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STIHL MS 290 Farm Boss (Extremely Hard to Start Cold)

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by thetexasrat, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. thetexasrat

    thetexasrat Banned

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    I bought a brand-new STIHL MS 290 Farm Boss with a 4 year warranty. It is hard to start cold. Once I do get it running it restarts the first pull.

    When trying to start it I first set it to full choke and have to pull it countless of times before it will fire off and then die. Then If I set it to the high idle position it might start right up and start to rev high and then quickly die as if it runs out of fuel. Then by the time I try starting it in the normal operating position, after my arm is wore out, it will finally start and die time after time. Once it starts and idles it has a problem of hesitation for a little while before it will rev up. Once it finally can rev then it seems to do just fine - until I let it sit for a while and then the problem starts all over again.

    The Dealer told me it was most likely flooding and tells me to pull the plug and blow air through it until all the excess fuel clears the chamber, but there is no fuel coming out the exhaust and I has blown air through it anyway and there is no fuel spewing from the muffler. I can not see this as a flooding problem like the dealer says, it seems to me that it is starving for fuel.

    So an even worse problem begins, as for the next 4 years if I open it up to diagnose it right myself I void the warranty. I am wondering if any one knows why a STIHL MS 290 Farm Boss carburetor systems would be drained of fuel (or take in excessive air) after sitting-up a while so that I can tell the dealer to look into it and fix it instead of just giving me :censored: advice.
     
  2. cutfast

    cutfast ArboristSite Operative

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    Take it back and have him start it when it's cold.
    If he can start it with only a few pulls then your doing something wrong.
    When it won't start tell him to fix it or give you a different one.
     
  3. dpavlock

    dpavlock ArboristSite Lurker

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    TAKE IT BACK! You shouldn't have an issue like that with a new saw.

    Did you follow the starting procedure as described in the manual? It may sound like a dumb question but they are easy to flood if you don't set it on high idle after it POPS off the first time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  4. bucknfeller

    bucknfeller Opportunistic Hooligan

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    I'd try just pulling it @ full choke 4 times, then go to high idle. If that doesn't work then I'd take it back. Sometimes the pop isn't much on those saws, maybe you're missing it, and it is flooding.
     
  5. dswensen

    dswensen AboristSite Guru

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    It's your technique. You are flooding it by not recognizing the "pop" and immediately setting the choke to fast idle. Read the manual or get someone with experience to show you what to look and listen for. I pull my 290 about 4 times max on full choke.
     
  6. thetexasrat

    thetexasrat Banned

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    I did take it back once already and to my embarrassment it started for them with little trouble. I stayed there for about 20 minutes and then had another guy restart it, and with no trouble at all got it running. The first guy told me to skip past step two in the staring sequence and I would have less trouble, the second guy had a semi-warm saw to restart so it was not like he had to do a real cold start.

    Then I went home and started it it with no problem and used it that evening. Then the next morning I had the trouble starting it again, but after many tries I got it running and was finally able to use it. It seems not to like me or it does not like to sit-up.

    I told myself if it happens again I will definitely take it back and demand that they either fix it or give me another one, but if they check it out and find nothing wrong with it then they will charge me for diagnostic tests. The warranty work is only free if they find something wrong. So yes I will take it back if and when it does it again and even then only after I let it sit for a day so as to be sure it will trouble them.

    But I was wondering if any body else had this type of problem and new what it could be.
     
  7. bucknfeller

    bucknfeller Opportunistic Hooligan

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    I think you missed your answer just like you're missing the pop! Try pulling it 4 times at full choke, then go to high idle.
     
  8. thetexasrat

    thetexasrat Banned

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    I read the manual and also went back and had the dealer to show me and I still have trouble after it sit and try to start it cold. One of the guys at the dealer told me to skip step 2 and go from choke to normal running position. But how can it be flooded it it fires off and runs in the off idle step and then dies after about 2 seconds? I am not trying to say that I know this saw better than y'all, just seems to me it starves for fuel. Again when I had the trouble the day after the guy told me at the dealer that I was most likely flooding it and to take the spark plug out and blow compressed air through it there was no fuel coming out the muffler. I have a Poulan that had flooded and fuel was pouring out the exhaust (it had a needle seat problem, I fixed it and it works fine). Other than that I have ran this Poulan for 5 years and never had this bad of a starting problem, and was wondering if it is a STILH idiosyncrasy of being temperamental or possibly something wrong with it?

    And while this is my first STILH, I took automotive class in High School and six months of automotive trade schoolin', and I started working on push lawnmowers around seven years old. The first car I worked on I was 8 years old replacing the starter in a Corvette because I was the only one that could fit under it. I have worked on cars, trucks, big cab diesel tractors (as well as small ones), bulldozers, Vermeer rock saws, Back hoes, weed eaters, leaf blowers, motorcycles, go-carts, boats, etc.. (both foreign and domestic). I am now 49 years old and have had a reputation of being one of the best carburetor rebuilders in Madison County Texas, and have rebuilt hundred of them on all types of gasoline engines, both big and small and it seems to me to be a starvation issue in my book.

    But just in case I will try and start it as y'all advise tomorrow and see if I can learn the feel for starting this cantankerous STILH saw, or not.

    Thanks for the input. And I hope it is just me.

    P.S. - I have read here that there is something one can do to the exhaust to get more power, but they did not elaborate, can some one point me in the direction of a thread that gets into the details of this? I would really like to soup it up best I can with out voiding the 4 year warranty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  9. dpavlock

    dpavlock ArboristSite Lurker

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    Stihls are a different animal compared to other saws when it comes to starting, but it's not rocket science. You'll get it figured out.
     
  10. thetexasrat

    thetexasrat Banned

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    I will first thing tomorrow, and will get back with y'all as to my results. Thanks for the input.
     
  11. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The 290 is one of the easiest starting Stihls I've ever had in my hands. As others have stated, no more than 4 pulls on full choke whether you hear it pop or not!

    What octane gas are you using? What 2-cycle mix are you using? What mix ratio are you using? How fresh is your mix?
     
  12. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sounds a lot more like a lean low circiut to me, first I'd try opening the low adjuster about 1/4 turn which might mean pulling the limiter cap off.. Also make sure the choke os closing tight. Steve
     
  13. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Also check to make sure the impulse line is hooked up good. Steve
     
  14. lambs

    lambs Stihl crazy after all these years

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    I'm not sure I'd even pull it 4 times on full choke. I've seen several 250s that would flood if you tried to start it with more than 2 pulls at full choke.

    I don't think your earlier problem with the other saw is indicative as to what's going on with your 290. A flooded saw won't necessarily blow any fuel out of the exhaust.

    So I'd set your saw to full choke, pull the starter rope twice, then set it to half choke and pull it until it starts running.

    Keep a sharp chain and cut wood.
     
  15. RED WOOD

    RED WOOD ArboristSite Member

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    2X My 290 takes 4 pulls on cold start before it fires. The sound you are listening for is more like a run on than a pop. They will flood if you pull the starter 1X after fire. The muffler is pretty restricted on those saws and they are not loud when they fire.
     
  16. mountainlake

    mountainlake Addicted to ArboristSite

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    His describtion of how it acts is a saw that is set too lean on the low adjuster, saws that are rich don't die when you pull the throttle they accelerate slowly clearing out the excess gas. Steve
     
  17. jughead500

    jughead500 Mcjunky

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    sounds like a hole in the fuel line.like its losing prime after a while.thus taking several pulls to get the fuel back up to the carb.possibly a bad needle causing the fuel to go back down the line????
     
  18. 066blaster

    066blaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If it is your first stihl you should know it needs a little warm up before it will run good. warming it up requires a little feathering of the the throttle till it runs good. I pull mine 2 or 3 times full choke then put to run position and manually hold the throttle trigger wide open and it takes 1 or 2 pulls to fire up. If other people can start it your doing something wrong. look in to the muffler mod you will like it!
     
  19. Fish

    Fish Account Hold

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    Just to try something, go out and buy some fresh fuel and mix. See how it starts then, and turn your low speed screw to the left a hair.
     
  20. SawTroll

    SawTroll Information Collector

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    I tend to agree, my "rule of thumb" is max 3, and to keep in mind that even the faintest sign that it wants to start should be counted as a "pop".
     

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