Rear Spindle Nut Comes Off On Freeway - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Rear Spindle Nut Comes Off On Freeway

Hey, guys...

So I get on the freeway on-ramp returning from the mall tonight and I immediate hear this loud rubbing sound unaware it was coming from my car. A couple of seconds later that sound is followed by the smell of rubber. The rear end is acting weird also so I assume I have a flat, stay on the freeway shoulder, and exit the offramp a few feet away.

I turn into a dimly lit car pool lot by a trolley station with the loud rubbing sound still in tote. To my surprise, it isn't flat, but the wheel has like 10 to 15% negative camber. I pop off the wheel cover and to my horror find the axle nut in the hub cap. It had completely unscrewed itself. I had to call AAA to flatbed it home.

I'll open it all up as soon as I can when I get some daylight. Any guesses as what it might be, or what exacerbated it other than the axle screw working itself loose on its own? Does that happen often?

Anyone want to guess what it might be? Thoughts on what it might be, and how to fix it right would be greatly appreciated. To think that I just came back from Los Angeles in that car. Whew!

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 05:15 AM
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Have you done any work back there lately?

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It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 07:53 AM
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Apparently this isn't a new problem. I've never had it happen, but I always double-nut my axles.
http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspensio...-axle-nut.html
http://forums.tccoa.com/6-general-te...your-nuts.html

Similar to this (racecougar):


The Ford part number for the rear axle nut is FOSZ-4B477-A. I would check out all the bushings, wheel bearing, hub/axle splines and threads on the axle stub before you try to put it back together.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 08:08 AM
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What kind of car is this?

Hub caps and all......

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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JCO1385

Oh, I definitely will check all those. I asked here once whether it was a good idea to do just that (Double nut it) and got no response. Would Loctite work here also? Thanks.

r429460

I meant the chrome cap with the embossed Thunderbird on it. It's a '97.

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No, no rear work. In fact, I was recently in here for pointers on replacing the inner and outer tie rods which worked out without a glitch. I was working my way to the back.



I didn't mention it, but the car's jack gave way too as I was trying to pound the tire in as much as I could. it simply bent and the car came back down on the car's weight. I hate those flimsy things.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 11:18 AM
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I think a better question would be has it 'ever' had rear end work where the axle nut(s) have been removed? And if so or unsure, is it the OEM locking nut or a solid one?

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Originally Posted by r429460 View Post
What kind of car is this?

Hub caps and all......
Center caps = hub caps, hub caps that cover the entire wheel = wheel covers

-Matt
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
I think a better question would be has it 'ever' had rear end work where the axle nut(s) have been removed? And if so or unsure, is it the OEM locking nut or a solid one?



Center caps = hub caps, hub caps that cover the entire wheel = wheel covers
It's the OEM original locking nut. Not surprising, since the original clips were still on the inner tie rod rubber bellows when I replaced them a week ago.

What can I look at and replace while I'm down there, XR7?

Thanks.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 02:47 PM
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Which side did it happen? Right side? Being stock it could be possible that the wheel bearing siezed and the bearing spun inside the knuckle, effectively whizzing the nut off in the process. In that case the knuckle is toast, the hub is probably suspect, the brake caliper, pads and rotor all may have been damaged as well
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Which side did it happen? Right side? Being stock it could be possible that the wheel bearing siezed and the bearing spun inside the knuckle, effectively whizzing the nut off in the process. In that case the knuckle is toast, the hub is probably suspect, the brake caliper, pads and rotor all may have been damaged as well
This was my thought too. Bad bearing locked up, spun itself off. Had it been the other side, it would have spun itself on even tighter, potentially causing the whole thing to fail spectacularly.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 04:52 PM
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There all nub caps.

Look at the sign, Hub Cap Heaven, not center cap and Hub Cap heaven.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r429460 View Post
There all nub caps.

Look at the sign, Hub Cap Heaven, not center cap and Hub Cap heaven.
Not my fault it's a misused parlance by the masses, should be wheel cover heaven! It's just like the coilover shock vs strut argument, only an even bigger uphill battle for those of us in tune to the proper terminology

-Matt
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2016, 06:56 PM
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Yeah, you'll see the bearing is wasted; hopefully, it's not welded/melted into the knuckle.

I started to get a knuckle out of a JY, and the knuckle was wasted because of a bad bearing.

Mine weren't that bad; but if you have 200k on the car, it's worth 5 mpg.

If you do one bearing, do them all; they're the same age.

Be Really sure to properly torque them going back in; spin, torque, spin, torque, until it quits changing.

I stand on the bar as the final torque, lol.

You're stuffing two bearing hubs together so there's no play; you can't over torque this unless you strip or break it.


It's also a serious time to consider the hub swap, for mustang wheels.

The mustang fronts are about the same price as the tbird ones; you need new rear hubs, but yours might be bad anyway. (bearings can wear the hubs...)

I'd seriously consider the costs involved; mustangs have a MUCH wider wheel selection.

If the rear hub(s) are wasted, it makes it easier to justify.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot again for the responses, guys.

I won't able to work on it until early next week (my work schedule won't allow me to do anything right now), so look for some *real* questions then. Yes, it was the RIGHT rear wheel.

The plan right now is to replace as much as I can with new parts. It obviously has not been serviced.

Other than the aforementioned frozen bearing scenario, what else am I looking for that might not be too obvious to an amateur like myself? How will I know the "knuckle is toast", or the caliper, for example? What kind of signs am I looking for?

Thanks, and be on the lookout for questions from me some time next week.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 08:31 AM
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The caliper will probably be OK, unless you see physical damage to it. The knuckle you likely won't know until you press the old bearing out. Also given that the bearing likely locked up and spun the nut off, look at the splines on the axle to make sure they are still straight.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 03:09 PM
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One time when my rear bearing went belly up, the hub was trashed because the inner portion that gets pressed into the bearings was completely worn, as in wide, deep grooves in the steel. If you see any grooves on this part of the hub that goes into the bearing where it is supposed to be completely smooth, it's gone. Also, take a good look at your rotor. The excessive camber in my case was enough to ruin the rotor to the point where I could have perhaps turned it, but it made more sense to just buy a new one because too much material would have to have been shaved to get it true again.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, MadMikey, and Guitar!

I'm going to tear it apart tomorrow. If I need something from the boneyard, it will likely be closed. ...Some 4th, huh?

About a mile into my trip that night as I transitioned from one freeway to another on my way to the mall, I felt the rear end give the sensation of a quick fishtail. Up to this point, I had never experience the car do that and I simply attributed the sensation to the right rear tire getting caught momentarily in a concrete groove or break on the freeway's surface where the on-ramp and freeway merged -- when the left side of the car is on one level of road, while the other is on another level separated by a groove iow.

In total, it must have been seven miles driven from the point of the "fishtail sensation" until I heard the rubbing, and suddenly felt the car slow down upon entering the on-ramp returning home, whereas I then exited the freeway and called the flatbed.

All that being said, does it sound like it's been a slow work in progress that has possibly wreaked havoc on all the components for some time, or did it likely just pop loose a mile into my trip incurring little if any damage to the calipers, and splines, etc? I did drive it maybe a quarter of a mile once I heard and felt the rubbing.

I was thinking of going to the boneyard, getting another MN12 wheel assembly that likely hasn't gone through this, and simply have a machine shop install the bearings and hub assembly to it. Better idea than attempting this with the current old one? The only part I've ordered so far is the rear axle nut JCO graciously provided upstream.

Thanks a lot as always. I wish I had a press. This would be a good thing to learn.

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 12:34 AM
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Even if you had a press, you'd need to have the proper support from underneath the bearing area to press the old bearing out. You can't just set the whole knuckle down within the press suspended by its three bushing housings----you'd have a knuckle split right down the middle into two pieces, at which point the bearing will come out with ease.

If you have another vehicle, then take the knuckle out, take it to a machine shop with a new bearing. Let them press out the hub and bearing. If the hub is good, then they should be able to put it back together with the new bearing. If the hub is toast, then make sure you tell them to tell you if the hub shows any signs of wear prior to them blindly putting it all together. If you don't have another vehicle, you should take another good knuckle w/ hub just in case to make things quicker.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 07:12 AM
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I had mine replaced at work (we do have a 20Ton press) and it was about all that press wanted, not the type of equipment one can afford to have at home.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 10:12 AM
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If the bearing has gotten hot and spun the inner races on the hub, you'll definitely want to replace the hub. If you don't, the bearing will go out again in short order.

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 10:46 AM
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Even if you had a press, you'd need to have the proper support from underneath the bearing area to press the old bearing out. You can't just set the whole knuckle down within the press suspended by its three bushing housings----you'd have a knuckle split right down the middle into two pieces, at which point the bearing will come out with ease.

If you have another vehicle, then take the knuckle out, take it to a machine shop with a new bearing. Let them press out the hub and bearing. If the hub is good, then they should be able to put it back together with the new bearing. If the hub is toast, then make sure you tell them to tell you if the hub shows any signs of wear prior to them blindly putting it all together. If you don't have another vehicle, you should take another good knuckle w/ hub just in case to make things quicker.
This is the way I would do it; Get the new knuckle, both if you can afford it.

Check them while the center bolt is still tight; wiggle it side to side, and see if there's play.

If there's no noticable play, I'd swap those to the car, which gets it on the road immediately.

Then have the other set rebuilt with Timken beasings, "Set 49".

If you have to buy a hub, it might be just as expensive to do the mustang pattern, making a swap more justifiable.

When you save up enough for the fronts, buy whatever you built the rears for, swap them in, and it's good as new.

Remember to score a cheap set of mustang wheels at least Before you do the swap, lol.

Quote:
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I had mine replaced at work (we do have a 20Ton press) and it was about all that press wanted, not the type of equipment one can afford to have at home.
The key with these hubs is to do them hot, ~150, and ping them with a small hammer as you add pressure. I rarely have to go over ~8000psi now I've done it a few times.

But I did break one of the first in half; my support slipped about 15k.

GM is right; the bearing comes right out when that happens.

Quote:
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If the bearing has gotten hot and spun the inner races on the hub, you'll definitely want to replace the hub. If you don't, the bearing will go out again in short order.
This.

If it's worn at all, it will slide, and get hot, and fail.

If the main axle bolt loosens up, it will wear this hub, and the axle; so make sure it's tight.

http://www.tccoa.com/forums/44-suspe...out-again.html

Also, you want the "Three nuts stacked in a cage" type nuts for both front and rear; the Dorman ones are deformed, and eat the axle and spindle Way too much.

http://tccoa.com/forums/44-suspensio...ndle-nuts.html

Here's something I noticed:
http://www.tccoa.com/forums/44-suspe...-bearings.html

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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First of all, I simply want to say a big 'THANK YOU' to all of you for your help. Your vast knowledge, experience, wisdom, and just good dose of common sense, provide a somewhat mechanically inclined, inexperienced amateur, like myself with the confidence and drive to go through with such projects. I can't believe of the hundreds/thousands I have paid in the last few years for such things that I could have tackled myself. ...I don't think I could have tackled replacing the cats, though. That required welding.

I had a used wheel assembly that I bought almost a year ago to study, so I used it to put the whole area back together. It spins freely, whereas the defective one went maybe a quarter of a turn. It's assembled all nice and snug until all the new parts come in, including a much deeper 36mm socket, since the one I have goes only so far. And, no, I won't be driving it.

I didn't realize I took 62 pictures (I trashed a lot of the duplicates), and they should have been up at 9:00 last night, but I could not get them to drag from my yahoo page where I posted them. I have to figure that one out. The shortcut was to download the Flickr app on my iPhone 6s and it was easy after that. I'm still trying to create an album for yesterday on Flickr at this very moment. Give me a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, is the spindle or axle is suppose to move in every direction, including in toward the differential ?

This one really has me scratching my head: Why does the shield not only require three "lengthy" beefy bolts to secure it, but what's with the factory using BLUE Loc-tite on them? Those gave me the hardest time.

When I do get the pics up, PLEASE tell me if you see anything I might have missed. It appears the caliper bracket is toast.That was likely what I smelled that night. ...Thanks again.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

Last edited by FranklinMint; 07-05-2016 at 01:57 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, somehow I missed a couple of pictures, but it's okay. It's under 'Chatsworth57' over at Flickr. There are just too many shots to burden this site with. Hopefully anyone can see them.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 09:32 PM
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Oh, I hated those bolts with the blue loctite on them holding the dust shields. Made me scratch my head too.

Oh, you could have handled the welding too, given enough time. 7 years ago I knew next to nothing about welding. Now I can do Stick, MIG, TIG and Oxy-Acet welding, all self taught with the help of Youtube, some common-sense, some hyper-active braincells, some determination, and a lil bit of luck. If I can do it, almost anyone can.

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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:23 PM
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Those bolts are ridiculous, that was THE most time consuming part for me aside from the actual R&R of the assembly from the car. I'd probably just leave them and the dust shield off if I had to do it again

-Matt
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well, what do you guys think based on the pictures? No major damage, right?

Does it look like all I need is the (one) caliper bracket, two new bearings, and two new hub assemblies?

Any preferred brands on the bearings? Stay with Timken? How about the hub assemblies?

Again, thanks a lot for everything.

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Learning to weld is on my agenda also. I have a 1950 car I want to restore, and knowing how to weld will help in building brackets for such things as power windows and such. Not to mention all the stuff around this house that needs to get fixed, like my rusting driveway gate.

Any month now I *will* pull the trigger on a new MIG welder.

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 06:17 AM
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Looks ok to me but would replace brakes (pads and consider new mounting brackets), bearing and hub

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 PM
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Guitar:
Learning to weld is on my agenda also. I have a 1950 car I want to restore, and knowing how to weld will help in building brackets for such things as power windows and such. Not to mention all the stuff around this house that needs to get fixed, like my rusting driveway gate.

Any month now I *will* pull the trigger on a new MIG welder.
Good to hear. If I were in your shoes, the new Miller Multimatic 215 looks like the hot ticket. 3-in-1 multi-process. MIG/Fluxcore, DC Stick, and DC TIG. Very similar to my Millermatic 211, but with more options.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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When I was at the boneyard today removing the caliper bracket, I happen to look at the car next to it and the shield on that car was held on by three 4mm, possibly 3mm, Allen screws with washers. My guess is that they did not go deeper than half an inch. Was Ford testing a new set of large taps on T-Bird calipers for a lengthy run I wonder?

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Yes, that's the plan. A new pair of hub assemblies, bearings, and a single caliper bracket which I got from the boneyard today. I just got through cleaning it up, from the grimy sticking guide pins, to the cleaning of threads of the four bolts used in it. I loaded them on my Flickr account a few minutes ago. By the way, what type of grease is used for these guide pins?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Guitar Maestro:

Wow! I mean WOW!!! That is some welder. It can do it all. One can grow with it from one type of welding to another. The best part is that one need not have a 220 or 240 outlet, which I don't at this time. What I had in mind was a beginner" type such as a Millermatic 141 or Lincoln MIG 140. I probably won't use it that often, but it is something I've always wanted to learn.

...By the way, in the pictures there is a "Pittsburgh" wrench visible. No, that it is not part of my "go to" set of tools. There is definitely a different feel from a Harbor Freight 15mm wrench and, say, a Proto or Armstrong wrench. I decided to keep my driveway clear so I did this in the street. In other words, these are expendable in case some clown decides to lift something while I'm in the house. I have several sets of tools, and I use the Harbor Freight set in situations such as this, or maybe when I visit the boneyard as I did today. If someone steals them, I won't sweat it as much.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-08-2016, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinMint View Post
Guitar Maestro:

Wow! I mean WOW!!! That is some welder. It can do it all. One can grow with it from one type of welding to another. The best part is that one need not have a 220 or 240 outlet, which I don't at this time. What I had in mind was a beginner" type such as a Millermatic 141 or Lincoln MIG 140. I probably won't use it that often, but it is something I've always wanted to learn.
there's plenty of multi-process welders out there that weld good, but honestly the Millermatics are in a class of their own because of Miller's Auto-Set technology programmed into the circuitry---those engineers really got the voltage/wirespeed settings/curves dialed in perfect into the program. It is VERY VERY accurate---you just set the material thickness and that's it. You're good to go (once you have your technique and joint-prep down). That's it. I was really impressed with it and don't regret it what so ever. Auto-set even works with either flux core or solid wire with MIG welding gas, and will alert you if you are trying to weld too-thin or too-thick with that particular wire type/diameter. I would suggest at least the Millermatic 211, as the 141 will be very limiting. And you never know, you might be able to get a 220V line installed later and find other uses for the higher-powered settings like creating jigs to support your work that you want to restore.

I haven't seen the pics as I don't know where to get the link from, but I have plenty of Pittsburgh tools. As far as hand tools, sure they're not perfect but if you know what to look for, you can usually get around any deficiencies they have.

Last edited by guitar maestro; 07-09-2016 at 12:46 PM.
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