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Log Splitter Inconsistent pressure issue

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by joshy, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. joshy

    joshy New Member

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    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.
     
  2. triptester

    triptester Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Does your reservoir have a vent? 60 degrees fluid temp is well below the optimum operating temperature for hydraulics which is 120 - 140 degrees.
     
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  3. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Pic of splitter?
     
  4. joshy

    joshy New Member

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    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.
     
  5. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    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?
     
    kevin j and triptester like this.
  6. Woodchuck71

    Woodchuck71 ArboristSite Member

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    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
     
  7. joshy

    joshy New Member

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    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?

    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
     
  8. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    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.
     
  9. Woodchuck71

    Woodchuck71 ArboristSite Member

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    I use champion 32 in all my hydraulic applications.
    Quick search on google should tell you about cavitation issues with higher viscosity oils?
     
  10. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use ordinary ATF in my splitter. Manufacturer recommended. I think also recommended by other manufacturers also.
     
  11. rancher2

    rancher2 ArboristSite Guru

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    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.
     

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