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My Harbor Freight 30 ton splitter experience...

Post in 'The Gear' started by Gooserider, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    My unit is from 02 ( 30t HF, brigs eng.), even with the various other issues over the years ram is still good, no leaks ect.

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  2. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Well, it seems that I am not alone with this problem. My suggestion: Buy a new seal kit. Put loctite on the threads. Use an air gun that developed enough torque. Get the sockets at HF.

    I'd also suggest filing a CPSC report. I did, but never heard anything back from them. You can try filing a claim with HF, they might refund your money. They offered me a refund, but I had to sign a gag order consent that covered not only the splitter, but enjoined me from saying anything about Harbor Freight that they perceived as being negative. Follow this thread backwards for all the details. I can repost a PDF of HF's settlement offer if you would like to see it. No, I did not sign it.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    They must've got a bad batch, but they sure are too responsible.
  4. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Not a "bad batch", bad design and little to no quality control. Someone will lose their hand on one of these splitters some day....
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Woodsroad, are you still using your splitter?
  6. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    I did a complete rebuild of the cylinder, loctited the retaining nut. I replaced the diverter valve, added a return filter, replumbed everything with new hoses. So far, so good!
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Following the manual, I found that the location of the smaller of the two small o-rings is between the shaft and the nut-end seal retainer, and yes, it was actually there.

    Another question, Woodsroad:
    Does your cylinder have the lock washer?
    That darn nut measures about 55 mm.

    Attached Files:

  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Wow, you went whole-hog on that!

    By diverter valve, you mean the valve that makes the cylinder go in and out?
    My valve sprayed a little hydraulic fluid and didn't hold position.
    HF sent me a new one (well, of course), but I never installed it; I think I reversed the guts of it, which helped.

    After this project, maybe I'll actually have to use the thing. I had it for sale but got no bites...hmmmm...
  9. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    OK, here are some pix:



    Yup, lockwasher and washer. Note small o-ring on piston. is that what you are looking for? Mine was missing.
    And a pic of the rebuild.

    Attached Files:

  10. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Here's the rebuild

    Attached Files:

  11. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Attached Files:

  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    The small o-ring on the ram is the one I couldn't initially locate - it does indeed exist on my splitter.

    My missing larger (yet still small) o-ring is located on the inside end of the other piece (the left piece the right picture above).
    It makes total sense why it would leak.
    I'm gonna see if I can find a replacement o-ring at the hardware store instead of breaking into the fine HF seal kit.

    I'm thinking absolute max torque isn't required since the cylinder really only 'pushes', unlike other applications like a excavator.

    I like the custom 'remote control'. The thing isn't exactly ergonomic, although, I have to say the vertical splitting isn't bad.
    I had my 'gauge phase' with my last car, though your setup is nice.
  13. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Yeah, I have a whole box of gauges that someone gave me, so I used them. Would be good to add some hydraulically-operated whirly-gigs, too!

    I never really used my splitter on vertical, due to a bad back and knees. Too much bending over or kneeling. If I can't lift the log onto the splitter, I use my "elephant splitter": a 1" rod section with a 4"x4" plate welded on center on one end. Has a hole drilled through that will accommodate a 3/32 cannon fuse. Bore a 1" hole in the center of the log, pour in some cannon powder, thread a fuse through the elephant splitter, put the rod end of the splitter into the hole, put another log on top, light the fuse, retreat with due haste. I've split 4' oak this way, no problem.
  14. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    It pulls when retracted, even more so if there is a split stuck to it.
    Somehow, they come loose! Use Loctite.
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I sit on something when I split vertically, and have the rounds staged on a hill.
    Like I said though, I've only put about 7 cords through it.
    I'm off to HF later today to look for a suitable socket and wrench.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    No impact driver that big at HF.
    Saw something that might fit at Sears for 30 buck, but it was SAE.
    I'm going to forgoe the new-air-impact-driver approach and crank on it with my new 24", $21.95 HF adjustable wrench.
    I had a flash, and took of the seal pulley (for lack of a better word) at the end by the nut, where you said you had a missing o-ring.
    I should've taken a better look before - it was all chopped up, probably because the nut was loose.
    I'm going to take another trip to my local hardware store tomorrow; it seems like it's a 1.5" o-ring, which I think they have.
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Just keep in mind that torque is a function of the pressure applied and the distance between the center of the fastener and the point where the force is applied... To get 400 ft/lbs, the easiest approach will probably be to put a 4' cheater pipe on the wrench, and apply about 100lbs of pressure - or a shorter pipe and correspondingly more force... Important note is that this is putting a LOT of force on a possibly poor quality Asian manufacture tool... Keep in mind the proper orientation of the adjustable jaw (on the trailing side of the force) and be sure your setup is such that you won't bang yourself up if something slips / breaks / bends / etc....

    Gooserider
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to forgoe the cheater bar, shoot for 200 ft-lbs, and hope for the best.
  19. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Can you bring the piston and nut you a local auto repair or, better yet, a heavy truck/heavy equipment shop and ask if one of the techs can tighten the nut with the proper sized socket?

    You may have to give the a couple bucks, but I would feel safer that way.


    EDIT - Nice to see you back, Goose!
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I got it together and it works with no leaks!
    I realize it's too early to declare success, but it started right up and split several pieces with no leak at all!
    It's so rare that anything I do goes smoothly, so I'm tickled pink.
    I've got the good vibes going again with the HF 30 splitter.
    Thanks again Woodsroad!

    VF
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Split several cords, no cylinder leaks, but now a tank weld leaks! Great. Never towed.
    Bad vibes are back.
  22. Jutt77

    Jutt77 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm looking at getting a log splitter now and just read through this entire post. Reading from the beginning to end, my interest in the HF splitter went from definite possibility, to not great but cheap, to not a &%*$*# chance. I think I'll just kick the extra bucks down on an I&O or Speeco or something.

    Thanks for all the detail of the threads though guys, this was a really informative read...kudos to Woodsroad for not selling out to the HF attorney's refund/gag deal.
  23. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I just got the tank welded. Tired of putting goop on the leak along with a pan underneath, dripping on driveway.
    He says it holds pressure. Crossing my fingers!
    PS: Split about 14 cords with it since last post.
    Works like a champ!
  24. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Here we are in December of '12, I've split another 15 cords since my last post, and my splitter is holding up just fine.
  25. fordcummins

    fordcummins New Member

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    I found an HF log splitter that is a few years old but was only used for one season. I think after reading these posts I will buy it and use the components to make a nice splitter. The first thing will do is have the cylinder checked then I will add a 15 gallon hydraulic tank that will help it run cooler. I have always been told that the tank should match the pump gpm so that the oil has more time to cool in the tank.

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