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Homemade log splitter needs help

4813 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  BOSS351C
]Well I went to the scrap yard and found this splitter sitting off to the side. It has a massive 8" cylinder with a 3" shaft and had a control valve and pump still on it with all the hoses so I couldn't let it get crushed. So I brought this thing home to start a new project. I had a 5 hp engine sitting around and wanted to see what the hydraulics would do. I got it mounted to the pump and started it up with some starting fluid to prime the carb and when doing so my son was holding the control lever one way and every time it bumped up the shaft was moving out. I thought that was very promising until the engine stayed running on it's own. Once it stayed running, every time I worked the lever the engine would shut down. It seems that the pressure from the pump was stopping the engine. I took apart the control valve and the relief valve and found nothing. I also drained all the oil from the resvior and found some water but did this before trying to run it. I can't find any restriction and it has me stumped. I figured the restriction would have to be between the pump and control valve relief but maybe there is something I am over looking. Possibly water or air that needs bled out? Any help or opinions are welcome.

I am a little hydraulic slow but know some basics.
Here are the pics and hope they show enough.

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That's a single stage vane pump. Your engine maybe too small to drive it. There's a relief valve on the control manifold; back it all the way off and start it. Turn it in until the cylinder extends.

Eventually you'll need a bigger engine, or a smaller pump.
I agree with Hydronerd, that is probably a 20HP requirement pump.

Even a 2 stage pump will put you to sleep waiting for the cylinder to move.

Scrounge up a big engine, a vertical shaft GT takeoff will work fine.
That cylinder will suck up the better part of a gallon of oil for every 4" of stroke. The good news is that 1000 psi will split just about anything you want with 25 tons of force available.

I agree, bigger engine or smaller pump.
Ditto the comments re the pump size and another comment. The plumbing looks...ahhhhh....odd (to be gentle). Get rid of the galvanized water fittings at least on the pressure side of the system, (preferably all) they're not made to take hydraulic pressure. Install a return filter and upsize the hydraulic tank.
Will it work if put the proper size pump on it, for sure, will it be safe......nope unless you change the plumbing......Mike.....Mike
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Thanks for the comments. I believe that this splitter was equipt with a larger engine and probably worked well with the pump that was on it. Do you guys think 20hp is what I would need or could I get away with a 13/15hp from a riding mower?

I believe the resivior to hold about 3 gallons and would think that it was enough for whomever built it but I don't know until I get that cylinder moving.

I will try to adjust the relief and see if it will pop off. I just thought that 5hp would be enough to move the cylinder with no load. Thanks again for the help.
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Your right MM. If the engine runs while the valves in the center position, it should move the cylinder. Maybe water got in the cylinder and its all rusted up. Take the hoses off and put in a bucket and try shifting valve. You might have to take cylinder apart.
The cylinder itself holds over 3 gallons of fluid and the system will operate at low pressure (under 1000 psi) under just about any circumstances. Cooling is not going to be a problem. The duty cycle at pressures over 500 psi will be less than 10 seconds per minute and the rest of the time the pressure will be less than 200 psi.

13 - 15 hp should be adequate, depending on the pump flow rate.
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find a old wisconsin twin... those are perfect for running log splitters
Well just a little update. I turned the relief almost all the way out and the 5hp ran the shaft in and out. It did struggle/work a little but did work. I think with a larger engine I will be able to increase the pressure and be good. After finding an engine I will start a new thread and clean this splitter up and re-do the plumbing and some of the fab work. After running the cylinder for a little bit I did notice a small leak in the pressure hose from the pump and some fluid coming from the front of the pump around the shaft. I imagine it being seal but will have to remove it and get a better look at it. I think it is a vickers single stage vane pump. Does anyone know if this maybe just a o-ring or maybe a hard to get part. Here is a pic of the pump. Don't know why my pic came out upside down but this computer just does what it wants.
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Vickers vane pumps are industry standard and parts should be readily available at hydraulic shops. Try The Parker Store, if you have one nearby.
Vickers vane pumps are industry standard and parts should be readily available at hydraulic shops
Ditto, simple but good pumps, not hard to rebuild at all.....Mike
Thanks again. I hope to get this project up and running soon. I Will start a new thread when I get an engine.
My dad had a similar Vickers vane pump on his log splitter run by an 11ph Honda engine. His cylinder is like 4" bore. Speed was fine but anytime a log didn't just "pop" the pump would stall the engine. I finally convinced him to put a two stage 16gpm pump on it after he changed the valve twice and tried adjusting the relief valve. It works great now.
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