TroyBilt Splitter Fix

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
Just wanted to share a simple fix as it may help others who are not super mechanically inclined (I count myself in that group). I've been running a TroyBilt 27 ton splitter for years. Original purchase was 2006. It's got the little Honda GX Engine, and it's never failed me. Last fall I changed the oil, hydraulic fluid and hydraulic filter. Fired it back up and split for a while, and it started really bogging down and smelling like gas. So I think it's the carb. I check the fuel line, it's clear. Check the oil level just in case there's a low oil cut-off or something, it's fine. I pull the carb, take it apart, it's sparkling clean in there, but I blast it with carb cleaner anyway, put everything back together and it fires right up. I run it for a few more minutes and shut it down thinking I'm good. The next time I tried to start it, nothing. Won't even sputter. Long story short it was the non-visible end of the spark plug. It was completely gunked over. So I applied heat to it, then took an emory board and lightly sanded the crap off of it. Reinstalled the plug and problem solved. Anyway, hopefully this can help somebody else out there.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Isn't that interesting that the bad plug and the problems that it caused just happened to show up right after you did the oil change and some hydraulic maintenance? o_O Now obviously those things you did had nothing to do with the engine not running right, but it does make you wonder if you did something?!?! Nice job figuring things out and getting yourself back in business.

I have a spare plug for every engine I own and after the usual checks like fuel, do you have spark, etc. My next step is to put a new plug in.
Some times that's been the problem. I've had a few plugs that looked fine, but had a problem somewhere. And if it doesn't fix the issue, you keep looking.
 
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BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
It was very strange timing for sure. I need to get in the game with always having backup plugs for everything too
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,221
Woolwich nj
A fouled spark plug is usually from the motor not running correctly so there is something off.. usually is related to fuel or air or the plug not firing correctly.. if your doing a service it should also including the air filter, plug and dropping the bowl on the carb.
 

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
Thanks for the tips. I did remove the bolt from the bell of the carb and drained it. And I did order a new plug too.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Great point from Woodsplitter67. When I mentioned always having a spare plug around for every engine, it so showed what a farmer I am!!! :eek: I should have really extended my comment a bit. As WS67 mentioned, if a plug is really bad, it often points to other problems. A really dirty air filter causing the engine to run too rich, engine starting to wear and burning some oil, etc.

I should have mentioned that a fresh plug allows me (sometimes) to get right on my farm work which is almost always time critical. Once that is taken care of, I then keep my eye on that piece of equipment. I'll check the air filter for example or the pre-filter which sometimes clogs heavily if mowing in lots of dry grass or dry weeds. I usually have that taken care of in my regular maintenance, but sometimes things get missed.

The other thing that fresh plug gives me is a test. I'll check that plug after 5 or 10 hours to see if it tells me anything. If it looks good - things are probably OK. If it's starting to blacken - I know that there is a problem. Sometimes it's something that I'll research and take care off. Sometimes it just confirms that the engine is starting to get tired and starting to burn a little oil. That's a reminder to me to really keep an eye on the oil level before each use. I've had equipment that has served me for years after starting to foul plugs, by just replacing the plug (or cleaning it) annually.
 

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
I’ll try pulling the plug after some hours are on the new one and see how it looks. Splitter has probably split 70 or 80 cords at this point, so perhaps the motor is running down. But hopefully that’s not the case.
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
270
Wisconsin
Good idea to check, but with that many hours on that original plug, you might be pleasantly surprised that after all that time the plug had just gone bad. I hope you find that to be the case!
 

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
464
New Hampshire
Yeah I’m sure the new plug will make a difference