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Author Topic: Valmet 546 harvester  (Read 761 times)

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Offline Angrybeaver94

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Valmet 546 harvester
« on: September 12, 2020, 10:03:52 PM »
I have a Valmet 546 harvester series2 with a 960 dangle head. I feel like my feed wheels r way to slow. Iím having trouble delimbing.I was hoping someone on here has a video of one operating so I would know if Iím chasing an issue Thts not even there or not. Since Iíve owned it Iíve changed all the shuttle valve orings and a feed wheel motor which did help some but itís still so slow it doesnít get any momentum to shear off limbs. Any and all info is appreciated.

Offline bushmechanic

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 07:07:19 AM »
I would check your feed roller pressure first. Get a gauge and and stall out the feed to see what pressure you have, adjust to specs. If you still have an issue try checking the pressure on the knives as it may be too much, too much and the tree can't feed properly. I know from using harvesters that when in use feeding you have to loosen up the knives to punch through limby trees.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 08:08:45 AM »
Do your feed wheel motors have case drain return lines?  

Are these gear, vane or piston pump motors?  

what type of pump feeds them?  Are they supposed to be variable speed or fixed drive speed?

Have you looked for trash in the relief valve(s) yet?
Revelation 3:20

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 08:11:39 AM »
go buy some shuttle valve o rings and only buy them from komastua . a normal oring may last a hr or so. did you do primary and secondary shuttle valve o rings?? that has a combiner valve to combine both sections   of that gear pump. could be something up there or one section of the pump is wiped out. do you have a pressure gauge?

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 08:22:38 AM »
there is room to put a little bit bigger pump in there. stock its 29 gpm at 2100 rpm each section. 210 bar or 3045 psi. there is a pressure port on each valve bank that uses a quick coupler. bigger gear sections make the pump longer you cant go to big or it will not clear the trans dip stick tube. you can get it up to 35 gpm

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 08:29:25 AM »
I would like to check the pressure for the feed rollers but my book doesnít show how or wht they should be set at. Iíve tried calling a few kamatsu dealers to figure it out but they never return my call on that. The feed motors do have case drains and I believe they r a vane motor and to be honest I have no idea wht the main hydraulic pump is. I think a gear pump but I am not 100% unfortunately Iím not very good with hydraulics. I bought all the shuttle valve orings from Roland machine, I did the primary and secondary ones. I do have a pressure gauge. I did test each side of the main valve banks like my books tells me and one side was like 2800. Psi and the other was a touch lower. I tried adjusting but the pressure wouldnít go any higher. 

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 08:38:25 AM »
I am interested in the bigger pump idea. The machine is in real good shape. I would just like to get the feed wheels figured out and it would b a nice machine for me. I donít do very big production Iím just a one man crew. I really appreciate the help guys

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 08:40:44 AM »
With no load, does the roller speed seem right and then its slow with a tree or its slow all the time?  


Use a temp gun after delimbing for a while, and check the temp on the case drain hoses.  If the old feed wheel motor hose is considerably hotter than the new motor drain, youre bypassing oil out that worn motor.  I suspect the motors are plumbed parallel from one solenoid valve so the new one cant run full speed because the old one is the path of least resistance.  

This could be verified before spending money on another new motor by plugging and capping the tank drain port and hose temporarily, then run it.  If speed comes up to normal replace feed roll motor.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 09:02:36 AM »
got to have a pressure gauge take 1 of the quick couplers with you to get the rite one. its a commercial sheering pump. tandem gear pump coupled to the trans. i had a 546 yrs ago. when you did the secondary shuttle valves you didnt loose any of the ball bearings did you? each section of the pump feeds its own valve bank. the combiner valve brings both together for the feed and saw

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2020, 09:43:39 AM »
They r faster with no tree but Iím not sure as if they go as fast as they should. I will have to check with a temp gun and see. I have a gauge and the right quick coupler for the test ports. And I made sure not to loose any of the balls in the shuttle valves.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2020, 11:14:35 AM »
what are you trying to limb with it? was it better before in the same type of wood?

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2020, 11:38:19 AM »
A mix of pine and hardwood. I cut a lot of birch and softmaple firewood. It was worse when I first got it before I changed the feed wheel motor. I donít know anyone else who has ever run one of them to tell me if thts as slow as the always fed or if there is actually a problem. But it struggles on pine pulp too so Iíd assume there must be an issue.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2020, 06:30:12 AM »
the one i had did not have a valmet head. so i dont know how good they worked. a 546 doesn't have a lot of gpm pressure or hp. put your pressure gauge on one of the valve banks put a tree in the head with a big limb stall against that. record pressure and do the same to the other side. should be 3000psi

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2020, 08:01:27 AM »
I am interested in the bigger pump idea. The machine is in real good shape. I would just like to get the feed wheels figured out and it would b a nice machine for me. I donít do very big production Iím just a one man crew. I really appreciate the help guys
Call Roland in Michigan, they were good to me when we bought our valmet forwarder. 
Liking Walnut

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2020, 09:29:38 AM »
the one i had did not have a valmet head. so i dont know how good they worked. a 546 doesn't have a lot of gpm pressure or hp. put your pressure gauge on one of the valve banks put a tree in the head with a big limb stall against that. record pressure and do the same to the other side. should be 3000psi
Which hose set is it on the valve bank? So they can cap and plug the circuit vs the tree method.

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2020, 01:54:54 PM »
the one i had did not have a valmet head. so i dont know how good they worked. a 546 doesn't have a lot of gpm pressure or hp. put your pressure gauge on one of the valve banks put a tree in the head with a big limb stall against that. record pressure and do the same to the other side. should be 3000psi
I hooked my gauge to both side of the valve bank on the machine and stalled the wheels on a limb. The gauge read 2000 on both sides. But if I test the pressure on the valve bank like my book tells me it is 2800. The book tells me to raise the crane up and hold it: 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2020, 03:58:12 PM »
Sounds like either leaking valve sections, leakage or misadjustment in a sectional relief cartridge, or the remaining old motor is bypassing a lot.  You could verify that last issue by zip tying both case drains to a open top pail by the handle and watching the drain line flows under load.  If the old spews a lot more than the new one, probably need to replace it.
Revelation 3:20

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2020, 04:06:15 PM »
Sounds like either leaking valve sections, leakage or misadjustment in a sectional relief cartridge, or the remaining old motor is bypassing a lot.  You could verify that last issue by zip tying both case drains to a open top pail by the handle and watching the drain line flows under load.  If the old spews a lot more than the new one, probably need to replace it.
I did take a heat gun to the hoses today. They were the same temp as the ones on the new motor

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2020, 06:33:38 AM »
2000 psi isnt going to do much. you need to find out why. electric valves going to the combiner valve? pump weak? feed wheel motor leaking internally? you are running the motor at 2100 rpm?? 

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2020, 07:30:47 AM »
2000 psi isnt going to do much. you need to find out why. electric valves going to the combiner valve? pump weak? feed wheel motor leaking internally? you are running the motor at 2100 rpm??
Yes I am. How could I diagnose a weak pump? 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2020, 09:41:26 AM »
With a pressure gauge. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2020, 05:01:43 PM »
I know I was just wondering if I should t into a line? I tested the main pressure on the valve banks like the book tells me and Iím getting 2800 on the left and 2700 on the right valve bank. I tried adjusting the left up to 3000 but when I turn the screw no improvements, so I guess my question is could I t into a line and c if Iím losing pressure at the valve bank? Or if how I tested it means my pumps weak? Unfortunately i donít have the service book for the machine just a operators manual tht gives me some pressures but doesnít go much into detail about testing other things. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2020, 10:07:05 PM »
Can you pull any part numbers or logos off the component itself?  Valmet likely did not make the pumps and valves, but whoever did will have a phone number and someone to talk tech with if theyre still in business.  I would try to ID the pump mfr if possible and get the procedure and specs straight from them.  Theyre the pros.


Chances are it will involve putting a very expensive inline flowmeter in series to check gpm under load, and case drain leakage.  Worn pumps leak more fluid back to tank than tight ones but it takes a meter to quantify.


Remember pumps only make flow.  Resistance to flow makes pressure.  Just because you cant get over say 2500psi does not automatically condemn the pump, that could easily be the maximum pressure that the circuit can contain due to a worn valve or relief spring getting tired.  Without seeing the pumps performance in gpm@X psi and comparing to a mfr chart, it is hard to measure how spanked a pump is.  Often easier to disassemble and look inside.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2020, 10:28:07 PM »
Ok thank you that makes sense. 

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2020, 06:36:26 AM »
the best way is with a flow meter. with that you can load the pump and see psi and gpm. i already told you what brand of pump. 29gpm per section. 2" gears??

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2020, 11:09:16 AM »
Yes you did. Did u run a 35 gpm pump on ur 546? Just wondering because if it comes down to a weak pump I would like to try the bigger pump like you suggested 

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2020, 04:39:10 PM »
That 546 was underpowered with that 4 cylinder Ford engine so upping the GPM's may be a losing proposition. Best to just make what you have work like it should.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Angrybeaver94

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Re: Valmet 546 harvester
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2020, 09:21:46 PM »
Yea they are underpowered for sure. Unfortunately Iíve owned the machine for a little over a year and have yet to figure out this issue with it. Most the time I just resort back to the chainsaw because I canít afford to sit and tinker on it, especially because I am really not that good with hydraulics and I donít know anyone around me that is either. You guys on here have been a lot of help. Just hoping I can figure this thing out soon because at this point itís not worth much too me. Pretty sad when I can out cut my harvester with my chainsaw In harvester size wood.  ::)


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