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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: Jwswan on October 13, 2020, 06:05:37 PM

Title: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on October 13, 2020, 06:05:37 PM
Hello all;
I'm now on my second Woodmizer, an LT 40 super wide with the 38 hp Kohler.   It's got just shy of 10 hrs on it, and I'm having issues with some really loud squeaking from the main drive pulley/shaft on the back of the engine, and the pulley itself is getting really hot after an 1-2 hrs of running.  It's hot enough to where the belt is smoking  quite a bit, even when it's off. After it completely cools down, it won't do it again until it gets hot.   I checked the belt tension on the alternator, drive belt, and the brake strap.  I then called WM today, got a really helpful tech guy who had me go through them again.  Since it was after hours when I got deduced where the smoking/squeaking was coming from, I called and left a VM.   In the meantime, I figured I'd come to the FF oracle and get ideas/advice.  I love, WM and the new mill, it's a big step up from my LT 35 manual, but I want to make sure it's running right.   Thanks in advance.   -Josh 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Chuck White on October 13, 2020, 08:00:32 PM
Check oil level in the main drive bearing!
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: YellowHammer on October 13, 2020, 08:28:18 PM
Yes, very important.  There is a clear plastic tube that serves as a sight glass for the main bearing.  
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on October 13, 2020, 08:30:01 PM
Chuck and Yellow Hammer;
Thanks! yep, I checked that and it's showing it full.  Is there also one on the kohler itself? could it be giving me a "false" full?  I sure appreciate the help. -Josh 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Southside on October 13, 2020, 11:43:42 PM
Do you have an IR gun you can use to trace back the source of the heat? I would think you would see a difference happening pretty quickly. 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on October 14, 2020, 05:40:28 AM
Southside;

I don't, but that's a good idea.   I'll also see what the folks at WM command central say.   Being it's so new, I don't really want to tear into too much myself.   -Josh 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: randy d on October 14, 2020, 06:39:23 AM
Josh did you try giving Steve down in Mosinee a call he did a great job of helping me out when I had a problem with my mill. Randy
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: 47sawdust on October 14, 2020, 06:41:54 AM
I would be on the phone to WM immediately.
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: customsawyer on October 14, 2020, 06:54:15 AM
Check if the engine is a little to far forward or back. Belt might be rubbing on the pulley. Look for wear on one side of the belt or the other. Check for wear on the drive pulley. 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on October 14, 2020, 07:20:26 AM
Randy; 

Yep, I'm gonna call Steve this morning.    He's been super to work with when I've picked up both mills.    CustomSawyer, you might be right.  I didn't see any big wear on the belts, but I'm also not sure how much wear is too much.  This seems like it is definitely a job for a pro to evaluate.    Thanks again for all the input. -Josh 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Peter Drouin on October 15, 2020, 07:27:00 AM
What customsawyer said pulleys not lined up.
I don't think they build a mill then try it out on a log before it gets sent out anymore like they did years before.
Good luck 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Klicker on October 15, 2020, 12:05:10 PM
The good thing about living on the east coast is the the west coast is still open for a couple of hours latter if you have a problem. The phone numbers for all the dealers is in the Woodmizer Way
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: alan gage on October 15, 2020, 12:09:37 PM
Spray/pour some water on the belt. If the noise changes/goes away the noise is coming from the belt. If it's a bearing problem the water will have no effect.

Alan
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on December 09, 2020, 02:26:34 PM
The problem is likely the belt it self. I have posted quite a bit re Woodmizer alternator problems. The most significant is what I believe to be manufacturing over site that it seems has yet to be corrected.

The "factory" belt is your standard Hardware store variety that is designed for a lawn mower or furnace etc and other small HP applications referred to as a nominal HP belt applications. These belts are not even the correct profile for the standard Delco CS135 alternator pulley, hence the short life and serious over heating issues.

The belt you want is your mills version/length of the NAPA PREMIUM XL series (or equivalent) in the correct length ASSUMING you have a V groove drive. These are not cheap belts and the go about 1200 to 1500 hours before I change em out. In reality at 1200 they shoulda been changed about 200 hours ago but they go the distance and they don't run hot. Dont have to run em so fiddle string tight either.  

This one is for LT40 HD28G mill.
>(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/22409/IMG_0743.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1458876853)
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: donbj on December 09, 2020, 02:40:28 PM
It would be interesting to hear how this turned out. Could be helpful to others.
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on December 09, 2020, 03:16:47 PM
It would be interesting to hear how this turned out. Could be helpful to others.
I did my first post on this about 12 years ago when I had the same issue. It is what motivated me to research the alternator replacement issues that seemed way too common.
Hence my extensive knowledge and expertise on the subject of alternators on wood mizer that use the CS135 Delco alternators.

Heres a link to one of my earlier posts;
https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=35868.msg975610#msg975610
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: mike_belben on December 09, 2020, 03:32:00 PM
Im gonna shoot from the hip and say its too much HP for the belt in its present layout.  Could be profile, tension, belt angle, condition etc.  But 38hp is a good bit for 2 uncogged belts. 


Sheave alignment needs to be spot on.  They could be trying to climb a shoulder. 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on December 09, 2020, 03:52:51 PM
Im gonna shoot from the hip and say its too much HP for the belt in its present layout.  Could be profile, tension, belt angle, condition etc.  But 38hp is a good bit for 2 uncogged belts.


Sheave alignment needs to be spot on.  They could be trying to climb a shoulder.
Thats not a shot from the hip belben. Pretty much nailed it. BUT the problem is likely 99% incorrect belt for application. That alternator requires 5 to 7HP to turn it under full load so you need a belt that will pull 10 to 12 HP. That is NOT a furnace fan belt.
Everything else mention can be a contributing factor BUT a new mill should NOT have those issues yet. IF this was a first for Woodmizer then it could be a puzzle BUT I know that all the people I have helped with thi issue, put on a proper belt and the BELT issues disappear.

I HIGHLY recommend reducing alternator's driven pulley by at least a 1/4" as well. Drops the operating temp about 60 +. I reduced my pulley by 3/8".

HEAT in alternator operation is the single most critical factor in alternator life span. You want them running under 200 and preferably around 160 on a hot hard working day.

Mine was running at 300 and higher as delivered from factory. Just putting the right belt on dropped it to 240/250 ish which is still too hot. Reducing the pulley size by 3/8ths dropped temp to 190/200 which the high end of acceptable. The added heat sinks took me to 160/180 range. Prefect range for long life and max output on demand.  
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: jeepcj779 on December 09, 2020, 08:00:27 PM
Is this an issue that is isolated to the gas motors, or is it an issue with the diesel motors as well? Seems like a better belt would be a pretty simple and low cost upgrade for the factory to do. Same goes for pulley size. I have to think at this point that these machines have been engineered to do what the factory needs them to do, and that the pulleys and belts would all be correctly sized for the application. I have to wonder why that may not be the case. Would be nice to hear from Wood-Mizer on the subject.
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: stavebuyer on December 10, 2020, 03:25:11 AM
Alternators were a consumable item on my LT70DCS 55HP Yanmar.
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on December 10, 2020, 08:22:48 PM
I am surprised that wood mizer has not weighed in this issue long ago.

In my opinion it is an over site in the build process that is not uncommon in the mass manufacturing of a mechanical product. Hence the reason for service bulletins and recalls. I have helpwd more people than I can count on this issue and ALL have been mills with the V belt drive.

Many owners just accepted the reality of disposable alternators on the these mills with a V belt alternator drive. I don't think any one has pushed the issue at wood mizer. AND it is probable that many mills don't run full time 5 days a week so the issue has not received the attention it deserves. I have yet to see the issue on anything that has a serpentine belt with a spring load tensioner. AND those LT70 mills alternator temp tends to run around 180 for the ones I have worked on.

I will see if I still have the original documentation on the specs of the Orignal belt my mill was delivered with AND more importantly the specs from the drive and driven pulleys on the mill. the V angle on the factory belt is off by quite a bit and that just is losing battle before you even start. Its like putting a saddle from a shetland pony on a 15 hand 1/4 horse and then trying to rope a steer.

There is no blame to be assigned on this issue to any one. It is an issue that arises in the field and needs a simple service bulletin to effectively address AND minor adjustment in the supply chain of manufacturing to eliminate. Doesn't even change the the assembly process.

Of the total number of mills out there with this V drive design, probably less than 25% of them see a 5 day work week of steady sawing day in and day out. To get to the 300 to 500 hour range that tends to be average failure point would take months if not years for many of those mills so It does not rise to the level of urgency with in the system and most mills will be off warranty before the issue raises it head. As a result people look at the issue as an every year or 2 issue instead of the hours run issue that it is and it becomes a 'keep spare alternator on hand" issue rather than a fix the problem issue.

Those of use that run these models of mills for a living are the ones that notice it by the time we've had the mill 6 months or less. Heck I didn't even get to it till well with into my second year and didn't realize it was a problem till my second alternator fried so bad from heat that it couldn't be rebuilt which prompted me to start to look for a problem and that was some where in 2011 on a 2007 mill with just over 600 hrs on it.

The realization that had a problem was actually pointed out to me by the owner of the local NAPA store as I was buying that belt 3 at a time and was doint once a month or less when I was milling hard. 2 days after I bought the second batch of 3 in as many weeks he asked where I was milling and said he'd come by around supper time if I would still be milling.

He came by with some tools and an infrared temp gun and a belt. He shot the alternator temp at 320. I stopped and we took off the belt guard did 2 cuts and had the pulley temp running close to 350.

Changed the belt. Sawed a log and the alternator temp dropped to 240 ish and the pulley temp to 250 ish. He said he'd order a 1/4" smaller pulley after a full load alternator RPM check with a hand help tack. ended up being 3/8ths resulting in temp drop to 180 - 200 range. I did the heat sinks a month or so later. The ICEBERG or ARCTIC cooling kit does the job very well and the link for those kits is on the forum.    

All the mods to fix it are on this forum. Since its fixed, I have not had either an alternator or a  belt fail. Current hours are just shy of 2200 and that on a 13 year old mill which is about 170 hours a year. I actually illustrate the point very well. Just that from 2012 through 15 I put on about 500 hrs a year.            
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on December 11, 2020, 06:33:16 AM
Hey all! I didn't see all the additional feedback until this morning. 

Thanks for the fantastic input.   I did manage to get the worst of the squeaking to go away, but it took about four tries (micro) adjusting the idler bracket for the drive belt.  Woodmizer said it was combination of a new drive belt, and flash rusting on the drive belt pulley.  That said,  I was amazed at how small the adjustment ended up being between having the bracket work vs. having it not. I feel like if it's that sensitive, it might be an ongoing thing.   The heat build up still concerns me, so band mill bandit, I really appreciate your thorough explanation, conclusions, and remedies for mitigating it. I'm no great mechanic (I'm a wood guy), but intuitively, it just feels like there is too much heat there to not do some kind of collateral damage sooner rather than later.   I know just enough to be dangerous turning wrenches, so I'm gonna reread your post a few times, make some notes, get some parts, and perform a little surgery.    Like you said, most of us don't mill hard five days/week.   I'm somewhere in the middle.  It's a growing part of my business, but not all of it.   I'd rather employ a little preventative maintenance than have it fail at an inopportune time, which is normally how things go for me! Overall, I really like my new mill.  It cuts great, the hydraulics are really fast, and the wide head means I have to use my homemade turntable jig for milling knees less, which is a big time savings. Thanks again.  It'll a little while before I get to this, but it's very much on my radar, and I'll keep you all posted. -Josh  
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Magicman on December 11, 2020, 07:25:30 AM
As you found out, that bracket lifts the drive belt off of the pulley somewhat but not completely.  The belt still contacts the pulley and has to crawl to prevent burning and yes, there is some heat buildup which is normal.  As long as the belt is crawling, you are OK.
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Jwswan on December 12, 2020, 05:43:42 AM
Magicman, 
Thanks.  yep, I got it,  it just took a bit of work to coax out just the right spot.   I really like it so far, and I don't regret the investment for a second.  It just has a lot more moving parts than my LT35 manual, and the associated learning curve that follows. Also, given the dent it put my bank account, I suppose I'm paranoid about every little whine, squeak, or rattle, likely making me a bit trigger happy to get the forum to chime in.   Thanks again. All the input is valued and appreciated. -Josh 
Title: Re: Brand new WM LT40 super wide having issues
Post by: Bandmill Bandit on December 12, 2020, 11:43:32 AM
Hey Jswan, You're very welcome. If you ever want to have a chat send me a PM and we can have a chin wag on the phone. Same goes for any one else that need explanations of the things I did to CURE my mill of this issue.