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Splitter Oil Cooler

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by sundance, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Guru

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    I'd like to add an oil cooler to my home built splitter. Can I plumb in a transmission oil cooler? Will it handle the pressure on the return line? Will it add enough cooling to be worth the effort?

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    The return line doesn't have much pressure but it has a lot of volume particularly on the return stroke. While a transmission cooler could hold the pressure it would never take the flow. Whatever size the return line is you would want at least that size cooler or probably a bit bigger to slow the flow down.

    That said, if you think about how fast the fluid is moving thru the system (GPM of your pump) and you understand how a cooler works, I think you would need a huge cooler to make much difference. In other words the longer the hot fluid is in the cool pipes the more heat can be exchanged. For example in your car, the radiator capacity is at least as much as the amount of coolant in the engine and there is a huge fan to move a lot of hot air away from the fluid. Obviously a splitter doesn't need that level of cooling but I think you would need 1/4 to 1/3 of your pumps output in volume for the cooler to make a big difference. So for a 20 GPM pump you would want a cooler that holds 5 gallons. That would be the size of a Peterbilt radiator. In those terms I wouldn't think it would be worth the cost or complication. The better idea would be to make the reservoir bigger or add a second tank that is thin and long to both add capacity and give it more surface area to cool.

    Now my numbers may be off a bit and I am talking theory, so if someone has done it and has real world numbers, use their experience.
     
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  3. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    4 is right in that your volume is going to be large. There are a number of ways to have this system work for you. On one occasion I boxed some of the I beam so fluid could flow through it causing heat loss. You could mount a couple of transmission coolers, but they can not be in series. Most likely you would also need a bypass line. My new build is using two heavy wall tubes at six feet each. I am sure there are other means of keeping your unit from burning up. Thanks
     
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  4. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    My tank holds about 40 gallons and it keeps the temperature pretty low.

    Long warm up time in the cold though.

    Larger tanks also keep air bubbles lower with good tank design.

    I'm using a ten gallon hydraulic tank that came on a splitter for a fuel tank.
     
  5. triptester

    triptester Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A hydraulic cooler could be made using the tubing and fins from a baseboard heating unit.
     
  6. klipweld

    klipweld ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had this thought on a big splitter I'm working on, take out one of the Allen head plugs out on return filter housing and run it to a cooler. It wouldn't be the whole return flow being cooled but should help. I have steel cooler was robbed from pop machine, think was condenser ? Has like 1/4 in lines, 115 volt fan, could swap to 12volt fan . I read to check fan draw vs stator output on splitter motor . Charlie
     
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  7. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Guru

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    Well, looks like my"bright" idea is a non-starter. Some good thoughts on why it won't work above. Thanks for the input before I invested money and time!
     
  8. GM_Grimmy

    GM_Grimmy Sawfest attendee

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    You don't need that big of a cooler. I run a 28 gpm pump and an AKG cooler (I think it's a D20 model, but I can't remember, been a while) and that will cool all 30 gallons of the oil I run in less then 5 minutes. I intentionally unplugged the fan to heat the oil (I have built in flaws to add heat into the system) and had the temp to 164 degrees and it was about 80 degrees outside. It took about 10 minutes to cool it back down to under 140 degrees. I'm running AW32 oil, which my cooler was designed to use. Thinner oil heats up faster but it cools faster as well. It's all about the efficiency of the cooler. I have the recharge capacity in my Honda GX630 to run the fan....it's right at 18 amps which is why my recharge is. In winter time, I have a block installed so the wind can't pass through the cooler, so the system will warm up and stay warm, but the fan can still turn on and cool if needed.

    The other thing to note, is you need to make sure your cooler can handle the GPM on the return stroke. I have a 3.75" rod on my 5" cylinder, and I hit around 65 gpm on the return stroke, to where I have installed a dump valve that opens on the return, and all that oil bypasses the cooler and dumps right to the tank.
     

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  9. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    Any material that the oil flows through will dissipate heat. Any oil cooler will work also regardless whether it is large or small. However a small cooler will have to have a bypass system so that not all the oil will be forced to flow through the cooler. I have been incorporating a cooling system to my construction which turns out that it is not too difficult. The more cooling available will insure that you are not running oil at 220 F. Thanks
     
  10. VW Splitter

    VW Splitter ArboristSite Operative

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    I put a oil cooler on my home built splitter a few years ago. I purchased the real deal oil cooler from Bailey, a hydraulic store in Knoxville TN. It will handle the high flow, has a 12v fan on it, and is small, didn't take up a lot of space on the splitter. When I built the splitter I knew nothing about hydraulics. I built a 22gpm splitter with about a 3 gallon reservoir. It worked like a charm but it got hot enough that you couldn't hold your hand on it, but I thought that was normal. It ran that way for 20 years without any problems. Several years ago I doubled the size of the tank, up to 6 gal. Still way to small and running hot. About 5 years ago I put the oil cooler on it and a oil temp gauge. The oil went from can't touch this ? degrees , down to 110 degrees. Still running strong 30 + years on it. If it's running hot put a cooler on it. IMG_0296.JPG
     

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