Author Topic: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp  (Read 2511 times)

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Offline travisj

  • Posts: 365
Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« on: November 24, 2018, 12:43 AM »
I bought a SawStop PCS1.75 5 years ago and contemplated the 3hp model, but I did not have easy access to 240v in our old garage.  We have since moved and I now have a dedicated shop space (15’x15) off of the garage with it’s own distribution panel.  A couple of weeks ago I had some 8/4 hard maple that I needed to rip.  The saw was struggling.  1. I was using the wrong blade for the job and 2 the board was releasing a lot of tension.  After the breaker blew the first time, I realized it was the wrong blade, after putting in the proper ripping blade, it was better, but it was still struggling (blew the breaker at least once and the internal breaker a couple of times).  This lead me to finalize the decision to upgrade.

When I bought the PCS back in 2013, I did ask prior to purchase if the motor was upgradeable and at the time I was told it was.  Five years later I wasn’t sure if it was still an option or if I would have to decide to live with it or replace the whole saw.  I called SawStop tech support while I was at work and the tech was able to look up my saw from when it was registered, confirmed I could upgrade, and listed the parts I would need to order.

This is what I ordered: a new motor, the gas strut for the larger motor, and the new electrical contactor box (included a 9’ power cable with standard 208-240 20amp plug).  The only actual directions were for replacing the contactor, which tech support emailed me.  The motor and strut are pretty straight forward.  Remove old and replace with new.  Since I have a tendency of not doing myself any favors, this was no exception.  I have a cast iron router table mounted on the left wing of the saw and a permanent cabinet for an outfeed table.  I am not a small man, but this is the space I had to work.

Getting the old motor out was not too bad.  It is held in with two 3/4” bolts and isn’t horrible to try to balance and lift out when on your hands and knees.  Once the motor was out the gas struts were a piece of cake.  Installing the larger motor is not so much fun.  The new motor weighs twice as much.  Trying to lean forward and balance on my knees while hoisting a 50 pound motor into position and then trying to insert a bolt proved impossible.  After crushing my hand and slamming my head into the underside of the cast iron, I chose to not pick up my phone to take pictures as I was sure I would choose to throw it across the shop instead.  After a fifteen minute full blown melt down (I didn’t create any new curse words, but may have used artistic license to create some new combinations) I went back to brainstorming an option.  I came up with creating a mini hydraulic table with a 3-ton floor jack.

I started by finding a narrow enough and long enough scrap of 3/4 ply.  I originally strapped the motor and the ply to the pivoting head of the jack.  Once I slid it all into position, I added a strap across the back of the plywood to the lower frame of the jack.  This created a situation where the weight of the motor cantilevered off of the elevated portion of the jack with the stress on the back of the plywood through the strap to the frame of the jack.  I removed the strap holding the motor and was easily able to slide the motor into place, insert the top bolt, get the jack out of the way, hook up the belt, and finish the bolts on the motor.

The wiring instructions for the contactor box and switch are very clear and the whole wiring conversion took all of 15 minutes.  All told, it took me two hours to convert over the saw.  In my case it took me 15 minutes to run a new 240v circuit and the process was complete.  I was somewhat nervous when I originally turned the saw on again and it went through it’s initialization.  It threw an error code, but it was because there was not a blade on the saw.  I slapped a blade in and powered it up.  Everything operated fine.

Thank you for indulging me in a very long-winded way of saying it is possible to convert a 1.75 PCS into a 3hp PCS.

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Offline morogue

  • Posts: 49
Re: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 04:54 PM »
Sounds like most of my projects!
I’m still okay with 1.75 horsies, but have my eye on the bigger motor when I get my service upgraded.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1329
Re: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 02:03 PM »
Wow, sounds like a bit of work there. That is exactly why I went with the 3HP right off the bat! IIRC its around $430 more for the 3HP when you buy it pre-installed, so it costing you $200 over that wasnt too far more. Thats nice.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Robert23

  • Posts: 7
  • Love what you do. Do what you love, and do it well
Re: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 01:28 AM »
Two and half years later your experience may have now convinced me to go forward with the 3HP and bear the costs as I build my order for a PCS via Woodcraft.  With those pictures, it looked like a bear putting that new 3HP in!  I'm already at $3250 with the tax so I'm now thinking hard about avoiding your experience of a post-buy upgrade.  Thanks for sharing.  Attached below is Sawstop's response to my question.  He accentuates your experiences (and possibly others in the forum).  For those contemplating the additional $430 for an 3HP PCS from the start, SawStop sales emphasized "costly" and "labor intensive".  I think he's spot on, given your personal perspective and struggles.  I'm now going to see what I can muster with with my 230V dilemma in my garage.  I think I just figured out I have an unused 240 from an unused oven connection on the other side of the wall where the saw will go in the garage.  Maybe this is possible (and worth it) after all! Best -Robert

Thank you very much for your interest in SawStop! In response to your email, I would recommend you get our Professional Cabinet Saw for your projects. Anytime someone starts to discuss table flatness they should look at our cast iron series saws, like our Professional. The Jobsite saw’s table is made of powder-coated aluminum and was engineered as a lightweight, portable saw for construction workers to use at different job locations to complete their jobs. They are less concerned about table flatness, miter gauges, etc.
The Professional saw, however, his known for it’s precision of cut, overall dust collection and for being the best engineered saw on the market today. You can also get the Professional saw in 30”, 36” and 52” rip capacities, which make this saw the most versatile of the two.
With regard to your question about getting the 1.75hp motor, the easiest and most economical purchase if you think you will want 3HP at some point in the future, and you have 230volt power available, is to purchase the Professional 3HP, 230volt Cabinet Saw now. The Professional 1.75HP, 110volt motor can be changed out to the 3HP, 230volt motor, but it is costly, hundreds of dollars, and it is labor intensive.
Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you have a great week.
Inside Sales Representative
SawStop, LLC

Tualatin, Oregon
Direct         (503) 595-2665
Protect yourself today. Choose SawStop.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 01:30 AM by Robert23 »
TS 55, CT26 E, XL DF700 Domino Joiner, INCRA TS/LS System, Bosch MR23ERS, DW735 Planer

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 365
Re: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 08:40 AM »
I’m glad it helped somebody.  You will love the saw.  I can’t recall an issue after I made the conversion.  It would have been nice to have gone with the 3 from the start, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2400
Re: Converting a PCS from 1.75hp to 3 hp
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 09:06 AM »
I pondered about converting my PCS (1.75 HP, 110V) to 220V as well a few years back after I tripped the breaker a number of times.

Eventually, I solved the problem with two fixes: a) Plug the saw to a 20 amp outlet, and use a WWII rip blade for all thick stock. No trips have ever occurred since.

If I had to start again, I'd go with the 3HP 220V config.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 09:10 AM by ChuckM »