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Author Topic: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead  (Read 767 times)

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Offline jpassardi

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Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« on: February 28, 2021, 09:41:55 AM »
Hi guys!
Looks like I joined the forum in 2008, this my first post though. Alot of knowledge and good guys here...
I was about to start building a mill, got a used 16 HP and was about to order bandwheels and bearings when I heard of an LT15 that has been sitting unused.
Well I bought it on Saturday. It's an 05 with trailer, xtra track length and a 15 HP Kohler. It was used to cut siding then sat in the elements for about 15 years with no cover over the carriage or engine - ouigh... I couldn't do that to a used mill never mind a new one.
The engine housing is full of mouse nests so I took it off and need to take off the covers and clean it so it can cool.
The Carriage is rusted stuck to the vertical guide as well as the linkage to engage the belt. The drive side cover is rusted at the hinge, so minor sheet metal work. The rest of it still has the paint/powder coating. Bandwheels and guides, and tensioner turn freely - so far anyway.
Some of the round cross bars on the deck are pretty rusted on the ends. Anyone been down this road? I'm wondering how much is left where they join the horizontals of the deck.

I plan to get things freed up/replaced, replace the belts, lube everything and get the engine running or replace it with the 16 HP I have.
Any other suggestions from experienced Woodmizer users?
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 10:14:10 AM »
Welcome good luck with the project, lots of LT 15 owners here (not me though).... but  sounds to me like you should order some Blue Creeper. 

Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 10:28:39 AM »
   Call WoodMizer and register the mill with them and they can provide manuals as I understand. Their parts are good quality, competitively priced and promptly shipped. Good luck and we welcome pictures.
Howard Green
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Offline jpassardi

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 07:51:55 PM »
Thanks, I got the original manuals with the mill.
I took off the engine cover and cleaned the mouse nest around the cooling fins and flywheel. The coil wire was chewed away so I need to get a module and coil.

The belt engage lever was rusted stuck to the tube it goes through. I had to cut the tube off the engine mount plate. I got the lever driven out a couple of inches in the vise but may need to make a new tube from DOM since even the bronze bushings are stuck in both ends.
Good thing is - all the other bushings rotate freely.

I need to take the spring/strut assist assembly off as the inner is corroded to the outer. I hit it with PB blast multiple times and letting it work down from the top. Anyone run into his on an LT15 that sat?
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2021, 08:08:34 PM »
Does it have a trailer kit?  If not, urge you to get something to make it mobile.  My Cooks MP32 has the trailer kit, and I run it into a open pole shed whenever it is not being used.  Left it outside for a time, and had nothing but trouble, rusty chains and such, so now I bring it out to saw, then run it in when finished. Spray lube comes in real handy on things that like to rust. Haven't tried that blue creeper.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2021, 09:05:31 PM »
Good luck.  I have an 05 LT15.  My original 15 horse engine bought the farm a few months ago and I bought the upgrade kit from WM.  It was pricey, but i really appreciate the increased HP and how well it starts and doesn't backfire when being shut down.  If it would be worth it, I'd send you the old engine. I think it will still run.  The issue seemed to be in the crank case.  I didn't tear it apart.
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Kubota Grand L4200
Stihl 025 and MS291
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Offline RAYAR

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2021, 11:12:23 PM »
Good luck with the LT15, I'm sure you'll have it back in operation soon enough.
mobile manual mill (local build) (mods & additions on-going)
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Offline Machinebuilder

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2021, 06:19:07 AM »
Hi ya'll

I just joined this forum .

I also bought a 2005 LT15 on Saturday.

It is in much better condition, there were some just sawn cedar boards laying there and it looked pretty fair.
I will go through it pretty thoroughly, the guide rollers are rusty, but turn freely.

The wheel belts look really loose to me, maybe 1/2 inch gap, I assumed they should be a tight stretch over the wheel.

I will be sawing mostly red and white oak. and it will be a little while before I get it set up. I have to clear out the spot where I decided to put it.

I got 6 blades with it in unknown condition and plan on ordering a box of blades soon.

I think this will turn into an interesting hobby.
Dave

Offline jpassardi

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2021, 07:13:05 AM »
Firefighter: thanks for the offer, I'm thinking I should be able to get the 15HP Kohler going. The whole mill has very few hours on it. How many HP did you put on yours? How much of an improvement is it in production?
It does have the trailer kit and the lights all work. I'm planning to build a small shed to cover the saw head when returned to the end.  

Other than a couple rusty things it's actually in good shape. -Engine is currently on the bench.



 
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline Magicman

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2021, 07:37:29 AM »
The wheel belts look really loose to me, maybe 1/2 inch gap,
The loose belts (B57) are correct and.....

Welcome to the Forestry Forum guys.  8)
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2021, 08:36:11 AM »
OP- may need new magnetic gauges to saw by? 

Mobility is a personal choice matter entirely IMO, not weather related? My mill sits under an open shed roof (VERY important!) and gets parked near the middle for extra protection during idle periods. Other than mice and humidity all is well with zero need for my type of use to go mobile. In fact I appreciate not having to move it. If you do go stationary then you need to explore the means to sit it down. I use cross ties, some pour concrete. Either way you need a spot for use. 
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Offline Machinebuilder

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2021, 08:51:40 AM »
The wheel belts look really loose to me, maybe 1/2 inch gap,
The loose belts (B57) are correct and.....

Welcome to the Forestry Forum guys.  8)
ok Thanks
I was thinking of wheel belts on a 14" Delta that stretch to go on the wheel. This is a very different setup.
Dave

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2021, 09:10:49 AM »
@jpassardi , Were the tires still good to tow it home?  I'd be surprised if they were.  The tires my 2014 LT15go came with, 12", are getting harder to find.  It also has 4 lug 12" rims which are also getting harder to come by.  

I hope you're going to open the engine, pulling the heads off to see if there is any mouse debris in the head or in the cylinders?  And to see if the cylinders have rust?  I just did the head gaskets on my 2014 due to an external blown head gasket on one side.  It was a good thing I did too.  There was alot of oily soot build up on top of the pistons and in the combustion chamber. I got all that cleaned up and when I get it fired back up here shortly, I'll adjust the mixture as I was probably running a bit rich.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline jpassardi

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2021, 09:17:58 AM »
OP- may need new magnetic gauges to saw by?

Mobility is a personal choice matter entirely IMO, not weather related? My mill sits under an open shed roof (VERY important!) and gets parked near the middle for extra protection during idle periods. Other than mice and humidity all is well with zero need for my type of use to go mobile. In fact I appreciate not having to move it. If you do go stationary then you need to explore the means to sit it down. I use cross ties, some pour concrete. Either way you need a spot for use.
The magnetics are still there and in good shape - 1 owner little use but sat uncovered.
I plan to put it on ties with a roof over the carriage, the wheels may never go back on, who knows.
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2021, 09:26:44 AM »
Machinebuilder and jpassardi,
It's important that you guys learn how correctly tension the drive belt.  Woodmizer now has a tool to checking tension of the drive belt (NOT BAND Tension) that I use on my 2014.  You need to check drive belt tension regularly, I'd say more often that the 50 hours woodmizer suggests.  A drive belt that is not correctly tensioned will lead to waves while cutting.  I probably check it every 25 hours.  A new belt can stretch and loosen up, so sometimes I'll check it 10 hours after install or so.  In correctly tensioned drive belt is not the only thing that can cause waves, but is second only to cutting with a band that is too dull.

Another thing while I'm talking about bands, in the LT15 with lower HP engines, I'd recommend you only run woodmizer 4 bands.  That is all I run.  I only cut hardwoods.  Also, a sharp band can last for one log, sometimes 4 logs, and sometimes only one or two cuts if you his some dirt, a small stone in the bark etc. One way to increase the life of your bands is to remove the bark, which holds dirt, sand, rocks, etc.  Even if the bark hasn't landed in the mud or gravel, bark still has a small amount of dust/dirt.  I use a bark spud to clear the cut path.  It can slow down your milling, but is the trade off to extend band life.  I use Woodmizer Re-Sharp service and rotate 4 boxes of bands.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline jpassardi

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2021, 09:28:03 AM »
@jpassardi , Were the tires still good to tow it home?  I'd be surprised if they were.  The tires my 2014 LT15go came with, 12", are getting harder to find.  It also has 4 lug 12" rims which are also getting harder to come by.  

I hope you're going to open the engine, pulling the heads off to see if there is any mouse debris in the head or in the cylinders?  And to see if the cylinders have rust?  I just did the head gaskets on my 2014 due to an external blown head gasket on one side.  It was a good thing I did too.  There was alot of oily soot build up on top of the pistons and in the combustion chamber. I got all that cleaned up and when I get it fired back up here shortly, I'll adjust the mixture as I was probably running a bit rich.
I bought new mounted 12" tires from Harbor Freight - $130 for the pair. Originals had air but some dry rot.
I had the plug out, looks good inside. Mice didn't get past the air cleaner or exhaust. With a little penetrant in the cylinder it turns over freely by hand. As long as the rings aren't hung up on the piston ring lands and the bore isn't too corroded where they were sitting it should have good compression.
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline jpassardi

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2021, 09:36:49 AM »
Machinebuilder and jpassardi,
It's important that you guys learn how correctly tension the drive belt.  Woodmizer now has a tool to checking tension of the drive belt (NOT BAND Tension) that I use on my 2014.  You need to check drive belt tension regularly, I'd say more often that the 50 hours woodmizer suggests.  A drive belt that is not correctly tensioned will lead to waves while cutting.  I probably check it every 25 hours.  A new belt can stretch and loosen up, so sometimes I'll check it 10 hours after install or so.  In correctly tensioned drive belt is not the only thing that can cause waves, but is second only to cutting with a band that is too dull.

Another thing while I'm talking about bands, in the LT15 with lower HP engines, I'd recommend you only run woodmizer 4 bands.  That is all I run.  I only cut hardwoods.  Also, a sharp band can last for one log, sometimes 4 logs, and sometimes only one or two cuts if you his some dirt, a small stone in the bark etc. One way to increase the life of your bands is to remove the bark, which holds dirt, sand, rocks, etc.  Even if the bark hasn't landed in the mud or gravel, bark still has a small amount of dust/dirt.  I use a bark spud to clear the cut path.  It can slow down your milling, but is the trade off to extend band life.  I use Woodmizer Re-Sharp service and rotate 4 boxes of bands.
Thanks Brad, Good to know - I think I saw the belt tension tool on their website.
I'm aware of the band sharpness need but didn't consider the 4 bands.
LT15 W/Trailer
CAT416 W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50
Kubota RTV 900
Orlan EKO Gasification Boiler

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2021, 09:59:36 AM »
Restoration should be easier than starting from scratch. Get rid of the rust and repaint. Plenty of ATF fluid when you free it up. A little heat will loosen up screws and things that are stuck no matter how long they have been stuck.  I love my Lt15 it is just right for what I use it for hobby and cutting from my friends.  You can always sell it when you restore.
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900 Kubota L3830F tractor

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 12:16:35 PM »
I got the Kohler 19 horse that comes standard now with the LT15.  It's not a game changer, but I think the increase in cut speed is on par with the percentage increase in HP, so about 30%.  My plan is to put power feed on it later this year and increase production more.  As far as blades go, I have always used 10 deg and had good luck.  I tried some 4 deg and they seem to cut a little better, but slower.  That was why I had always heard that 10 deg was best with lesser HP.  With my increase in HP, I think I'm gonna like the 4 deg better.  I don't know why I'm typing in italics.
Woodmizer LT15
Kubota Grand L4200
Stihl 025 and MS291
2017 F350 Diesel 4WD
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Offline Machinebuilder

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Re: Bringing LT15 Back from the Dead
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2021, 05:28:45 PM »
I started another thread to cover my story.
Dave


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