I’m calling it curtains on the V8 chunker. Yes, a little painful to admit. But in the presence of other options, you have to constantly re-evaluate why you’re going a certain way. I didn’t have enough good reasons to keep on, the goal is to chunk wood, not re-engineer automotive parts into farm machinery. Here’s the main issues, which I didn’t realize at the start:
First off, the engineering problem of using an automotive engine to replace a tractor is rather difficult. This is the root of my issues with reversing, slowing down, and beefing up the chunking action. Making the axle turn the wrong way and continue to oil itself properly is almost impossible. I was thinking about adding PTO outputs, but stationary PTO applications are pretty limited, and all are better suited for a real tractor.
Secondly, the reduction from axle and transmission is not enough. I needed about a 20:1 and the gearing only gave me 10:1. Adding pulleys/chains to the driven parts becomes a weak link or very pricey at high power levels. A transfer case could do the job. More expense and complexity.
Last but not least, this has become a white elephant which I’m not sure has any real value. V8s are cool, but not justified for this purpose. If I stop now, it’s still got resale value as engine / transmission / axle setup.
The successor will be a square baler chunker similar to Dustin, Tom, and Doug’s. Link: http://driveonwood.com/forum/1599 As I’ve said elsewhere, this is very nearly a chunker-to-go. It’s made for this type of job - once per cycle high shock load (punching haybales together), designed to run about 60 cycles a minute, a giant flywheel begging to be belt driven. Correct drive ratios out of the box. They’re very easy to get in farm country, at scrap prices. Couldn’t ask for better! A months-long process superseded in about a week.
The chunker is dead! Long live the chunker!