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SA200 vs Miller Big 40

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  • SA200 vs Miller Big 40

    I have been lurking here on the site for a while. It seems like most pipeliners are die hard SA200 fans, primarily because of durability and just the way it works with welding pipe. I just picked up a Big 40 which I intend to use for general portable welding..... no thoughts of ever getting good enough to go pipelining at my age, not to mention I don't enjoy freezing myself to death ! I really enjoy the stories and listening to you guys (pipelinres) tell about your business in the north country. Sounds like there is money to be made, but sound like it's not for the faint of heart !
    So I said all that to say this.... I see SheildArc has both a Big 40 and an SA200..... what's your opinion of the Big 40 as a general purpose portable machine ? Mine is a think a 1972 machine with the 4 cyl Contenential Engine, with fairly low hours and I got it at a good price.... just needs some running gear and a little TLC. Anybody else have any good or bad experience with the Big 40 ? I'm trying to align some equipment to use to supplement my income when I retire. Thanks ! Sam in Virginia
    Sam
    Miller Elite Helmet
    Miller Big 40
    Miller Syncrowave 300
    Miller Econo TIG
    Victor O/A

    Lincoln 225 AC/DC

  • #2
    I have used both. I have a Big 40. The only reason I got it was it was cheap. But to choose between the two. I would go with the Lincoln. You said for general purpose work. They both would make good welders for that. I think the Lincoln has a smoother arc. Just my 2 cents

    Steve
    Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

    Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
    Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
    HH 140.
    Miller Big 40.
    Lincoln SAE 200J.
    Hobart GR-303.
    Lincoln tombstone welder.

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    • #3
      I picked up my 1975 Big40 cheap recently also. I was not able to test its arc fully as the range selector switch needed rebuilding. What little welding i did with it proved that it DOES weld better than a Miller Pro300. I was impressed with the Big40 arc though beings its an alternator machine and it doesnt have a single pc board in it . But it doesnt weld as good as a SA-200 though. Im restoring my Big40 now, its going back together. When i get it done i will be testing how it welds and report my results here. Here is a pic of it today.

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      • #4
        Like you said, general work, if it makes sparks then thats what counts. I certainly wouldnt care what was driving it, the avg welder couldnt tell the difference if he couldnt see the color of the machine. Coca Cola did 200,000 taste tests, proved that new Coke was better, which is the biggest seller? Better is usually a perception.
        http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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        • #5
          Alternator machine? I believe that its a generator. Because its DC output without diodes.

          Steve
          Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

          Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
          Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
          HH 140.
          Miller Big 40.
          Lincoln SAE 200J.
          Hobart GR-303.
          Lincoln tombstone welder.

          Comment


          • #6
            I ran this one the other day, works just fine, it had been a while since I use it and forget what a good little machine it is. The second one is whats on my truck and you see where the "good one" is. It collects dust.
            Attached Files
            http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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            • #7
              In a way I think you’re comparing apples to oranges.
              When it comes to engine drives I’m not a big fan of Miller, and yes I’ve run a million of them and owned one for years. Far as SMAW that SA200 will run circles around the Big 40. But as said the average “general” weldor will not know the difference or even care.
              But in your case the Big40 might just be the ticket, say later on you buy an LN-25 or equivalent, if you get one of those blow-n-go project burning 50, 60, 70 pounds of Innershield a day, you will run the risk of running that SA200 right in the dirt.

              At one time there was a certain model Miller don’t remember if it was the Big 40 or another, but at full rpm it put out more OCV than the old style feeders could take, we use to back the throttle off just a touch so the wire would feed without striking an arc first. Just some fuel for thought if you run into a deal on an older feeder!
              Dynasty 300 DX Tig Runner

              Survey says!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Blue is prettier than purple or yeller

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              • #8
                Getting something at a good price will buy a lot of fuel but general may be different to different folks. I am what I would call general and I don't even carry a rod bigger than 1/8 anymore. Does general include heavy excavating equipment or gouging? Maybe it doesn't mean anything but I like something small light and cheap, good on fuel. If you are going to make a diet of handrail and burglar bars then the big 40 might be a bit of overkill.
                http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by acwd1950 View Post
                  Alternator machine? I believe that its a generator. Because its DC output without diodes.

                  Steve
                  Miller never made a DC generatore machine. The Big40 has a 3 phase alternator and diodes.

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                  • #10
                    Planewelder
                    I would rebuild your range selector switch, all the individual pieces are available. I think that it the Big40s weak spot. The outside 15 contacts can be wire brushed and used if there isnt any arc marks. The inside 3 spring loaded ones i would replace!

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                    • #11
                      Your right my bad! I forgot that the diodes are in the end of the machine. One of those brain fart moments. Do you know what 240 volt kit consist of? Looks to me like just some wire changes.

                      Steve
                      Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

                      Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
                      Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
                      HH 140.
                      Miller Big 40.
                      Lincoln SAE 200J.
                      Hobart GR-303.
                      Lincoln tombstone welder.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a Miller Big 40 and it's always run well for me. On occasion I do some heavy machinery welding repairs, so the available amps are nice.

                        As a general machine - as mentioned it might be a little overkill. As for portability please note that it weighs about 1500 lbs (plus cables etc.) so if you want to make it occasionally portable - build a trailer for it. That way you don't have to keep trying to push it or pull it off your truck, you're liable to hurt yourself sooner or later.

                        Good Luck and have fun.
                        Snidley :}
                        Here in the Great White North
                        Mosquitoes can't fly at 40 below

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by acwd1950 View Post
                          Do you know what 240 volt kit consist of? Looks to me like just some wire changes.

                          Steve
                          Better call Miller on that one.

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                          • #14
                            Dont quote me on this but it seems the AC was about 4000 watts on those?
                            http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                            • #15
                              i fall into the general catoagory, its nice you got a deal, but id sell it and buy a trailblazer or ranger 305. i like lincoln engine drives but that new trailblazer with the 2 generators is bad ***. you can weld from it and run an inverter at the same time, welding off both. the big 40 is way too big and heavy for me. it will tax the payload on most pickup trucks, youd need a dually if you wanted to carry a decent amount of tools and air and gas. or a trailer as said.

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