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Portable Welder Shootout: Premier Power Welder

Face
Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted April 1, 2011
Contributors: Rick Péwé, Kevin McNulty, Ali Mansour
Photographers: Alan Huber, Ali Mansour, Rick Péwé

Juice On The Trail

One of the handiest tools on the trail is a welder. No matter what you break (not counting tires and electronics) you can probably patch things back together with a welder. The Premier Power Welder uses a specially crafted alternator mounted on your engine so you can weld nearly anything, anywhere, at any time. The only thing that limits your welding is gas in your 4x4's tank-as long as you let the unit recharge the truck's battery every three hours or so after welding.

Putting out 160 amps at 12V makes for a unique weld, as the high-frequency characteristics of the Premier jiggles the weld puddle to bring the impurities in the weld to the surface. This makes for a far stronger weld and allows even the novice to stick-weld like an experienced hand.

The Premier alternator replaces your stock alternator, and the company has applications for the vast majority of 4x4s. The control box needs to be mounted in a safe and secure location. A vernier control knob for throttle speed is attached to regulate the engine rpm, which adjusts the output of the welder. The unit also provides 2,300 watts of 115V DC power, which can power lights and many handtools and appliances, and also charges batteries.

Having your own welder along is far better than spending the night broken down in a freezing mud pit. We've done both and prefer the luxury and convenience of firing up the Premier for providing light, heat, battery charging, and melted metal. It just doesn't get any handier than this.

SPECS
PREMIER POWER WELDER REPLACEMENT ALTERNATOR AND CONTROL UNIT
Price $869.95
Power 12V at 160 amps, variable to the job
Duty Cycle Depends on welding amount; about
3 hours before recharging vehicle battery
Thickness Sheet steel to 1/4-inch plate
Weight Next to nothing, as alternator
is a tad heavier than stock and
control unit is only a few pounds
Dimensions Wherever you can fit
the control unit

Pros
•Full-featured welder that mounts on your vehicle for any use
•High-frequency method produces quality welds for the novice
•110V DC power available for many handtools and lights
•Can weld aluminum, stainless steel, cast steel
•Can be fitted to MIG and TIG units

Cons
•Must mount to vehicle and drive to welding site; not portable off vehicle
•Vehicle engine must be running
•Not the cheapest of the bunch
•Expensive and unique alternator
•Battery is not charged while welding, so you need to stop and recharge the battery every three hours when welding a large repair

Sources

Premier Power Welder
Carbondale, CO 81623
800-541-1817
www.premierpowerwelder.com

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