You could build a very large one with that size engine.....as in a 4, 6, or even 8 way wedge, and maybe a lift deal to hoist the rounds up to working height....maybe run a separate hydraulic motor on a conveyor to dump wood in a truck or pile. You need to match a large pump to it....probably 25-30gpm, maybe larger. It's gonna take some work to keep from wasting your horsepower.
I built a 'standard' splitter.....4x24 cyclinder, single wedge and put an 8hp engine with a 16gpm two stage pump on it, and it worked fine.
Honestly, your motor is over kill for a splitter. Mine runs on a 6.75 hp briggs, and it does all it needs to.
The motor you have may be mire valuable elsewhere. Something to think about, you might try selling your motor for, say $150-$200. Put that with a little more saved up cash, and buy a used splitter.
I see used splitters every so often on CL for $350-$500
It's only worth 1400 if you can sell it for that.....just like anything else.
IF you can sell it for that, you ought to, and simply buy a brand new wood splitter for 1,000-1,200 bucks, and pocket the difference.....you'd be way ahead of trying to adapt a 17hp motor to an old splitter set up for less than half that hp.
For example, the motor to pump adapter probably will not fit....you'll have to find one to fit a 17hp motor AND the pump. $30-$75
The output shaft on your motor will likely be larger, and require a different coupling..$20-$50, depending whether you have to buy all 3 pieces or can use some of what is on the existing splitter.
You'll have to build a motor mount, because the 17 likely won't fit the same mounting as the 6-10hp that was on the one you find.
(Telling you this because I changed my 8hp Tecumseh engine I originally used when I first built the splitter for a Honda GX240 not long ago, and went thru the same pains)
You might also keep an eye out for a 3 pt hitch splitter, used on a tractor, and runs off the tractor hydraulics. It includes the beam, cylinder, wedge, and control valve, along with a couple hoses.
THAT is what I used to build mine. I bought that splitter at Central Tractor back in the 80's....used it on the tractor for a few years, (tractor hydraulics really aren't meant to run wood splitters...single stage, low volume pumps) then used it as the basis for a 'build'.....adding axle/wheels, motor/pump, and a 5 gallon hydraulic tank.
As Al said, a $99 Harbor Freight 6.5hp engine will run the typical splitter just fine, so the odds of you finding one with a blown engine probably aren't that great.
I just can't see me paying 1400 for something then selling it for 200, just keep it in the shop. A project will come along one day that will fit it. I found a 40 ton splitter but they want a grand for the frame. Just keep looking.
I can address this real easy.. I have a log splitter with a 30hp Wisconsin on it.. WAY OVER KILL..
The problem is, most pumps are meant to run at 3600 RPM.. my engine has a max RPM of 1800..
It has a 50 ton ram on it.. I run it at around 1200 RPM.. every now and then I'll get a huge (read 3 foot across) log and it doesn't want to make it though. I have to up the RPM, then split on the side of the log, and not through the center.. even with a 50 ton ram.. You aren't getting that unless you have the correct RPM..
If it had a 12hp engine that ran at 3600 RPM, it would split the biggest logs you ever saw..
As far as the frame and all, just find the biggest I beam you can find.. the build the pusher, and the wedge from 1/4" or heavier steel..
Mine is all home built. I bought it built.. I did have to replace the couplers, and I had to call Lovejoy to find a combination that would fit a 1.5" shaft, and a 1/2" shaft.. That ran me almost $100 for the couplers. If I would have had a smaller engine, then I could have gotten off a lot cheaper and not had to of bought anything special.
I plan to eventually pull the engine to maybe build my own saw mill.. then put a more realistic engine on the splitter...
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