Miller Tunderbolt help please

I just picked up an old Miller Thunderbolt for $20. It is old and dirty and the leads are in bad shape. And it has not been used in years. The seller could not tell me if it works or not but "Thinks" it does.

I don't know anything about it and would like to know if you guys can point me in a direction to get it working.

First I will describe it because I cannot find a picture of it on the web to refer you to. It has a hand crank on top to adjust the amps.

There are two lead inputs at the bottom right, one red, one black and DC is painted there.

On the bottom left are three YELLOW inputs but I cannot tell what they are for. The labels are worn and dirty. They are placed with one above the other two like this :.

I want to take the cover off and blow it all out and wash the cover really well so I can hopefully read what is printed on it. It was inside a machine shop and covered in grinding dust. Is there anything inside that can bite me like capasitors or anything? If there is I would assume that after all this time they would not be charged but I HATE those things. Been bit before by an Air conditioning capasitor on a roof and just about made me jump off.

Is there a place to get replacement lead plugs?

Does anyone know where I might find a user manual for this or similar welder that explains how to use it? I only have experience with AC welding with a Lincoln buzzbox.

I thank you for any help you can provide.

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I used to have one. For what they are, they are a damn fine little machine.

I'd take the cover off, blow it out, look for obvious loose or fried connectors, clean out the sockets for the cables, buy some new cables, or recut and resocket those you have, and contact Miller. They should have some info on that machine. It isn't THAT old. And there isn't that much to one. It either works or it doesn't. If there's problems, they should be very obvious on a visual inspection, and once you fire it up, it will work or explode.


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Steve B

Good sign - variable saturation core - nice reliable old iron and copper technology. I'd guess you got a deal, at $20.

Output, not input. Power is input from the wall, and power is output to the work being welded.

OUTputs. AC. Described below, probably, based on not really knowing _which_ thunderbolt you have, but this one looks right.

Welding supply, generally. Tweco or knockoffs. Or Miller, I suppose, though those are just as likely to be Tweco.

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Lists eleven models of Thunderbolt manuals. Have your serial number handy to get the correct manual for the welder you have. The "no serial number entered" result for Thunderbolt AC/DC shows the upper of :. as being the electrode AC for 40-225 amps, and the one below it as being electrode for 30-150 amps, while the one to the right in that set of 3 is the work (aka ground clamp).

To the right of those is the DC set, + above -

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Sorry for the "INPUT" snafu, I meant that the cables plug in there.

I looked at the user manual and it "Almost" matches. The AC OUTputs on mine are 40-230 and 30-150. I cannot find the serial number, the manual your referred to states that it is on the cover plate but does not show where exactly. I found the "Style", it is JD-37 but I cannot find any other numbers. I will print out this manual and go from there.

If anyone knows where the serial number is located, please let me know.

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I have a Porter-cable 1410 14" dry-cut saw. Porter-cable does not recommend using the supplied blade to cut stainless steel. The Tenryu SPS35590 14" blade is designed to cut SS. Anyone have any experience with this Tenryu blade in the Porter-Cable 1410 saw?

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If I'm not mistaken on some older machines there were "taps" that you moved to get in the ball park amperage you wanted and then a fine adjustment crank within that range. I have a much newer Miller Thunderbolt but it does not have these. A single crank will adjust from minimum to maximum output.


KIMO wrote:

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What you need to do is get friendly with the local welding supplier that sells Miller. I don't mean a big box store - but the guy that has stuff in front and gas bottles in the back... They will turn the world upside down for a part if needed. Often these have parts that you need on the floor room shelves.

Leads and plugs are everywhere - just costs the amount you paid for the welder - so not to bad - but expect to pay for the wire - copper is high.


Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member

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KIMO wrote:

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Martin H. Eastburn

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