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Troy Bilt 27 Ton Splitter - Bad Weld Alert

Post in 'The Gear' started by bsticks, Aug 3, 2010.

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  1. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    Anyone know how to remove the collar on this thing. This second pic shows a clip but don't see a way to remove it unless it gets pushed down then remove the ring clip and then slide piston out together.

    Attached Files:

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  2. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    Now that the trunion mount is bent, everytime the splitter starts to apply pressure, it will load one side more than the other, causing the next failure to happen that much faster. And thats one of the reasons that design is flawed from the begining. it is a lighter weight design, uses less raw material, and has other merits, but overall the full beam has proven to be stronger in the long run me thinks.
  3. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I'm no engineer, but I agree. It seems that a safer design would be to have a sleeve/cup that the cylinder is inside of. this sleeve would have the trunnions welded to it.
  4. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    This is what I wrote TB after I came back from service:

    Well took the splitter in to a local service center. When service guy saw the cylinder he couldn't believe what he saw and went to explain the situation to whoever they call at Troy Bilt. The answer from troy bilt was it's out of the 2 yr warranty and it's not covered, I never said it was going to be a warranty issue. I know warranty is over but this is a problem that exists and is waiting to happen to others as well. I will not stop here and will continue to find the answers as to why this has not been recalled. Since this is not going as I would like, I am going to attempt to weld this Faulty HIGH PRESSURE cylinder for now and hope if it fails after welding, it's not as bad.

    I was told that I can bring this to the attention of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will do so, as my pictures do not tell the story enough to get my splitter fixed by Troy Bilt. Here's a link to more pics I posted for everyone to see and decide if the log I had on the splitter was the cause of this failure: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/57455/P45/

    Hoping that this can get to higher power and get me the fix that I deserve and make a newer design that will eliminate this problem.


    AND THIS IS WHAT THEY WROTE BACK:

    Naturally, we are concerned when a customer feels their complaint has not been handled to their satisfaction.

    However, it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. Unfortunately, this appears to be one of those situations when our explanation did not meet with approval.

    Relying on our experience and judgment we analyze and review each situation on its own merits, consider to the best of our ability the facts that are available to us and then inform the customer of our decision, accordingly by following this procedure, we have no choice but to tell you that our position regarding this matter has not changed.

    This determination is something that we must do based upon our experience and the information on hand.

    We do appreciate the opportunity to review our customers opinion of this decision and for giving us the opportunity of offering an explanation and we do hope that our final decision and explanation will be reviewed objectively.
  5. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    lets see, warranty was over on the toyota's that had frame rust issues, but enough people had issues that the recall occured. how many toyotas were recalled out of warranty due to gas pedals? I had a 94 f-350 that I still get safety recalls on all the time. Way out of warranty. difference is, that people and probably many, were severly injured to make those recals and subsequent law suits happen. Maybe thats what troy built is waiting for. A major class action law suit, based on defective product, for them to change their mind.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    They didn't investigate, they jsut compared their warranty to the age of the machine. Warranty has nothing to do with it, safety recalls happen forever. TB is liable forever.

    I agree with pineburner and have a 2000 Ford being recalled every so often for fixes. They send a letter, fix the defect for free, and I am a happy camper and don't think any worse of Ford for it.

    This is a money thing and TB has decided it is cheaper to risk injury to all owners than to address the problem. You TB owners are the victim of a value decision. I am not impressed with the company and I will remember this for a long time.
  7. lazeedan

    lazeedan Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe Troy Built should be reminded how fast and wide spread the internet can spread facts about problems with their product. What is the contact info for their complaint department?
  8. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    Here's the number in case anyone is interested in any of their products 1-800-520-5520

    Thanks guys for giving this problem hope by keeping this thread alive.

    It's bad enough that their product is showing flaws, this way everyone knows that their service for recalls will be just as bad for now. I need to make this clear again, I know I'm out of warranty. I knew when I first wrote TB. The problem is not a warranty issue it is a RECALL related issue. Maybe they do think that the net does not travel fast enough to hurt sales. Remember customer service is worth as much as a good product. It will keep people coming back for other products because they will be at ease knowing they will be taken care of. Bad products and good service still brings people back for more. But, when you have a bad product and bad service well sales will definately suffer.

    It seems TB is well off and does not need to gain customers because of situations like this or simply don't care about losing any.

    In house testing is not enough, these things need real life tests and we are it. When something fails like this, fix it right and go on to make a better design/product. This 27 ton cylinder needs 1/2" wall at the trunion with a good solid weld, not 1/16" weld onto a 1/4" cylinder wall. Let's see how long it will take to redesign this style splitter or beef up the cylinder wall and trunion mounting plates. I vote to testing a beefed up cylinder with stronger trunion plates. I must be dreaming of that so called hand me down splitter that great great grandfathers gave to their great, great grandchildren.

    I wonder how old the oldest splitter is that is still in service from a factory build. Not Homemade, although homemade are made pretty tough but not easily transportable. Has a thread about that come by these forums yet.
  9. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    Some of the oldest splitters still in operation today were of the greatest designs ever. Custom built, hand forged, axes, mauls and hatchets! Can't go wrong with time tested methods!
  10. Tackleman24

    Tackleman24 New Member

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    The engineers at Waltco came up with a few fixes for this problem but the customer decided against them becase they would have to slightly change the mounts and/ or the fluid lines. The first fix was to change the location and type of bottom mount/ fluid port. On the original design which is still currently being used (atleast I think) there is a trunion mount that also serves as the lower fluid port and the proposed change would have made that trunion soild like the other side and then relocate the lower fluid port an inch or so but the fluid lines and control valve would have needed moved as well or changed all together. Now the second "fix idea" would have added a collar or sleve around the outside of the cylinder.and have the trunions welded to the collar so the stress was not directly on the cylinder and a fluid port.

    My suggestion is do what I do to keep from putting any extreme stress on the trunions and that is any log that does not split easy (like ones with large knots etc) take those logs and toss them in a pile somewhere to dry out more or cutt them with a saw so you do not have to split through the hard crap. I do this all the time so I do not put extreme stress on the trunions. I also inspect the trunions for wear & tear every time I put gas in the engine. I have done this from the day I bought it and will continue till I get a new splitter. Honestly the reason I bought this model was the highway trailering ability, the kind that Tractor Supply sells are built more tough and have a top mount cylinder but the tires are not highway use tires and have no fenders so they can not be towed on the road and the Troy Bilt or Cub Cadet models (which are identical except the paint) are highway legal.
  11. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    I was hoping that you had some connections with someone in the field of making these to make a cylinder with the xtra 1/4" @ the collar. Anyone know someon with cylinder skills to come up with this tougher design? All is needed would be the cylinder shell itself to fit the original inside piston.
  12. Tackleman24

    Tackleman24 New Member

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    I know some people that work there still but management hates me, my work accident has cost several million in workers comp funds. You can get any local machine shop that specializes in hydraulics to make a cylinder with the mods you want. The problem is a big shop will not make just one cylinder, they want contracts with quanity and a small shop will do it for you however the cost will most likely be so high that you can almost buy another splitter. Now this is a rough figure but if I remember correctly when we bought the cylinder tubes from our supplier Scott Ind just the cut tubing that is the right dia length and honed to the right inside dia was roughly $50 a piece then the end caps, trunions, rod (chrome rod that extends), pistons, all the seals etc. Basically just the cost for material and labor put the cost of the cylinder somewhere in the $400 range and they most likely sell to the customer at about $500 to $550 and that price is based off of quanity contracts. So I imagine the cost for a single cylinder would be at a minimum of $900 if you could find a small shop to do it. I was a welder and machinist and not sales so my figures there are just rough guestimates off the fact that I have seen some invoices and other documents. You might be better off getting a similar cylinder from Tractor Supply and fabricating the mounts to work.
  13. ANeat

    ANeat New Member

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    If it was mine I would straighten out the trunion, weld the original break, then make up a sleeve to go over the entire trunion area and weld that on.

    Even after that I would probably add something on to the tail end of the splitter to support the rear of the cylinder
  14. Tackleman24

    Tackleman24 New Member

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    The problem is he will almost immediately blow the seals if he tries to fix that cylinder. The interior of a high pressure cylinder has to accurate within a minimum of 0.001 of an inch but most are held to within 0.0005. The interior surface has to be perfectly smooth, if there is a edge from the break (which there will be) the seal will catch and fail not to mention the scale that will develop on the inside after re-welding. I know it seems crazy as before I worked for that company I never thought something had to be that exact and I had worked in other machine and fabrication shops before. Everything has to be perfectly exact for it to work properly. I guess the worst that can happen is you waste a little time and effort trying. However I strongly suggest that you wear ALL THE PROTECTION YOU CAN THINK OFF and possibly use a stick or something so you can operate the control handle from a safer distance because I would say that at best there is a 1 in 5 chance of not having a severe failure of some sort. Good luck and I hope it works out.
  15. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    I have to wait at least 30 days now since I wrote to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Then I will find a way to take it apart and play with my welder and pray for the best.

    Anyone know how it comes apart? There's nothing for tools to hook to so it looks like it gets banged in then take out clip and then pull cap of with the rest of the piston, does this seem right? If it was threaded shouldn't there be something to work with tools.

    Here's the pic again of what it looks like on the side it needs to come apart at.

    Attached Files:

  16. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Looks like you need to press the end cap in slightly and the snap ring should then be loose so you can pop it out of the groove. then the end piece should be able to be pushed out with the rod-piston assy.
    To make sure the piston doesn't extend back on the welded part and messing up the piston seal you could add a end spacer on the end cap so it would stop the piston from coming back so far. But by doing so it would shorten the stroke by what ever the lenght of the spacer. But if you made the spacer a slip fit to the tube you could weld it in and the weld could penitrate from the trunion and make it stronger with more metal to weld to. The tube wouldn't be distorted as much that way.
    It might just be better to look for a hilo trunion mount cyl of simular size at a scrap yard, craigslist, industrial supply, ebay.
    leaddog
  17. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    Thanks leaddog

    I'll try pulling it apart that way but I guess I need to wait and leave it as is for now until mid Oct.

    I may only lose about 1" if I find a spacer to work, which is a good idea to save the seal and not a big deal on that little bit of stroke loss. I could always attach a thicker metal block on end of Ibeam(don't know the name for that log stop), I'll lose the xtra log length capability but I rarely go over 18" and most are about 16". So definately something to consider after it gets welded. This design should have been looked over a long time ago to make a stronger trunion, but money is always the answer not to do it. Thanks TB, MTD, Cub Cadet, Yard Machines or whoever the main company is for choosing to continue making this poor setup which I believe includes 20 21 22 25 27 ton models and others, but definately the 27 ton as you see.
  18. Tackleman24

    Tackleman24 New Member

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    I believe what the other guy said about using a press to push down the bottom cap and take the pressure off the bottom cap and that should allow you to remove the split ring easy and then the entire rod assembly should slide out. I can not be positive but am almost sure that is a split ring assembly and not a threaded one. I am not an expert on assembly/ disassembly as I only did machining and welding but seen some assembly done. Also out of curriousity, which trunion broke? From the pics I can not really tell if it was the solid trunion (which rarely happens) or was it the one that was the threaded fluid port/ trunion (which is the one to commonly break).
  19. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    It's the solid one that ripped apart. Both sides need thicker cylinder wall. As it's been said in previous posts a cup over the cylinder (8" in would be great and would have prevented this from happening) and a good solid weld. This is a floating cylinder, if it was used in a full I-Beam setup the cylinder as is would be good enough but the splitter design as is needs a cylinder makeover. I love how splitter is light weight to move around by hand, BUT it is what you see, It's not built tough. This design as is should not exceed 15 tons of working pressure, therefore reduce the pump output to make this a 15 ton model or make a cylinder that will take the pressure.
  20. FORCE FAB

    FORCE FAB New Member

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    The major issue with welding these is that the piston runs right passed the failed point....What i did was welded the mount back in and then converted to an end mount...I made the thing just a touch short so the piston will never get to the welded part again...Oh and on mine it wasnt the weld that failed it was the tube that ripped......Tube is way too thin to be a trunnion mount
  21. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    FORCE FAB, about how old was the splitter when it failed?

    This problem is going to be showing more and more as these splitters are prone to the same failure eventually. I am going to keep worrying about if/when it will happen again when I weld the trunion back together.
  22. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    TRoyBilt was a great brand when they made rototillers in Troy,NY.

    Since the wheels came off in '96 and they sold out to MTD they've been just another cheapass peice of equipment. Too Bad,
  23. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Member

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    I just bought this model at Lowes several weeks ago, after doing a little research on this site. Unfortunatly it was before this post started. I checked my cylinder today and noticed that the trunion pin is a little beefier than the one in your pics. I would guess they have themselves realized this was a problem and beefed it up on the newer models. Thus far this splitter has performed great. The Honda engine starts first pull every time, I just hope I don't have a similar problem with my splitter in a few years.

    Attached Files:

  24. fidiro

    fidiro New Member

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    I knew they had a bad design and so did they that is why they changed it to this. Now this pic shows a thicker pin at least grabbing some more cylinder wall. Although it's a step up from the crap cylinder they started with it's still not what I would expect to see from them.

    I'm still waiting for this design to step up to an additional 1/4 at the trunion with those newer thicker trunion pins, unless the whole cylinder was also changed to a thicker wall. I have yet to make some time to weld mine up and hope it doesn't explode in my face.

    Thanks for the pics, it shows some improvement and hope the 1/4" welded at the collar of the cylinder is their next step to fix this problem. And after I weld mine up and just before it explodes again I hope the recall starts and I get a new one in the mail. After all this writing and trips and calls and emails,(OH, I forgot the oil bath and spill that needed cleaning up), I should get a brand new 27 ton splitter replica of mine with a beefed up cylinder delivered to my door. If that happened I would take all the crap I talked about TB back, but I'll wait for the recall to at least get a new ram.

    TB, if your reading this shoot me a PM here so that I can give you the address to where you can drop off my brand new 27 ton splitter w/honda, with the thicker trunion and if you want to experiment on a thicker collar to weld the trunion pins on, that would be even better. Pinch me I'm dreaming again.

    Good luck with yours and thanks again for your pics.
  25. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Hmmm... Unless you have other reasons to really love the splitter, I seem to recall that Lowes has a "no questions asked" return policy on equipment purchases that lasts for a while - if still within that period, bringing the unit back with a printout of selected messages and photos from this thread might help get TB's attention - likewise looking for review sites that mention this unit and posting about the tale of woe.... Nothing like "Word of (BAD)Mouth" advertising...

    As to wearing goggles - I wear eyeglasses anyways, (and as a result generally don't wear full goggles, but have chosen my glasses to give me about 95% of the protection, so effectively the same thing) so it is pretty much not something I think about, but I have had MANY occasions when I've been hit in the face, and several times where I've had stuff bounce off my glasses while splitting - bark fragments, dirt, wood splinters, etc... Quite aside from the issue of catastrophic cylinder failures and oil baths, I would wear at least SOME level of eye protection when using a splitter just because of the risk of getting hit by splitter debris... Even fancy, high quality goggles (which IMHO are worth it) are dirt cheap compared to trying to get replacement eyeballs...

    Gooserider
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