How often to replace hydraulic oil in splitter?

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KB007

Minister of Fire
Oct 21, 2009
553
Ottawa, Canada
I have a Champion 17 ton splitter and the manual does not list a shcedule for replacing the hydraulic oil. What's the normal cycle to replace it?

Also, any reason NOT to run the splitter at winter temps (say -10 C)??
 

LLigetfa

Minister of Fire
Nov 9, 2008
7,360
NW Ontario
Are we talking city or highway? A general rule of thumb is every 50 cord.
 

Rich M

New Member
Aug 22, 2006
159
NW Lower Michigan
I've been running mine the last few weeks at around 20-30F (much colder at night when it's sitting) no problem. Synthetic oil in the engine, starts on one easy pull every time. Warm up for a few minutes then run some cycles with no load before splitting. I thought about switching to ATF since most of my splitting is done in the cold but the regular hydraulic fluid has worked fine for me, cheaper too.
 

Kong

New Member
Nov 28, 2009
110
North Eastern West Virginia
Change the oil?

Do you mean change the oil filter?

As long as it doesn't get contaminated and its filtered there is never a reason to change it. It is not subject to anything that would make it break down over time or normal use, there's no reason to ever change it. However if it gets 'milky' meaning it takes on sort of a putrid gray/white color, it means its been contaminated with water and you need to change it immediately - do not let that stuff sit inside your cylinder or valve.
 
As long as it still "looks" clean it's fine. If it changes color (as others have said) time for it to go. However I would change the filter every 30 - 50 cords. I have added a pressure gauge to my filter so that I will know when to change it. It's been 2 years and still only sitting at 10 PSI while running. So I have not even changed that yet. I will if I see it get up to the 15 psi mark. I would pay more attention to the filter then the oil.
 

Kong

New Member
Nov 28, 2009
110
North Eastern West Virginia
On that color change that comes with water in the oil - let me say something.

Water can contaminate the hydraulic fluid (or ATF if that's what you use) just a couple of ways. Generally the vent on the fill cap will be the problem if you've got water in the system. There really isn't any other place where water can get in.

The color of contaminated oil is not a milky white, its actually more the color of slush on the side of a city street, kind of nasty gray. Now here is the thing. As you know water is more dense than oil and so over time the water will settle out and so sometimes if a splitter has been setting for months and you check the oil it will look clean. However if you were to fire it up and cycle the cylinder a couple of time and then check it again you might very well find that the oil looks a lot different. Just towing the splitter and letting it bounce around may not be enough to make water that has settled out of the oil become visible - but if you run a cycle it for a few minutes if there is water in the fluid you'll see it.
 
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