Log Splitter's Hydraulic Cylinder Seal Problem

loger_gwDecember 2, 2010

Log Splitter's Hydraulic Cylinder Seal Problem:

1. Where do I get seals for Hydraulic Cylinders where the main ram comes out? I have tried Northern Tools, Tractor Supply, Stuart Hose and Wesley Seals, locally (with no luck).

  1. Is it possible that the packing/seal just needs more pressure from a packing nut (I h/n broken it down "yet")? Please send me a link to common hydraulic cylinder's assembly drawingd related to log splitters.

3. There are no markings on the cylinder or make/model info on the splitter.

4. Quick research show Roded and Lion Welded Cylinders to hold the end caps and these are welded.

5. I can up-load pics of the cylinder if this will help in the matter.

At least I'm good for the winter and I'll Need The Break! Thanks for any and all info. loger

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The 2 major manufactor of cylinders or prince and cross. End on cylinder tha has packing called gland its on rod end cylinder inside gland u-cup packing that seal rod that where oil bypassing rod. Getting gland out tube by unscrew gland this take spanner wrench vise hold cylinder unscrew gland pull out rod piston glad. Next get large nut off end rod so remove piston from rod gland slide off that end rod use glad as slide hammer on piston to remove from rod. Inside gland be u-cup seal thats leaking the U goes to oil pressurer side gland. Places to look for hydraulic cylinder shops napa store senior sales person should no about hyd. cylinder shop location tube jacks are rebuild locaely any logging supply business rubber tire backhoe business service manager should know a business to rebuild your cylinder. I build first hydraulic wood splitter back in 1968 for by aging father and no did not get patten.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 8:43PM
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Thanks for the info Gator! IâÂÂll get busy today toward seeing if I have the tools to pull the seal w/o damaging any of the parts. Hopefully, IâÂÂll find a name & # on the seal that will help in finding my needs.

1. Should I look for a kit to re-build the hydraulic cylinder vs just seal if I still have good cylinder power?

2. Should I look for a reasonable shop or individual with experience or is it a typical DIYS job as many?

Thanks in advance for any on-line links of cylinder internal diagrams and repair/rebuilding procedures. Loger

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 11:27AM
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I feel I made some good progress toward identifying/replacing the leaking seal on the log splitterâÂÂs ram today.

1. I backed out the allen set/screw, the âÂÂweldedâ end cap screwed off the seal retainer with little resistance once started with channel-locks. The cylinder is 24â long X 4â dia X 2â ram.

2. The sealâÂÂs retainer (my term) was the âÂÂBearâ and fragile but it walked out due to the ext âÂÂOâ Ring dragging vs no resistance from seal in retainer to ram.

3. My present challenge is to find someone local with the seal. Possibly changing it if the nut on the ram is a challenge above wood in the work-benchâÂÂs vise. Trucks, Tractors Supply Shops will be my targets. I have good pics to send to some vendors.

A good and bad experience since this leak just appeared worse with the cold weather vs over a month ago with the first signs. Loger

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 7:43PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Glad have wiper to wipe rod dirt inside after remove gland from rod there where u-cup be if have cell phone camera take some photo they help on resemble. Welded cylinder means tube welded to base end other type tie rod hold end caps in plase on tube. That 2X4 measurement help in locating seal kit. Piston will have o'ring inside seal oil along with outside seals of piston some are piston ring some fiber seals. side loads on rod throw force on u-cup to one side cause earily failure seal. for links to cylinder brakedown google take you to web page type welded cylinder in address bar then search links. If bought splitter new should be diagram in paper work. Some cylinders have 4 year warranty. This type problem always piece cake second time around. To lube seals to reinstall use veg. base oil no protolem lubes.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Thanks Gator! This is very good info and a lesson on the components of a welded Hydraulic Cylinder. I hope to find the seals in a week or so w/o driving too far. I have a Grainger close that shows kits. IâÂÂll hope to find that small repair shop (w/o big overhead charges) with itemized stock vs kits.

IâÂÂll upload pics as to what I am seeing at the addresses below. I have a better feel for the needed seals, fiber wiper after seeing a good cut-away and basic info at this site. loger

Hydraulic Cylinders General Info:

Last WinterâÂÂs wood to split:


Rod Seal Kit needed:




    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Removing the 50 lb Log SplitterâÂÂs leaking hydraulic cylinder and searching for seals was a project I d/n need. My hard work looking for seals paid off by finding the seals on the unknown cylinder (by the shop that repairs/rebuild cylinders).

At that point I felt it was most cost effective to let the small shop rebuild vs just replacing the leaking seal (since we were looking at at least 6 seals and etc on an unknown cylinder). The rebuild included: tear down/inspect (that I saw), polish rod (I was shown the nick that dictated it), hone case (a rust spot I saw dictated), cleanup piston & gland, reseal complete, assemble and test (that I saw was OK).

I was told I can do as little as needed and reasonable or sale you what you need with a small tear down fee. With good timing he could have it ready in 2 hrs vs driving back approx 20 miles the next day. It will be interesting to see how the cylinder performs after the rebuild. IâÂÂll install the cylinder with new hydraulic fluid vs the old that d/n look too bad (but recommended to be changed about every 2 yrs with my use).

Question: If my fluid tank is 5 gallons capacity, do I only need 2.5 gallons in it vs 5 gallons?


PS. Work Dictates Work!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 9:29PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

The rust in cylinder was from mositure in old oil somewhat milky looking oil is water but same look comes from air in fluid to tell which which put some in glass set up on table for 2 hours air come out oil but water want but will settle out in few days that settling cause rust spot in cylinder. Moisture likes hydraulic system because oil cools slower pull in air moisture this happen at late night when moisture in air highest.

About volume of resivor in tank leave room at top tank oil expanding when hot hydraluic does expand higher level keeps out more air moisture. On cold starts air mix with oil cause more volume. If put in 2 1/2 gallons and gallon an half goes in cylinder take up air space that leave 1 gallon in tank but 5 gallons in one half goes in cylinder that leave 3 1/2 in tank thats about right volume cold.

I crowd thee Log Spitter Cylinder Exspert you did great job on rebuild. Fill cylinder by working cylinder back and forth with no load on system so fill can accure all system you don't cause Diesel effect (equals compression and oil as fuel) and have small explosion in cylinder it crack cylinder barrel.

The path on cylinder applies to valve bank and pump.

Good Job

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:41AM
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Loger: Just food for thought , if you wish there are New Synthetic Based Hyd Oils that are Specially Formulated to protect the Cylinder Bore from Corrosion and have Lubricity Agents to protect the Seals also against Thermal Cycle Breakdown that Promotes Moisture Intrusion . Slightly more expensive than the Mineral Dino Hyd Oils of yester year but work much better under the extreme pressure conditions of Hydraulic Pump usage . Just something to consider . Good Job on the Seal Replacement also :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 5:38AM
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1. Is O'ReillyâÂÂs - Hydraulic Fluid Part Number 74409 a reasonable fluid to use in the log splitter? This is what the hydraulic shop recommended. I have used it 5-10 hours per year in the 3 years I have owned it.

2. The splitterâÂÂs has a 5 gallon can type reservoir tank lying horizontally, should it be filled with 5 or 2.5-3 gallons of fluid? The tank measured about half full in the past.

3. What is the average tonnage rating on a splitter if the cylinder is 24â L X 3.5 bore X 2â rod? IâÂÂm sure the pumpâÂÂs PSI is needed to figure force but I am trying to guess the tonnage. I found a few numbers stamped in the welded fitting at the welded end of the cylinder trying to identify it. The shop felt it was a 3 ton cylinder but d/n mention a brand. That sounds low to me after seeing this Monster split a few 24"-30" oak logs w/o a problem on clean wood.

4. It was the most Down To Earth Father, Son, And Wife Shop That You felt At Home In! In an Ooold Warehouse District you walked directly into the wifeâÂÂs office. To get to the father and sonâÂÂs work area you had to come out and enter the next door. They were well equipped for hydraulics, machine shop and welding. Good Folks!

Thanks To All For The Good Info/Help! Loger

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:29AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Take pressurer times bore size = total divied by 2,000 = tonnage.

Like 3 1/2 inch bore times 2,000 psi = 7,000 divide by 2,000 = 3 1/2 tons.

AW 68 is very good hydraulic fluid the AW being anti-wear which is wax in oil wax stick to all metal parts so wear is on wax not metal. This wax will settle in container last cup old look bad but good thing.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:08PM
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1. O'reilly's here has AW 32 and 46, 5 gal ea @ 40.00, vs 68 and the shop here recommended 46 and this is Texas. Does that sound about right?

2. Should I consider an in-line filter in the future? Due to the shop mentioning some fine metal from pump wear while he was inspecting. OR! Is this normal to see and a filter would not help in the system? I have not noticed any metal but I'll keep a qt of the old oil to inspect closer. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 3:38PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

If there anyway clean tank that have largest semiment area filter in return line to tank always good ideal. Greson good brand filter housing bypass in returnline to tank you want about 32 micro filter spinon type. AW 46 work just thinner AW 68. If have problem with slowing after fluid get hot clean system add shell 15W 40 T1 with 22 % wear reduction.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:23PM
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I put some of the old (chocolate looking) fluid on thin clear plastic, held it up in the natural light and "possibly" saw very very fine signs of metal (like in a metallic paint). The tech at the shop made a statement about exploded metal as if the pressure breaks it down or from pump wear. Does that sound right?

I got the 5 gallons of AW 46 to install tomorrow. BUT! I need to talk with my Financial Adviser to see where I stand on this deal vs "Just Having Fun"! LOL. I hope my present 4 cords of wood will last through next winter since it was all green last winter (when I collected it from last winter's damaged trees). I burn 24 hrs but refuse to stoke after bedtime vs the next morning's cleaning since retirement (7 yrs). Last, do I need to run the splitter on a schedule to keep it healthy (Helping Friends!!!) when I d/n have wood to split?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 8:25PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Where you in texas as I spend 5 years in Bowie county close to Dekalb tx. Put large magnet in tank Bottom that help attract metal. Brownish proably mix rust and mositure. You find old magnet out something save budget. Its about equal on run not run as for lasting longer. Mositure enter through vent or pour in with add amount. Log splitter made from cheaps parts that can be found. Home made splitters made from old machine cylinder pump tank parts and valves. If have tractor with Pto you turn pump like a sprayer works have tractor rear hydraulics hook up all need beam and cylinder torch welder all splitter can split round block in 4 pieces 2 up first 2 2 inch across split after blade goes in one inch on oak all work done wings can open up split with 6 more inches of cylinder srtoke. You build log splitter with 12 inch cylinder stroke with wings to pull sliver out. I built 10 spitters before found this out 30 good guess how many I built.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:51PM
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I,m in the Dallas/Fort worth area. Bowie County, by Texarkana , you were barely in TX.

You have some very good points. I might be causing some of the moisture problem.

1. I have some very strong magnets out of computer hard drives. Getting one to the bottom might be a challenge. I'm sure it would be best to add the magnet before the fluid? Would a magnet outside help?

2. I vented the fill plug on the "Air Tank" 1/16" used as the reservoir on this portal homemade splitter. Should I seal the vent? The new tank is rated as air or reservoir on it.

3. I feel the cylinder is off a piece of heavy equipment vs the splitter initially. Did you see the pictures I sent addresses to? If so, do you recognize what brand the cylinder could be? I feel the splitter was much lighter initially (possibly manually double handles) due to the handle to lift the frond and lawn mower grade wheels that were on the back.

4. I made a an adapter (as at Northern tools) that will quarter short 8"-10" long and 8"-10" dia logs used as BBQ/Grilling.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Loger: The O-Reilly's Product is a Premium Mineral Based Oil . No Problem with it . I use Amsoil AWF-15 Full Synthetic . It Protects better long Term within Oxidation and foaming contributed to Moisture Entrainment from Severe Thermal Breakdown . I would use your current product for a few yrs , then consider a Synthetic whern changeout is required .

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 5:36PM
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The log splitter is up and running. It appears as tuff as it was when I first modified it. Too Tuff For Me But Not My New York Neighbor. I'll Have To Get Him To Ride It Again. I found 2 logs to test on it but I'll have to get his opinion after a good ride.

1. It took the 5 gallons of AW 46 with about 4"-5" to spare in the 5 gal reservoir as Gator suggested.

2. I put a strong magnet in the sample of old fluid and it appeared not to collect noticeable metal, "yet".

3. A friend will possibly bring some good logs tomorrow to put it to a real test.

I'm Ready For A Winter Break "By The Fire"! Thanks Again For All The Info/Help. Loger

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 7:39PM
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Loger: Yes a Larger Magnet from Old Stereo Speakers or Computer System can be applied to the exterior wall of the bottom of the reservoir. Ideally though when you replace your fluid in 2 yrs , clean and add the magnet to the centre interior position would be best . Along with Synthetic Oil Usage consideration ....E .

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 5:30AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Loger you may enjoy this site I recieve his emails weekly he guide you in many hydraulic clear understanding. I able load first of photobucket but not last 2 and by color paint on cylinder power red are orange may come from timberjack Log skidder if homemade wood splitter old logging equipment very good place to look steering cyl. and grapple cylinder makes right size cylinder. If valve bank same color could be steerting and blade valve two spool or single. Tank being air trailer or truck. full photo splitter are 3 be good to add thread. Cap on cylinder looks to be ward ring probily spot welded 2 places are lock by set screw on barrel.

Here is a link that might be useful: hydraulic news letter

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Posted by vance99 none (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 13, 11 at 3:30

"I don't think any thing should really happen to it. But all i can say is that its an machine. So the least you can do is starting it once every now and then."

Thanks For The Reminder! It has been 4 months since I fired it to split two logs. I have a friend that has a load that needs splitting. BUT! In This Triple Digit Heat In North Tx. It w/n be fun but would beat looking into this One Eyed Monster 8 hrs at least a day. To make the best of it, I got back to repairing and discarding some of my extra Monsters. I needed this computer work to keep up this skill also. loger

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:51AM
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