Miller Welders Power Roush Racing
Race Car Team Achieves Precision Welds Required For Building, Maintaining and Repairing Race Cars
Roush Racing was founded in 1984 and has four facilities in the Charlotte, N.C. area, one in Liberty NC and one in Livonia, Mich. Each year, in addition to completing major repairs on 60 to 70 cars in Charlotte and Liberty, and hanging 20 to 30 truck bodies in Livonia, Roush builds approximately seven new cars for each of its nine race teams. To accomplish these tasks, Roush relies on 30 skilled welders who use both TIG and MIG welding, as well as the plasma cutting process.
Although traditionally known for providing engineering, management and prototype services to the transportation industry, Roush now plays a significant role in providing engineering and manufacturing for electronics, sports equipment and motorsports industries.
Roush's Charlotte facilities, which encompass 25,000 sq. feet, houses seven NASCAR teams (three Winston Cup Series teams and two Busch Series teams), the Liberty facility (50,000 sq. ft.) houses two Winston Cup teams and a 30-car show car fleet, and the Livonia facility houses two Craftsman Truck Series teams. The Winston Cup Series teams include the Valvoline #6 car driven by Mark Martin, the Exide Batteries #99 car driven by Jeff Burton, the John Deere #97 car driven by Chad Little, the Cheerios #26 car driven by Johnny Benson, and the TV Guide Networks #16 car driven by Kevin Lepage. The Busch Series includes the Winn-Dixie #60 car driven by Mark Martin and the Track Gear #9 car driven by Jeff Burton, while the Craftsman Truck Series includes the Grainger #50 truck driven by Greg Biffle and the Exide Batteries #99 truck driven by Mike Bliss.
Miller Power Sources - Part of the Team
To achieve the precision welds required for building, maintaining and repairing race cars, Roush Racing uses only Miller Electric Mfg. Co. products. "Everybody here has come from different aspects of racing and all of them prefer Miller equipment," says Bobby Hudson, shop foreman for the #6 and #99 car.
Pete Gebhardt, the primary in-house aluminum (TIG) fabricator, who uses Miller's Aerowave® agrees, "We use Miller power sources because they are the best. I especially like the Aerowave because of its precise arc control."
The 300 amp inverter/converter Aerowave TIG unit revolutionizes AC welding because the operator can completely control the AC waveform, including independent adjustment of the amperage in each half cycle.
Benefits of the Aerowave include: faster travel speeds, ability to weld thicker metals at a given amperage, potential to eliminate preheating, extremely stable arc, no tungsten spitting and no balling required and the ability to fine-tune the weld bead for exact penetration and cosmetic requirements.
"The feature I like the best, I found by accident one morning," Pete says. "I forgot to turn the gas on, and the machine won't create an arc unless gas is flowing. That is very good because by not allowing an arc to form, it ensures that I get the best weld possible.
"Also, I don't need to use pure tungsten anymore," Pete continues. "I can just use two percent thoriated tungsten to weld anything, so there is a bit of a cost savings. It's the best welding machine I have ever used, and I've been welding for 25 years."
Rich Reichenbach, manager of the fabrication and design shop in Livonia, prefers TIG welding with Miller's Dynasty™ 300 DX.
The Dynasty 300 DX has a 5 to 300 amp output range (250 amps at 40 percent duty cycle) and, similar to the Aerowave, produces code-quality TIG welds. The Dynasty's advanced squarewave technology gives an optimal arc for various joint configurations, regardless of a material's thickness.
"The Dynasty is my favorite machine," Reichenbach says. "The unit is very small and versatile, and it has excellent arc control at low amperages. It keeps the tungsten a lot cleaner, you can weld very thin materials found on radiators and mufflers, and it is very stable."
Reichenbach uses the 90 lb. Dynasty 300 DX to weld all the upper and lower control arms, the suspension components in the steering, spindles and steering arms and aluminum brake drops. He uses 4130 chrome-moly on the control arms and between schedule 80 and schedule 120 when welding tubes.
"Because Miller incorporates quality into every product, we don't have to look to other manufacturers to meet our needs," Hudson says. "Whether it be plasma cutting, MIG or TIG welding, it's all high quality."