Lincoln AC-180-S

Hi, I just picked up a Lincoln AC-180-S. It's very old and I'm thinking the power supply and welding cables should be replaced as I'm seeing
cracks in the cabling, etc. My question is would it be worth investing any money in this welder or would it be better to get a new Lincoln AC 225. The welder would be for general household projects.
TIA...
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I would advise against putting any money into the welder.
With the price of copper what it is today, can you insulate over the cable cover cracks and use the machine as it is?
On 5 Aug 2006 20:44:14 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@tzutek.com wrote:

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There really isn't much to the unit except the "power supply" so if that is bad, the unit is scrap. But these units are build really tough, the core is pretty bulletproof unless someone has deliberately abused the unit. If the thing works, the core power supply should be OK.
Parts list and operator manual at http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/operatorsmanualdatasheet.asp?p0185
The cables take a beating, usually need replacing. For the 240 volt input cable, just go to your local home store and get the longest 50 amp range cable replacement they have. Get one with a plug that fits your recepticle. They come in 3 blade, 2 blade and pin, or 3 blades and pin (oldest design to newest)
Welding cable gets expensive, especially at the price of copper these days. Take a careful look at your cables and see what can be salvaged. Since the original cables tend to be a bit short for convience try this: take the existing stinger cable (which is longer) and make it the ground cable. If it has some minor cracks, no big deal, it's the gorund cable. Buy a new chunk of stinger cable about 5' to 10' longer than the original and attach the rod holder. For home and hobbist use, #4 cable is fine. If you plan to do some big projects and/or longer cables, you might want to go with #2 cable.
The only other problem on these is the selector switch, they sometimes get corroded. The easy fix is to spray it with plastic safe electrical contact spray and rotate the lever a few dozen times to rub off the crud.
How much money to spend on it? A new unit runs about $250 on sale, includes cables, throwaway helmet, rod holder, and ground clamp. If you can get a used welder and upgrade with new cables for less than $100 total, sounds good to me. For reference, I bought a nice used 225 amp Airco with no cables for $5, spent another $70 on new panel jacks, both cables, rod holder, and ground clamp. $75 bought a nice spare welder, sits in the corner on a mobile base, plastic tub on top with all the accessories. It's my "loaner" and "mobile" unit. Runs a nice smooth weld.
While you are at it, take a look at the Harbor Freight auto darkening helmets. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber214 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberF092
If you haven't done any/much welding, pick up a NEW (no JUNK!) 10 pound box of 1/8" 6013 rod and use the whole box on some scrap steel. Practice makes perfect.
snipped-for-privacy@tzutek.com wrote:

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The power cables are pretty cheap. You can get buy them by the foot at your local home center. The welding cables are a different story. In my area, used cables come up regularly, at good prices and within driving distance.

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I meant to say used welding cables come up regularly on ebay, at good prices and within driving distance.

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AL wrote:

Of course, on a Lincoln tombstone buzzbox, the cables aren't detachable, so you really have to disassemble the welder to replace them. That's one of the Lincoln's least desirable attributes. I have a buzzbox (Miller Thunderbolt) I use, and it has detachable leads. It is just so much more space-efficient with the leads hung on a proper hook.
GWE
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Thanks for all the tips. I'm going to try to salvage what I can and replace what I can't to the tune of $75 max.
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