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I have a Ryobi electric splitter that does everything I ask of it. I don't split 8 cords a year like some guys, just branches or the occasional tree that needs to be taken down. I have noticed one small problem with it. The ram is not retracting all the way anymore. It now stops about a half an inch from where it did when I got it. Couldn't find anything about this in the manual. You can see in the pictures what I'm talking about. HEre's the whole unit"



Here is the end where the ram retracts. Note the shiny chrome of the piston where it has stopped:



Here is the motor end. I thoroughly cleaned the unit. I can't see anything that might be blocking full retraction:



Here is the ram end again. Is that port at the bottom where I would add hydraulic fluid if it needed it?

 

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That little port is your oil drain plug and dipstick. Check your oil. How long since it's been changed? It should be replaced every 150 hours.
 

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Just as a test, try pushing the rod end into place and pulling it out by hand with the valve set to retract. It may take some effort. With the unit unplugged, of course.

If there is about 1/2" of movement and then none in either or both directions, the nut has backed off from the piston and has effectively made the rod longer.

Another way to check is to watch for a slight delay of movement when the valve is actuated in either direction.

If that is the problem, disassemble the cylinder and tighten the nut, and maybe drill and tap the nut for a small setscrew to lock it in place or use a nylon insert locknut, if there's room. There are several methods of retaining the piston on the rod and a nut is the only one that I can think of that will cause your problem.

NOTE - There is a recess in the base end plate to accept the end of the rod that extends past the piston. The purpose is to provide a cushioning effect for the end of travel and it is sized to accomodate the designed end of the rod, whether it uses a nut or not. Bear that in mind if you have to service ANY cylinder. The same holds true for the rod end cap where a short bushing or piston extension is often used to create the cushion.

If there is no reason for your symptoms externally, the reason is internal. That looks like an interesting tear down on that machine.
 

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Old Stonebreaker
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See if you can remove the two rods that run from the ram to the push block. If the ram still won't fully retract then it's a problem inside the ram. If it does then it's something external in the push block. If it's low on oil it would come up short at the end of the extension cycle, not the retraction cycle.
Mike
 
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