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Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)


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  #1  
Old 08-14-2019, 08:37:01 PM
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Default Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

So... I recently acquired a 2hp Witte drag saw that the previous owner and I found had a stuck piston. I have always wanted to try and hydraulic a piston out (vs just hammering it out with a sledge and a wooden block). So, after talking with and getting advice from a knowledgeable source (Lauren), I set out to resolve the problem today. I am quite happy with the results!

The saw



I started by filling the cylinder with ATF a couple of days before and left it to soak with no penetration, it was time to add some pressure!


The set up




Going for broke:


New tool for the shop! Very glad I've held onto this pump for all the years I have. It was on a plow on a crawler tractor I had. Just "power" up until I converted it to a PTO powered pump and two way valve/cylinder setup. It works so well, I made a base for ease of use in the future.


Stay tuned!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:13:51 PM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

Three hours in the MP7 and the piston is clean, ring grooves are rust free, and the rings are no longer stuck... clean the cylinder, fix the broken ear on the governor, and maybe it'll run!


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Old 08-15-2019, 12:08:35 AM
Duey C Duey C is offline
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

Gurn, I should put the head back on the Fairbanks Morse Z 6 igniter engine here and do that!
The foreign BVA pump is a bit lacking in capacity for oil so I'd need to refill.
Bore is nice but he's stuck tight.
1000 psi oil on the oiler tube since April hasn't worked on this one yet.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:12:23 AM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

It was initially recommended by Lauren that I just use an old grease gun given the PSI they can pump up to. But since I had this pump (which I'd plum forgot about) we went with it (we were actually discussing how to use a two way hydraulic pump when I finally remembered about this one).
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:22:10 AM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

If a piston is stuck hard something is going to give with that much pressure, I've seen the dome blown out of a headless engine, had to sleeve an engine when they blew the cylinder out. It can be risky.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:59:05 AM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

I agree with JB. While this can be another tool to unstick an engine, I'd hate to have guys think that it's the answer for everything. A certain amount of times this would work great, but a certai amount of times it might. destroy the engine. Exactly the same dynamic as throwing it in a big hydraulic press- you got to be real careful!

This hydraulic method has some advantages over the hammer and block method, but it also has some disadvantages. The block method adds a lot of impact- which is also very good at breaking loose the rust.

My favorite method lately is to get a bunch of small chunks of wood to surround the cylinder inside the hopper and start a fire to expand the cylinder; then hammer it out.

Heat is a great tool also, but likewise is not the answer to everything and can cause some problems too.

I guess too much of anything can be bad, whether it's heat, pressure, or hammering- if someone isn't real careful, something might break.

That's a neat set up bigGURN and I appreciate you sharing it with us! I just want to warn guys that to be careful with any method.

If you apply enough Force, something is going to move- but there's no guarantee you'll have the same amount of pieces!
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:29:02 AM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

We discussed the risk vs benefit of what I would be trying. In the end, since it was a common engine, we decided the potential reward outweighed the risk... though we did take steps to mitigate the risk as I used a hand pump in place of my skidsteer as a hydraulic source (my original plan) and I allowed everything to pre soak for a week. Fire, hot and cold cycling, wailing away with a hammer and block of wood all offer up a whole different set of risk and benefits. As you note, this is but another tool in the tool chest.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:40:23 AM
OrgWayne OrgWayne is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

All most fell asleep watching that piston sloooowly come out !!
Wayne
Way to go u 2 guys
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:58:12 AM
Skip Landis Skip Landis is offline
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

I've used all the methods stated above with success, & one failure. That was hydraulics, split the cylinder on an aermotor pump engine. I guess my favorite is the press, but not all engines can be put in a press because of design etc. My reason for that preference over hydraulics is the fact that you can apply preasure to the piston skirt which is much stronger than the over all top of the piston. My press is an ancient 28 ton Weaver mechanical. skip
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:32:34 PM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

After honing the cylinder, the piston slipped right back in.


Then the head off and the valves ground


The valve seats ground


Everything done and lapped, ready to go back together.


Now to make a head gasket and fix the governor.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:18:35 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

What amazes me is how nice the Piston can look sometimes after being stuck so badly!
I would definitely use this method along with others and that's a great-looking setup you have!

When I was a pretty young guy I remember beating the top out of a piston on a y Briggs that I got out of my grandfather's junk pile. I don't think I fully got over that till I was able to buy a pretty nice Y pretty cheaply on an auction years later.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:10:27 PM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

Well... after getting the head back on, the intake was still not sealing. Pulled it out to find a small bend in the stem. Dug around the shop for another appropriately sized valve (found a new valve left over from an engine rebuild). Shortened the stem, drilled it, lapped it in and no more air leak! Little fuel system work and:
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:57:06 PM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

Very cool! Always wanted to try that, but figgered i'd blow out the cyl wall, head or piston center. Congrats
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:38:06 PM
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Default Re: Witte 2hp Drag saw revival (unsticking a piston with hydraulic pressure)

Ed I was fortunate that this was one I knew that the engine could be replaced if it all went wrong!
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