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How bad is it to force a wood splitter

Forestviller

Forestviller

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My old 20t Iron and Oak splitter stops completely when it hits an especially tough oak round. If I keep the lever pulled it'll sit for 5 seconds before slowly penetrating and getting the job done. It otherwise functions normal, so it's not a bad pump etc. How bad is it to "force" the hydraulics for 5 seconds with no movement of the ram?
 
Skeans

Skeans

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My old 20t Iron and Oak splitter stops completely when it hits an especially tough oak round. If I keep the lever pulled it'll sit for 5 seconds before slowly penetrating and getting the job done. It otherwise functions normal, so it's not a bad pump etc. How bad is it to "force" the hydraulics for 5 seconds with no movement of the ram?
Hydraulic systems will have a relief and normally a compensator valve, well holding the lever the pressure builds till it hits relief pressure then returns to tank. Only harm that should happen is heat is generated in the system.


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Forestviller

Forestviller

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Very much appreciated, I can finish a job tomorrow. I take a break every 1/3 cord to drive and stack, a full load in my Tacoma, so the splitter oil gets some cooling time. Thanks again.
Another question though. This splitter is about 25 years old and has seen basic maintenance. If something were to fail, could any guess be made where? ie the ram seals or the pump? It's used 6 months of the year WAY off the grid and we'd like to service the ram or replace the pump if needed.
 
Skeans

Skeans

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@Forestviller
Have any pressures been checked or adjusted over the years of service? With what you’re describing I wouldn’t be surprised if the ram piston seals aren’t too far from being needing to be replaced.


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milkie62

milkie62

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It is always good to have a guage to see what pressure you have. Mine is set at about 2900. It will come up to full pressure on a crotchy piece of elm or oak but after a couple of seconds you will see pressure to start going down and the ram creeping fwd. My splitter does 12-20 cord a year for the past 30 yrs. The detent on the valve wore out so I replaced it. Valve still worked but had to hold it on the retract. Been running flawless for 30 yrs and never broke down. I think I did good for my 1st build.
 
VirginiaIron

VirginiaIron

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Barring a malfunction, if all components are factory/factory set I would say keep the pressure on.

A gage would be nice to have. You could watch your pressure build, if applicable, as the unit is stalled.

Maybe the pump is not switching from high to low guickly enough.

If this issue was not a problem previously, maybe something in the piston, pump, or spool is getting worn.
 
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