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Electric Log Splitter Problem -- Ram Slows Down Toward End

Post in 'The Gear' started by StacksCT, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. StacksCT

    StacksCT New Member

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    Yesterday, I used my new SpeeCo 5-Ton electric log splitter for the third time (first couple of times were about two weeks ago in warm weather). It was cold here in CT, but not freezing. The ram started at normal speed and power, but about 3/5 of the way into the split, it slowed down to a crawl and then stopped before hitting its full extension. It also did this without a log in place. The ram returned at normal speed.

    As required, I had loosened the vent plug for the hydraulics before each splitting session.

    Any thoughts on what is happening?

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  2. BillinTX

    BillinTX Member

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    That will happen if the fluid is low or the splitter is tilted in the wrong direction.
    The wedge end needs to be slightly higher than the motor end.
    I always put a piece of 2x6 under the feet of mine.
    milleo likes this.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Good to know. Mine isn't a Speeco but they are all the same re-branded spitters.
  4. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    Well it sounds like it has to be a fluid problem,but what?
    If it is full is the vent clear&open? If the suction line hoses have a problem like loose fitting,defective line, it can start to run ok then suck some air into pump which will slow it down. I know this unit is new but I seen strange things happen,. Fluid may not be able to see as leak if it a suction problem, Bad to say but even the pump itself can suck air if bad? If the ram goes back ok then it sounds like a valve or maybe a cyl. problem. Is there anything binding on the ram or wedge?Does the motor sound like it is slowing down when ram is slowing? You can keep guessing but a couple gauges would tell you alot more. If it has a filter be one place to start also If it is sucking air you can destroy the pump,it will burn the oil inside with the air like a diesal engine. Is there just hose clamps on suction hose?
  5. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Most of these are a spring return for the ram. Low fluid sounds about right. If it was stored with the front end lower than the power supply end fluid could have leaked out if you forgot to close vent, they do not hold much as most do not have a tank.
  6. StacksCT

    StacksCT New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I finally had a minute to look at the manual and splitter today. Manual is poor and does not say much -- basically, it identifies the "hydraulic oil dipstick" and tells you to check its level before each use. The dipstick has nothing but a series of about 7 scorings (the full circumference of the dipstick) about 2 inches from the bottom -- none of them have any other markings, and the scorings go for about an inch (no pattern to them). Do you think the bottom scoring is the minimum and the top one is the maximum fill lines? If so, I have low fluid.
  7. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    That would be the accepted norm.
  8. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, hope you've got the splitter running/splitting. I came here because I can't find the manual an my PowRcraft electric splitter and I couldn't remember is the vent had to be open or closed when spitting. I had split several rounds of softwood and moved over to some partially seasoned hardwood. I picked up a crouch round and the splitter stalled. I think this "round" is just one of those that requires a 20 ton unit. That got me wondering if I had the vent valve in the correct operating position, which I read here is open (just a turn I believe).

    My little electric splitter has been very satisfactory, the mentioned stop was the first time that has happened. Interestingly, the ram stopped moving but the motor and pump kept pumping, it did not blow a fuse/breaker.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    1.) Check fluid level
    2.) Vent must be open during operations
    3.) Check unit for being level (even slight angles have caused people problems.)
  10. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Go to the Pow'R Kraft website. You can download the user manual there. The air valve should be open several turns to ensure free airflow.
  11. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Dan,

    Thanks, I think it was you who were helpful in the past when I was making the decision on buying an electric splitter.

    It seems the search engine (google, yahoo, whatever) didn't map PowRcraft or whatever I put in otherwise I'd have found the manual, but thanks again, I will get the manual off the site.

    I took the splitter out again this afternoon and opened the valve a good turn or two. I then put the crouch/round in that stopped the splitter a couple of days back.. as it turns out I put the round in the other way around, still it was the same round. The little splitter split the round this time without so much a a whimper - I do like this machine. The US Postman came up to the house because of some boxes to deliver and I showed him the splitter, and how it works, he may buy one too. If one isn't splitting several cords of wood a year, I think the small electric splitter will fill the needs for a splitter, no need to invest $500 in a gas 20 ton splitter. .
  12. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Here's the link...just click on "Manuals", then select the 7-ton model.

    I agree, I couldn't be more pleased with mine. Just two weeks ago I split a cord of hickory, with the largest rounds 18" or so. They were stringy, but hickory always is...

    http://powrkraft.com/prod02.htm
  13. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Amazing what those little splitters can do, isn't it? Mine is a Homelite 5 ton and it only has failed on a few beasts. I'm saving those until I get enough piled up to justify renting a big one for a few hours.

    I didn't know about keeping it level or slightly higher on the wedge end so that's good to know. I think I'll go check the fluid level on mine. BTW, I used mine last summer on the end of about 120' of 12-gauge ext. cord. I know that's stretching things, but it seemed to operate about the same as without a cord. It takes quite a starting surge but handled it.

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