I'm as smart as a SA 200

Isn't there a cotter pin in the governor linkage that allows you to run at a high idle or return to low idle after welding depending on the position of the pin? Steve

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Up North
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Another SA 200 welding machine came up yesterday. I am going to go look at it today. If I can buy these locally, I can fix them up, and make some decent cash. The guy said it runs and welds, but won't return to idle. Sounds relatively minor to me. I think he'd take less than $500, too, and it's on a trailer.

Just how much knowledge is needed to do this? I have singlehandedly taken a

327 Chevy motor out, changed freeze plugs, had the heads done, and put it back in by myself. I can fix most anything, except carburetors and automatic transmissions. I could learn them, but haven't so far.

I understand how engines work, and have the puzzle solving ability to take stuff apart, figure out how it works, and how to fix it. Right now, I have no reservations about digging into the one I just bought and either getting it running or seeing why it won't. Gas engines are relatively simple. They run or they don't. If they don't, there's a short list of things it can be. Gas. Spark. Compression. Major component part failure. And a couple of other things.

Just how complicated is this SA 200, and all its controls? They must be pretty dependable and easy to work on to be such workhorses. The engine is a simple flathead four banger. Radiator. Points operated spark system. Battery with starter and voltage regulator. The other items on the welding side I haven't fooled with a lot in my life, but think I could figure out.

As with anything else, buying electrical testers and hooking them up is usually a RTFM thing, and the troubleshooting chart shortens with experience.

Just how hard is this? I know after a time there would be tests to do when considering buying one of these machines, and would develop a checklist. I was just wanting to bounce it off you guys and see if I'm heading down a peaceful creek or towards the waterfalls.


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Could be something simple and stupid like that - Operator Error from someone who simply couldn't RTFM...

With that kind of rig, it's most likely a solenoid that pulls the governor linkage down to idle, or conversely pulls in to go up to governed welding speed - but if it goes bad, you pin it into RUN position as a temporary fix. Might be an open coil, or the control board is bad. Either way, shouldn't be hard to troubleshoot.

My PE-95G generator has a manual flip-up idle lock arm on the carburetor throttle shaft for the flyweight governor - physically pull the throttle linkage against the governor spring and drop the lock arm over, and it's locked in curb idle. So you can start it off easy when it's stone cold, or check for oil fuel or water leaks and such after maintenance. Adjust the idle speed with the normal idle adjustments in the carburetor.

Wait for it to warm up to where the choke isn't needed, pull the spring tension off, flip up the idle lock to release, it grunts hard and snaps right up to 3600 RPM.


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Bruce L. Bergman

the SA-200 is the Lincoln the pipeline guys go nuts over right? the one with a generator instead of an alternator? and a true DC machine?

I can think of several places where being an SA-200 maintenance guy with an SA-200 Rental unit/Loaner would be worth the weight of the transformer in gold. You could charge a big premium if youre able to offer essentially 0 downtime by bringing in a replacement welder. That way they are NOT down a machine while you fix it and i'm sure thet premium could easily be a $300 rental per day since they are still making a lot of money off that welder not being out of service.

Idle People and missed deadlines and quotas are way more expensive than paying a guy to fix the welder and bring in a loaner

Just a thought

Brent Ottawa Caanda

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Many here have given me ideas I didn't think of. Yours is one of them. First thing is to get it running, and running right. I know that a welder is only a boat anchor if it won't run and be reliable. So, I'll get the right stuff from Continental and Lincoln and fix 'er up right.

That said, there are downsides to renting. I hate loaning stuff. I own two vacation rentals where people occasionally amaze me with their carelessness, stupidity, and indifference. Trouble is, you don't have control over who is going to be using it, and if they are experienced. Yes, you can get a $2,000 deposit, and if it's totaled, you get the $2,000. Then you have no welder, and are off to find and rehab another, and have all the downtime in between. Or, you spend a lot of time just keeping it running and fixing stuff that others messed up, or tried to "adjust" because they didn't know how to use it. The rental idea is still in my mind, but it may consist of personal monitoring and scrutiny including watching during the work.

If everything goes right, it's a beautiful thing. Problem is, everything doesn't always go right.


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