Splitter question

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
I’ve had the Dirty Hand Tools 25 ton splitter for a couple years now. Works great. I’ve done nothing maintenance-wise with it thus far. Just recently, I noticed the force that it splits has reduced significantly. I checked the manual for troubleshooting guide but didn’t see anything. Any guesses as to what I should be fixing on it?
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
557
West Michigan
Does the motor still run at 3600 rpm? Run a couple of ounces of seafoam through it with some rec fuel. I'd check the wedge, and see if it's dulled/rounded off a bit. I hand file all my splitter wedges, makes a difference, and I grind off any big nobs or burrs, including where the cross bolt comes in occasional contact with the wood. Might want to swap out the hydro fluid and filter too, if it's not motor related, maybe a clogged filter.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,520
WI, Leroy
lack of power could be a stuck bypass valve or broken spring in same in the control valve. Another item that can cause this is the ram seal in the cylinder going south. a pressure gauge installed at various points can locate where a pressure drop is happening. You could dead head the ram and the remove the front cylinder hose fire unit back up and see if any fluid is being emitted when applying forward control , warning fluid under pressure is dangerous. kind of a two-person job as that hose needs to be restrained . This would identify a ram seal leak. Dirty hand tools parent company went into bankruptcy, so I do not know if they are still around. There should be a cap on the valve that is removable, under it would be the spring and ball for the bypass. Sometimes the barrel that the control arm moves in side the valve assembly can wear- rotating it 90-180 degrees sometimes solves a problem there for a while. Air mixed into the oil will also cause pressure problems , You didn't say if the pump was screaming which would indicate cavitation- blockage of oil to pump - if there is a feed hose to the pump from the tank they can get soft and collapse causing stravation of the pump or it being blocked some units have a strainer in the tank ahead of that hose. . check to make sure the set screws are tight and generally the rest of the love joy coupler between engine and pump are ok. Only way to check for a bad pump is with a gauge. Thats the whole system in a nut shell.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Gearhead660

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
Thanks for the info, really appreciate that. This may be a dumb question on my part, but I’d rather ask then assume and then get hurt. If the splitter is off is there pressure buildup in the hydraulic fluid? The manual for the splitter doesn’t Give instructions on how to troubleshoot stuff, which kind of stinks.
 

triptester

Feeling the Heat
Aug 25, 2006
359
S.E.Wisconsin
In theory there should be no pressure in the system when the engine is not running but to be on the safe side operate the control valve in both directions with the engine off.
A clogged return filter will not effect system pressure. The filter head has a built-in bypass that opens at 15-25 psi.
 

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
368
Southern WI
Mine isnt the same brand, but I have had the same issue. The control valve was out of adjustment. Something simple and easy to check.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
Mine isnt the same brand, but I have had the same issue. The control valve was out of adjustment. Something simple and easy to check.
Thanks for the info. The adjusting the control valve is done by tightening/loosening the screws on near the control level, right?
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
Duly noted thanks.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
After looking further into it, the hydraulic oil is low in the splitter. Although this may not be the fix for this issue, it seems like the place to start ( it would need to get done anyway). I bought new hydraulic oil and correct new oil filter. I’ll do this tomorrow and will report back on if this helps.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
I just emptied out the old hydraulic fluid. Now I’m reattaching the transparent hose. How tight should the hose clamps be put back on? Trying not to under or overdo it. Thanks
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
557
West Michigan
I just emptied out the old hydraulic fluid. Now I’m reattaching the transparent hose. How tight should the hose clamps be put back on? Trying not to under or overdo it. Thanks
Tighten them to good and snug. Keep in mind, they don't hold the splitter together, so no need to overdo them and strip them out. Just a nice medium hard snugness.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,320
Southeast CT
So, after replacing the hydraulic fluid in the splitter, it appears to be working better now. I’ll have to give it a more full test sometime soon, but the few logs that I split as a test today split smoothly, including a stubborn round of beech and some wet aspen.