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Diesel log splitter?

Post in 'The Gear' started by BrianK, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Is the reservoir built into the frame?

    Regarding the mystery device, maybe a filter with a bypass for cold weather starts or perhaps even servicing the filter with the system live?

    "Refill valve" appears to be able to divert flow simply back to tank. Dunno why you need that on a splitter?

    3.5" cylinder + 16 GPM pump = 8 second cycle time assuming a 24" stroke. Should be PLENTY fast. 22GPM may be a waste/create heat issues depending on line friction. Remember that increasing the GPM of the system is going to generate more heat. I'd take operating temps of the oil in the reservoir before upgrading. If your already over 160 degrees then you might want to consider increasing the reservoir size or adding some kind of cooler. Ideally the oil should never exceed 180 deg. Warmer than that will decrease oil life.

    This thing needs a new suction hose ASAP by the looks of it. Don't wait for it to leak air/cavitate the pump. Suction hose isn't big $$. Also suction line is kinda small/long for going 16GPM or higher.

    Build a hyd. log lift for it and name it "SplitZilla". >>

    EDIT: If you do modify the hydraulic system I'd ditch that filter setup and plump a regular spin-on into the return line off the valve. Having a filter in the suction line can be restrictive and excessive restriction will cause pump cavitation and that ain't good. The fix ain't cheap either.

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  2. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    The reservoir is a heavy metal fabricated flat box 4" x 6" x 40" . The axles are attached to the bottom of the box, and the I beam to the top of it.

    Which one is the suction hose? The two lowest, lighter colored hoses are definitely dry rotted, and held on with hose clamps. I'm assuming its one of those?
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Follow the hose clamped line from the pump inlet all the way back to tank.

    EDIT: Looks to be two lines that need to go. Black line from filter to tank looks OK in the pic.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    From my other reply here.

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  5. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    OK, here's a better photo of the hydraulics. I just talked to a local guy who repairs hydraulics on forklifts (brought his mom into my office this morning, where I have the splitter parked) and he looked at it and we went over everything. He thinks the filter can be eliminated and the dry rotting hoses may be causing the slow ram speed (letting air in, even if hydraulic fluid is not leaking out.) Also, the valve above the pump is labelled "Relief Valve" (NOT "Refill Valve" - doh - looked at it in the dark last night) and the knob on top is to change the relief pressure setting. He also recommended we replace the suction hoses and eliminate the filter (he doesn't think it needs one?) and replace the hydraulic fluid, then check the ram speed, and if its still slow, replace the pump.

    Attached Files:

  6. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    no, it's NOT 1:1! I would go with the 22. What GPM indicates is speed. When you need the speed won't be when the grunt of the work needs to happen. What you are looking for in this application is force. A diesel will have TORQUE. It lugs through the tough spots. When it boggs down it'll keep going when the gas may die out or just give up. Look at it this way... semi's haul groceries TO the store, minivans get the groceries home. GPM gets your wood to the wedge, but more importantly opens the cylinder back up again. There's really no work getting done. Under load, getting through that initial bite or chewing through the knot is when you need the FORCE. Under load, the 9hp diesel will whack a 9hp gas model (regardless of brand) every time, just because it's a diesel. A diesel has a bigger bang which gives it more momentum to keep going. You aren't mowing grass here, you are splitting wood.

    The above chart will work for gas applications, but you can step up and push the limits with the diesel. You won't likely find diesels in Nascar, but diesels have been building mountains and bridges and mining coal for decades.

    EDIT: After reading another post about heat... With a higher flow pump you can back off the throttle for normal splitting and have lower flow for heat control. If you need a bigger grunt you can always rev it up, thereby keeping your oil cool in normal splitting but yet having a reserve for the tough ones.
  7. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    Anyone have some yellow paint?
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  8. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I think we have a winner ;-)

    RUST-OLEUM Spray Paint, Old Caterpillar Yellow, 15 oz [​IMG]
    ditchrider likes this.
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Increasing the system flow will do nothing to increase splitting power. You need to increase the system pressure or piston area. Flow affects cycle time. Also having too big a pump on undersize plumbing (especially on the intake side) will encourage cavitation in the pump and that is bad ju ju. And if you have to run at 1/2 throttle to control heat, why upgrade in the first place? Kinda like running a top-fuel engine in your daily driver "just for those times you need to pass a car."

    And HP is HP. Diesel or Gas, 9 hp is 9 hp. You can't change that no matter how much you want to. Torque output is more telling of the engine's true power capability and that's where diesels have the upper hand. With a higher TORQUE output than a 9hp gas engine, the diesel MIGHT run a 22 GPM pump ok but it will do nothing to upgrade splitting power. 16GPM will run that cylinder full cycle in < 8 seconds. Faster than 99% of the splitters out there. 22 GPM is expensive, requires plumbing upgrades and just plain unecessary unless he plans to put a bigger cylinder on it.
  10. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    Yup, 5 inch cylinder @ 3000 psi = 29.45 tons. Anyone got a quick answer on cycle time on that @ 22 gpm for a 24 inch stroke? Now THAT's a Catersplitter!
    2.5*2.5*3.14159*24/231/22*60 on the way in
    about eleven seconds both ways, one cycle. faster than I can puke numbers, anyway

    EDIT: slip on a 4-way wedge for the lighter stuff and at the end of the day that's a lot of splits in the stack. When it's a lot of wood, it's a lot of fun.When it's a lot of fun it's worth a lot of diesel, I mean beer (diesel's for breakfast, beer is for supper).==c
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The OP already posted the cylinder size. With 1/4" walls that would make it a 3.5" piston.

    (3.14 x 3.0625)
    9.61625 in sq piston area x 2800 psi (a more typical pump setting albeit this machine is adjustable!)
    ==============
    26925.5 lbs of force / 2000 = 13.4 tons, Call it 14 tons for marketing purposes.

    Even at 3000 psi you still don't get to 15 tons.

    EDIT: 5 inch cylinder (2.5" rod) @ 22 GPM should cycle < 10 seconds. (I got 9.68) You're forgetting that the cylinder rod takes up volume on the return stroke, speeding it up compared to the extension stroke.
  12. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    Yes, yes. But someday, somewhere on craigslist there will be a 5 inch cylinder. Heck, hooda thunk Cat made a woodsplitter before we went shoppin on craiglist? It's just krazy what you can get for $575 and a can of yellow paint.:rolleyes:
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Even if the pump was upgraded to 22 GPM and the cylinder bumped to a 5", all of the plumbing and probably the valve would have to be upgraded as well.
  14. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    You know, it's adventures like this that keeps a spark in a marriage. Are you gonna tell me that if I don't stop making this face that it will freeze this way?:confused: Or is somebody just going to get an eye poked out ;) if we don't settle down?
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  15. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    My oldest son is home on Easter break from his Freshman year at college, and played around with the Caterpillar graphic:

    Attached Files:

  16. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Love it, Brian! Now if they could just perfect the diesel chainsaw......::-)

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  17. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    sniff, sniff hmmmm! its not just for breakfast anymore
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  18. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    The plumbing and the valve are the easy parts though, aren't they? Just out of curiosity, I've already found a couple valves and hydraulic cylinders on CL, one was both together with a two way valve that I could also plumb a log lifter with.

    I've got a good backbone to upgrade with. This thing is built like a tank, its got an excellent diesel engine, a huge reservoir, and I can upgrade pieces/parts as I need to or deem fit. And I've got a hydraulics (fork lift) mechanic who can get me parts wholesale and is willing to do the work cheap, as his parents have known me for a very long time. I'm cleaning it up this afternoon at the local car wash, and dropping it off at his shop this evening. He is replacing any hose that needs replaced and the filter and replacing the hydraulic fluid for a hundred bucks (he's got the tools to do it, and its worth it to me to not have to wrench on it). He is going to try to find me a 16gpm 2 stage pump cheap. If I need to upgrade the hoses, he already has them.

    We have a bunch of cans of Rustoleum black paint from other projects, and I'm going to pick up a can of Caterpillar Yellow. My boys and I are going to have fun spray bombing it after we get it back from the mechanic, and I'm going to print up the Catersplitter logo as a bumper sticker decal and plaster it on the fenders.

    What's not to like about this whole project?
  19. BrianK

    BrianK Guest


    I just dropped off the splitter at the farm of the guy who has the fork lift repair business. I asked him if he ever came across larger used hydraulic cylinders, because I was thinking about upgrading to a 5 inch cylinder, and he looked at me like I was a bit daft and said, "That is a 5 inch cylinder. This thing will split anything you could possibly need to split." (My cylinder measuring skills are apparently lacking.) He thinks the most it would need is an upgrade to a 16gpm pump, but only for increased cycle speed.
  20. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    5 inch? did someone say 5 inch? SSSoo THAT explains the cycle time. It has nothing to do with the diesel. *sigh* What a relief!:(

    But seriously, Brian, if the forklift guy is okay to let you into his shop, it wouldn't hurt to hang around while he's wrenching and maybe you'd pick up on some rules of thumb. If nothing else you may discover some questions he can answer.
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  21. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    I wonder if we would duct the airflow of the flywheel into the air cleaner thus SUPERCHARGING the YAN.;hm
  22. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Needs some boost.
  23. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I considered wrenching on it myself, I have some of the tools and know how to use them (I've done a little bit of everything in my life, worked construction, in a paper factory, delivered furniture and appliances, sold stuff, was a bouncer, hung awnings, worked a sugar shack for maple syrup seasons, and I've done a good bit of my own remodeling over the years). But sometimes its worth having someone who actually knows what they're doing behind the wrench. I stood around with this guy and chatted with him over the splitter yesterday morning for twenty minutes, then again this afternoon for another 45 minutes. I know what needed done, I know I could have done the work, but frankly, he already has all the right tools and know how, and there are some things I'd just rather pay someone else to do as I get more "mature." And my patients look at me funny when they see grease under my nails<>
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  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Well since you're getting in to this thing so deep, maybe a 22 GPM pump would be an idea to entertain so long as the Yanmar is up to it. Worst that would happen is you would be limited on tonnage (pressure) if there's too much pump for the engine. Just set the relief so it won't stall.

    I so want to see pics/vid of this thing in action and that is one bitchin' avatar if I don't say so myself. And I was just starting to like the timing drive in mine. Sigh.
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  25. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I do think I'll bite the bullet and go with the 16gpm pump. Its a direct replacement, all the mounting, input/output and shaft dimensions are the same, so its a simple swap. The 22gpm is twice the money, and a bit more complicated, and technically it is beyond the Yanmar hp range, as it calls for 12hp.

    I am looking at 4 way wedges too. This one looks like it might slip over the current wedge.

    Thanks MM. I found a website where you can upload the graphic and get bumper stickers made up fairly cheap. We're going to spray bomb the whole thing in black with caterpillar yellow fenders and hydraulic cylinder, black wheels with yellow hub caps, and put the Caterspiltter bumper stickers on the top of the fenders and sides of the I beam. (When you homeschool like we do, everything becomes a homeschooling project. This will be a combination shop class/ art project :cool: )
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