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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
danielbuck
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mig wire binding up AFTER drive roller?

I've got a Lincoln 180 Dual, which has always worked flawless for me (I've had it for probably over a year now).

Recently I've been using a 5 pounds spool of .024 wire for some thinner gauge stuff, mostly 1/16" and 1/8", I've been using the large spool of wire for a few months now, on and off.

Last night as I was working, it binded up on me twice in the span of about 15 minutes. The wire gets bent and folded over itself right after the drive roller as it enters the sleeve of the gun. I undo the tension wheel, and open up the plate with two screws to see the drive mechanism, and I see the wire bundled up in there AFTER the drive wheel. So something blocks the wire, and the drive wheel just keeps feeding the wire and it piles up on itself.

So, I'm pretty sure the drive wheel and tension wheel are ok because the binding is after that, and I'm pretty sure it's not the tip on the end of the gun, since the binding is happening right before it enters the sleeve, and when I clip the wire, it easily pulls through the tip. But I will replace the tip anyway, just to make sure.

On the spool of wire and all the internal mechanisms, there's no sign of grit, corrosion, kinks, bends or anything. It all looks very clean and straight.


Any ideas what could be causing this? Next time it happens, I'll take a photo. And if I'm not describing the location of the binding well enough for folks to understand, I can take a photo and circle the exact area where it happens.

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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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Is your gun cable somewhat straight when welding? Also maybe the tension on the drive roll is too tight for the thinner wire youíre running. Dirty liner?

I am by no means a professional welder so maybe Iím way off base. Hopefully someone who does this for a living will chime in.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
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the gun cable didn't have any sharp bends or kinks in it, and the front of the welder was facing towards me while I was working.

As for the drive roll tensioner, I'll try backing off some, thanks for the suggestion :-)

I don't know how to check if the liner is dirty, that could be a possibility I suppose, how does one go about checking and/or cleaning the liner?
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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Try blowing out the gun liner with compressed air. It could be that its dirty in there.
When you first pull the trigger when welding, is the wire stubbing on the steel like a not so good ground?
At the start of the liner (where its bundling) is the liner lined up with the exit of the drive rollers well?
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
danielbuck
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Thanks, I'll try those suggestions! I'll blow out the liner with compressed air, and I'll check to see if it's lined up good with the funnel after the drive roller

I hadn't noticed any difference in the welding or wire feed performance, the wire still comes out instantly and smoothly, well, up until it suddenly stop and binds up, haha!
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielbuck View Post
...
I don't know how to check if the liner is dirty, that could be a possibility I suppose, how does one go about checking and/or cleaning the liner?
Iím not really sure myself but unless your weld wire has a faint rust to it I doubt itís dirty, being that your liner is fairly new. Maybe someone will let us both know in this thread.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
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I would remove the tip and check wire feed. I Normally replace the tip when I replace the roll, but I use 10lb spools, Ron.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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it's possible that it could be the tip, I don't change the tip to often, maybe I've got to much drive roller tension and it's flattening the wire just slightly so that it doesn't go through the tip as easilly?

If the problem is at the tip of the gun, would it be normal for the actual binding and bundling of the wire to happen before it enters the liner? (I assume the liner is so thin that there isn't any room for the wire to bundle up on itself?)
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Well if you havenít already definitely check the tip although you mentioned in your first post that you were replacing it.

It is possible that maybe you got the tip to arch on whatever you were welding and missed the tip up. Are you running the correct tip for the wire size youíre using? Also tips can get missed up way before its time to replace a spool of wire; you should have a few extras standing by.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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When changing wire size and type, it's important to match the entire feed roll system. The rolls AND feed tubes need to the right size and type for the wire. Hard wire needs smooth rolls , flux core uses knurled (grooved) rolls. Knurled rolls clog liners quicker, especially on hard wire, it flakes the copper coating and eventually plugs the liner, very hard to blow out. The feed tubes help stabilize the wire and keep it straight out through the end of the gun were it cannot curl or bind. try moving your feed tube closer to the roll, leaving less of a gap or spot for the wire to crash, thin wires fold easy, the tubes need to tuck right into the rolls, all sides. Is this a four roll or two roll system? If four, even the middle tube needs to be changed. On our four roll systems, we will remove the leader rolls and just run two for wire .035 and under. Smooth rolls work better for mig/hardwire but the knurled will work, just more liners. Is your liner steel? Some people run aluminum wire with a plastic liner and forget to swap back when using hardwire, problem is it will wear through the liner causing other problems depending on the type (make) of gun. If it's a Tweco, it will leak gas, other brands that run the gas line along side could arc and create a "hard to push" situation were the wire does not flow freely.


Post some pics, that will help with a diagnosis.

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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:25 PM   #11
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Sounds like the liner to me. I would get a new Teflon liner for your lead and also get one long enough to snip a piece and replace the small section after the drive wheels assuming your welder has one. Also as others have said, make sure your wheels are the correct size for that wire. Most machines come with wheels sized for .030 and .035 wire. That's the only things I can think of unless you are getting burn back and it's temporarily sticking to the tip. This would be apparent if after it buggers up the tip of wire at gun would have mushroom shaped splatter on it.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSS View Post
When changing wire size and type, it's important to match the entire feed roll system. The rolls AND feed tubes need to the right size and type for the wire. Hard wire needs smooth rolls , flux core uses knurled (grooved) rolls. Knurled rolls clog liners quicker, especially on hard wire, it flakes the copper coating and eventually plugs the liner, very hard to blow out. The feed tubes help stabilize the wire and keep it straight out through the end of the gun were it cannot curl or bind. try moving your feed tube closer to the roll, leaving less of a gap or spot for the wire to crash, thin wires fold easy, the tubes need to tuck right into the rolls, all sides. Is this a four roll or two roll system? If four, even the middle tube needs to be changed. On our four roll systems, we will remove the leader rolls and just run two for wire .035 and under. Smooth rolls work better for mig/hardwire but the knurled will work, just more liners. Is your liner steel? Some people run aluminum wire with a plastic liner and forget to swap back when using hardwire, problem is it will wear through the liner causing other problems depending on the type (make) of gun. If it's a Tweco, it will leak gas, other brands that run the gas line along side could arc and create a "hard to push" situation were the wire does not flow freely.


Post some pics, that will help with a diagnosis.

WSS
Thanks for your reply WSS!

I use the correct sized and smooth or grooved drive roller for the wire that I'm using. But I only have one gun tube/liner, which I use that for everything. I don't know if it's metal or what, it's whatever came with the welder. I only use .024 and .035 solid wire with gas, and .035 flux core. I don't run aluminum, or anything larger than .035 (since I only have 110 power, probably no need to go any thicker than .035)

I was thinking about getting a new gun sometime, one that has a flexible neck, for those times when I'm in an odd position, I can just flex the neck with my finger to get the gun E o C or U pattern, instead of having to move the entire gun back and forth in a cramped position. Any suggestions? On a side note, I also have the standard Lincoln ground clamp, I've been thinking about getting one of those solid brass Tweco clamps.

As for the drive wheels, 2 or 4, mine only has 2 wheels, a power wheel, and a tension wheel. All the hardware is metal though, and feels very solid.

On the one day that I'm asking about my welder, a friend needed to borrow it, so I didn't have time to take photos of it, I'll get it back in a day or two, and take a photo of the drive mechanism.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Danzigt View Post
Sounds like the liner to me. I would get a new Teflon liner for your lead and also get one long enough to snip a piece and replace the small section after the drive wheels assuming your welder has one. Also as others have said, make sure your wheels are the correct size for that wire. Most machines come with wheels sized for .030 and .035 wire. That's the only things I can think of unless you are getting burn back and it's temporarily sticking to the tip. This would be apparent if after it buggers up the tip of wire at gun would have mushroom shaped splatter on it.
I'm not sure if mine has a lead or not, I'll try and take a look. As for mushroom shaped spatter on the tip, I've not seen any, it's dark grey/black on the end of it, but nothing actually stuck to it. I periodically have to clean out the gas nozzle when I'm running mig, but the tip never has anything stuck to it, so I've always just been using the same few tips when I change from .024 to .035. They are so darn cheap, I should just throw them away and grab new ones, I have a box of new ones already

My friend needed to use Flux core, so we changed out the drive wheels and a new tip, and I backed off on the tension a bit.





As far as tension goes, how do yall set the tension? Does thinner wire use less tension, thicker wire use more? or the opposite? What about flux core versus solid?
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Unread 10-07-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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Teflon/plastic liner will not tolerate the solid wire or fluxcore for very long and the liner is more prone to kinking than a steel liner. Even wrapping it wrong for transport can kink the plastic, steel liners can take more abuse.

Make sure the feed tube is tucked in as far as it ca go without touching the roll while turning, check it while turning too with no wire running through it, make sure the roll is not out of round or the roll spindle is not bent. Machines that get loaned out can have all sorts or gremlins.

Try to support the first foot or so of the cable leaving the feeder. Here is one I built, note the rubber bungee cords supporting the guns, they will follow the gun but still hold it up to stop the hard bends.



Here is a pic of one side of a dual Miller set up for .030, hard to see but the rear top drive roll is pulled so only the front two drive the wire. (extra roll is laying next to tip bags)

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Unread 10-07-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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This is actually the first time someone's borrowing it, so I hope it doesn't return trashed I trust him though.

I remember the inner liner looking like a coiled spring, so that probably means it's metal?
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Unread 10-07-2013, 11:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielbuck View Post
This is actually the first time someone's borrowing it, so I hope it doesn't return trashed I trust him though.

I remember the inner liner looking like a coiled spring, so that probably means it's metal?
Yes, spring looking is metal. Even those can kink and give you some trouble. Also, consider the new roll of wire, we get some once in while (about two rolls per pallet) that have a oily coating, I've been told it is "freshly greased" draw plates that get tuned up every so often, maybe you got one? It does not look bad but if you run a length right off the spool over your hand, it will leave a black oily/greasy mark, this stuff plugs liners like crazy, we change every 20-30 rolls anyway but sometimes a new liner will get "lucky" and run a bad roll through.

We have a similar problem to "loaning", only I call it "employees" LOL, man they can jack up a machine and swear it works fine. Our shop is 99% automated, so stuff has to work, can't slip on the rolls, no tip sticking, nozzle MUST be clean to flow gas and so on. Even though it is "just buttons", we still have to know the basic guidlines of welding, so I will rotate guys off a weld head and let them do some hand work once in a while to keep them fresh and not burn out.
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