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Old 09-29-2017, 10:33 AM
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Pat Pat is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 1,790
Default Deal Breaker or Not..... Miller 301G

Yesterday I went with my brother to help him load up some equipment he purchased from one of his neighbors. While clearing things out of the way to get to the things he needed, we uncovered an older Miller 301G Legend welder/generator. My brother has been looking for some sort of generator for his farm, and is thinking that the 301G would be perfect to keep critical things running at the house during power outages. The place we were at used to be a small dairy operation, and used the welder for repairs, along with being a power backup for the milkhouse if and when needed. He asked the owner if he was interested in selling the welder. Owner stated that the welder has not been run for several years, and was not sure of what kind of condition it was in.

He did say that the battery had been removed because it was dead, and that they never did get a replacement for it. I asked him if he decided to sell it if I could bring a battery over to make sure it wasn't froze up. Him and my brother made a deal that if it turned over he would sell it for $700.00 because he realized that it needed some work to get it running.

I went home and picked up a good used 12 volt battery and some jumpers. Once we got the battery hooked up my brother attempted to turn the engine over. I instantly felt something stinging my face. Upon inspection we discovered that at some time or another mice or chipmunks had filled the exhaust pipe with what appeared to be bird seed. At that point we checked the welder over for mice nests and other possible damage from them. Everything else looked ok, and no nests.

My brother was concerned that the engine might be filled with bird seed. I told him I didn't think so because the exhaust would only allow the debris to be blown out of the exhaust, but not in. My brother asked him to allow a couple days to do some research before deciding if he wanted it. It was agreed to, and I got stuck doing the research even though I believe I gave him the correct information about the exhaust blowing out, but not sucking in. Right now I am having trouble resisting going back and buying it myself for that price.

Anyway, could those of you that know more about small gas engines give me your opinions about the possibility of the bird seed being able to get inside the cylinders. It is a twin cylinder Kohler but I have no idea of what horse power it is. Seeing that the air cleaner was in place, I think the biggest problems with this welder will be getting the fuel system cleaned gas in it, just some sludge. Also the thing is covered with so much pigeon crap it will be a miracle if any paint is left after cleaning it.........Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:26 AM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kankakee County, IL
Posts: 17,959

There are 2 versions of that welder, both manuals are available for download.

The engine turned over. $700 is a good price assuming all you need to do
is go over the engine really well.

I would suggest that you get it home take the heads off the engine and
inspect well. Besides mice and rodents, mud daubers are a PITA. I would
also take a close look at the winding are armatures and make sure they are
clear of any debris. Clean everything well and lubricate everything. Drain
the carb and fuel tank, new filters and oil change. But if it runs and welds
and generates power, it would be a good deal!

"Prepare to defend yourselves."
-- Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley, Ia Drang Valley
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:41 PM
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terry lingle terry lingle is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Birch Island, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,531

If it turns over birdseed in the engine will burn and leave once it is running.
I would get it home and confirm spark then add a little fuel to the carb and see what happens. most likely it will fire on the added gas but will need a carb overhaul or even a replacement carb to run as it was likely left with ethanol gas in it. they are nice welders and easy to repair.
Life beats the alternative hands down.
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:10 PM
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Pat Pat is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 1,790

Thanks for the information. We hauled it over to my brothers farm where it will sit until we have time to go over it. I am thinking that along with the other suggestions, we are going to have to remove the fuel tank so we can get all that nasty gunk out of it. I did notice that they must have changed the oil prior to letting it sit idle for so long. The oil was fairly clean, but it looks like there is an oil leak around the filter..............thanks again.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:44 PM
Grizz Grizz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Bottrel Alberta
Posts: 149

Yes tiny seeds can get into an engine through the exhaust, if an exhaust valve is open. I would pull the spark plugs if the engine wont spin over freely and see if there is seed in the cylinder. if it spins freely you should be ok. I had a customer bring a John Deere diesel irrigation pump engine that they thought had bottom end problem, it spun over when the first tried it but then it locked up.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:01 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Texas gulf coast
Posts: 240

that should be a simple one to get running. I have an earlier legend a 200le that has the onan engine. those are very simple to pull the heads on. The Kohler shouldn't be too bad to pull the heads if needed.

Last edited by slip knot; 10-01-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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