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Author Topic: LT40 Rescue  (Read 8077 times)

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Offline Brob1969

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LT40 Rescue
« on: February 26, 2021, 10:22:32 AM »
Hey everyone, 
I've been lurking here for a while now soaking up some knowledge from everyone while I was searching for my first sawmill.  2 days ago I brought home a 1990 Woodmizer LT40 and I wanted to share some of my excitement. 
I have been searching for a mill for at least a year now, and I have been on the lookout for a good used mill I could afford in addition to researching all the new manual mills.  With the market being what it is today, I had nearly given up hope on the used mill; it seems no one is letting them go!  I had just about decided to purchase a Range Road 5032 when a friend told me that a neighbor of his had an old mill sitting in the woods behind her house that had belonged to her father who had died some time ago.  I was very interested and kept gently goading my friend to find out more information.  Well, 6 weeks went by since learning about the mill in the woods and my friend hadn't gotten any information other than a picture of the sad mill sitting outside in the thicket.  I was nearly resigned to buying the Range Road when my wife and I decided to drive by our friend's place.  We found the address of the woman who had the sawmill, and a bit of internet sleuthing got us her name and number. 
I called her and set up an appointment to see the mill 2 days later.  It was hard to sleep those couple of nights, but Wednesday finally rolled around and I went to see the mill. 

Her father had purchased the mill new from Woodmizer in 1990 and had used it for awhile in Kentucky before he passed away.  His daughter brought it to Florida where her adult son ran it for a short while 10 years ago.  They covered it with tarps and parked it in the woods behind her house.   Well, a tarp doesn't last all that long outside in Florida, so by the time I got to it it was mostly exposed to the elements. 

After talking with the woman, she showed me the cant hook, blade sharpener, and tooth setter in her garage.  I told her I wanted to buy it and asked how much she was thinking.   She said she knew it had been deteriorating outside for some time and that she and her son had an idea of the value a decade ago, but now had no clue.  I offered her $1200 planning to negotiate from there; she refused my offer and said she wouldn't take more than $500!  I hardly knew what to say as I handed her the cash.  

I spent the next couple of hours jacking the mill up with a farm jack and packing the wheel bearings and putting on new wheels. Once I got the new wheels on and packed some dirt in the holes where it had been sitting, I hooked up to it and pulled it out of the woods!  I cleaned up all the rotten tarps and strapped them to the bed of the saw as I didn't want to leave a mess for her to clean up.  I went back to her garage and loaded up the accessories and thanked her again profusely. 

I towed it the 45 minutes home with no issues and pressure washed it just before dark.  I have sprayed everything down with PB Blaster and it's soaking now.  This weekend I hope to start to see what works and what's going to need repairs.  The 18HP Briggs was mostly still covered and still rotates.  All the electrical drive motors were exposed, so I imagine there'll be some work there.  All the grease zerks are rusty, I plan to replace them this weekend. 

All-in-all I am super excited to get this mill back in service.  I got a great deal so I have some room to work.

Thanks to everyone who contributes for all the great information I've gotten thus far! 
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer

Offline Brob1969

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 10:36:21 AM »
I'm going to have to figure out how to upload photos!  Couldn't get it to work. 

 

 

 
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 10:39:45 AM »
   Good luck. Be sure to register the Viin with Woodmizer which will make ordering parts easier and also provides some protection if it were ever stolen and might help track it down if it showed up somewhere else and someone else tried to buy parts for it.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Magicman

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 10:42:59 AM »
Oh wow and Oh yes, you will be OK with that treasure.  Continue to share pictures of the restoration, and

Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  :)
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Andries

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 11:03:22 AM »
I echo all of MagicMan's comments, and welcome to your new "non-lurker" status.  ;D 
I have and use a 1992 LT30 that has served me well for eight years on a log construction site. Our mills are very similar - my gallery has a number of photos re service and building extensions. Questions or comment? fire away.
BTW - that is a smoking' hot deal you got on your mill. I picked up mine for ten times what you did. Great rescue!
LT30G24, LT40G25
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Offline Brob1969

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2021, 11:32:30 AM »
Thanks guys!  I did contact Woodmizer yesterday and spoke with Tyler.  He got me set up with all the manuals and literature on the mill, as well as registering the mill to my name.  I know I will be needing some parts to get this up and running, so the literature is most helpful. Andries, I will be checking out your gallery and I am sure I will have some questions for you! 

I will be working on it some this weekend and I will be sure to post some pictures of what I am getting into.   Unfortunately, my wife scheduled a project out of town Saturday, so I have to grin and bear it until Sunday! 
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer

Offline Nebraska

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2021, 11:54:44 AM »
That is quite a find!

Offline pineywoods

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2021, 01:10:17 PM »
OH boy, congrats. I have rescued 2 older lt40's from the scrap heap, so been there. Don't try to remove the grease zerks, they are pressed in, no threads. Some of the parts may be un-available, BUT in most cases woodmizer will have later production pieces that will work. The 18 hp briggs on mine ran ok for around 5500 hours before I swapped it out for a 25 hp liquid cooled kawasaki. Not much you can do to an old lt40 that I haven't done. Mine is a 95 currently showing 8000+ hours and still in daily use. When you have questions, ask away, if I can't help, there will be someone on here who can and will. 
Also, I can show you how to upgrade that old setter dual tooth and convert the sharpener to take a cbn wheel.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2021, 02:17:40 PM »
Congratulations on that steal mill, and welcome to the Forestry Forum Brob1969!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer, 2018 Silverado 4X4
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2021, 03:06:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum and Congrats on the mill find. You will have that thing purring in short order I am sure. 

A friend of mine has a 1988 (I think? 2nd year of woodmizer mills) that has a LOT of hours on it that he has 3 x 12' extensions on for doing long beams. He has pretty sizable sawmill operation that produces about 15,000BF per day with a Corley that is driven by 3 phase electric. He is the go to mill for long beams in this country and they are all cut on his Woodmizer.   
Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
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Offline Magicman

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2021, 04:20:56 PM »
Actually 1988 should be the 6th year:  Wood-Mizer
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Crossroads

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2021, 04:36:13 PM »
Congratulations
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, l8000 Ford dump truck, hr16 Terex excavator, Farmi logging winch, Valley je 2x24 edger, Gehl ctl65 skid steer

Online 711ac

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2021, 04:54:15 PM »
Yea! This is like finding the mythical old Corvette in a barn story. Very happy for you. 

Offline Brob1969

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2021, 05:06:05 PM »
Pineywoods, you are speaking my language!  I definitely will want to be modifying the sharpener before long!  

Thanks for the tip on the grease zerks!  I literally soaked them all this morning with the intent of trying to remove them this evening!  I'm glad I read this before I started wrenching on them!

I will be asking plenty of questions as I dive into this.   I'm super stoked to get this thing cutting again soon!
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer

Offline Magicman

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2021, 05:13:58 PM »
Regarding greasing the zerks, remove the pin, bolt, or whatever is behind them and apply some heat to soften the hardened grease and hopefully you can push some grease through them.  In prefer to use a high pressure red grease.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Brob1969

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Re: Zerk fittings
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2021, 07:03:11 PM »
Believe it or not, every one of the zerks took grease! 

I assume soaking in PB all day may have had something to do with it. I pushed on each ball before I put the grease gun to it.  They all took grease and everything is moving! 

I put PB Blaster in the cylinders of the engine as well.  I got new oil, filter, and plugs for it and I'll change all that in the AM.  When I took the air cleaner apart it was full of carpenter ants!  I'm guessing I'll be rebuilding the carburetor as soon as I get a kit!

The battery in the battery box looks brand new...except for the 2005 manufacture date!  I checked over all the wiring and all the insulation is intact.  The electric motors are all turning freely, hopefully with a battery I can check the operation. 

One issue I have found is the hydraulic tensioner isn't functioning.  There's a weep hole in the bottom of the block where hydraulic fluid comes out when I tighten the handle.  I'm assuming something inside the block has failed.   Does anyone know how these are filled?

 

 
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2021, 08:38:10 PM »
Well, this story looks familiar, like I just saw it on a FB page.  Lol.  You've come to a great place for info on your new to you mill and for information on milling when you get to that stage.
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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2021, 10:00:42 PM »
WOw, you lucked out bigtime with a heck of a deal! I have bookmarked this thread and hope to see progress photos as you go along, This shouldn't take long before you are whacking out some nice stuff. I would give my left [body part] for that deal. Good for you man! Welcome to the forum, what took you so long? ;D
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Offline Andries

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2021, 10:38:21 PM »
Brob; Haven't seen a weep hole on the hydraulic block on my mills.
If yours is the same style as my LT30 and 40, it's an L shaped block with a filler bung at the far end, on top. The bung is easier to see and work on with the blade covers off. Also, take the blade off.
The way to put ATF oil in is by tightening the crank handle in,as far as it will go. Once the rams are out as far as they will go, hold them with a cloth or leather covered (so that you don't marr the rams) vice grips, to keep them from retracting. Back the crank handle all the way back out, after you've removed the bung. This creates an air pocket in the hydraulic block that you fill with ATF. Tighten up the bung after filling, and take the vice grips off the ram.
You'll find that the additional oil should make the rams move much sooner when cranking the tensioner handle. I had to do this twice with my LT40 - it had been sitting for eleven years.
Now, if you have ATF leaking out of an hole that is designed to be there in the block, well, thats a whole other scenario that I wouldn't expect.
Checking the parts against your manual would be the place to start. My experience is based on a 1992 version of yours.
I'm curious as heck now - why would there be a weep hole there? Corrosion? Kids with small drills and a sense of mischief?  ;D
Let us know, hey?
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Offline Brob1969

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Re: LT40 Rescue
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2021, 09:55:40 AM »
The weep hole is definitely factory.  It is mentioned in the repair document to be sure to re-install the block with the weep hole facing downward. I didn't see it at first, it's smaller diameter than a pencil lead and the block is black, once I heard fluid gurgling I noticed it.
1990 Woodmizer LT40, 18 HP Briggs Twin II
1980 Ford 555 backhoe
1996 John Deere 4475 Skid-Steer


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