My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 13: Success!

Here’s the final product:

The original puny little 8″ tires have been replaced by 12″ high speed tubeless tires (4.8-8 to 4.8-12). The wheels now have a five bolt lug nut pattern. The center of the hubs has been moved roughly 3″ higher and 2″ further back and 4″ wider than the original OEM position. Instead of welded rigid spindles it has a 750 pound torsion axle suspension.

In use, the ergonomics are at least as good as (or slightly superior to) the OEM setup. The beam to which I have to lift wood is at most 1″ higher than OEM. Close enough that the original tongue support (near the hitch) is high enough. (I’d planned on extending it but it wasn’t necessary.) The wheels are not in the way.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe splitter balances fine in “vertical” mode. I was concerned that the relocated wheels would get in the way but it all worked out well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Foxinator’s turkeys inspected my design and found the new axle adequate.100-FinishedB I’d almost talked myself into installing snowmobile trailer tires to get additional width without adding height, but it worked out pretty well as is and snowmobile trailer tires ‘aint cheap.

Torsion axles (if they’re reverse angle) must extend beyond the thing they’re welded to at least far enough to let the suspension flex. This is more or less the minimum for a reverse angle torsion axle. It doesn’t interfere with work at all.  The red lines indicate the added width (despite the crappy photo, it’s the same amount on both sides).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe OEM fenders still fit (I had to replace the one I melted). I’d planned to simply slap on new fenders (they’re cheap) but my welder was inspired by the axle and wanted to fabricate something nice to hold the OEM fenders. The black bracketry you see is his idea and it works great. His solution looks better than my idea and I’m glad I took his suggestion. The OEM fenders flex instead of bending or breaking when I drop wood on them (and I do that fairly often) so they’re much better than rigid metal or plastic. On the other hand Troy Bilt just reams you for them. I scoured the internet and paid something like $35 for one!

I added cheap ($5) trailer lights to the fender supports and they’re simply bolted on. I can replace a light in no time when (not if but when) I accidentally smash one. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother view of the nice brackets my welder made; also showing the torsion axle below.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tongue is hollow square “tubing” stock. I routed the light’s wiring through the frame itself so I’m less likely to rip the wiring out on a stump or something. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s has always been impossible to see the splitter behind the truck (it’s too low and too narrow). Thus backing it up has been something of a cluster. I wanted something to see when I was backing up. I tried a magnetic CB antenna with some flagging tied on but it blew over. I went looking for one of those horrific flags that safety Nazis inflicted on bicycles in my youth (like this Bike Safety Flag) but I didn’t find one.

My welder stuffed some pipe in the hollow splitting wedge as a “female end”:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then he welded a big honkin’ chunk of scrap steel bar to the proper sized pipe as a “male end”. It sits in there good and solid when I’m driving and I just set it to the side when I’m working. It’s pretty hefty and you never know when you’ll need a big steel bar. For example I threatened to brain Foxinator’s turkeys if they crap on my gas can again. I planned on hitting it with some orange paint and maybe adding a pirate flag but I never got around to it. It makes backing up immensely easier.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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23 Responses to My Woodsplitter Goes to Eleven: Part 13: Success!

  1. Mark Matis says:

    Just mount the cat atop the backing guide post and you’ll be good to go!
    }:-]

    Glad it all worked out so well for you.

  2. P2 says:

    Kick ass!!! Way better than my 8# maul…… If it’s missin’, don’t look in my garage……

  3. Anonymous says:

    Impressive. When are you going to hire out yourself and your custom rig at the usual rate of a six pack and some horrendous handling fee? 🙂

    • Starting now!

      Me and my splitter are available for a six pack plus $30 a day and $2 a mile round trip to anywhere in the US or Canada. Heck, if the mileage is far enough I’ll provide the six pack.

      Drop me a line… I’m ready to crush some wood!

  4. Heath J says:

    Fine looking rig man, good work.

  5. akjfm says:

    Man! That’s sweet! But where’s the duct tape? I’ve never seen a splitter without it…..

  6. richardcraver says:

    Nicely done!

  7. E.D.M. says:

    Very Nice work! Keep an eye out for discarded plastic 50 gallon drums, you could fabricate some decent replacement fenders.

    –Ed

  8. Nice write up. Thanks for the ride.

  9. rapnzl rn says:

    So….what’s your fee for discussing some tweaks on my troy-built tiller? Granted, I realize wood-splitters are necessary for comfort, and tillers are only marginally exigent for actual survival….

    Awesome fix, AC! We humans forget how we got to where we are sometimes.

    • Oh wow, I love the idea of a “roto tiller upgrade consultant”. Talk about a specialized niche. I should print a business card. 🙂

      “We humans forget how we got to where we are sometimes.”

      I agree. I don’t know how many times I’ve been around someone who says “this thing cannot be done” while looking directly at an object that was indeed made by the hand of man and surely could be made again. I seems obvious (to me) that someone can fabricate again whatever has already been fabricated once before. Yet there seems a mindset that limits folks to what can be ordered from a Chinese factory. Then again if it were up to them we’d be living in mud huts.

  10. flagunblog says:

    Really awesome, the bigger tires. Turkey approved too… .

  11. Kurt P says:

    Looks like you found a competent welder, keep his number and ask for recommendations on other trades. You might be able to get a book of competent people around you.

    –Or not, because I love hearing your trials with the Cletie you are forced to deal with….

  12. Angus S-F says:

    So how much more did you spend than you would have had you caved in to Troy-Built?

  13. Pingback: Woodpile Report: Round #2 | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

  14. Pingback: Woodpile Report: Round #3 | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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