As I get more and more into rebuilding my YJ it has become apparent that I need a welding setup. I have just about all the other tools I need but this one.
So I would be going into this with absolutely no welding gear and I want to have a good enough basic setup that I can do the basic weld jobs required on any project YJ. I also don't want to spend an arm and a leg on this. If it's too costly I will just keep taking stuff to the local welder (Side note: he works pretty cheap, but he is incredibly slow).
My local stores include:
I'm not opposed to ordering online either
i like my hobart from Farm and fleet with gas. it welds great and isn't terribly expensive
1994 yj stretched, locked and loaded - 6.0l vortec lq4, 4l60e, np231, Dana 44s 37" interco trxus m/t, 3.5" bds front leafs, double triangulated 4 link rear on xj front coils.
1997 ZJ limited - BONE stock
2003 tj - 4in skyjacker, 33" mickey thompsons
my on board alternator/welder write up
my tj 1/2 doors on a yj write up
RC vs BDS
if you looking to get into it for cheap, try looking on cragislist. Last year i bought a miller 180 with a cart, wire, gloves, regulator, and extension cord for $500. this set up would have been well over $1000 new. i would not recommend a harbor freight welding machine. My opion would be buy a good used machine (linclon, hobart, or miller) than a new chinese made machine.
whatever you get, stick with a name brand (Lincoln, Hobart, Miller, Esab, etc) and get a 220v unit.
stick or mig in part depends on what you want to weld, and also your budget.
a 220v AC stick welder will run somewhere in the 3-400 range, but it's ready to go out of the box, just add a good helmet and rods and you're set to burn. biggest problem (for ME anyway) is that with stick, you can't really weld anything thinner than 14-16 ga. it IS possible, but tough to get it right.
a full mig unit will run you more... the base unit will be somewhere in the 6-800 range, but all you can do with that is flux core wire... to go full mig you'll also need to add at least a tank (no idea what they cost) and possibly the hose/regulator set... that depends on the welder you get. I've seen some that come with it and some don't.
I prefer stick for most things myself. if you can, try out a couple different kinds and see how your learning curve is for each.
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]Sean B. - Schenectady, NY - 95 YJ, 350/700r4/NP241, JB Shorty SYE, 8.8 rear, 2" BDS, 1" homebrew shackles, Daystar 1" BL, TJ flares, 35x12.50 General Grabber AT2 on 15x10 Bart D-Truckers, Polyshield polycarbonate windshield, HD over/under crossover steering
[/COLOR] [COLOR="Red"]swap/build thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/after-almost-4-years-finally-my-own-build-swap-thread-1542284/[/url][/COLOR][/FONT]
I was in the same position a week ago. Almost bought a HF 90 amp welder plus helmet on sale for 140 but thankfully a friend talked me out of it. Sunday I picked up a Lincoln weldpak with a 10lb spool and helmet off craigslist for the same price!
89 Wrangler-3.5" HD BDS lift,M.O.R.E HD 5/8" booms on 35" KM2s
99 Cherokee-2 door,5" lift on 35" KM2s
04 Grand Cherokee Overland
72 Chevy Nova-in progress http://tiny.cc/BRASSBALLSOFFROAD
Cyberweld has some good online prices, but I picked up a NIB Hobart 190 for $600 from CL. Bargains can be found if you can wait. SearchTempest is a good CL search tool. I almost bought an Eastwood, but I was a little nervous. Looking for a TIG machine, but that will be a few months.
My Hobart 135 wire welder. With C-25 gas.
Total investment including the gas is easily under $500.
And it will run on 120v household current.
It will weld most things metal on a yj.
There are some things it won't weld, like cast iron or 3/8 inch armor plate or aluminum or stainless steel. Stuff like that.
Four or five years ago I found my brand new Lincoln 140 at a local pawnshop for $250 out the door. I passed the first wire through it. I've done tons with it and always had good results. Now that I've gotten to the point of doing some bigger projects, I'm selling the 140 and getting a Miller 211 this winter. After using a buddy's 220 machine on some tube work, I liked having the extra heat and not having to always be conscientious about the limits of the smaller machine.
Cliff's notes: watch local pawn shops, CL, etc. for killer deals & 110 machine is fine for most Jeep stuff, but you have to be smart about their limitations.