Splitter problem - Maybe Hydraulic Control Valve?

Jamdive

Jamdive

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HELP! I did not see any existing posts describing this problem: Huskee 22 ton (Speeco), abt a dozen years old. Worked fine last year with no issues, now there seems to be a problem with the directional control valve. When lever is moved fully to split position, engine labors hard and cycle is way slow. If lever is moved half-way to split position, it seems to cycle fine but it's a pain to hold the lever in that "sweet spot" for every cycle. For the return stroke, the lever needs to be held in place full return position, it won't remain in return position like it used to. Similarly, there is now a "sweet spot" for the return lever otherwise the engine labors hard and the stroke is way slow. So far I have replaced the filter and added about a gallon of fluid which brings it halfway between the marks. Existing fluid looks OK.

Thoughts on what to check next?
 
kevin j

kevin j

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Laboring and slow means it’s unloaded the large gear and it’s running on the small gear. This happens when the pressure is high because there’s a heavy load. Something in the spool may be blocking the normal flow. Something in the cylinder could be binding or dragging also. Or a restriction in the lines between the valve and the cylinder could be causing a high load I would take the spool apart see if it’s shifting properly to the end of its stroke. Does the valve feel like it’s moving to the normal positions or are these positions different than what you are used to?
 
Big_Eddy

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Given that the cylinder cycles properly in both directions when the valve is held in the sweet spot, I think we can rule out a bad cylinder or binding wedge.
Sounds like the valve spool is not opening up properly when you pull the lever. Check the cover bolts and handle linkage first to rule out the easy stuff. If not solved, then most likely dirt or contamination in the valve, or rust on the spool, or a damaged o—ring . I would figure out the valve type, find the valve makers parts breakdown, then take it apart and clean it up. Be sure to google “flying detent balls” before you do, otherwise you may end up searching all the nooks and crannies on your shop floor.


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Jamdive

Jamdive

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The normal full split position is what results in labored and slow. The half-way position is not a normal position. Which part is the spool you recommended for disassembly?
 
Jamdive

Jamdive

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Given that the cylinder cycles properly in both directions when the valve is held in the sweet spot, I think we can rule out a bad cylinder or binding wedge.
Sounds like the valve spool is not opening up properly when you pull the lever. Check the cover bolts and handle linkage first to rule out the easy stuff. If not solved, then most likely dirt or contamination in the valve, or rust on the spool, or a damaged o—ring . I would figure out the valve type, find the valve makers parts breakdown, then take it apart and clean it up. Be sure to google “flying detent balls” before you do, otherwise you may end up searching all the nooks and crannies on your shop floor.


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Oh boy sounds like I'm about to learn lots about valve spools - thanks! Ya the cover bolts, handle and linkage seem fine. No sign of binding. Looks like I'll be diving into it later on.
 
kevin j

kevin j

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There’s a transition in spool valves between the positions that is usually not shown on a schematic. Most of them have an inlet check so they open the connection to the cylinder before they close off the connection to tank or neutral. That keeps the pump from going on relief as it goes through transition if it was blocked transition. So chances are good that sweet spot is when it opens flow to the cylinder but has not yet closed off to the tank port. That would mean the cylinder would move but you have very little pressure and force. I think you’ll find something in the valve is the problem.
 
Jamdive

Jamdive

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Well it looks like I've gone and really boogered it up. Disassembled (no flying detents!) and everything looked OK to me so I re-assembled with the following result: It now works fine in the split direction, no lugging, not sluggish at all. BUT the lever cannot physically be moved to the return position unless the cover is removed. The entire assembly wants to raise up about 1/2 inch against the inside of the cover. I spent about 2 hrs fiddling with it and no change. Likely a re-assembly issue but I can't see how it would go together any different than I have it. Parts diagram offers no detail. Looks like I may have to buy a replacement valve.
 
Big_Eddy

Big_Eddy

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Assuming you have a typical splitter valve with detent under the rear cover, I bet you have the detent assembly together wrong.
The large ball gets trapped behind the small balls. Put a dab of grease on each of the small balls to hold them where they belong, then use a small (1/4”) or so nut driver or thin wall socket to force the large ball into position. It takes a serious push to get it in place.


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Jamdive

Jamdive

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IT"S FIXED! Now working good as new. Thanks all for your collective wisdom, especially Big_Eddy for the tip on getting the detent back in place. Glad I joined this site, maybe I'll be able to help someone else in the future. Now it's back to splitting a load of beech I hauled in yesterday!
 

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