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Echo Chainsaw Won't Pull With Brake On

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Paul Bunions, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Paul Bunions

    Paul Bunions ArboristSite Member

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    First, thanks for this forum. I am new here.

    I have an Echo CS-590 saw. The other day I tried to get it started. While I was yanking the cord with the brake on, per the instructions, something happened, and now the saw will not let me pull the cord unless the brake is off.

    I tried to get into the saw to figure out what was going on. I took the clip and washer off the clutch drum to remove it, but regardless of whether the brake is on or off, the drum will not budge. It's on there good and tight. On at least one other Echo model, the drum comes right off once the clip is removed, so this doesn't seem right.

    Wondering what could cause this problem. Does it mean the clutch springs are screwed up? Also, how can I get this drum off? There is no way to grip it.
     
  2. Mauser

    Mauser ArboristSite Operative

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    I do not know what to tell you about how to get the drum off in this situation - I have never taken mine off at all. But what you describe absolutely tells me that the only thing that can be causing both problems is something broken or fouling the clutch so that it cannot release from the drum.

    Would not surprise me if you have to sacrifice the drum to get it off. Maybe just tapping around the drum with a small hammer would cause whatever is bound up in there to let go without any further damage? If not, perhaps a big pair of vice grips on the sprocket, and wiggle it BACKWARDS, trying to get whatever is bound up in there to release? Bind up the crank or piston first so you have something to wiggle against. I would really think that should work if you mess with it long enough, but most likely it will bugger up the sprocket pretty good. If you want to try and save the sprocket, try wrapping some thick belt leather around it before attacking it with the vice grips - the sprocket teeth digging into the leather might actually make the vice grips hold BETTER this way too.

    If you do not want to use the vice grips, you could make a tool out of a big socket and a cut-off wheel to have teeth that fit down between the sprocket teeth and use that with a ratchet to try and turn the drum. Or maybe you could even get lucky and find just the right size of big socket that would fit over the teeth just like a nut?

    Assuming the clutch just screws onto the shaft with reverse threads like usual, then perhaps a big mallet on the vice grips would allow you to unscrew the entire drum and clutch together?

    Two other extreme options I can think of (without actually looking at my saw right now to see how possible they might be):
    1. Use a gear puller and a small cut-off wheel to make notches in the outside of the drum for the puller to grab.
    2. Use a steering wheel puller (the kind that has two bolts instead of moveable claws), and try to drill/tap two holes in the drum for the bolts. Or just weld those bolts to the sprocket or top of the drum.

    Lastly, a Dremmel cut-ff wheel would probably let you cut the entire top off the drum so you could get in there and see what is wrong.

    Of course, make sure the brake is off before trying to move/remove the drum with any method!
     
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  3. s sidewall

    s sidewall Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Still under the 5 year warranty?

    Steve
     
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  4. Mauser

    Mauser ArboristSite Operative

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    Oooo, what an obvious and most appropriate question! Wish I had thought of that before I started dreaming up destructive ideas!
     
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  5. rd35

    rd35 Just an average Joe's brother!!

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    Okay, so here's what I would do, but I am not suggesting anybody else try this as it could break your crankshaft or flywheel. Could also send pieces flying causing injury if not done correctly with proper PPE. I'd reinstall the washer and E-clip on the drum/sprocket. Then I'd release the brake (no bar, chain, or side cover installed). Then, I'd fire up the engine and let it settle down to an idle. Finally, I'd engage the brake to see if it will pop the drum loose from the clutch (or from the crank if the drum bearing is frozen) as it abruptly stops the engine. I, myself, would only do this as a last resort if I couldn't get it separated any other way.
     
  6. Paul Bunions

    Paul Bunions ArboristSite Member

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    Thanks for the replies. It's interesting that Echo doesn't put a feature on the drum that makes it easy to pull it.

    The warranty is still in effect, but the last time I took the saw for work, the local place kept it a month and did nothing at all. I would rather lose a few bucks than deal with slackers again.

    I have a few parts plus a clutch removal tool on the way. Maybe I can get the drum off with vise grips.
     
  7. wcorey

    wcorey ArboristSite Guru

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    Could be the clutch bearing went south, usually something you just have to work back and forth to coax the drum off.
    Hopefully the crank didn't get chewed up.

    That or a spring or something let go in the clutch and is holding it open against the drum.
     
  8. s sidewall

    s sidewall Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What's the proper protection, besides a wall between you and the saw when the clutch flys off hope no one is in front of it. Best do it at night, get pretty sparks.

    Steve
     
  9. 1Alpha1

    1Alpha1 100% USDA certified abnormality-free.

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    Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
    No idea as to what happened to your saw. But.....I never start my saws with the brake on.

    And, after making a cut, and if some time passes by before starting another cut, I turn the saw off. I don't apply the brake while it's running.
     
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  10. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Same here. I never apply the brake, even while sharpening in the field.

     
  11. Marley5

    Marley5 ArboristSite Operative

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    Been cutting wood for over 40 years and ya'll are telling me that chainsaws have brakes ?
     
  12. Paul Bunions

    Paul Bunions ArboristSite Member

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    Maybe I'm being punished for following the directions. I don't really like the way the saw goes nuts when I start it with the chain engaged.
     
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  13. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You might learn something else today, after-all the day is still young. And remember wear your safety equipment. These can be dangerous. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. 1Alpha1

    1Alpha1 100% USDA certified abnormality-free.

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    Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.

    Sounds as if your saw has some tuning issues that need to be resolved.

    If it's still under warranty, I'd pursue that line of remedy. If you don't like the ECHO dealer in your area, seek out another.
     
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  15. HarleyT

    HarleyT Tree Freak

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    Sounds like you just need to get the drum off and replace the sprocket bearing.
     
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  16. s sidewall

    s sidewall Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I do use the chain brake on two of my saws when cutting tree tops up when on the ground, never know when a limb that's hiding in the thick will trip ya. Also use it when trimming up trees, have a plate form on the bobcat. My other saws, don't know what a chain brake is.

    Steve
     
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  17. 1Alpha1

    1Alpha1 100% USDA certified abnormality-free.

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    Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
    I know guys that use the chain brake all the time. They're the same guys that forget it's on and rev their saws.

    After doing that same stunt so many times over and over, it hastens up wear & tear.
     
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  18. Marley5

    Marley5 ArboristSite Operative

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    I just pull the throttle quickly and the saw dies to an idle.
     
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  19. holeycow

    holeycow Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Are you sposedta have the brake on while starting?

    Huh.

    Ridiculous.
     
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  20. Dahmer

    Dahmer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Once you pulle the e-clip the drum should slide right off. On the Echo saws the bearing isn’t a press fit in the drum bore and they are awfully loose.
     

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