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New splitter or engine replacement

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by memory, Jun 9, 2019 at 6:46 PM.

  1. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    We have a vertical/horizontal MTD yard machines 20 ton log splitter and the engine just died it seems. Not sure of exact age but 15-20 years old. Was running it, lost power, started smoking and now it's locked up.

    Trying to decide if better to but a replacement engine, heard good things about the harbor freight predator engines or buy a new one. We have a Tractor Supply just down the road from us that sells county line splitters, 25 ton around $900. Nothing else has ever been replaced on current splitter.

    I am not sure how much wood we actually go through but we just burn wood to heat the house and water all year round, not really selling any at the moment.

    It would be nice to have all the options like a log lift but really can't justify the price of those.

    One thing I am curious about is the quality of new splitters vs old ones. I know the quality of many things have gone down hill and would imagine it has affected splitters too. How well will a new one hold up?

    About the tonnage ratings, how does the tonnage rating on a new one compare to an old one. Will a new 20 ton handle the same stuff as a 20 year old 20 ton machine?
     
  2. speeco

    speeco ArboristSite Member

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    The harbor freight motor is great for the $. I have 2 of them , one is 10 years old ,with a ton of hours on it. Still runs good .
     
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  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have 3 of the predators from HF. all the 212cc 6.5 HP (ya right) models. One is on my log splitter and it works as well as the old 8HP one did and starts 2 pull minum every time. One is on my Chipper shredder, can set a year and still start on the second pull every spring.

    The third is on my MTD snow blower. What a power house that thing is. I don't care how cold it is out it will start on a single pull every time even after setting all summer with a tank full of gas even.
    It is the hemi verison same with the chipper shredder one.

    [​IMG]

    Go carters have made minor mods and gotten 10 hp out of them and some more major mods to get 25HP out of them.

    Me I would print a coupon and get a 99.00 HF engine in a new yor minute and use the other $800 to buy a new saw.

    :D Al
     
  4. Antarctica

    Antarctica ArboristSite Member

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    I've got a 13HP HF Predator on one of my gravely walk behinds, and its an absolute beast. I'd definitely slap one on the splitter if for nothing else than to sell. Without doing that, you've got nothing more than a trip to the dump on your hands.

    What HP is on it now?
     
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  5. rancher2

    rancher2 ArboristSite Guru

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    If it was me I would just replace the motor with a Predator. I have several around the farm and have had zero issues with them. Save you money and up grade your splitter some day and you can always sell the old MTD splitter for way more than the new engine cost.
     
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  6. Antarctica

    Antarctica ArboristSite Member

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    I'll add one piece of advice if you get a predator - go get it from a store and pull it out of the box to inspect it and turn it over slowly.

    The first 13 HP I got was shipped and something was damaged during shipment. I took it to a store to exchange it. The one I first exchanged was also damaged but luckily I checked it out while I was there. The third was fine and has been ever since.

    I hope I haven't jinxed myself here....
     
  7. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    Think I will go with the HF engine, hear lots of good things about it.

    About my current splitter, on the wedge, it has 2 places 2 adjust it. How tight should this be?

    On the hydraulic oil, it says use either aw10 oil or dextron II. Changed it with dextron last time. Can regular hyrdaulic oil be used? What would be better for it? Where would one get aw10 for it? Haven't seen it at places like Tractor Supply.
     

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  8. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    Bought the HF predator engine and a couple of issues. First is the mounting holes don't line up but can easily drill new holes in the splitter frame. Even thought about adding an extra plate to make it sit up higher. It's a little tight and if it was higher, would get it further away from the wheel. Second is the pull rope is facing the beam side instead of the left side where it should be. Funny thing is all pics I have seen show it on left side. Will see how that goes once I get it mounted.
     
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  9. Antarctica

    Antarctica ArboristSite Member

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    I'd have to see pics to understand why you can't just rotate the engine to position the pull rope to the other side.. I presume its a vertical shaft motor with the pump underneath?
     
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  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You remove the recoil on the predator and rotate it to the bottom so the rope faces away from the frame. That easy.

    :D Al
     
  11. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    Yes I realized that after I got looking at it, that is what I did. But now the sticker is upside down, oh no what will I ever do, jk lol

    Antarctica, it is a vertical shaft engine so the engine can't be rotated. But the recoil rope problem is solved.

    There is one concern I have and that is with the pump shield. I will post some pics later. The engine shaft is quite a bit longer than the old one. And that is causing the coupling shiel, to not sit flush against the pump support bracket.

    I got it all mounted and up and running, sounds good. But what is the right way to break these things in? I read the manual but a little confused. First it says for 5 minutes, do not put it under a heavy load. But then right after that it says don't put under load for 3 hours of use. Does that mean that thing has to run for 3 hours without being able to split anything? And is there a way to add a hour meter to this engine?
     
  12. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I replaced my old husky 26 ton splitter with a countyline 40 ton I got from TS and paid 2K for it. I love my new splitter. I like everything about it, it's faster with 9.5 sec cycle times and heavy duty everything. Has the Koler motor that starts the first pull every time. I particularly like the 10'' taller wedge so it splits big rounds clean without having to flip the round over to cut the stringy stuff. Well worth the money.
     
  13. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    Here are a couple of pics. One is showing how close it is to the tire. Concerned about heat being a problem. Thought about raising it up by putting washers underneath it but not sure how much that would help.
     

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  14. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Is that not a horizonal shaft engine instead of a verticle, or are the pictures turned sideways. Anyways, to solve the long shaft problem, just saw it off to the lenght you need. I have done this to several engines where the shaft lenght was to long. I dont like you washer spacers. It just seems to me the washers would allow room for misalgnment and just eat your shaft coupling up.
     
  15. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Paint over the sticker or peel it of fif it bothers you. I see you got the Hemi verison.
    If the tire doesn't wobble around I wouldn't worry about that clearance.
    Yes you could fire the engine up take a hack saw to the shaft while it does the work. Not sure how hard the steel is and you may have to retap the shaft if a set bolt is required.

    Here is a picture of the treated wood spacer I made for my chipper shredder that works.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I ran My predators about a half hour at mid throttle doing no work. Drained the oil and put new in and they went to full throddle and work.
    Don't know if you got the extended warranty or not? I did and the girls told me if I wanted to replace a two year old engine drain the gas and oil out bring it in say it wouldn't idle or some thing and get a new engine no questions asked.

    So my self I didn't worry much about break in once I had changed the oil.
    Of course my engines are ran different. Snow blower only in the winter in the spring I dump in 4 onces of Marvel Mystery oil in a full tank of fuel run it a bit and shut it off for the summer. Chipper Shredder I run for about 2 weeks in the spring repete the MM oil in a full tank of full and store it that way till I need or want to use it again.
    The wood splitter is the same but can set for a two years when I have enough uglys piled uop I think I need to fire it up.

    I need to buy another Predator for a Troy built Horse tiller I have now.


    :D Al
     
  16. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    It is horizontal shaft, took the pic looking straight down on it. I am kind of worried about misalignment as well. Will probably make the shaft shorter.

    Don't care about the sticker lol. What do you mean by the hemi version? You don't think heat would be an issue with the tire?

    There are so many ways to break in an engine, everyone has a different opinion how to do it. Going by the manual, it's a little confusing to me. I did not buy extended warranty, maybe I should have, have 15 days if I decide I want it, 50 bucks for 2 years. It does have a 2 factory warranty on some parts.
     
  17. Antarctica

    Antarctica ArboristSite Member

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    There are a number of pump mounts here:

    https://www.surpluscenter.com/Hydraulics/Hydraulic-Pump-Mounts/Gas-Engine-to-Pump-Adapters/

    Northern tool also sells some.

    I'd run it for a good bit and feel the tire. My guess is its fine since the exhaust isn't pointing at it.

    Break in - as you said, there are a million schools of thought - most of them dreamed up. Run it for a while, change the oil. You can bet that nearly any commercial outfit does little to no break in on any equipment.
     
  18. memory

    memory ArboristSite Guru

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    About the coupler, it is a Lovejoy coupler. Is there supposed to be a rubber piece somewhere? There was not on mine. Looked at some on ebay and they had a rubber star shaped piece.
     
  19. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A standard lovejoy coupler will have the rubber star insert. The rubber keeps the two metal halves from running against each other. The coupler wont last long without the insert.
     
  20. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The Preadtor has two versions. The one you have is the Hemi head Version, at one time I knew the numbers for both when ordering and which was which.

    They are easy to tell each by the valve cover, the stamped medal cover one is the standard version. the one with the cast Alum valve cover like yours in the Hemi version.
    Your tire should be fine, the exhust is above and goes straight out.

    I will have to check my recite but I don't believe the extended warranty cost me $50.00. It has been over 2 years now any way.

    I did have a problem with the one on my snow blower. after a bit it acted like it was running out of gas and quit. remove the cap and see it still had gas and it would start right back up.
    Guess the thing wasn't venting thru the hose that goes to the air cleaner properly.
    Cart guys said cut that hose add a T in there so it vents inside the air cleaner box. I did and not more problems.

    :D Al
     

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