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Hard to start old chainsaw

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by dfm1018, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I inherited my dad's Stihl after be passed away. He died in 1989 so that gives you an idea of how old the saw is. It sat for close to 20 years as I had no use for it. In the last couple years I've started using it again and it runs and works fine once it's running, but it can be incredibly hard to start. It's usually easier if I spray a little starting fluid into the carb, but I know that's not ideal and even so my arm sometimes wears out before the saw starts. I don't have any experience or knowledge of chainsaws specifically but I'm generally pretty handy and know my way around car engines so I'm hoping if someone can give me a starting place I can get the saw running better myself. I don't use it often enough to make it worth putting a lot of money into it. Two things I have done are sprayed out the carb with a carb cleaner and checked the spark plug. Although very old it looks like it's still in good shape. Any ideas on what I can start looking for to correct my hard starting problem?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  2. dave k

    dave k Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If I did'nt have much use for about 20 years I reckon I might be hard to get going !! Sounds like fuel problems i.e. dirty fuel filter, soft fuel lines, dirty carb to name a few starting places and of course it would be helpfull to know which model ? If it's running ok when you do get it going it can't be to serious !
     
  3. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It would be good to do a compression test or at least pull the muffler and look at the piston. Of course, if it is really hard to pull the compression is probably OK.

    I would replace the fuel line and put a carb kit in at least.

    And, it is probably time to replace the impulse and manifold, but that is right much harder to do.
     
  4. hanniedog

    hanniedog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Probably an 090.
     
  5. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'll give you $200 for it and you can go buy a saw that's easy to start.
     
  6. thomas72

    thomas72 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am guessing you have a 08. You probably need to go through the entire fuel system. New fuel lines, filter, and carb kit.
     
  7. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I'll check the model when I get home; I don't remember it offhand. The cord is not hard to pull, it pulls easily and the engine cranks but it just seems like it won't turn over or catch without a shot of starting fluid. To my untrained eye/ear, it seems like it needs a priming button like modern lawnmowers or weedwackers have that prime the cylinder with some fuel.

    I would agree it sounds like a fuel issue. Once I've got the model maybe somebody can point me to a manual or instructions on replacing the filter, carb, etc.
     
  8. thomas72

    thomas72 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This is how I prime a saw if need be. I take a 20 oz. coke bottle and poke a small hole in the cap. Fill the bottle half way with two cycle mix and use it like a squirt bottle. That way your saw is getting the oil it needs and the fuel to get it started. Just shoot the fuel through the carb with the air filter off.
     
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  9. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If it pulls too easily that gets back to a compression issue. You need to check it before you throw any money at it.
     
  10. tallfarmboy

    tallfarmboy AboristSite Guru

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    I think we have found your problem... lack of proper compression would make starting any saw next to impossible. Find a compression tester and go from there... But, as others said, your fuel lines/filter/carb/spark plug/points are probably marginal at best.
    I would start with a compression test as everything else won't really matter unless you have over 110 or 120psi.
     
  11. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Would a normal automotive compression tester work or do I need a chainsaw/small engine-specific one? What is the procedure for testing compression on a chainsaw? Just screw in the tester and pull the cord?
     
  12. morgaj1

    morgaj1 ArboristSite Operative

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    You need a tester with the Schrader valve in the tip. Screw it in, pull the saw over until the compression gauge no longer increases.
     
  13. jeeptj19992001

    jeeptj19992001 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    hold starter rope, let go of saw, does the saw crank, or does it just stay there fat dumb and happy?
     
  14. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I just checked the saw model, it's a Stihl 028 AV Super. There's no indication of when it was manufactured.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  15. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I just tried this. It hung there fat dumb and happy, swinging around for a few seconds, then dropped a couple inches and I could hear it turn once, it hung there at that level again for a couple seconds swinging, dropped 1 crank again, hung there a few seconds, etc. Definately not a straight drop to the ground with the engine turning, but it did have some give.
     
  16. DarkTimber

    DarkTimber ArboristSite Operative

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    Sounds like the saw needs rings and since you have it down that far might as well replace the piston as well just to be on the safe side. Just my personal opnion.
     
  17. FATGUY

    FATGUY Addicted to ArboristSite

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    sounds fuel related to me. A squirt of starter fluid won't help poor compression.
     
  18. Duke Thieroff

    Duke Thieroff Fill your hands, you SOB! / AS Sponsor

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    That's insane. What made you come up with that theory?

    We haven't even checked the big three thoroughly yet. Compression, ignition and fuel. Let's check those and go from there.


    Sounds like the saw has compression, check for spark. If you have compression and spark it's fuel related.


    If it's been sitting for 20 years the fuel lines are probably deteriorated, and there's a possibility of the carb needing cleaned and new diaphragms.

    Why on earth would you break the whole saw down if you haven't even checked to see if it's getting fuel or not.


    To the OP, it sounds like it's fuel related. Check your fuel and impulse lines, replace as necessary. If the lines still look good just shoot a couple primes in the carb to get it cranking. It may just need to pull fuel up through the system once again.

    If you are getting fuel and have gotten the saw running wait for it to warm up. If the saw is idling erratically, then you have an air leak somewhere, most likely in the fuel line. Keep in mind you may have to fiddle with the throttle and choke a little bit, to get it going. Even once you have it running it may run rough at first, but you have to consider those diaphragms in the carb have not been used for quite a long time and are likely stiff. They may soften with a little coaxing from a little mix.



    Chris
     
  19. dfm1018

    dfm1018 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have used the saw several times in the last 2 years or so, and it seems to run fine once it's started, at least to my untrained ear. The problem is just in getting it started. It will take many, many pulls of the cord, even with a shot or three of starting fluid. Once it seems like it's actually trying to start, it will usually catch and turn over but die after a second. It will do that 4-5 times until it finally is running permanently. Then I have to let it idle for a couple minutes before I pull on the throttle. If I hit the throttle too soon it sounds like it bogs down and dies. You're right though in that it sounds, to me, like it's taking a while to get fuel through the entire system. It seems like it needs to be primed. I assume this is not normal. And since it runs I'd guess it's not a spark issue. I think everyone is right when they say it's a fuel issue. So what are the first steps in correcting a fuel problem? Install a new filter attempt to clean out the carb?

    I thank everyone for the help so far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  20. Duke Thieroff

    Duke Thieroff Fill your hands, you SOB! / AS Sponsor

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    Yes sir. I would get a new filter on it, and also clean and rebuild the carb. Carb kits are dirt cheap, and worth it.


    Chris
     

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