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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    58
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    106

    Default CIGWELD 130 Twin Wire feed

    Yesterday I went to swap my 0.6 mm gas wire for a roll of 0.8 mm gasless to do an outside job, only to find that the whole wire feed assembly has cracked and broken apart since I last used it about 6 months ago. The compression wheel arm snapped when I touched it even though I always release the tension after use. Upon trying to remove it one of it's retainer pin wings broke off and then I noticed that the whole rectangular body base of the unit (riveted to the metal case) has developed extensive cracking. It is now obviously unusable. CIGWELD Aust advise that as the machine is around 2 decades old, parts for it disappeared 10 years ago. (That's a good reliable business model considering my father's old stick welder is more than 50 years old.)

    Anyway, the local agent said he believed from memory that the feed roller assembly and the drive motor were all one piece. Probably would cost more than the machine is worth to buy the part if was available anyhow. I've just read some reviews on the more recent 135 model and it appears to be already suffering from the same failures. The thing I liked about this machine was it's 10 A power supply and portability for external use with gasless wire. It will be a shame if it's dead.

    My question is, does anybody have knowledge of a solution to this problem or is the machine now junk? If it is junk, what would be a suggested reliable (hopefully long-lasting) alternative?

    Has anybody used these generic type feeders?
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mig-Weld...4383.l4275.c10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Country West Oz
    Age
    72
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    139

    Default

    My first thought was maybe adapt something else to do the job.
    That generic feeder at that price would be worth a try, if it can't be adapted to suit you don't stand to lose much.
    Regards
    Bradford

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    Default

    That's what I thought but it may not be that simple. I just pulled mine apart (see photos) and the measured voltage from the wires driving the feed motor. I'm measuring around 37.5 v dc. The one from eBay is a 24 v.
    DSC_0402.JPGDSC_0403.JPGDSC_0404.JPG

    As you can see, 3 parts of the mechanism are now in 10 pieces.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Country West Oz
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    Default

    Try reconnecting the original motor and run it while measuring the voltage, it may be the load of the motor will pull the voltage down, could be just wishful thinking, but worth a try.
    Regards
    Bradford

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Gosford
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    Default

    That was the voltage with the motor running. I didn't check what speed it was set at so if its a voltage variable speed motor then it could well be 50 V or something. I'll go have a look again, maybe tomorrow, but I doubt the one on eBay will do the job unless I can use that mechanism with my motor.

    Still, it's pretty ordinary for a welder to be non-repairable because of a plastic wire feed mech', and even more ordinary that they told me the parts were out of supply after only 10 years. It wasn't cheap at the time I bought it. I know they a more affordable today.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Adelaide
    Age
    54
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    4,885

    Default

    Looking at the pieces, I think with a lathe and mill (or perhaps some sheet metal) you should be able to duplicate that. The key part is working out the 'important' bits vs. the bits that have been done that way to make the injection moulding easier. As it's a bit on a welder, you may have to electrically insulate some parts (depends whether the welding earth is the same as the chassis earth), but should not be insurmountable.

    Michael

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    Default

    Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think I'll go down that path. A much bigger headache than I require. I'd buy a replacement welder first.

    The motor was running at 8/10 so I'd assume it may be a 50 V DC assuming it's variable speed to voltage ratio is linear. I also think it may be connected to a little reduction gearbox but I haven't looked at that side much yet.

    I'll be very interested to see if the more recent 135 uses a similar arrangement although the guy at Cigweld to me it was completely different

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glivo View Post
    Still, it's pretty ordinary for a welder to be non-repairable because of a plastic wire feed mech', and even more ordinary that they told me the parts were out of supply after only 10 years.
    Try to buy a OME part for a car, I think from memory, after 5 years, you can't get it.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    750

    Default

    They don't want you to fix it they want you buy one their new units that will last even less time

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Hate to say it, but even if you cigweld 130 was a $30K machine back in the day, the manufacturer won't support spares indefinitely. Industry standard is about 7 years following the discontinuation of the model... which could be up to a 10 years if you were an early adopter. Consider it a lesson in planned obsolescence. 20 years is a good run for a home level MIG if it got any amount of work.

    As for comparing it to your father's stick welder- that machine likely had no mechanical parts other than a threaded rod for the transformer tap ... if he was lucky. the poor people back in the day had various amerage lugs to affix their leads to. This level of simplicity is something that MIGs by design don't have.

    The only thing on your side is that the manufacturers of the low end machines generally don't reinvent the wheel when it comes to parts like this. Have a search around the parts diagrams and or pictures of models of a later vintage in the same brand... you might be surprised. For 20 clams, the linked wire feed assy sounds like a good gamble in my book. Giving that 24V motor 30 volts shouldn't be a problem. If it does, whack a resistor in there. If she blows, throw another $20 part at it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    750

    Default

    ----?----

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North Yorkshire UK
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    2,133

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    I agree, a $20 part, drill a couple of holes, some self tappers, connect up the motor and give it a thrutch.

    Most of the wire drives are very generic You’ve little to loose.
    Best Regards:
    BaronJ.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Gosford
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    58
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    106

    Default

    Yeah, very little to lose at all. I understand all that about designed redundancy and spare parts availability, etc, but it just seems so wasteful to have a perfectly good welder, that wasn't as cheap as a toaster, unusable because of a broken plastic component.

    I can modify the electrical connection to suit a lower voltage motor if required. I could even rectify it to suite DC if needs be. The eBay part just looked as though it may do the job with easy conversion. The unit from the newer 135 does appear to be different from the instruction manual diagram but without actually seeing a photo or the actual machine it's a bit hard to say if it would work or not.

    The circuit diagram for my unit leaves a bit to be desired. It shows component symbols but without any values given.

    The message here is not to buy a second hand one. I see one advertised for $200. I wouldn't touch it knowing about my one and others I've now heard and read about.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    4,591

    Default

    The problem is the quality of the plastic used in the drives of some of those welders.What happens to those crappy plastics is that the oil used in the making of them, dries out.

    This weakens the structure and in time it breaks. Conversely some makers did make the effort to make plastics resistant to degradation. All of them as far as I know are plastic now.

    I posted on this fact years back. Once upon a time the drive mechanisms were made from zinc alloy but that got expensive so in came plastics.

    Not mentioned was the design of the drive units. Some of them were really flimsy in the amount and section thickness in the leverage bar and strength in the tension springs.Some of the ones I saw the spring strength was so poor the wire slipped in the rollers after a time.

    I agree with China on this one.They were designed around a price with purpose a distant second. You do get what you pay for-but just barely sometimes!

    Grahame

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    938

    Default

    I was a bit put off when I looked in the side of a new Lincoln 200C and saw its wire feed assembly was plastic - your unit shows how that construction is likely to end up.

    I wouldn't worry about the high voltage - it is likely PWM for speed control, with the high voltage to aid torque.

    However, the motor on that Ebay unit looks much smaller than the one on my UniMIG 165, which isn't much bigger a welder - my drive looks more like this:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/MIG-...255828667.html

    So I'd be concerned about how long the motor is likely to last?

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