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Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:33 pm
by GeneMO
So my woodsplitter is a three point tractor model. Cylinder lays horizontal. It is 40 years old. Got it at Central Tractor if that rings a bell.

So noticed it was leaking a bit, and I tightened the 4 long threaded rods that hold it together. Thought that cured the problem. And it did mostly as it was leaking enough to see a puddle in the dirt.

So went out a bit ago to split good bit. What the heck?? It is weeping fluid through the walls of the cylinder itself. Never seen that. Naturally when I hit a tough knot and really put the pressure on it, it weeps more. I guess little microscopic pin holes.

Wonder, could there be any safety danger?

The cylinder still has a bit of paint on the outside, no visible rust or pitting. Just an nice used patina to it . Guess I will just watch it, use it carefully.

At my age and the way I feel, it may still outlast me. Just never noticed a cylinder do that.

Gene

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:52 pm
by PHPaul
That's a new one on me too, Gene.

What are the dimensions of the cylinder? I took in a 3PH log splitter with the Satoh that's the exact same model as the American I already had. I'd be willing to part it out if you need a cylinder and if it will fit.

Freight might be a deal breaker, those suckers are heavy!

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:14 pm
by Red Dave
I never heard of a cylinder wall leaking like that. It doesn't sound natural.
I'd be real wary of a cylinder that leaked oil out through the cylinder walls. If those pinholes or cracks decide to open up some more, you could get an oil bath, or get hit with flying pieces, depending on how violently it gives way.


I suggest that you stand as far away from that thing as you can when it is splitting wood.

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:53 pm
by Bkeepr
Gene,

I'd quit using it immediately, as I am pretty sure it is a safety hazard, at imminent risk of failure.

I don't have very much experience with log splitters, but I do have *lots* of practical experience with hydraulics in Army howitzers, as well as a degree in systems engineering, and my "awe $hit" meter is pegged out at max.

If you're right about hydraulic fluid weeping through the walls, then you've got some kind of structural problem--like fine cracking-- and putting a load on the walls is likely to result in cylinder failure, and it is very likely to be catastrophic failure if it's under load when it happens. Best case, you get a bath in oil; worst case, there's flying metal.

I *may* be wrong (or you could, maybe it isn't weeping through the walls), but it is better safe than dead or maimed...we've lost too many good friends here, please don't risk being the next one.

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:21 pm
by GeneMO
That is danged good advice, and I will take it. Time to retire the thing. It is about the same size as my old IH double action cylinder I use on my disk, etc, except it is a 24" length, about double what the disk cylinder is .

As far as the weeping, it is definitely coming right through the cylinder wall. I can wipe it away with a shop cloth, have it dry, then watch the little beads of hydraulic oil appear as I put it under pressure, It is coming through about 6-7 places, and they are mostly in a line. So yes, I will about bet that thing is about to come unglued big time. Not sure how much pressure is behind there, but a bunch I know.

Thanks guys. I was just gonna keep watching it, and thought it would probably outlast me.

Now it is junk yard bound THANKS !!!!!

As for the parts offer, yes, shipping would probably kill it. I think I am gonna Amazon a search for a new cylinder. If that don't pan out, there is a good hydraulics place not too far from me, they might be able to get just the hollow tube.

Gene

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:36 pm
by Bkeepr
Your "mostly in a line" observation is exactly how that kind of failure happens...I no longer remember the technical terminology or the why, but that kind of failure always happens lengthwise in the tube.

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:20 am
by GeneMO
I am shopping for new cylinders. My woodsplitting is on hold till then. You probably saved me some extreme problems. I should have realized the danger but didn't.

Thanks!! Gene

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:18 pm
by swampy
Fawteen put me on to Surplus Supplies or something like that. Prices are good and shipping reasonable.

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:25 pm
by GeneMO
So I found one at Northern, $229, but danged shipping was gonna be $45.00!

So I just did an Amazon Search. Cylinder was $215 with free shipping. It will be here in about 10 days.

Hope it isn't China made. Forgot to check on that.

Gene

Re: Dangedest thing!

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:50 pm
by PHPaul
swampy wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:18 pm
Fawteen put me on to Surplus Supplies or something like that. Prices are good and shipping reasonable.
Surplus Center. https://www.surpluscenter.com/

They've got about anything in hydraulics, but shipping can be a deal breaker.