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Log Splitter Inconsistent pressure issue

joshy

joshy

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
3
Age
32
Location
Vancouver
Hi All

I am looking for some help on a log splitter issue I have. I tried searching, but could not find someone who described a similar issue of inconsistent performance.

I have a 18 ton log splitter (4" bore @ 3000psi) with a 2 stage hydraulic pump driven by a 3-hp 1800rpm electric motor. Everything is basically brand new (less than 2 hours on it). I installed a pressure gauge on the outlet side of the pump and brand new oil. The splitter serves double duty as a press as well by replacing the wedge.

My issue is when I first start splitting, I can dead head and build 3000psi. But after using it for a while (maybe 15 minutes) I notice it getting weaker and I will check it and it will only be able to build like 2000psi and it seems like it maybe taking a bit longer to build the pressure. Nothing seems like it is getting very hot. If it is 40F out, pump and reservoir and control valve maybe feel like 60F?

If I let the splitter sit for about an hour, it will return to the 3000psi pressure.

I suspect aeration, but my reservoir is full and the only thing that seems to be leaking is a very slight weep from the cylinder seal.
 
joshy

joshy

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
3
Age
32
Location
Vancouver
Does your reservoir have a vent? 60 degrees fluid temp is well below the optimum operating temperature for hydraulics which is 120 - 140 degrees.
Yes, it has a vented cap. If I over-fill the reservoir, the fluid burps out the cap during use. Is there a risk with not enough air space in the reservoir? What is the risk of the fluid not getting up to temp?

I have to go on a work trip for the next week, but I will take some pictures of the setup and I will run it for a while (an hour or so) with a thermometer in the reservoir to measure the actual temp fluid temp when I return.
 
NSMaple1

NSMaple1

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Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
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Nova Scotia
You could be right on the aeration. Tank inlets & outlets & their locations might play a part - without seeing it.

Could also be a chance there is a spot on the suction side where it's pulling a little air in - clamps/fittings all tight?
 
Woodchuck71

Woodchuck71

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
203
Location
Missouri
What hydraulic fluid are you using?Name brand or cr8p?
Had a similar problem with my dump truck.
Hoist needed rebuilding,took it in,they rebuild the seals and wipers on it.
Got it back ,after hauling a couple loads (live a mile or so from a rock quarry),wouldn't lift a full load unless i idled it up HIGH.
Anyway,called the guy,he had no idea except to flush system, change filter.
They used a generic hydraulic oil,it started foaming after a while.
Changed fluid,works like always now
 
joshy

joshy

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
3
Age
32
Location
Vancouver
You could be right on the aeration. Tank inlets & outlets & their locations might play a part - without seeing it.

Could also be a chance there is a spot on the suction side where it's pulling a little air in - clamps/fittings all tight?

Clamp and fitting are all tight, just checked. I did notice the supply line to my pump had a slight high spot, maybe air got trapped in there and then got into the oil?

What hydraulic fluid are you using?Name brand or cr8p?
Had a similar problem with my dump truck.
Hoist needed rebuilding,took it in,they rebuild the seals and wipers on it.
Got it back ,after hauling a couple loads (live a mile or so from a rock quarry),wouldn't lift a full load unless i idled it up HIGH.
Anyway,called the guy,he had no idea except to flush system, change filter.
They used a generic hydraulic oil,it started foaming after a while.
Changed fluid,works like always now
The more I think about it, the more I think this very much could be the problem.
I used the hydraulic oil they sell at costco. See attached for label. That along with being a slightly higher weight (AW46 vs AW32) in cold temps ( I assume higher viscosity oil entrains air better?)

Do you recommend a brand (Valvoline, Chevron, Mobil)?


20190313_184531.jpg 20190313_184607.jpg 20190313_184845.jpg 20190313_185058.jpg
 
ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
9,863
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Location
AK
How much does that pump flow? How many gallons is the tank?

I've never seen hydraulic oil at the Costco, though it's been several years since I've been there. I quickly realized that I didn't need 6 bottles of ketchup, a 150 pack of toilet paper, 5lb cans of tuna, etc!

We get oil at Napa, under the account it's about $140 for 3 pails. They have some "deal" where the price is better for 3 pails. The next price break is I think 20 or 25 pails, and yes, have had to buy that much oil more than once.
 
Woodchuck71

Woodchuck71

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Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
203
Location
Missouri
I use champion 32 in all my hydraulic applications.
Quick search on google should tell you about cavitation issues with higher viscosity oils?
 
rancher2

rancher2

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
820
Location
malcoln NE
Hi All

I am looking for some help on a log splitter issue I have. I tried searching, but could not find someone who described a similar issue of inconsistent performance.

I have a 18 ton log splitter (4" bore @ 3000psi) with a 2 stage hydraulic pump driven by a 3-hp 1800rpm electric motor. Everything is basically brand new (less than 2 hours on it). I installed a pressure gauge on the outlet side of the pump and brand new oil. The splitter serves double duty as a press as well by replacing the wedge.

My issue is when I first start splitting, I can dead head and build 3000psi. But after using it for a while (maybe 15 minutes) I notice it getting weaker and I will check it and it will only be able to build like 2000psi and it seems like it maybe taking a bit longer to build the pressure. Nothing seems like it is getting very hot. If it is 40F out, pump and reservoir and control valve maybe feel like 60F?

If I let the splitter sit for about an hour, it will return to the 3000psi pressure.

I suspect aeration, but my reservoir is full and the only thing that seems to be leaking is a very slight weep from the cylinder seal.
Have you used this set up in the past or is this a new build? Is your motor a 1800RPM motor or is it a 3600 RPM motor? Those two stage pumps are made for 3600 motors if you are running half speed that could cause a lot of issues.
 
Broken

Broken

The Great White North...Eh !
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
714
Age
69
Location
Canada
Pressure relief valve dumping back to tank ? Cavitation will damage a cane pump quickly , however you would have elevated oil temps and foam with cavitation . Secondly , direction valve seals could cause blow by but against normally with hot oil temps !
 
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