2006 Vermeer BC 1000 XL Auto feed

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GCSup

GCSup

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I bought this chipper used in 2010 and it ran like a top for the first 8 years mostly in the winters doing tree work throughout a golf course. Outside of when I tested the chipper out before purchasing it has never really been used to chip anything over 6 inches in diameter. In the past 2 or 3 years we have had issues with the auto feed not working consistently. More or less it has been an intermittent thing. More recently it has developed an issue where the feed wheel moves at such a slow rate the first 30 to 60 minutes that it runs that it literally spits out saw dust instead of chips. It does not seem to be related to outdoor temperatures as i have experienced this on cold days as well as warm. It has had a complete service with oil and hydraulic filters and fluids changed. Are the 2 issues related? Any ideas what would be causing either or both? When working on the original auto feed issue we did replace the original auto feed board but it didn't fix the issue. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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Autofeed works by reversing the feed wheel momentarily, when the engine RPMs drop below a factory set value. Since you are experiencing feed wheel issues in the forward direction this does not sound like a smart feed system fault.

The hydraulic circuit that operates the feed wheel motor is not complex. But since there is no hydraulic pressure sensor on this model it's impossible to know if the hydraulic pressure is too low. Could be the feed motor, a faulty speed control, hydraulic pump or forward/reverse feed valves.

Measuring the hydraulic pressure would help isolate the fault, but it requires specialized gauges and fittings. The pressure is about 2500psi. Expect to pay about $300 for a test kit.

This could be diagnosed by bypassing the speed control with a hydraulic fitting or hose. Depending on the year that speed control valve is a PITA to access. I know because the fittings rusted on my valve creating a leak. Another option is just replace the forward and reverse valves, located between the fuel and hydraulic tanks and the speed control.

I prefer not to shotgun faults by parts swapping but with this issue your options are limited.
 
GCSup

GCSup

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Autofeed works by reversing the feed wheel monetarily, when the engine RPMs drop below a factory set value. Since you are experiencing feed wheel issues in the forward direction this does not sound like a smart feed system fault.

The hydraulic circuit that operates the feed wheel motor is not complex. But since there is no hydraulic pressure sensor on this model it's impossible to know if the hydraulic pressure is too low and cause. Could be the feed motor, a faulty speed control, hydraulic pump or forward/reverse feed valves.

Measuring the hydraulic pressure would help isolate the cause, but it requires specialized gauges and fittings. The pressure is about 2500psi. Expect to pay about $300 for a test kit.

This could be diagnosed by bypassing the speed control with a hydraulic fitting or hose. Depending on the year that speed control valve is a PITA to access. I know because the fittings rusted on my valve creating a leak. Another option is just replace the forward and reverse valves, located between the fuel and hydraulic tanks and the speed control.

I prefer not to shotgun faults by parts swapping but with this issue your options are limited.
Thanks for your reply. This all makes sense but to clarify when the wheel feed is working correctly the smart feed still doesn't seem to work correctly all of the time. I assume this is a separate issue but I'm not sure. Between the 2 issues it has been hokey for a few seasons now.
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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Thanks for your reply. This all makes sense but to clarify when the wheel feed is working correctly the smart feed still doesn't seem to work correctly all of the time. I assume this is a separate issue but I'm not sure. Between the 2 issues it has been hokey for a few seasons now.
When I chip anything under 6" the autofeed does not activate. I'm chipping mostly ash and poplar.
Aside from the slow feed wheel, what exactly do you see happening with auto feed?
 
GCSup

GCSup

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When I chip anything under 6" the autofeed does not activate. I'm chipping mostly ash and poplar.
Aside from the slow feed wheel, what exactly do you see happening with auto feed?
I'm chipping mostly pine with some sweet gum occasionally. In the past the chipper would handle bigger things with the auto feed working. (We try to chip everything we can as we cannot burn and it costs to haul it off. We sell the logs.) It used to consistently pause to let the RPM's catch up and then proceed. Now it seems to just stall out unless you manually pause it. This causes issue because then you have to Jack the feed wheel up and dislodge the piece thats stuck. Of course the auto feed works occasionally other times not.
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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Does your machine have a functioning engine Tach?
If not there is a LED on the controller marked Tach. Is it a solid green?
 
GCSup

GCSup

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I started it up this morning and took the panel off. There is not a dedicated tach but the light did appear to be green but dim as I believe you. An see in the picture. Tried to upload video but it takes about 20 to 30 seconds for the feed wheel to make a complete turn and it goes about the same speed in reverse. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks again20200412_110632.jpg
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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I started it up this morning and took the panel off. There is not a dedicated tach but the light did appear to be green but dim as I believe you. An see in the picture. Tried to upload video but it takes about 20 to 30 seconds for the feed wheel to make a complete turn and it goes about the same speed in reverse. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks againView attachment 817251
Great! That Tach LED does look dim, compared to my machine. The Tach signal is generated by a magnetic pickup mounted at the rear of the engine. I would plan on replacing that before anything else. Contact your local Vermeer dealer, they probably have the part in stock, since it's used on other implements. Confirm that pn 163646782 is correct, the price was $124 back on 4/18. I had no success locating a substitute part from other sources other than Vermeer.

But this will not fix the feed wheel speed issue. When the hydraulic fluid was changed was the strainer cleaned? It's located at the bottom of the fluid tank.
Does the feed roller speed control work?
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

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Will check with mechanic tomorrow on that. Can you give me a better idea of where the magnetic pickup is please?
See attached pdf.
He could try cleaning and or adjusting the pickup head.
 

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GCSup

GCSup

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Wilson, NC
See attached pdf.
He could try cleaning and or adjusting the pickup head.

Long story short the bulk of my issues seemed to have stemmed from the breather cap on the hydraulic tank. The foam in the cap had deteriorated to the point where half of it was missing. This allowed the fine dust that tends to accu.ulate as well as water to enter the hydraulic system and ultimately clog the screen on the hydraulic tank. The auto feed issue seems to have been addressed by simply tightening the belt and cleaning the magnetic pickup. Btw....i was told by the service manager at vermeer that the tach light burning dim is somewhat of a common occurrence but doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't working correctly. Thanks again for all of your help and insights! Much appreciated!
 

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