1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Didier Log Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by MANIAC, Dec 3, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MANIAC

    MANIAC New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Bridgton Maine
    Just picked up a Didier Log Splitter and I can't really see anything on the unit regarding tonnage or anything. Anyone have on of these units or know what its spec are.

    This machine has a newer B&S;8hp engine and it looks like a 5" OD 24" or so welded piston. I can't really see any data on the pump other than a model number of 78155 other than that I cant see a name or anything so I don't know the size. Basicically a complete machine that looks pretty clean and runs for 450.00.

    Any thoughts?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    not heard of that one, but 8hp should be 27 ton or better!
  3. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Loc:
    Maine
    I have one that was my fathers. He bought it during the energy crunch in the late 70's so it's around 30 years old. I have no idea what the tonnage is but it splits well.

    The only issues I have is with large crotched pieces of stringy wood, like yellow birch. Once in a while I have to beat one off the splitting wedge with sledge hammer.

    I think my father still has the manual and I can get you a copy if you'd like one. Might not be exactly the same model though. I've also found replacement parts for the handle and associated linkage parts online quite reasonably. I can get you the websites for those too.

    He paid $800 for it new about 30 years ago. If it's in good shape I'd give $450 for it.

    Paul
  4. MANIAC

    MANIAC New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    Bridgton Maine
    Thanks. What I liked about it was it has what I call good "bones", in that it's all there. It will surely need a little tinkering and updating in addition to a height adjustment! The thing seems like it's only 6 inches off the ground and I am over 6' tall. I thought 450 was very fair too.

    As far as tonnage I had it more around 24 or so but I was assuming 2500 psi.

    Thanks again

    PD what part of Maine are you from?
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    closer to the ground is better dont have to lift as high. My 27 ton splitter has a 6.5 hp thats why I was thinking 27 ton or better!
  6. ManiacPD

    ManiacPD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Loc:
    Maine
    I'm 6' tall as well. I use car ramps on the tires and throw a block of wood under the tongue. I pick over the small stuff and leave the real big cuts behind. Then I lower the splitter off the ramps and then use the ramps to roll the big logs up onto the splitter. It works good and saves on the back!

    I live in the Newport, ME area...
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Assuming that the engine isn't oversized, 8hp would suggest a 16gpm pump, which is typically going to be paired with a 5" diameter piston in the cylinder for a nominal 30 ton capacity at 3,000 PSI... If you have a smaller piston, then the maximum tons of pressure goes down, but your cycle time gets considerably shorter...

    If the unit appears to be in good shape I'd jump all over it. Bear in mind that splitter components are basically commodity items - just about everyone uses a 2-stage Barnes/Haldex pump and a Prince valve, or a clone of them, so the parts are pretty interchangeable. Cylinders are a little more specific, but not much so, and can either be replaced, or rebuilt by any hydraulic shop... About the only part that's specialized to a given brand is the beam / wedge setup, but those are also relatively generic - any welding shop can fix...

    Gooserider
  8. boostnut

    boostnut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    central IL
    Didiers came with a 5hp b&s;, yours is overpowered UNLESS the pump has been upgraded. They also used a 4" cylinder on top of a 4" wide beam. Here are a couple pics of mine after some major modifications. The engine has since been swapped out for a 5 hp honda. Overall, I've got a few hundred bucks invested in mine and am satisfied. From time to time I'll run into a big nasty piece that won't split initally. With a little patience its been able to split everything I've thrown at it. They're good, simple machines. Do yourself a favor, get it up to a comfortable working height asap. You'll enjoy using it a lot more.

    Attached Files:

  9. boostnut

    boostnut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    central IL
    pic2

    Attached Files:

  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Looks like a nice splitter BN, but are you missing a dust cap on the trailer wheel? Looks like the axle nut is showing... Probably not a bit deal if you're just pushing the unit around the yard, but could be a problem if you were towing it...

    Gooserider
  11. boostnut

    boostnut Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    central IL
    you caught me, dust caps got lost during the "makeover". Its never been pulled by anything but my own hands so not a real big deal at this time. Thanks for pointing that out, reminds me to pick up a couple dust caps next time I'm at TSC.
  12. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    584
    Loc:
    South Western Wisconsin
    I had a Didier splitter back in the old days, 5hp. Briggs. Nice splitter, I actually bought it from Didier himself. He had a small factory in Racine or Kenosha Wisconsin, was a long time ago, not sure of the city. I had the extra wide wedge that slipped over the end, bent the crap out of it. Never had a problem with that splitter. He was one of the first companies I was aware of that sold home owner splitters. He eventually got a contract with Sears and sold them through the catalog sales. He gave me a good deal on it also.
  13. awoodman

    awoodman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    K.C. Missouri
    My 5 hp. 20 ton Brave looks just like that. Can pull it through the woods
    with the ATV and will split anything you can put to it .
  14. JerseyWreckDiver

    JerseyWreckDiver New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    152
    Loc:
    North/West New Jersey
    Don't mean to hijack the thread but this may be just the crowd I am looking for... After 2 years of hand splitting and saving a fortune on oil for heating I realized I would be doing a lot more splitting and so I went out and bought a new Troy Bilt LS275 from the local Lowes. It's got the Honda engine, 5.5hp I think, and is rated at 27 tons. It's always split pretty much anything. Certainly no worse than the ones I rented from professional rental shops but the ram moves really slow, the cycle time is just painful. Also, it will typically move up and make contact, just pressing into the log before it stops and builds up pressure. Sometimes I can stand there and do a ten count before the dam thing builds enough pressure and finally starts pushing in. I've had thoughts of replacing the pump with something a little better but for all my mechanical knowledge and ability I really don't know hydraulics too well. I've also wondered at time if there is maybe air trapped in the lines/ram somewhere that needs to be bleed out? Can't find any way of doing that though.

    Any suggestions besides "don't buy the cheapy homeowner grade things from the big box anymore"??
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I have the same splitter have no issue so far! Have you check your fulid level and maybe change the filter?
    and do you keep it in side or out for storage?( It sounds like the fulid is cold)
  16. JerseyWreckDiver

    JerseyWreckDiver New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    152
    Loc:
    North/West New Jersey


    Don't get me wrong, it splits, it's just the hesitation before it actually penetrates is making me nuts. I've seen some that the ram never stops moving, hits the log end and keeps going. The cycle time is what it is, just me being impatient, I would just like to be able to work faster.

    I did go to Tractor Supply for their demo days over the summer and tried out an 8 hp 30 or so ton splitter and it really wasn't much better so maybe my expectations are a little high.

    I do store it outside, covered, but it does the same thing in the Summer too. I have changed the fluids and filter and saw no difference. I would think there should be some provision to bleed air out of the cylinder though.

    Does yours ever hesitate to build pressure when it hits the log end?
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I have never look but the pump should be ajustable i can move pretty quick with mine but never have to run full cycle
  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    What it sounds like to me JWD is a case of a poor match between the cylinder and the motor/pump combo... Remember that the tonnage is determined by the cylinder size, 27 tons suggests a 4.5" or 5" piston cylinder diameter (or possibly 4.75" or some other odd size... @3,000psi, a 4.5" gives 23.9 tons and a 5" would give 29.4 tons, so either you have a strange size, or they are doing some other odd math to get 27 tons) (Note that splitter makers all seem to lie about their power, especially since most actually set their over-pressure popoff valves at around 2500psi or less...)

    However the standard, used by almost everyone, two stage pumps are 11, 13.5 and 16 gallons per minute in high volume / low pressure mode, (where you run when moving up and down) and 1/4 that volume in low volume / high pressure mode (when you are trying to split a tough log, the pump automatically switches between modes at around 800 PSI) - and in order to drive the pump adequately you need about 2hp / GPM in HIGH PRESSURE mode... Thus your splitter having a 5.5hp motor implies that it has an 11 gpm pump. This is the size that is normally paired with a 4" cylinder, actually good for 18.5 tons @ 3,000 psi, and normally sold as a "20 Ton" splitter.

    As I said earlier, the cylinder determines the tonnage, as that is a function of the piston area times the hydraulic pressure. ANY pump and motor combo can drive a given cylinder, (assuming that the motor has the cojones to drive the pump) but the pump size will determine the cycle time. It sounds to me like you have a machine with a pump and motor that is undersized for the cylinder, which will work, but give you a slow cycle time because the cylinder has that much more volume...

    As a comparison, my HF 30 Ton unit has a 5" cylinder, paired with a 9hp engine and a 16gpm pump. I haven't timed it, but I think it's about a 15 second full stroke cycle, and when I get a tough log, the wedge slows down as you can watch the pressure guage go up, and hear the engine go into "grunt" mode, but it has never "stopped". OTOH, My friend's 20 Ton MTD splitter, w/ a 4" piston, that he has put an 8hp Honda engine and 16gpm pump on, has a considerably faster cycle (I'd guess 8-10 seconds full stroke) but will occasionally get a round that stops it...

    You probably don't have air in your system, as most will automatically self purge simply by cycling the piston all the way up and down. If you did, the symptom would be taking a moment to build up pressure to split a tough log, but then when it popped the cylinder would immediately "Jump" out to a far extension as the air which was compressed as pressure built suddenly re-expanded back to it's original volume. (hard on the equipment and very dangerous.) If you don't have air in the system, the piston won't "jump" noticeably when the log pops, but instead just resume it's normal steady movement.

    From your description, the good news is I think your machine is working as the manufacturer intended, but the bad news is that to speed it up, you will probably need to replace both the pump AND the engine.... Increasing just the pump size will give you a faster "no-load" cycle time, but a tough round will probably overload the engine and make it stall. Increasing the just the engine size won't help at all, as your limiting factor is the pump GPM, and more horsepower won't help that unless you turn the pump faster, which is likely to run into mechanical design limits on the pump (they are all designed to run at about 3600rpm, not sure how much faster they could be spun w/o breaking things)

    Gooserider
  19. awoodman

    awoodman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    K.C. Missouri
    I know on my Brave when the pump went bad It would want to kill the motor when the wedge got under pressure,I had to feather with the valve handel to split. And when the cylinder reached full extension it would kill the engine.
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    That sounds like you weren't kicking over into low-volume high pressure mode properly. Remember that the way a hydraulic system works is based on the idea that for all real world purposes hydraulic fluid is non-compressible, so if the piston can't move freely the pressure in the system goes up until one of three things happens...

    1. The piston moves (i.e. the log gives up and splits)

    2. Something blows - better hope that it's the over-pressure relief valve, not a hose or other system component...

    3. The pump can't move the pressure and stalls the engine...

    The two stage pump is a compromise design in an effort to get reasonable speed under a no-load condition, while not requiring excessive horsepower to drive it. To reach full working pressure of 3,000psi requires about 2hp of engine output per gpm of pump flow, so if you wanted to reach full pressure on the typical 20 ton splitter at 11gpm w/ a single stage pump, you'd need about a 22hp engine... But by using a two stage design, you can get away with 1/2hp per gpm at the relatively low pressures you need just to move the cylinder, then drop into "granny gear" to build pressure when you get full load. But if it doesn't "downshift", you are suddenly trying to drive 22hp worth of load with a 5hp engine, which is like trying to shift your fully loaded truck from 1st to 4th in one go.

    Feathering the valve lets some of the excess pressure bleed off, equivalent to slipping the clutch.

    Hitting either end of the cylinder travel is essentially a maximum load, since the piston can't move...

    I know w/ my 30 ton splitter, I put a pressure guage on it, once warmed up, I see 1-200 psi moving the piston under no load. Most "easy" logs split around 2-400 psi, and I haven't seen any gnarly rounds make it past 2,000psi - but hitting the end of the cylinder travel will push the guage to off-scale.

    Gooserider
  21. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    584
    Loc:
    South Western Wisconsin
    If I had to buy another splitter the two most important things to me are cycle time and can you put a 4-way wedge on it to speed up the process. Well maybe three things, 30 tons or bigger.
  22. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Loc:
    Steubenville, OH
    Goose, you posted some very good info here. I was getting myself all settled in to type all of that out myself before I saw your post. I think you said it better than I would have anyway. Good job.

    A note on cycle time. I have a 16hp engine turning a 16gpm 2 stage 3000psi pump pushing a 4" cylinder and get a 24" stroke in 6-7 sec. As goose said with the pressures ... most logs aren't tough enough to make the pump downshift to the second stage.
  23. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Thanks for the compliment... Your cycle time sounds about right, as the 4" piston has a smaller volume than the 5" on my machine - it won't give you as much pressure at the wedge, but the cycle time gets faster. I will say the engine is a bit overkill, as you should be able to drive that pump w/ an 8 or 9hp engine, no problem - doesn't hurt anything though.

    Gooserider
  24. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    238
    Loc:
    Steubenville, OH
    That's what I figured too. The pump really only needed 8hp but I got the 16 for free.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page