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Old 05-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
snorky18
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Default What's wrong with my chainsaw?

I have a Poulan 4018. This guy: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...8657_200318657

Yes I know that as a GJ member I should own decent tools, probably a Stihl or Husqvarna, or some other decent brand they don't sell at Wal Mart, but the Poulan was bought when I needed a saw and was low on $$, so until it dies completely, that's what I'm using.

Anyway, a buddy borrowed it and couldn't get it to start, and returned it to me. I couldn't get it to start, and not for lack of trying. It sat on the shelf for 3 months, then I decided to fix it. It started on the 3rd pull, and started spewing out some serious smoke, Oil coming from the muffler, etc. I already knew the saw was leaking bar and chain oil into the carrying case, so perhaps some migrated into the fuel reservoir as well? I hate "automatic" oilers, but I digress.

I run it full throttle to see if it will clear out the oil and crap out of the fuel. The smoke goes away after about 30 seconds of full throttle. Now it will start fine, and will idle a few seconds before stalling (it's always done that to some extent though). And it's stopped throwing oil out the muffler, but there's plenty coming out of the area where the drive-wheel where the bar is attached to the saw.

Now if I start it then run it at full throttle, it runs just dandy for ~40 seonds, then all of a sudden it cuts off like it instantaneously ran out of gas, and the blades coasts to a stop eventually (I thought it was supposed to stop as soon as the motor cut off, but I could be wrong).

I start it back up, and same deal, 40 seconds it runs fine, then suddenly cuts off and chain coasts to a stop.

Any ideas about how to solve this one (besides trash it and buy a Stihl?)
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
mrsleeve
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Its a poulan, thats the biggest problem, your last line is the best solution.



1 Replace or at the very least, Clean out the air filter
2 Fresh mixed to the proper ratio gas maybe clean the carb up a bit.
3 new spark plug or at least clean up the old one
4 ?????????????
5 Profit




then get back to us after you have tried all that and see if it helps.

Last edited by mrsleeve; 05-14-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Remove muffler and clean carbon from it and surrounding area

Also, you might have a clogged filter at the end of the feed tube, in the tank
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Old 05-14-2009, 03:00 PM   #4
Charles (in GA)
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

My Poulan 2800, about 1992 vintage (I bought it new) has plastic fuel lines in it, also same hose is used to take crankcase pulses to pump fuel to the carb. This is a yellowish looking semi clear hose, and it cracks and breaks. When it is just cracked, you get what you have been experiencing, hard to start, then runs, very unpredictable. I got hose from a saw and mower shop, they keep different sizes of it on spools, and replaced all of it, saw ran like new after that.

Charles
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

I own a C-Man that is very similar version and sit lot longer. I never had a problem yet. Pull it out of case check fuel and fire it up.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Tried new plug and new air filter - still had the old problems.

Today I took everything apart, disassembled and cleaned the carb. Fuel lines looked good and were not brittle.

I didn't really intend to, but pulled the motor apart and found myself staring at the cylinder/piston and cylinder walls.

There was some pretty significant scoring on the cylinder walls. Could these be causing my problems (cuts out after running for ~30 seconds)? Or otherwise rendering my chainsaw inoperable? Or should I put it all back together and see if it runs with new fuel and cleaned carb.

Take a look at the pics - let me know if this is OK or not worth salvaging. I've never really seen cylinder walls before.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

I would say it is shot.

Just about any amount of scoring on a plated 2-cycle cylinder means you need a new one.

If the piston is the only thing scored, the cylinder is probably reuseable(will likely need a ball hone run in it).
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

It's not great, but I would just clean it up with some sandpaper and put it back together. Not worth putting parts into it IMO.

I borrowed a Poulon just like that but a 14" bar and it was a PITA to use/keep running. Had way more power than my 38cc McCulloch, though the cylinder/piston looked worse than yours in that one.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

wow thats alot of wear on the piston and cylinder wall. It may not be worth getting the parts to fix that saw up but. If your considering a saw i'd suggest highly looking into a Stihl.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Everytime I use my saw I say that, but when I go buy one I just can't drop the $300 for one.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #11
snorky18
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Are the lighter homeowner duty stihls as good as the heavy-duty-canadian-lumberjack versions with the huge motors and bars?

Any thoughts on Echo, redmax, or husqvarna?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

there's a Husqvarna for sale on the local craigslist that comes with a 60" bar!

I don't think my man card is stamped for that.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Yeah i'd say they are just as good and are of the same quality. I recently bought an ms-211 I also have a ms-360 pro and an older 044. The MS-211 (new model to Stihl) the build quality is really nice and i like that you don't need tools to get to the air filter or spark plug. mine came with a 15" bar I believe. I really have nothing bad to say about it. I really don't think you could go wrong with a Stihl for a small saw.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:31 PM   #14
snorky18
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

much to my surprise (and dismay since I don't get a nice new saw now) when I reassembled everything it ran fine, had plenty of power, etc.

Final list of everything done:
Cleaned out all carbon deposits from muffler and area around it
cleaned carb throughly (stripped it down)
new spark plug
new air filter
fresh fuel mixture

Hard to tell which one of these fixed it since they were all done at the same time, but thank yall for the advice, as it works dandy now

I really can't believe it runs this good with a piston and cylinder walls that are as scratched up as they are
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

You'd be surprised. My McCulloch looks just like that, maybe a little worse. I just cleaned it up a bit with sandpaper and slapped it together.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

That cylinder looks like a used 2-stroke cylinder to me. Not great, but not bad. The scratches are from dirt, not from siezing.

From the looks of the blow-by near the ring locator it looks like you have a LOT of ring end gap. Maybe throw a new ring in it next time you tear into it.

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Old 07-07-2009, 10:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Most small 2 stroke motors have a spark arestter (Muffler screen) Take that screen and throw it out. The 2 stroke motor uses ports not valves, when the motor is trying to start it sucks in the air and goes out the exhaust port and hits the clogged screen and blows back in the carb and will not start. Clean or throw out that EPA spark arrester!!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Funny, I pulled that out along with 1 plate of the muffler today in my saw. Freed up a little more power and it actually sounds like it has some ass now.

Last edited by nate379; 07-07-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john300k View Post
Most small 2 stroke motors have a spark arestter (Muffler screen) Take that screen and throw it out. The 2 stroke motor uses ports not valves, when the motor is trying to start it sucks in the air and goes out the exhaust port and hits the clogged screen and blows back in the carb and will not start. Clean or throw out that EPA spark arrester!!!
The LAST thing you should remove from a saw is the spark arrestor

They are there for a reason, and the EPA has nothing to do with it.

Anyone who maintains their saw properly should be cleaning the spark arrestor screen every so often anyhow. Most are just clipped in, others require nothing more than the removal of one screw.

Feel free to port the snot out of your 2-stroke, and free up the exhaust, but never remove the spark arrestor. It is there to prevent fires.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: What's wrong with my chainsaw?

The chance you cause a fire from a spark coming out of that is pretty much along the lines of getting struck by lightning.
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