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My thought is that there is air in the line. I had problem like that with my splitter. To cure it I had to stand the splitter on end because the oil fill is at the wedge end. I filled it. set it back horizontal and cycled the ram full length 3 times. I stood it on end again and could add more fluid. When I filled again it was now full of fluid and works properly. It also could be that the splitter is not powerful enough to split that size log down the middle. I must take a smaller bite then it works.
make sure that the ram is in the fully retracted position
empty oil reservoir until the oil level is at the required position normally about 1/4 inch below filler plug
if oil is added with the ram at any extension then the extra oil will be pushed back into the reservoir and over flow out
well it's a complete guess due to fact you didn't mention model or mfg or even a photo , but most log splitters have a auto return tripper device this should activate ,either a switch or hydraulic lever to reverse the flow of oil from the cylinder after a log is split , some models even use large springs to force the cylinder back into its sleeve after it extends out , I guess springs could break ? this would be easy to clearly see with a close visual inspection
Hi, check oil level if low oil switch fitted. Also check or temporarily disconnect kill switch. Make sure coil air gap is 8 thou and points gap is 15 thou when open. Clean points contacts by sliding a thin piece of cardboard between them(they are coated from new and will not function until cleaned). Fit a new sparkplug if you have not done so already. Hope this helps, regards Phil.