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Discussion Starter #1
HIYA
well i drove out today to get some parts and came home with a massive log splitter....12 HP longer than my little truck and heavy! the guy wanted it gone, and $200 was the price.

it needs a new engine, no problems because I have 2 of the exact engine that on it... easy part.

its a vert well made home made thing, the neighbor guy said they used it and when they parked it, it was working ok. I dont see any oil leaks, I know the guy i dont think he would lie about it for 200 bucks... he wasnt even trying to sell it, i just spied it there in the weeds.

anyhow, I want to drain the hydo fluid and clean it out, change the filter ect.

engines I know...
hydrolics, well I'm clueless. I will assume they pretty much are all alike functionwise.

once I drain the fluid should i or can i even clean/flush out the whole hydrolic system?

once I refill it, how do you bleed off all the trapped air?

is there anything dangerous I should know before monkeying around with the system?

what type of fluid is best?

any help I appreciate, i will put some links to pictures of it if you all need em for reference or to see whats where.

THANKS!!
 

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I doubt this beast has an accumulator on it, I can't see a need, but then it is home made! It's simply a spring loaded tube that keep the presure constant on some machines and it's used when the hydraulics are used as a tensioning system....had a baler like that. Accumulators can be dangerous is all, but really I'd doubt it has one. When running the biggest danger (besides operating it) would be leakage under presure. They can cut like a knife! Is the oil cloudy? log splitters don't often see a lot of hours per year so it's entirely possible it doesn't need it, still if you start fresh you can tell your grandchildren when it needs replacing. I prefer using Hytran (hydraulic transmision fluid) as its a bit thinner and works faster in winter. I had a loader bucket that was the very devil to bleed out not so long ago but just constant working seems to have it cleared up the air pockets. You can crack open fittings and let it bubble and ooze out but I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference. Check for poor hoses and loose fittings before you power it up.
 

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agmantoo
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Check the hydraulic storage tank for water present. If there is none simply change the filter. If there is water present, NAPA sells a decent hydraulic oil in a 5 gallon pail. There is no real danger in the hydraulics other than having a pinhole type leak and placing your hand over the leak, Do Not do that! The leak will pierce your skin. As for priming the system, the reservoir tank should be higher than the pump. Therefore the pump should gravity feed. That being the case just cycle the splitter by moving the control forward and reverse until the cylinder travels freely and smoothly is both directions. Apply some grease to the beam where the cylinder rubs to reduce wear. Examine the welds closely for cracks and get the engine to humming and go for it!
 

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...............Cn , you may want to look into adding a filter , on the Low Pressure , return side of the machine before the fluid returns to the reservoir . They are available at Tractor Supply stores and most farm stores . .....fordy... :eek: :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cool.
sounds pretty easy... another filter doesnt sound like a bad idea.. it has a really big one on it.

now another Q as for engine size;

if I cant get the ones I have running right (unlikely) what impact does the engine size have on it? does smaller engine =smaller cracking force or just slower movement?
it has a big 12 on it, could it work ok with a smaller one say a 6 or a 3.5?
whats smaller engine size drawbacks?

I'm gonna use a 12 I have it has an electric starter, but second hand junk never lasts long so I may have to in a pinch stick a smaller engine I have on there to keep workin. I have a almost new 3.75 but i'd need a different shaft coupler thing.
 

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.................Size Matters :waa: . Take 2 , fairly equal size logs and split the first at Normal throttle , then split the Next at 1/3 of the Normal throttle and I think you should beable to see the difference........fordy..... :eek: :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so if a 12 hp splits a good sized log at idle then a 3.75 would do it at full throttle (depending on the HP at Xrpm for each engine?)

if the 3.75 at full tilt puts out say for argument 100FP of force and a 12 puts out 100FP force at idle....

am I barking up the right tree here?
 

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How big is the hydraulic cylinder for the ram? 12 hp seems like a big engine for a log splitter, it may have been over powered from the start. I have a splitter with an excavator cylinder that is slow on anything but my biggest tractor (just hooks up to the remote lines) but it could crush steel. Over kill in every dept. I'd say you're thinking right but get the ram dimensions and I'll try to find a chart I have that sizes engines pumps etc. somewhere! Does it use a flexible coupling to mount the engine to the pump?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think they built it from what they had on hand....
the ram is about 4" X 3'.

yup its connected with one of those lovejoy couplers with 2 pieces and a star cog in the center. they also had the forethought to put the plate holding the pump bolted on so it could be raised or lowered to reach the engine shaft...id just have to drill new holes if my engine has a short shaft.
and buy a new coupler if I end up using a smaller dia shaft on a smaller engine.

funny thing is I had one of those couplers and a pump here, in a box of parts I picked up and I didnt know what it was then so I stored it away and damn if I can find it now.
 

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agmantoo
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Your hydraulic pump is the determining factor as to the HP required. If you have one of the small 2 stage pumps then the smaller HP can possibly handle the task. However, if you have a single stage pump then it will take all the HP to pull it when the going gets difficult. As the travel speed of the shaft then it will be a matter of the pump volume and the RPM. Obviously the 12 HP unit did work and I would attempt to contiinue with that if possible.
 

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2 problems I have seen on almost every homemade logsplitter I have worked on. The first id they use soft hose on the suction from the tank to the pump. This usually causes the hose to collapse while working the splitter. This in turn starves the pump for fluid and overheats the oil. It also makes the cyl. move slowly. the second is the placement of the filter. The filter should be in the return line from the valve. The valve should have a line that returns fluid to the tank when the engine is running but the cyl. is not being used. If the filter is in the suction line I would move it to the return line.
 

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I was always told to to keep the filtre on the pump supply side so the pump never got crud sucked through and to keep the low presure side (or presure releif) line over sized and straight a run to the resevoir without restriction as a saftey measure. A clogged releif line will overload the valving.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm taking notes....
well today was a long effort in futility... the other 12 hp was a rusted lump in places so disassembly was futile, but it did have an really clean good carb, so I stuc that on the other tractor carcas' engine (another 12) and it fired right up, run reall smooth for once, then smartly began huffing smoke and oil...
strike 2.
So... on a desperate whim and tired of farting around with non running engines, I removed the 12, and noticed its not the first engine they used as they had a dozen holes drilled in the plate for other engines. So I test run the 3.75, it run well for an hour, and I put that on... well I will I have to fabricate a spacer to make it fit and get a new coupler to link it to the pump.... I was a hair away from going and buying a new 12 but decided I better rig up a freebie till I see if the hoses and hydrolics actually work.
then if needed I will go getr a biggr engine.

I was reserching and they do make splitters with 3.5 engines, they rate em at 8 tons. (if I can split the wood with an ax, how much force is really needed anyway?)

my piston I got a buddy to look over he says its a 2 inch ram (after checking some new modles it is a bit skinny) but its pretty long... retracted in its 36" overall.

ok, If the hoese are leaky or shot, can you use solid copper for lines? rubber hyro hose is pretty $$$.

After testing it out with the 3,75 rigged on there if it splits a few big log chux I have ok, I'll save my pennies and run the old 3.75 till it croaks and worry about it later.

no numbers on the pump....
it does nave a 3 way thing in the line that goes back to the tank I was wondering what that was... the return line beeman was talking about?

I will take pics tomorrow I forgot about it today... (i have free web space I might as well use it)

none of the lines are soft or oily or seem like they ever leaked... keep yer fingers crossed.
 

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comfortablynumb said:
so if a 12 hp splits a good sized log at idle then a 3.75 would do it at full throttle (depending on the HP at Xrpm for each engine?)

if the 3.75 at full tilt puts out say for argument 100FP of force and a 12 puts out 100FP force at idle....

am I barking up the right tree here?

I've never seen a wood splitter with under 5 hp worth owning.

In designing a splitter, one can trade hp for speed. You get a pump that pushes a lot of oil, & you need more hp. You get a pump that doesn't push much oil, and you don't need much hp - but it's going to put you to sleep watching that ram creep back & forth. I'm assuming the same top pressure for each pump, only diff is the amount of flow.

Your pump is the thing. You need to match your engine to your pump.

If it's a 2 stage pump (pump can move a lot of oil at lower pressure, then shifts it gear & pumps a low amount of oil but at much more pressure), it probably would work ok with a 5hp. If it is a single stage pump you will be real happy to have at least 12 hp. The thing would stall the engine with a 5 or less engine on anything more than a toothpick.

--->Paul
 

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agmantoo
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Your quote "I was reserching and they do make splitters with 3.5 engines, they rate em at 8 tons. (if I can split the wood with an ax, how much force is really needed anyway?)"

I would not want less than a 20 ton splitter.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I may end up just buying a new one... but you know how it is, gotta give the cheap way one shot at least so you can sleep at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I looked at a used one the other day the guy wanted 750 for it, it was a 20 ton MTD with a 5 hp. he split a few good sized logs to show me and the ram retracted pretty fast... about 10 seconds I counted.
my nephew likes junk, I might end up worse case selling it to him to play with for what i paid...

the little rat will fix it and be cutting cars in half. (he has a spooky way with machines...)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
hiya..
I finally got allthe bits and pieces to fit, stuck the 3.75 engine on and after some alligning and bolting, first thing I did was get my finger twisted in the pull rope... I believe the term is "fractured".

after a bit of screaming and crying like a girl 9no one was around, its ok when no ones around) I got it started and happy happy joy joy, no hydrolic leaks. the ram slides back and forth pretty quick I was suprised, the retractin time is only 4 seconds for the 30" length, the forward, well that depends on how far forward you push the lever... it doesnt work like a "store bnought" splitter...
you can push the lever a little and the ram creeeeeeeeps forward and slpits, or you can push it all the way forward and it zips forward and craks the log. (stalls on big logs, but little ones just pop in half, big logs you have to gas it a bit and go slower)

for the average leg sized log, it cycles back and forth quick... 8 sec in at full lever and 4 sec back. you have to guess where neutral is to stop the piston, and if not carefull it creeeeeps back til it stalls the engine or forward till it again hits its limit and stalls.
I got the hang of where neuttral is...more or less.

so why does it cycle so fast with such a small engine? does this mean the pump is high volume or is something worn out to the point it just seems like its going easy and right?

at about half throttle, you can stand there and split wood as big as yer thigh and it doesnt stall out or bog much... and it aint leakin so I'm happy.

if the engine wears out, I have the spacer in place and second hand 3.5 and 4, 5 and 6 HP mover engines are a dime a dozen.

200 bucks plus another 100 in tools and bits and pieces, turned out OK.

the pressure gauge doesnt work, is it a "must" or an option?
 

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agmantoo
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Your smaller engine is running at the same RPM as a larger engine would run. The volume of the pump is based on RPM therefore the cycle time is the same with either engine. The difference is when there is a greater load and the pump has to deliver the higher pressure. Your small engine chokes down where a larger engine would open up with the governor and make more HP and complete the task. A pressure gauge is not necessary. A relief valve is however. Your control valve may have one built in but you need to verify that it has that feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
i tightened the governor spring up so it revs up faster as it gets a load on and doesnt stall. but you can tell the engine is working hard even running smoothly and the governor working good to keep it smooth.

I can see where a large engine would run easier under load and not labor so much, so when I trip over an 8 or a 10 or a 12, I'll grab it.

whats the pressure relief look like?
 
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