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Curious Question about tuning up a chainsaw

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Karla, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Karla

    Karla Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Does anyone completely tune-up a chainsaw without putting a bar and chain on it ?
     
  2. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Don't see how??? Bar & chain use is what I tune to use??
     
  3. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    It would be best to tune it how you're going to run it. Otherwise the rpms would be way off. Probably not too good on the saw to wind it up with no bar and chain on it.
     
  4. Karla

    Karla Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks for the replys, I thought of a couple of ways to test the engine, such as having some kind of a load cell that would allow you to load up the engine, but don't know of anyway for a Homeowner or Non-commercial individual would be able to afford or justify the cost, unless it was something homemade. I am Not sure how the factory does the testing, I may have to do some research in that area too. However, I guess what got my curiosity is that I do tune-up and repair chainsaws for friends, and family, and its just a hobby (Not a business) , I especially like the chainsaws where No one can figure out why they it won't start or almost No one can't seem to find the problem. I really like the problem child chainsaws, Lol.

    Anyhow, on a number of occassions, I have had individuals drop chainsaws off for repair, with No clutch cover, no bar, and no chain, and I think the individuals I have grouped into three different categories. Category 1, just don't have a clue why I would need the clutch cover, bar, and chain. Category 2, They think that I will have a bar and chain, and a clutch cover that will fit their brand and model of chainsaw (Lol). Or Category 3, They don't want me to see the condition of their bar and chain, because I will probably tell them they need a New one, or they know I will probably want to sharpen their chain as part of the repair, and tune-up (Not sure). Or Category 4, Maybe they know of a way to completely load up and test a chainsaw, and tune it up without a clutch cover, bar, and chain. So that is why I was asking the question ? I get this No clutch cover, No bar, and No chain Syndrome alot, So that I thought maybe they are use to taking them to repair shops that tell them they don't need those parts, anyhow an interresting and curious problem.
     
  5. CTYank

    CTYank Peripatetic Sawyer

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    How can you possibly adjust high-speed mixture without running saw under load, in a cut? (Implying that mounting b&c and adjusting carb solely by tach is at best a crude kludge, and at worst a joke. Been there, seen that.)
    Back when, before cheapo inductive tachs, mfgs used to instruct thus: "adjust H mixture for max engine speed under load." That's what it's all about, folks. May be a bit messy, but spot-on.
     
  6. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    Makes sense. But I've never bought a new saw that had been in wood. Meaning the dealership had cut wood to tune it up. They always take it in the back, run it to a tach a bit then bring it back. I've only been buying new saws for over 25 years but I've never had them set it up by cutting . I do however make adjustments after a few tanks to get it to my liking.
     
  7. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ive never seen a new saw come out of a dealership tuned worth a hoot.
     
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  8. Karla

    Karla Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yes, I was thinking the same thing, and have not seen any chainsaws that came from a Dealer or directly from a Manufacturer that had any sawdust or wood chips inside the chainsaw, so I have been wondering about that one too. The chainsaws that I have worked on, and repaired are usually ones that are really broke, and the owner has just about given up on it, and then they think of me. Lol. They also know that I only charge for the parts that I put into the saw, No labor or time, or even chemicals for cleaning, or oils or gas. So its a great deal for them, and its Just a hobby for me. Lol. Its definitely Not a business, and I don't want it to be, and have to pay taxes, etc, etc. I usually still do Ok, just doing it for the cost of parts, but the most important thing is always learn something. Lol.
     
  9. RyKR

    RyKR ArboristSite Lurker

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    How are you "doing ok", just charging for the cost of parts? I guess I might be misunderstanding.
     
  10. Karla

    Karla Addicted to ArboristSite

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    OK - Here is an example, I had a Lawn Mower brought to me that the owner kept complaining that it would start on occassion but usually would break the starter cord, and Not start. Too funny.

    So I looked at it and right away, I knew it was probably the flywheel key had sheared, so the first thing I always do with almost all engines especially old ones that looked like someone dug them out of the dump, but they all say its their mower or chainsaw, etc. Is that I high pressure power wash them down, using some purple power cleaner, and then wait for them to dry in the sun. Lol.

    I don't like the grime, grease, oily mess, so before I touch them they are fairly clean with Purple Power cleaner, and I also want to be able to see if all the parts are intact and Not broken or missing (I have had lots of them, that were missing parts from a homeowner trying to take it apart themselves). , I get the purple power cleaner at the dollar store, and costs about $4.00 a gallon (but I use less than a quart per engine). I also dump the oil out into a recycle container, and dump the gas out too looking for dirt & debris, also Inspect the oil especially on 4 stroke engines, and look for metal slivers and metal parts like half a connecting rod or something of the sort. Too funny.

    After Inspection, and pretty sure it only needed a flywheel key, I gave the owner a price of $15.00 for parts, and that would include a complete tune-up too. So parts: flywheel key aprox. 50 cents, Spark plug: $2-3.00 depending on which plug I need, I always try to put OEM parts back into the engines, but fuel filters & air filters, some other small parts sometimes use Aftermarket which I buy in bulk,. Anyhow it also needed a long starter cord because the pull was back at the handle for this lawnmower aprox. $3.00, I believe I also put a new foam air filter in the air cleaner for aprox. $1.00. Added a quart of oil back into the engine, aprox. $3-4.00 and when I'm all done the parts came to about $15.00. Oh also needed a little fuel to add back into the tank aprox. $1.00 worth, also completely clean the carburetor, sometimes they need a new bowl gasket too. Anyhow when I'm done it looks and runs like new. I returned it to the owner, and the owner was so thrilled to get their mower fixed and running for $15.00 that they usually end up giving me a tip or a little extra. I also suggest that they bring it back next year for another tune-up, and may suggest they need other work down the road, like replacement fuel lines, etc. etc. If I see anything obvious, which I will also show them.

    Again remember this is for friends, neighbors, and family, and I really enjoy working on these engines but I do need to limit myself because sometimes in the summer time, I can have 4-5 of these piling up each week for repair. Also remember for me its just a fun hobby, and I really don't mind spending the time to get them working again. Oh back to the $15.00 Lawn mower repair & tune-up & blade sharpened. I cut my own lawn with it when I was done (too funny - testing it). The friends gave me a $30.00 tip, on top of the $15.00 for parts. On some simplier projects, I have had individuals that just have a hard time starting their chainsaw, and just need some directions on how to get it started, and Not pull the starter cord 20 times or more, also Lol.

    But again I could Not do this for a Business, I would have to charge 3-4 times that amount. I also end up with lots of experience and knowledge, that is my reward. I work at my own pace Not the customers, however on occassion I have returned the small engine on the same day. I always show the Individuals that their equipment is now running, and has been repaired. I have been doing this for several years, and get lots & lots of happy return customers with new projects, and I have only had one complaint in several years of doing this. I have learned how to take care of all of my own yard & lawn equipment as a result of fixing all of these engines, which also is a great benefit to me since I can fix it myself, that was also my motivation into why I starting fixing small engines. I have been retired from a full time career of over 38 years at one job, and have been retired now for aproximately 12 years, so I also realize I am getting Old, and Don't need another career or business. Lol.

    I enjoy most the analytical diagnostics, and troubleshooting to find out what is really wrong with these engines, or what was the real root cause analysis. Lol & the repair is just secondary to the fact that it can be fixed.

    Sorry to be so wordy, but it really is my passion. Lol
     
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  11. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

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    I've been guilty of that, myself. Often, I fall behind on fixing up my own stuff, because I said, "Yeah, I'll take a look at it, for you." a dozen times too many. I've seen people who really can't afford to pay attention, let alone high repair bills, just light up when you charge them $30.00 for what probably would have been a $200.00 repair bill anywhere else. Sometimes, it really is just about the satisfaction of helping out someone who is hasn't been as fortunate as you have.
     
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  12. RyKR

    RyKR ArboristSite Lurker

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    I tend to be free labor when it comes to my wife's friends' vehicles. I've done a lot of work for nothing, simply because I enjoy it. Used to do a lot of setup and repair on guitars also. I understand about not making any money or opening shop, I just didn't understand what you meant by doing ok by only charging for parts. I did manage to make some money by getting a discount on parts and charging retail. Sometimes it took the sting out of doing the stuff for nothing.
     
  13. Karla

    Karla Addicted to ArboristSite

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    RyKR - Yes, I just wanted to explain, so that you understood where I was coming from, and I really keep looking for the problem child ones. Even the ones that I get from the re-cycle center that someone threw away are really not that bad, and can be easily fixed with a carburetor kit, fuel line or fuel filter, and a real good cleaning. And cleaning time is a good part, and usually takes the longest time to get them Uber clean. Also, If I'm not in a real hurry to fix something, I can usually wait until I get a good price on bulk parts, like aftermarket Power Mate .325 sprockets (10 for $15.-) then its Not to hard my budget to replace a drive sprocket, same with bars, and chain loops (ie. chains 10 for $100). So, I definitely do bargain shopping, when I'm not in a hurry for a repair. Lol . Bye, and Thanks for understanding.
     
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