When I was shopping for mine last summer, I asked the same question and got this answer:
You only need a 110V machine for anything you'll encounter on your Mustang, but if you think you'll ever want to do thicker stuff get the 240V. You can throttle a big machine back for the smaller stuff, but you can't crank up beyond the smaller machine's capacity.
I bought the Lincoln Electric Weld Pak 155, the 240V machine, for somewhere between $400-500 at Home Depot (can't remember exact amount; it was about $100 more than the comparable 110V unit). Came with wire feed, but no gas regulator; that cost an additional $125.
Bottle itself cost another $100, and I had to spend something like $50 for a 50amp circuit breaker plus the wire I needed to get a 240V outlet into the garage.
I bought a Lincoln Mig-Pak 100 for almost the same use. It is 120VAC and works great for anything from sheet metal to about 1/4". One thing I would highly sugest would be to buy the gas pack and bottle with it. The flux core wire is OK for lawn furniture and such, but messy for anything that you wnt to do on a car.
I think I spent about $450 for everything.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by whisperer on 03/05/01 07:18 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
I bought a Century GS155 which runs off a 20A 115V circuit. This unit has infinite heat and speed adjustments so that you can really dial in your adjustments. Many of the lower end units only have 4 heat adjustments. I have only had it a few months, but really like it. I got it from a guy that sells on E-Bay. It is a factory reconditioned unit that I got for $369 which included shipping and the gas regulator. The only down side is a 6' cord on the gun. I know some Miller units have 10' cords, but the $ difference is substantial.
'66 Coupe 289, C-4, many modifications, 14.46 @ 101.4 best G-Tech time to date
Borrow one from a friend! The price can't be beat. You may even be able to buy him some cool-pops and get him to assist you (always do this after you're done for the day)! Refilling the wleding gas tank/new supplies is also a custom for borrowing these. This way, you've got a welder, and someone else stores it for you! I have 2 friends, one had a MIG welder, the other has Acetylene/Oxygen setup. *G*
Steve Leslie, 65 coupe in restoration. 302, toploader, A/C, disc brakes, bench seat
I haven't bought mine yet but I agree with a65ragtop. I'd get the lincoln 220V unit. The larger unit will give you greater flexibility. We've used lincoln's exlusively at work for years (although we don't mig weld). They make great stuff. The only POSSIBLE other unit I would investigate would be a TIG welder in the same basic size. That would probably double the price, but they are more flexible.
Personnally, I'm going to stick to oxy accetylene for a while. Not the best thing for welding in floor pans though.
i have the lincoln sp-130t and i love it. it is the predecessor to the weld-paks, just a little bit better. get the 220 version, since you have one, there will be times that you need to weld sum big stuff. but don't even think about skimping out on the mig conversion if the one you get doesn't have it built in. i think theres a mig-pack and a weld-pack for the licoln. the gas makes almost anybody a decent welder
65 convert 289 2v 4 spd
93 LX with a built 5.0
71 VW superbeetle with air!