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OT hydraulic mess I've gotten myself into

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  • OT hydraulic mess I've gotten myself into

    I spotted a log splitter on Craigslist. Pics looked like it was new, and the owner said it was about 4years old, but quit working after the first season and had been sitting in a shed since that time. It was about 20 miles away so I went to check it out. It looked just like the pics, with a Kohler engine that fired up after a little tinkering. Problem was, the pump was half apart, in a cardboard box, and none of the hydraulic lines had been capped. The system was open to the atmosphere inside an open pole barn with a dirt floor. I wasn't concerned about the pump since figuring it would have to be replaced anyway. I voiced my concerns and made an offer. LSS, I bought a $1200, machine for $250. I'm not gloating. When I got it home and started a thorough inspection starting with a complete disassembly of the pump. Here's what I found.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1878[1].JPG Views:	0 Size:	3.17 MB ID:	1962688
    Another pic of some of the stuff fished out of the pump with a magnet.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1877[1].JPG Views:	0 Size:	1.72 MB ID:	1962689 If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see what looks like some little round balls mixed with the grit. I think those balls are shot that was left in the hydraulic reservoir, by the manufacturer. I would welcome your opinions on this. Also, now my big concern is how to get this crap out of the system. I can flush the hoses with kerosene and dismantle the valve and clean it, but the cylinder and oil tank are going to be a problem. How would y'all go about this? I can add pics of the machine but George may not like that they show the brand.
    Last edited by Dave C; 09-23-2021, 02:08 PM.
    “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

    Lewis Grizzard

  • #2
    Watch Abom’s video on rebuilding hydraulic cylinders to learn how to dismantle one. Pretty simple really. That’s what I’d do to make sure no shot is in the cylinder. The tank you need to flush out, the hoses I assume just flush out into a bucket. New fluid. This is what I’d do.

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    • #3
      Seems like a filter before the pump would catch all of whatever comes through. I assume this one did not have a filter?

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      • #4
        I believe you're right about the shot left in the tank. Blowing up the picture of the pump shows that even the gears are totally toast, some hard grit for sure!

        Use diesel or kerosene, whatever is cheaper because you are going to need lots to thoroughly flush everything like you mentioned. Can the cylinder be taken apart? This would be the best answer to doing a thorough job on that component. Otherwise it will take lots of volume and pressure of cleaning fluid while moving the ram in and out, even then you may not get it all out. A very thorough disassembly of the control valve will of course also be required.
        Can the tank be taken off of the machine? I doubt it otherwise it would not be that much of an issue. Is turning the machine upside down an option in order to thoroughly flush the tank? Otherwise building another reservoir may be another direction to follow since the tank is very likely as you say the source of contaminant.

        Whatever you do when all is done, install a fluid filter into the system!
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Location: British Columbia

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        • #5
          The filter is on the return line to the tank. Pump suction should be above the bottom of the tank an inch or two. Flush it out, install a new pump and you're good to go. Debris in the tank is why the first pump failed.

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          • #6
            What deltap said. Do not put a filter on the suction side to the pump. I don't even like to have a strainer on the suction line but in this case it might have saved the system from total destruction.
            Location: The Black Forest in Germany

            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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            • #7
              Why wouldn't you put a strainer on the inlet side of the pump?
              'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Richard P Wilson View Post
                Why wouldn't you put a strainer on the inlet side of the pump?
                Flow restriction on the inlet side of the pump will likely cause cavitation.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Richard P Wilson View Post
                  Why wouldn't you put a strainer on the inlet side of the pump?
                  cavitation.
                  Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                  How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A nice sized magnet thrown into the bottom of the tank would also be an easy way to catch magnetic swarf. Dodge truck transmissions (maybe transfer cases too) built at New Venture Gear always had a magnet thrown into the case as they were assembled. I have a nice stack of those magnets from my Brother in law who worked there.

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                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1889[1].JPG
Views:	924
Size:	3.66 MB
ID:	1962719 All the wood splitters I have ever seen that have a filter, have it on the return line to the tank. It would seem to make sense to have it on the suction side, but cavitation and restricted flow would be bad for the pump. This is just going to be a bigger PITA than I was expecting, and please spare me the "Expect the unexpected" lecture. I should have known better. On the bright side, it does look good​​​​​​​
                      “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                      Lewis Grizzard

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                      • #12
                        It does look good Dave, I think you did okay on that deal. Other than the cost of a new pump most of the refurb cost will be labor.

                        I can see why the tank would be an issue. Is the the entire black tank used as the hydraulic oil reservoir, or only one side of it?

                        You could possibly cut a largish access into it for clean out then seal it with a flange cover when done. Less elegant would be to simply bypass the tank leaving the old one to serve as axle and frame support and piggyback another actual oil reservoir onto it.

                        Shame, it looks to have less than an hour on it, if that.
                        Also wanted to add that it looks low to the ground and a possible back breaker, this might be an opportunity to fix both issues.
                        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                        Location: British Columbia

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                        • #13
                          If the tank is plastic, tie a magnet to a string for retrieval and move the magnet around in the bottom of the tank. This assuming the swarf is ferrous metal.

                          Tim

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                          • #14
                            Look on the bottom of the tank. Mine is very similar construction, although older, and has a pipe plug to allow draining the tank. Hercules Hydraulics in Clearwater had seals for my cylinder at a good price, and they were very helpful in getting me the correct parts.

                            Jerry

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Willy View Post

                              Flow restriction on the inlet side of the pump will likely cause cavitation.
                              Only if the filter gets blocked surely? A properly sized filter shouldn't restrict flow.
                              'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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