What is wrong with this splitter? Video

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
928
CT
This is an older 27 Ton Yard Machine with Honda Engine. Was sitting for 3 years or more. Inherited with the house, so don't know the history.
I checked fluids, changed the filter, changed the carburetor as the engine was acting up.
Now it works ok till the wedge hits the log. On a bigger log, it stalls, the engine bogs down, and then after a couple of seconds, it splits it.
The bigger log, the bigger the hesitation time. Please, see the video. Sorry for the quality.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
599
West Michigan
Sounds like you've done the right things. Not familiar with those splitters personally, but looks and sounds like the 2 stage pump is worn. Dirt/debris is the biggest enemy of hydraulic pumps. All pumps wear with usage, and because you don't know the history on this, and based on the brand, it's certainly worn to some degree, possibly very worn.

Engine sounds fine. Can you check the working RPM? More speed = faster cycle times. If you can, shoot for 3600 RPM or even slightly above. You mentioned checking the fluids, but have you changed them? Do some research and maybe try a higher viscosity oil, it will increase pressures, to a degree. Also, can you adjust the pressure relief valve to raise the system pressure?

If it was me, Before I rebuilt or swapped out the pump, as long as you know your filter is correct for the application, I'd swap out the hydraulic fluid, and check that there's no debris or blockage in any of the inlets/hoses, pickups, etc. Hoses can become internally blocked/damaged and sometimes you can't see it from the outside. I've run into hydraulic hoses looking normal on the outside, but being blocked/collapsed on the inside because they break down over time. But yours doesn't sound like a collapsed or faulty hose.

Something else that I can't tell from the video is how sharp the wedge is. I hand file my splitter edges to a uniform working sharpness, and file/grind any high points that will create friction points on my rail, or that will contact the wood or splitter. Verify and clean/lube the rail and slide area. These little things add up and make the splitter work less when operating.

If you drain the fluid, verify that there's no blockages, then I'd swap the fluid for fresh. If that doesn't help, I'd toss in something similar to Lucas hydraulic booster, or some other kind of thickener to see if that helps with the worn pump. There's lots of cheap thickeners if you do some research, and increasing working pressures with heavier fluids can help sometimes. At this point, for what you have into it, what do you have to lose?

If that doesn't do it, pull the pump and see if you can freshen it up, or swap it out.

I'd swap out the fluid first, add some thickener second, file your wedge and lube the sliding areas, check the engine RPM's with a tach. Then go from there.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,530
NE Ohio
Sounds like the pump is not smoothly switching between high and low...it may just need disassembled and cleaned up, or maybe a minor part or two...I bet it can be fixed for low money.
And I agree with the wedge looking blunt...
 

showrguy

Feeling the Heat
Aug 2, 2015
479
Marysville, Pa.
My old hydro splitter was doing the same thing years ago..
It ended up the keyway was broke inside the hydro pump, would not allow it to go into low..
new key and it was good to go..
 
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mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
689
SE CT
I have the 31 ton MTD with 8 hp Briggs I/C motor and 5" piston. As far as I know mine is not a 2 stage. It slows down a bit when first hitting a log but it just powers right through it. Nasty knotted chunk? It hesitates for a brief second and then demolishes it.
 

triptester

Feeling the Heat
Aug 25, 2006
360
S.E.Wisconsin
I have the 31 ton MTD with 8 hp Briggs I/C motor and 5" piston. As far as I know mine is not a 2 stage. It slows down a bit when first hitting a log but it just powers right through it. Nasty knotted chunk? It hesitates for a brief second and then demolishes it.
The MTD has a 2 stage pump. It is rare for any consumer grade splitter to have a single stage pump.
 

showrguy

Feeling the Heat
Aug 2, 2015
479
Marysville, Pa.
I have the 31 ton MTD with 8 hp Briggs I/C motor and 5" piston. As far as I know mine is not a 2 stage. It slows down a bit when first hitting a log but it just powers right through it. Nasty knotted chunk? It hesitates for a brief second and then demolishes it.
When it slows down a bit is when it’s going into low gear..
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,530
NE Ohio
When it slows down a bit is when it’s going into low gear..
That could be...but mine is only "23 ton" (6.5 HP, 3.5" cylinder) and only occasionally shifts to "low"...and I don't get straight grained easy splitting stuff that often either. I wouldn't think that a 5" cylinder would need to shift anywhere near that quickly...
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
599
West Michigan
I have the 31 ton MTD with 8 hp Briggs I/C motor and 5" piston. As far as I know mine is not a 2 stage. It slows down a bit when first hitting a log but it just powers right through it. Nasty knotted chunk? It hesitates for a brief second and then demolishes it.
Can't even guess, but might be completely different pump/setup than the one in the vid. One in the vid seems like a 2 stage that's acting lazy/weak.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
First off, splitters take hydraulic fluid in the pump and I'd say it needs rebuilt.
 
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Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
433
NW Wisconsin
Acts like a worn or damaged pump. I have dealt with both. It could be a sheared key in the pump, or something not moving correctly.
I would pull the pump and check it out.
 
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Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
928
CT

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
433
NW Wisconsin
You need a pressure gauge that will read at least 3,000 psi. You get the cylinder to one end and hit the lever. You will see the needle move up and then the load will come off the motor and the needle will go higher until your relief opens or your pump leaks internally past the gears(worn out). You have to watch how the needle moves and listen to the motor. If your kick down pressure is higher than the relief, it will never kick down, will wear the low pressure side out very quickly, and can shear pins in the pump. You can't adjust hydraulics without a gauge.

I wore out my old pump because I used all of my available hp (gas engine) on the first stage and hardly ever used the second stage. The first stage is not meant to produce full pressure and it will wear the shaft/bushings if the kick down pressure is turned up too high.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Just get a new pump, not that expensive.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,197
Northern Canada
Just get a new pump, not that expensive.
the new standard when things don't work...
Just get a new....and throw it away.
Playing into the hands of the chineese
our dumps are full of stuff built by them to accommodate the thinking of "i'ts broke toss it out buy another.
I saw an add for christmas pushing 7 new electronic gadgets that nobody really needs all originating in china.It is time for North America to change their priority's.
Get a gauge and see if there is an issue,if there is it could be fixed with some adjustment or...
don't just fill up your landfill.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,530
NE Ohio

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
599
West Michigan
Dmitry, give us an update with details when you can. Interested to see what has been done and if there's any improvements. Chance for all of us to learn.
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
928
CT
Dmitry, give us an update with details when you can. Interested to see what has been done and if there's any improvements. Chance for all of us to learn.
Will do, it's been raining for couple days here. Didn't get to it yet.