Dirty Hand Tools Log Splitter Caput???

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MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
I have a 22 ton Dirty Hand Tools log splitter that is barely 2 years old and the engine is as dead as my last relationship. I've gone top down with fresh gas, new fuel line, new oil, new spark plug (which has spark to it), but absolutely no ignition when the cord is pulled. The carb is clean, no build up or gunk & the float isn't sticking or anything.

Suggestions, please!
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Did you check the position of the handle? The engine will not start unless the handle is in the neutral position. I did something silly recently that prevented the engine from starting. With the maul retreating, I shut the engine off to haul away the wood in the wheelbarrow. Did not notice that the head was not fully retracted, but it looked that way visually. Went bonkers trying to start it. DHT support were great. Finally hit the handle and it snapped into the neutral position and BOOM... engine started.

DHT said the 3 most common problems for a non-start are:

1. Insufficient oil level
2. Handle not in the neutral position
3. Low hydraulic fluid.

Check and let us know.
 
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MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
Oil
Did you check the position of the handle? The engine will not start unless the handle is in the neutral position. I did something silly recently that prevented the engine from starting. With the maul retreating, I shut the engine off to haul away the wood in the wheelbarrow. Did not notice that the head was not fully retracted, but it looked that way visually. Went bonkers trying to start it. DHT support were great. Finally hit the handle and it snapped into the neutral position and BOOM... engine started.

DHT said the 3 most common problems for a non-start are:

1. Insufficient oil level
2. Handle not in the neutral position
3. Low hydraulic fluid.

Check and let us know.
Oil level & hydraulic fluid are where they need to be, and handle is in neutral position. Checked all those previously, still nothing.
 

MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
Went back again after the lever in neutral position suggestion, and it's fully retracted and the lever is in the neutral position. Was seriously hoping it would be something that simple. Nope.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,783
Nova Scotia
new spark plug (which has spark to it)

but absolutely no ignition when the cord is pulled.


That's a bit confusing. Are you saying the plug doesn't ignite (spark) when you pull the cord?

Also, could be possible one of those ignition defeating thingies (e.g. low oil sensor) crapped out. Bypassing or jumpering might tell. If you have no spark. Hence back to the first question.
 

MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
new spark plug (which has spark to it)

but absolutely no ignition when the cord is pulled.


That's a bit confusing. Are you saying the plug doesn't ignite (spark) when you pull the cord?

Also, could be possible one of those ignition defeating thingies (e.g. low oil sensor) crapped out. Bypassing or jumpering might tell. If you have no spark. Hence back to the first question.

I can pull the plug out of the cylinder head, connect it back to the spark plug wire, hold it against the metal and get spark when pulling the cord. It's just not getting any spark/combustion going at all when put back together.
 

MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
Gone
My first troubleshooting step is always to shoot some starting fluid at it. If it fires up you know it's a fuel problem, even after cleaning carbs there's a chance there's still some crap stuck in it.

Gone through half a can of starting fluid over 2 days. LOL Just can't get that initial fire up with the damn thing, it's frustrating as hell.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,278
NE Ohio
You need 3 things (well, 4) to run.
1. Compression
2. Fuel
3. Spark
And then the 4th would be the correct timing of the spark.
Does it feel like you still have good compression? (intermittent resistance when you pull the rope) Do you have a gauge to put in it? If not, AutoZone will loan a gauge.
What are the circumstances of it not running, had it been sitting unused for a while?
You didn't just put a new plug in it right before it refused to start, did you? There is another thread here where the owner installed the wrong plug and bent a valve.
Since you say it has spark, and it doesn't fire on starting fluid, I would say there may very well be a compression issue...the only other thing would be if the flywheel key has sheared and the ignition timing is off...but even when that happens they will usually at least pop/backfire, especially when you use the starting fluid.
 

MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
You need 3 things (well, 4) to run.
1. Compression
2. Fuel
3. Spark
And then the 4th would be the correct timing of the spark.
Does it feel like you still have good compression? (intermittent resistance when you pull the rope) Do you have a gauge to put in it? If not, AutoZone will loan a gauge.
What are the circumstances of it not running, had it been sitting unused for a while?
You didn't just put a new plug in it right before it refused to start, did you? There is another thread here where the owner installed the wrong plug and bent a valve.
Since you say it has spark, and it doesn't fire on starting fluid, I would say there may very well be a compression issue...the only other thing would be if the flywheel key has sheared and the ignition timing is off...but even when that happens they will usually at least pop/backfire, especially when you use the starting fluid.
Compression feels good (or like it did from time it came home from the store). I do have a gauge kit and will test it shortly to see where it's at. It was only sitting unused for maybe 2 weeks at most. Tried to start it with the old plug and even tried starting it with the original spark plug it came with. Only after going through fresh gas, new motor oil, double checking hydraulic fluid, and all electrical wires, did I try a new spark plug.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,278
NE Ohio
Does the plug come out wet with gas when you try to start it for a while? It should. You could also try squirting a little gas right into the intake (remove the air filter)...if you do this it may take a couple pulls to clear itself of excess fuel, but then it should start, or at least pop.
So no pop or backfire at all right now?
A little PSA here...when squirting gas in the intake of an engine, there is a possibility of backfire out the intake (especially if you still have the air filter/housing off) which will flame up quickly (obviously) be ready with a CO2 fire extinguisher (less mess and damage than a powder type) or even better, just crank the engine, it will suck the fire into the engine on the intake stroke...and 99% of the time that is the end of it...if not, crank it again immediately. If that doesn't work, grab that fire extinguisher that you already have right beside you.
 
Last edited:

MontanaHiker

New Member
Jun 12, 2018
7
Idaho
Does the plug come out wet with gas when you try to start it for a while? It should. You could also try squirting a little gas right into the intake (remove the air filter)...if you do this it may take a couple pulls to clear itself of excess fuel, but then it should start, or at least pop.
So no pop or backfire at all right now?
A little PSA here...when squirting gas in the intake of an engine, there is a possibility of backfire out the intake (especially if you still have the air filter/housing off) which will flame up quickly (obviously) be ready with a CO2 fire extinguisher (less mess and damage than a powder type) or even better, just crank the engine, it will suck the fire into the engine on the intake stroke...and 99% of the time that is the end of it...if not, crank it again immediately. If that doesn't work, grab that fire extinguisher that you already have right beside you.

Spark plug does come out wet with gas after trying to start it. I've tried starting fluid in the intake, but not gas. I'll have to try that next. _g
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,278
NE Ohio
Spark plug does come out wet with gas after trying to start it. I've tried starting fluid in the intake, but not gas. I'll have to try that next. _g
If it does come out wet, it could be just flooded. Turn the choke off, open the throttle wide open, give 'er a few pulls, see if anything happens. You can even kill the ignition switch and pull it over a few times with the plug out, that will dry things out if its flooded too. Anytime you pull for a while, and it doesn't fire (choke on) (and the plug is wet) I like to take the choke off and open the throttle to clear things out. Like I said, make sure the kill switch is in the off position when doing this...2 reasons, if its left on the plug wire could arc/spark to ground and light up the gas vapors coming out of the cylinder when you pull it over, also some ignitions systems can burn out if the wire isn't hooked to the plug, or grounded out.
Also, if you take the air filter off, just make sure the choke plate is closing and opening fully when you operate the lever...since you have it exposed already...just one more thing to check off the list then.
 
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Dobish

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2015
2,024
Golden CO
did you ever get this thing running? i have had no problems with mine since 2016, running the Kohler engine. I haven't used mine in months, and went back, put some fresh gas in it, and it fired right up. I did have to add some hydraulic fluid to it, since it was running a little low.

Mine has 2 gas shutoffs, one under the choke, and one towards the hyraulic fluid tank. I always forget that I shut off the switch by the tank if I haven't used it for a while.

The other thing that I have noticed is that I had a log fall and somehow pulled the spring off of the choke, so the choke was fully on, even when it showed it wasn't.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,268
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
If his spark plug has spark but comes out soaked in gas after failed starting attempts, I'd first suspect the carb float (mine has got stuck once already on a 2 year old DHT/Kohler splitter). That floods it pretty good.
 

Jimscott

New Member
May 19, 2021
2
South Berwick, Maine
I have a very simalar problem with my DHT 22ton/kohler eng logsplitter. It stalled during a difficult split and will not restart. I haven't taken anything apart yet but fluid levels are good and lever is in neutral. It pulls normally and Hyd pump turns but acts like the switch is off. Usually starts on the first pull. I called DHT support but they seem to be out of business. Any ideas?? Was the original thread solved? Thanks
 

Dobish

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2015
2,024
Golden CO
Check to make sure the gas is on. Try reversing the handle to make sure it clicks.
 

Jimscott

New Member
May 19, 2021
2
South Berwick, Maine
Fuel is on and lever is in neutral. I took the spark plug out today and I don't have a spark while cranking with the plug held against the mufler guard or fastener which I didn't expect. Ill try to call Kohler.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,674
Wisconsin Dells, WI
$3 for a new plug...try that first.
Or if your wife is getting on your nerves stick a screw driver in the plug cap and tell her to hold on real tight to the metal part while you pull that summabitch over as fast as you can. ;lol
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,268
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Fuel is on and lever is in neutral. I took the spark plug out today and I don't have a spark while cranking with the plug held against the mufler guard or fastener which I didn't expect. Ill try to call Kohler.
Take that back to the output of the coil to eliminate the spark plug wire. After that, it's either the coil or whatever "off" switches they have (probably one that grounds out the ignition for the stop/run switch, and another one for the control handle position). Could still be something as simple as a bad wire connection at the spark plug boot, or water in a switch.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,674
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Bad/stuck low oil sensor?? If that goes bad it kills spark. I believe there is an easy way to bypass......

Looks like you just unplug it and make sure it doesn't touch a ground while unplugged.

 

Mutineer

Burning Hunk
Dec 13, 2018
114
NE Ohio
Also check that mice haven't set up housekeeping under the shroud, they like to chew wires, had it happen twice on my Honda based splitter.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,822
NNJ
My one and only non start failure with a Honda motor was mice munching on a wire.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,636
WI, Leroy
there is a type of salt in the plastic wire coating- that is the reason the vermin chew on it. low oil sw are noted for causing problems By Pass it. Find the ignition module and make sure everything there is dry. Dirty Hand tools parent company went belly up about 1.5 years ago. if there is a separate kill switch bypass it. Those sw they use on a lot of stuff are so cheap the self destruct just from vibration. I have a reverse problem on a string trimmer kill sw won't 99.9 % of the time one season old. pia. Some times the kill function is linked to the fuel control.