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Log Splitter Pauses before Splitting??

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Joseph Hillenmeyer, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Joseph Hillenmeyer

    Joseph Hillenmeyer New Member

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    Hello,

    New to the site so I hope this is the right place for this question. And I apologize for the length. I've been heating with wood for a while but am somewhat new to owning a wood splitter.. I've rented before when I had a large quantity and finally bought a used MTD 21-ton splitter this summer. I don't recall the ones I've rented operating this way so I think something is wrong...

    Let me add quickly I'm not a fan of MTD; the price was just right. $245 and it retails for 800 to 1000. The seller claimed it was lightly used and it appeared so. Started on the first pull and split a log (all be it a small one) so I went ahead and purchased.

    I'm not splitting anything the machine can't handle.. but with all but the smaller pieces that are to be halved (quartered at best) the ram pauses when it makes contact with the wood. The engine doesn't bog down.... The ram just stops, sits there for 5 or 10 seconds and then proceeds to split the wood - almost like it had to build pressure. It doesn't struggle much after the pause though. So, does it work? Yes? But I don't' believe this is normal and it's certainly slow.

    The other issue is that the control arm does not automatically return to the neutral position as it should. I have to manually hit it or it will just keep running.

    What I've done so far

    - Removed all hoses and filter: There are no clogs and the fluid looked very fresh. It was slightly over the fill mark. And it has not leaked any fluid at any connections and the level hasn't gone down.

    - Disassembled relief valve: Everything looked good in there... no rust, dirt or grooves. There was a ball bearing missing on the back end which is probably why the control arm did not return. Makes me think the guy tried to service it and screwed up.. I was clearly not the first one to turn the screws on the relief valve (or detent whatever you all call it). They were slightly marred with some paint missing. I will replace the bearing and see if that helps the arm function.


    What I assume I might need to do
    - Replace the relief valve? There is no way to adjust the pressure on it as I've read is possible with some models. Or if there is - I can't find it. No visible adjusting nuts.

    - Add a gauge? I assume that would quickly tell me if it's low on pressure. Where would I put the pressure gauge? Between the detent and cylinder? Not sure how to plumb it into the hard line there.

    - Service the cylinder? Could the cylinder be leaking inside? I've repacked hydraulic arms and honed hydro cylinders on my tractors so I'm ok with doing this except... how in the heck to you removed the ram?? I see no holes to insert a spanner wrench. Looks like maybe there is some sort of retaining ring, but i can't tell for sure. I would hope to god it's not welded...

    -New pump? What can I do to confirm the pump works?

    I can add a video later if it would help...

    Thanks for any help
     
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  2. Wyrdman

    Wyrdman guy

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    Is it possible you just have a big air bubble in the cylinder you have to bleed out? Does the ram ever jump forward when a log splits clean in the first couple inches?
     
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  3. Joseph Hillenmeyer

    Joseph Hillenmeyer New Member

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    Wyrdman. I will try that. I thought given the high pressures most hydraulic systems were essentially self-bleeding... I guess if the bubble is in the cylinder and not the line that could be a different story. I assume I just extend the ram and then collapse it with the cap off of the fluid reservoir?
     
  4. Wyrdman

    Wyrdman guy

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    Something I thought of looking at the pictures of the mtd splitters. I assume cylinders are self bleeding when they have the ports at the top but the MTDs I looked up have the cylinder ports rotated to the side.

    Then again I don't see how it could have enough air to stall that long.
     
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  5. neely

    neely Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Make sure filter is clean and correct oil level in tank,
     
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