What's wrong with my log splitter?
November 11, 2013 4:34 AM   Subscribe

Having trouble getting my log splitter to work as it should. It's not delivering power over most of the stroke.

I have a manual hydraulic log splitter (this one, to be exact).

It's worked fine for a couple of years. I look after it - top up the hydraulic fluid when it starts to get low, etc.

After loaning it to a neighbour (who is generally very careful with things) I've found that I'm not getting any movement of the ram for the first 2/3 of the pump stroke. This means that I have to pump the handle like crazy to get anywhere. I can still split logs, but it's much more of a chore than it was.

What could be up? Is it an oil seal or something? I know next to nothing of hydraulics.
posted by pipeski to Technology (6 answers total)
Best answer: I'm no expert on hydraulics either, but it sounds like you might have some air trapped in the system. I found basic instructions for bleeding the system in step 4 on this page about hydraulic jack repair, which I think is practically the same thing.
posted by jon1270 at 5:53 AM on November 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Is there a procedure to bleed the hydraulic line? Low power is often air bubble related.
posted by sammyo at 5:53 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yep, sounds like air in the system.
posted by notsnot at 6:05 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'd already gone through the bleeding process twice, with no obvious effect. Just tried it again, and it's working like new.

Thanks! I probably wouldn't have bothered trying again without your suggestions.
posted by pipeski at 6:23 AM on November 11, 2013

Bleeding things like this can be notoriously finicky, it's not just you.

I have a '62 Beetle, ask me how I know.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:47 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Glad you got it working! If you keep having to bleed it more often than the manual suggests, you might have a bad seal in there somewhere. In that case, you should either return it if you can or else have it repaired. A leaky seal could eventually turn into a ruptured seal, which could make the splitter much more broken and expensive to repair. Keep an eye on this.
posted by Scientist at 8:52 AM on November 11, 2013

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