It's my first chainsaw, and I'm mostly new at small engines - I'm coming over from motorcycles and will be using the saw for 80% firewood, 10% trimming, 5% trail maintenance and 5% volunteer emergency work (if the need arises). I hope to use this thread as a diary for the life (and possibly retirement) of this saw, and so here's some background and my first question...
I picked up a McCulloch 7-10 from a friend. It didn't start well for him, and he didn't like it, it was old, vibe-y, smokey, and loud. So I got it. When it first found my hands, it didn't start for at least 30 pulls for a burp, and then another 15+ after that to actually get it running.
I spent the afternoon the next day pulling the thing and feathering the throttle until I got it running. When it buzzed to life, I found a happy medium with the throttle, just to keep it running. Took off the air filter and adjusted the idle after I had the engine warmed up (had to shut it off, since at first I didn't have a screwdriver long enough to do it. .....
After some trial and error, I found that turning the low-idle screw in raised the idle speed enough to keep it idling well, and I wouldn't have to feather the throttle to keep it going. Problem 1 solved.
Next I mixed some seafoam in the premix, and filled up the tank. Started it up, and ran a tank of that stuff through, just leaving the saw idling out back while preparing dinner. [Three cheers for bachelorhood.] Ran through the whole tank of gas, the saw ran it self out, and died. I filled up some more, and got it running again, tucked it away for the evening.
Next afternoon I was out again, and got it started and happily running again. I adjusted the idle again, this time raising it a bit more so it would stay running reliably when coming down off of the top-end full throttle. I took some trial cuts in a large log we had lying around - nothing through, just some starters. I let it idle some more, and noticed the clutch not always disengaging, so I lowered the idle a bit more, having found a screwdriver that fit the idle adjustment passage, I didn't take off the air filter this time. I filled another tank of the seafoam mix and put it away.
Friday I went out to take some firewood off a local's hands due to a recent storm. I experienced the first chain binding, and had forgotten tightening tools at home; so I took a load back and picked up those tools. Then I ran out of bar oil, and had also neglected that back at the house, so I returned with load two, and picked up the bar oil. All this time, I've been meaning to bring out the seafoam to just keep running a bit through each time, and every time I've forgotten.
One other point I haven't mentioned: my landlord has a Poulan that takes 20:1, and the McC takes 32:1 (according to the PO). So I add a dribble of two-stroke to the tank ever second fill-up, and that seems to keep it running happy. I plan to hit up Advance Auto Parts when I get my oil and filter for the car tomorrow, and grab a gallon tank while I'm there, this off-mixing crap is for the birds.... (Just so you have all the information in case you have a suggestion to make, once I get to my question/problem...)
We're almost full up for the third load, when the saw begins surging on idle, and then starts idling noticeably higher - higher enough that the clutch doesn't disengage, and the chain continues turning, albeit slowly. I realize this isn't safe - I didn't have the small idle adjustment screwdriver with me, so we planned to finish that load, and retrieve the screwdriver on the next trip home.
Instead, the saw had other ideas. (Is it normal to name your saw, like you'd name a motorcycle, or classic car?) Running high on idle, it would blub and die when given throttle. On a motorcycle I'd say drop the needle a notch in the carb, but I haven't done anything to the carb, and it was running well for the three hours before! True, this could be related to the high idling, and changing the idle mix might take care of it for me.... but as I've never dealt with this stuff before, I figured I'd ask the experts.
N.B.: I plan to premix some seafoam in the tank when I start using my own mixture, any reason I shouldn't?
Additional info: I did check the plug before, but not since the idling issue started. It was gummed up when I got the saw, but I cleaned the contacts and it's been okay since. Also, if it were a plug problem, I couldn't even start the saw at all, true?
I'm looking at pulling the starter cord mechanism apart, as it doesn't retract the cord all the way, until it stops - and then with a *Clang!* Words of advice, pictures, directions, .pdf's or other info for the rebuild?
Last thing: It leaks bar oil. I can tell, as I set it down when the bar oil tank is >1/2 full, and there's a puddle under it when I return. It's not the gas, that level hasn't changed, and it stops once the bar oil is below a certain level. Is this normal, or am I missing an O-ring os other seal somewhere?
Thanks in advance, and much appreciation to one member who has already been more than helpful with some specs and tips so far!