Auto Arc Welding Alternators

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:13
ThreadID: 54338 Views:7553 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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Just received an email about Auto Arc Welding Alternators.

Has any body have/ used one?
Is it any better worse that joining batteries together?
Any and all comments welcome.

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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:24

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:24
I considered one...but then asked myself the question...

"makes sense welding externaly to the vehicle...i.e. away from and not in contact with....but what happens when you need to weld onto the chassis of the vehicle itself (the one with the alternator)"

couldn't come to terms with there not being a serious risk with spikes, earths etc..and so have stayed with the double battery and stick welder concept....used successfully once ....also have a 24 volt MIG...keeps all my options open i felt.....

maybe my wariness was unjustified but way out there with a problem to fix you dont need to cause another situation

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AnswerID: 286179

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:30

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:30

That was my first thought about having to weld on the vehicle with the alternator and with the motor running. I should also think that the revs would have to be kept up.

You would also be restricted to how far away you could weld from the vehicle. With the battery method you could take the batteries to the broken vehicle of what ever you wanted to weld.

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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:26

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:26

There was one in my old GQ when I bought it, might have been called Unipower 186, not 100% sure. It was manufactured in Perth and worked quite well. The output was adjustable and fairly easy to control. I did not have enough experience to tell whether it was easier or harder to use than any other welder but a friend who did a lot of welding said it felt different.

As well as the welder it had a 240v output, 12v output and 24v output. The 240 could be used at the same time as the welder allowing you to power lights and a grinder at the same time as the welder. Mum liked the hairdryer and heated rollers.

The downside was that the control panel was mounted in the glove box and there was no room for anything else. The other problem was that because of the second alternator the fan belt was an odd size and difficult ot get replacements. It also ran around the top radiator hose so that had to be removed to fit a new belt. It wasn't a big deal but it was an inconvenience.

AnswerID: 286180

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:33

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 18:33

I remember seeing something like that a few years ago. That was the last time until now. If they were any good they would have been a lot more around.

FollowupID: 551251

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 19:08

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 19:08

check this site out...same mob or not?.....found them on the web a few months ago
Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 20:21

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 20:21
Hi Wayne,

I've heard that they work well....but....

That was 25+ years ago, when we had space under the bonnet!!
There was no powersteering pump, or an aircond compressor on the old 4wds, so it was pretty easy to add an alternator welder under the bonnet.

Your 78series is the closest we have to an old fashioned truck these days, but I can't see it easily fitting under the bonnet. Your option is to weld an extra pulley onto the airconditioner pulley and make up a bracket, so the unit sits on top of the motor and throw a belt on. It means you'd have to pull it out of the back of the truck, set it up, weld away happily, then pack it back. For that effort, I reckon 3 batteries works well :-))

AnswerID: 286206

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 21:56

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 21:56
I have one Wayne.
They weld up to 180 amps, and also supply 230 volts dc for lights or grinders or drills...and...they charge the second battery to boot :)
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Classifieds: landcuiser 200 vx/sahara 18x8 with grandtrek tyres

AnswerID: 286231

Reply By: Big Woody - Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 23:03

Thursday, Feb 07, 2008 at 23:03
Hi Wayne,

We have been using the original Auto Arc welding alternators throughout my family for about 25 years.
In fact I have one of the later models in a box in my shed right now and got it down last weekend to see if it was possible to fit to my 1HZ 80 series.
As mentioned above, will weld to around 180 amps with the engine speed at around 1000-1500 rpm. The alternator has a very tiny pulley on the front to really get it spinning fast. The original pulley was the small V section that suited the Bronco's and F100's that we were fitting them to but later I had to get a tiny pulley machined up when I fitted it to my 60 Series Sahara to suit the Toyota type belts. I tried it with a larger pulley but it wasn't spinning fast enough to really get the amps cranking out when you need them.

I don't know why but I have never had an easier welder to use. The rods whistle as they burn for some reason and they arc up instantly and seem to weld smoother than other stick welders.

The other benefit is that you get a high amperage charger under your bonnet. The kit comes with another clamp that fits into the welding rod holder to connect to the battery of another vehicle to give it a quick surface charge. I wouldn't jump start with it though.

For those worried about space in the engine bay it is designed to replace your existing alternator so there are no real issues there.

Others concerned about welding your own vehicle. To activate the welder/240V supply you have to throw a large knife-blade switch which I believe disconnects the battery from the alternator which enables you to weld the vehicle. We have had to weld a broken main leaf on the rear of a Landcruiser in the bush with the Auto Arc. The weld held for another 3 years before the cruiser was sold still with the main leaf welded. Bit rough I know but it never let go.

The 240V outlet is DC so I have always made it a rule that nothing with a circuit board gets plugged in. That has included some of variable speed Metabo drills etc. Anything with an element or a motor is fine though. I used to be a carpenter and have run power saws etc. no problems when working in the bush. I have even run my 12cfm compressor off the Auto Arc for a while to run the nail guns while building a log cabin in a remote spot.

I seem to remember the kit stating that it could handle a 3000w load intermittently and a 1500w load continuously.

My brother has had 3 and I have had 2 different models of Auto Arc. The older ones were quite simple with no electronics but the one I have now has a circuit board which did play up many years ago in Charleville. The local sparky fitted an external regulator and it has never had another problem since. That was about 15 years ago.

They were originally manufactured by Godfrey's Auto Electrics in Perth from memory. In the early 90's I tracked down an auto electrician in Perth who was involved in the original manufacture of the Auto Arcs before the closed shop.

I am interested in your email. Have they started releasing new Auto Arcs or is your email referring to the older ones from the 80's?

I hope this helps mate!

AnswerID: 286250

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 13:23

Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 13:23
Is it worth it....more junk, seriously how many times are you going to use it?

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 286337

Reply By: stocky - Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 21:35

Friday, Feb 08, 2008 at 21:35

seems the site is down at the moment - I'm trying to fit an old UP186 to my GU C/Chassis at the moment o save having to lug a generator with me for work.

The "whistle" is due to the high frequency AC component on the DC current. a mains unit is only 50hz - these at in the kHz range

Helps make a smoother arc and welds at lower equivalent current allowing quite long and thinner gauge leads to be used

Hope that answers a few Q's
AnswerID: 286444

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