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How hot should hydraulic fluid get in a splitter?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by PA Dan, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. PA Dan

    PA Dan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    View attachment 300157 View attachment 300155 I'm running a homemade splitter and I think the fluid is getting pretty hot. The splitter was given to me after sitting in the woods for 12 years. I tore it completely apart and rebuilt it. It has a 6.5hp Honda GX 200 and a 4x24 cylinder. I have no idea who made the pump or how many gpm it is. I believe I need a larger reservoir and that might help its only 4.75 gallons. The splitter is doing a great job and has split a ton of wood since I got it together. I fired it up today and split some cherry nd locust. After running for about 45 minutes I stuck a thermometer in the tank and it went up to 195* degrees! Is this normal or am I running hot? Outside temps were in the upper 70's today.
     
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  2. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper ArboristSite Operative

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    sounds normal to me, you're only a little above ambient+100 degrees. My Huskee 23-ton holds 4-gal of fluid, never bothered to measure the temp.

    what makes you think the temp is too high? puking fluid? leaks?

    if everything is working then keep on splittin'
     
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  3. cantoo

    cantoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When I split with my Speeco 28 ton, after 45 minutes or so you don't dare touch the cylinder or metal fittings unless you want a permanent tattoo.
     
  4. captjack

    captjack ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a timber wolf tw-5 and it holds 15 gal. Gets hot as hell when we are running it hard
     
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  5. PA Dan

    PA Dan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I did have a couple leeks only on the NPT connections! All of my JIC fittings are good! I used a Teflon paste product good for 10,000psi and rated to 500*. If I doubled the size of my reservoir would it run much cooler? Anyone recognize my pump and know what brand it is? Let me know.
     
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  6. boda65

    boda65 ArboristSite Guru

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    Ideally, temps should be below 160 degrees. Temps above 180 will damage seals due to heat and can damage the pump due to viscosity breakdown. My speeco 35 ton holds about 6 or 7 gallons. The cylinder gets hot enough it is uncomfortable to hold your hand on it, but not blister your hand hot. Never stuck a thermometer in it. I believe I would go with a bigger reservoir if you are hitting those kind of temps.
    Jim
     
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  7. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My husky 22 ton splitter gets pretty hot in the summer time. It has a 4.50 gallon capacity on the tank. 190 sounds a little high, I don’t think mine gets that hot.
    Other hydraulic machines I’ve used have always gotten pretty hot after extended use, much more so in the summer time of course.
    If you’re handy you could make a cooler, out of a transmission oil cooler on the return side.
     
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  8. apn73

    apn73 ArboristSite Operative

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    I've got a 27 ton Troy-Bilt and it gets pretty hot, can tell you it's not 190 or even 160, but maybe 150 at the most. I may be wrong about this, but it seems like Barnes has the corner of hydraulic log splitter pump and control valve market and my splitter is no exception to that rule. The manual for my slitter specifically calls out an anti-wear straight SAE 10 weight hydraulic fluid, which is AW 32. Most decent auto parts stores (Napa, CarQuest) have it in five gallon pails.
     
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  9. triptester

    triptester Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The pump looks like a Delta brand.

    Optimum hydraulic fluid temperature is usually 120-140 degrees. Max temp of 180 degrees.
     
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  10. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Restricted fittings at your ports are causing excessive friction hence the heat rise. Using Hi-flow fittings at the cylinder and valve will greatly reduce friction. 45 deg. fittings instead of the 90 deg also make a world of difference. There is another thread from a couple days ago same thing. There was an excellent picture posted of various 1/2" fittings showing just how restrictive some of the fittings are. The other area that is a possible culprit is the return line port in relation the the fill level in your tank it must be below the fill level a couple inches to prevent air entrainment in the oil.
    Before I rebuilt my unit it ran so hot, even winter, that you did not want to come in contact with the cylinder as you would get a burn blister.
    Employing the above principals you can now run the unit on a 98 deg day , all day, and still put your bare hand on cylinder with out receiving an injury. In other words the heat rise is within acceptable limits.
    Repositioning the return line port is not usually an option, so I added a smaller tank above the main one. This is now the fill/expansion/breather tank and adds another couple gallons to the system. Keeps the main tank completely full so no air entrainment can occur. Night and day difference. Unit is apx 12 years old on same pump and cylinder splitting a minimum of 10 cords a year. Just running AW32 from the farm store.
     
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  11. deutzman

    deutzman ArboristSite Operative

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    I work at a OSB mill and we program all hydraulic units to shut down at 165F. Once it shuts down then we go in the program and start back up after coolers are blown out and cleaned. If the temp doesn't start to fall in 10 to 15 minutes then we know we have a problem. I've seen one unit that didn't have a temp sensor turn the hydraulic oil to a black goo. Then the parts replacement begins.
     
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  12. Festus

    Festus ArboristSite Operative

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    My 22 ton North Star has an 8 gallon capacity. It gets pretty warm, but you can still hold your hand on it. Although I agree you should make sure all the fittings and hoses are big enough, the 4.75 oil capacity is very likely the culprit.
     
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  13. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob ArboristSite Guru

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    The instructions for my splitter say to use a certain specification hydraulic fluid which is "high heat".

    So yes they do get to be quite hot.
     
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  14. PA Dan

    PA Dan Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I believe the fluid in this splitter is AW-46. Is that and ok fluid or could it also be contributing to the higher temps? I am looking for a larger reservoir now and will look into what 90's I can swap out to 45's. I plan on rebuilding again and raising the beam up whenever I can find the parts. My pump and valve have 1/2" ports and ill go to 3/4" on the new ones. That should also help.
     
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  15. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am only running 1/2" lines all over, just no 90 deg corners. My valve has 3/4" ports so they are stepped down to 1/2". I haven't seen a pump listed with 3/4" ports of the commonly available units. I did find a Ram with 3/4" ports quite expensive. I do not think the add cost of 3/4" line is warranted. AW46 is fine works better in cold temps, thinner viscosity. The 90 deg corners and restrictive fittings are 98% of the heat rise problem.
     
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  16. boda65

    boda65 ArboristSite Guru

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    You made my curious about my splitter's temps. I split for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The cylinder was quite warm, I couldn't hold my hand on it for very long. The reservoir was much cooler, I stuck a thermometer in it and it only showed about 120 degrees. It has the factory 90 degree fittings and I am running Eaton/Valvoline AW46 oil. Now, to clean the thermometer before the wife finds out I had it in hydraulic oil.
    Jim

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    JM Huber?


     
  18. nspolar

    nspolar ArboristSite Lurker

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    Is 195 F Too Hot?

    I work on various industrial equipment including gas turbines, lube oil systems, hydraulic systems, etc.

    We generally use these days an ISO 32 hydraulic oil for the ambient conditions you have, or maybe an ISO 46. Sounds like you are using an ISO 46. The ISO and 32 or 46 designate the viscosity in centistokes at 104 F, i.e. 32 and 46 respectively.

    Given the fluid temperature you have you could use ISO 68 oil. But I don't think you really need to.

    As all of these oils heat up the viscosities of each come closer together, at hotter temperature. At 212 F the difference in viscosity from ISO 32 to ISO 46 to ISO 68 might be something like 5.4 to 6.8 to 8.7 centistokes; but it would depend on actual oil make up. Synthetics and mineral base oils do act a bit different, over wide ranges in temperature.

    But as you can see the viscosity drops a lot as the temperature rises to 212 F, and the differences become less. Much less.

    As a point of fact I do not use 'hydraulic oil' in my splitter, I use Mobil 1 synthetic ATF. I live in AK where it gets cold, as well as warm in summer. Mobil 1 synthetic ATF is a very good all around hydraulic oil, for most applications, and since it is a synthetic it can work well over a very wide range of temperatures.

    Your reservoir is not really too small. One negative it has is that it is a square of sorts, thus the surface area is minimal for the amount of oil it holds. If it was long and narrow, there would be more surface area. The one you have thus does not afford much in the way for natural cooling.

    On most of the equipment I work with we like any oil to be in say the 130 F range, before it enters bearings, pumps, and those sorts of components. If we use shutdowns for the high side, they are often in the 165 F area. We like the oil to flow easily, if it does it actually lubricates better. Thicker is not always better, in fact in my career thicker has been found to lead to failure more than the opposite. When the oil is loaded in films, as it goes through bearings, pumps and such, the peak temperature can get well over 200 F. Maybe even up to 300 F. About the hottest we allow babbit coated bearings to run at the surface is in the 260 F area, because this is where the babbit melt temperature is approached.

    So is 195 F at the reservoir too hot? It is decently warm but I don't think it is going to lead to direct and immediate failure of any components. The items most suspect to degradation would be orings, seals and such. Some are made to take 195 F, but I would not know for sure what the ones you have are made of. Would in general doubt they were chosen to tolerate high temperatures. Assuming not they just won't last as long as they would if operated at cooler temperatures. Not really like a line that one crosses.

    Many standard orings and seals are made of Buna N, it will take 195 F, but that is getting a bit high. Viton on the other hand is more high temperature tolerant.

    If you want to make some improvements a larger reservoir would help, because you would increase the surface area for cooling. A poor mans method, if you only operated in warmer temps now and then, might be to run a garden hose and run water over your reservoir, but be sure you don't get water in your reservoir. Anther option might be to look for a small natural air fin type of cooler, and install on the return side. These are generally of SS tubing, with fins attached, with a single inlet and outlet. They can be oriented and made to get some decent cooling with just natural air convection type air flow.

    One could make one as well, they really don't need to be that large.

    I do not have a cooler on mine, my reservoir is long and narrow, has decent surface area. Most of time when I use mine it is cold out so never had any heating issues.

    There are some charts at this link you might want to look at.

    Hydraulic Fluid Chart Hydraulic Oil Table and Cross Reference

    As a point of reference I figure I can hold my hand on 130 F. At 150 F, no too hot, really to the point of getting a burn. Maybe 140 F but that too would be pretty uncomfortable after a spell.

    nspolar
     
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  19. Oliver1655

    Oliver1655 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    “Hydraulic fluid temperatures above 180F (82C) damage most seal compounds and accelerate degradation of the oil”. (From Brendan Casey - Author of 'Hydraulics Made Easy')

    Does an oil cooler make much of a difference? You Bet!!!
    - I live in central Missouri & do a lot of splitting in the upper 90-105F temperatures. Using a $25 Harbor Freight infrared thermometer did several temperature checks on all the components in the hydraulic circuit.
    - Splitting in the shade average temperature was 175F (outside temperature was 98F).
    - I added an oil cooler, 20x20", & the temperature dropped to around 130F.
    - Added a box fan between the oil cooler and the hydraulic cylinder. (Pulls air across the cylinder & blows it through the oil cooler.) Temperature dropped to the low 120s F.
    - The fan is powered with a 200 watt inverter connected to the battery for the electric start of the engine. Fan is a $2 yard sale special.

    I have 3/4" lines between the valves (x4), the return lines / oil cooler inlet-outlets / filter / tank inlet & use ISO 46 hydraulic fluid. The pump is a Haldex/Barnes 16 gpm 2 stage.

    For a breather on my tank, I have 1-1/4" pipe coming up, over, then pointed downward. I stuffed bronze wool in the down pipe for a filter & to keep little critters out.

    John
     
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  20. hammerhead 5410

    hammerhead 5410 ArboristSite Member

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    Did you notice that a turkey photo bombed your pic showing the ram? Upper right! lol
     

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