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Log Splitter lost power

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Brad Burnette, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    My splitter seems to have lost power. I checked my oil and added quite a bit. I had a leak. I'm running a 4x24 x 1.75 rod cylinder, a 11gpm pump and a 6.5hp Predator motor. Any info on some trouble shooting and ways to increase the power would be appreciated.
     
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  2. milkman

    milkman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a similar spec 22 ton and was having trouble with the splitter refusing to switch to high pressure in the split after using for 20 minutes or so. I changed the oil and filter, same problem, valve and pump, no change. Had the cylinder rebuilt an now works like new. You may have different problems than I did so more particulars about your problem may help someone diagnose your splitter
     
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  3. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    You have to define loss of power better.
    Is the engine stalling when under load?
    Is the ram moving at it's normal pace?
    Does the wood meet the wedge and just not split?
    You mentioned adding oil:
    Was it engine oil or hydraulic fluid?
    Did you find the leak and fix it?
    Does the ram move jerky?
    There are too many unknown factors to suggest what the problem might be.
     
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  4. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    The engine is not stalling under load. On rounds 12" or smaller it doesn't have much of a problem as long as it's not a croch or notty wood. On bigger rounds I can sometimes move it around and find a soft spot but most of them it just starts to push the wedge into the round and then hesitates. The hoses jerk around a little and then I'll let off. I'm going to put a pressure gauge on it and see what I get and then go from there.
     
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  5. milkman

    milkman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sounds like the same symptoms mine had after 20 minutes or so of use, wedge hit the wood and motor slow down but wouldn't push through. Internal seals in the cylinder was leaking and the pressure would eventually be the same on both sides of the cylinder piston. Reseal the cylinder and piston seal fixed it, $93 at a hydraulic shop
     
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  6. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    Where would be my best spot to install a pressure gauge?
     
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  7. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    Put a gauge between the pump and valve to check the pump output.
    Put a gauge between the valve and the cylinder to check the valve.
    You need two gauges to check the cylinder; one on each port.
    Milkman has mentioned a likely culprit above. It could also be the relief on the valve.
    You didn't mention what the leak was or how you fixed it. Air in the system can cause poor performance. It normally will sort itself out in a few unloaded cycles but sometimes with certain fluids it can be more troublesome.
     
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  8. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    In all honesty, it sounds like there's just air in the system. Run the ram all the way out and back in several times (think 10-20) without splitting and check the oil. If there's air in the system it will be foamy. Let the oil rest for a few hours and check/add as needed then do it again. If the oil is much less foamy you're getting the air out and things should be improving. If it's still really foamy you may have a leak on the suction side of the system allowing the air to be sucked into the system through the pump supply hose. Replace/repair as needed.
     
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  9. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    The leak was in my return line before the filter. I had a loose fitting. Just re-taped and tightened and all was good. I did have a line burst... the braided line on the return side of the cylinder. I have since replaced both lines on the cylinder with 1/2in hoses. and I noticed when I had the line burst is when it started loosing power.. I checked with Norther Tool and I can buy a seal kit for that cylinder for $39.00 but it is still under warranty so if my pump and valve check out ok I'm probably gonna take the cylinder back and get another. It did have a lot more power at one point.
    new cylinder.jpg
     
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  10. babybart

    babybart ArboristSite Guru

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    I bought one of those cylinders from Northern, seals kept going bad.
     
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  11. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    Try what Jakers suggested first. It is free and a likely culprit. If there is no air in the system then the cylinder is suspect.
     
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  12. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    After he said he blew a line on the cylinder I'm leaning more towards the seals being shot on the piston inside. Keep us up to date, inquiring minds love follow through
     
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  13. milkman

    milkman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yep, he mentioned the hydraulic lines jumping or jerking and then blew a line, I'd bet a dollar that his problem is the cylinder.
     
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  14. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    What would cause the lines to jump and jerk?
     
  15. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    A blown seal on the piston leaking fluid causing the pressure to spike higher than relief pressure
     
  16. Brad Burnette

    Brad Burnette Muzzy17is

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    Messed with the splitter some today. After taking off a couple lines to add the pressure gauge I think. It blead itself some cause it’s got a lot more power now...busted through some notty stuff reading 2200psi.
     
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