil'John:
<STRONG>Central Welder's Supply has three locations in Northern CA:
<ul>[*]One in Gilroy(the guys there don't seem to know their head from a hole in the way <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> )
[*]One in Salinas(haven't been to this one yet)
[*]One in Watsonville(this is where I got most of my stuff from.... this is also where they do the companies welding machine repairs... VERY good crew when I was there)
[/list]</STRONG>
Thanks was wondering if there was one close to the east bay where I am at.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by Brandon:
<STRONG>Just curious but has anyone seen the tech article on this? ???</STRONG>
Yep... unfortunately, in this one case, it is sort of like a sports box score: Gives you final result but not all the details <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> OTOH, I found two other web sites that went into onboard welders: One gave a LOT of details with a wiring diagram but was for converting a GM one. The other gave a little more information than Jeff's but also didn't give a "wiring diagram" or part #'s. No big deal on this project as I didn't find it too hard to do other than "where do I hook the switched +12 to on the alternator" that wasn't covered in Jeff's <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> All three sites DID give some good information.

I asked a few questions about 5-6 days ago about onboard welders to clarify some of Jeff's information and expand upon it. Since I got some good answers and a few "interested people", I thought I'd post it with a little more details(Part #'s and costs specifically).
 

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They do weld. I have the 90A Ford large case alternator. It will run any 3/32 DC rod. I know, I need to practice more, but I had a pot of coffee and a 1/4 inch weave at the end of the rod. The upper bead is 6011 and the lower 7014.



[ 10-25-2001: Message edited by: Pin Head ]
 

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Looks good you even have a York squeezed in there. <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> You got me thinking about doing a similar set-up on mine if I can make room. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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very informative post, If I wasn't so lazy I'd add it to the tech section <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by Brandon:
<STRONG>very informative post, If I wasn't so lazy I'd add it to the tech section <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"></STRONG>

It would be cool if posts like this stuck around for a bit longer than the meetings, trail rides, and questions, IMHO. <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
 

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Nice pics, and thanks for the info. This is a mod I woul like to do, if I can ever finish my current project. How hard would it be to include a amp-meter and an adjustable throttle-cable to contol engine idle (and therefore amperage) with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by Brandon:
<STRONG>very informative post, If I wasn't so lazy I'd add it to the tech section <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"></STRONG>
If you'd like, I can clean it up and make it 90% ready for the tech section <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally posted by Pillard:
<STRONG>Nice pics, and thanks for the info. This is a mod I woul like to do, if I can ever finish my current project.
</STRONG>
Hahahha... I know the feeling. My "justification" for this project was: "I need to buy a longer $40 serpentine belt, might as well add a welder while I'm at it" <IMG SRC="smilies/eyemouth.gif" border="0">

Originally posted by Pillard:
<STRONG> How hard would it be to include a amp-meter and an adjustable throttle-cable to contol engine idle (and therefore amperage) with?</STRONG>
Once you get finished mounting the alternator, these would be half a banana jobs <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

The hand throttle-cable would be a 1 hour job. The tough part would be mounting the cable on the carb. The rest of it would be routing the cable, drilling hole, and mounting the knob/lever.

The amp-meter is also not a biggy. I think the toughest part would be finding one that goes up to 150+ amp that is sealed. From there, you would mount it in-line with the positive stringer. Again, another 1 hour job.

I'm looking at doing a volt meter but may also do the amp meter on mine... just no money to get "THAT" fancy <IMG SRC="smilies/clown.gif" border="0">
 

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so the alt isn't hot all the time. You have to switch it to hot? I thought they had power going out but when the belt turned it made power. I didn't think you'd need power in I guess I am saying. Thanx alot. PLEASE make it ready for tech page. I would love it. I think I will save the info though.
 

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WTF is a stringer?

and those pictures of weld beads several posts above.. will those hold?

its a good idea, Id like to see it work.
 

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the stinger is the clamp that holds the welding rod
 
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