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Author Topic: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?  (Read 639 times)

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Offline hemlock2019

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Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« on: October 06, 2019, 05:43:27 PM »
Hello All,
First time on this forum. In May, I bought a Woodmizer LT 35 hydraulic, and for the most part I have had good luck with it. I just recently took my first mobile job. It was 16 16' Red Pine sawn into 1" boards. The trees have been cut down for 3 years. While sawing my blade would dive on the last foot and a half of the log. So I checked all my alignments, and changed my blade and began again. The blade would still dive, and would make a lot of noise and vibrate. I opened my blade doors, and I noticed some fine metal flakes and grease around the bearing on the drive belt side. I assume that the bearing is going and I'm going to call my dealer Monday Morning 10/7. I was just curious if anyone else has had this issue or perhaps am I doing something wrong. there is only 40 hrs on mill so far. I appreciate any advice anyone could give. 
Thank You!

Offline Southside

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 05:58:59 PM »
Welcome to the Forum. Were you cutting butt logs and if so starting from the small end? Sometimes the butt flare area will have lots of grain stress and will cause strange issues.

Second, three year old logs only add to the potential stress and sawing issues, so those are two potential problems.

As far as the bearing goes. With no band on spin the wheel by hand. Any grinding or rough spots? The grease and shavings do sound like you have a bearing issue. There are two bearings in that wheel, sealed, non greaseable. They are easy to remove and replace, I have done mine twice. Don't skimp and buy a discount bearing, OEM is around $30 for both if I remember correctly.  Having too much band tension will greatly shorten the life of these bearings FYI. I would pick up two pair for each side so the next time you have an issue it's a 20 minute repair job.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 06:52:14 PM »
   By all means check for bearing wear as described in the previous reply. Did you buy your mill new? If so it should still be covered under warranty and I am confident the WM folks will make it right.

   I had one bearing failure in the idler side at about 500 operating hours. I was already scheduled for the WM service loop 2 days later and the tech replaced both bearings as part of his normal service and alignment. I think the bearings were about $10 each and he had them on his service truck.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 07:44:26 PM »
While you may have a bearing issue, if the last 1 1/2 feet is the butt end of the log,  I would strongly suspect a drive belt tension issue. Butt flares have a lot of tension and can saw hard, making a borderline loose belt slip. You won't hear it, it's just enough for the blade to slow a bit in the wide cut- where you need your blade speed the most. I had the idle side bearings on my LT40 go out, I started breaking a lot of blades and having tracking issues. I finally discovered the bearings were shot 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 06:04:47 PM »
At 40 hours, if you haven't tensioned your drive belts yet, it's time. By now they have seated in and stretched. your blade won't tell you it's going too slow, but you will hear it and feel the vibration if you are paying attention. depending on which way you saw, the butt typically has more tension and the grain goes off at angles. If your belt slips as it takes more power to saw, the blade will heat up, lose tension and dive (or rise) causing the funky boards. If had that odd issue twice. Interestingly both times at less than 50 hours on brand new sawmills....
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Offline hemlock2019

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 05:55:42 AM »
I called woodmizer on Monday the 7th, they agreed with me that there should be no grease present near those bearings. So they shipped me two new bearings plus the spacer under warranty. He also said I should re check my drive belt tension. The bearings should be arriving today (Thurs 10/10). I know it's backwards from what is common practice, but should I start with the large end facing the operator side? Where I had so much trouble with these previous logs, and to get this job done so I can move on? Let me know what you guys think. I appreciate all the help with this issue.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 07:02:41 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, hemlock2019!
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline jb616

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Re: Woodmizer LT35 Bandwheel Bearing Issues?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 12:23:01 PM »
Has anyone used an infrared thermometer to measure the heat in their bearings after / during cutting?  I bought a cheap one from Harbor freight as I thought I had a bearing going out but I did not see a heat difference in them. 

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