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Echo CS-400 Just Sucks?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by FlyingDutchman, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. 7sleeper

    7sleeper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sorry don't want to keep the flak up you are encountering but putting a 16 inch bar on a 40cc saw is overly optimistic. Kind of like adding monster tires to a standard beetle... 14 inch is top if you consider full bar contact!
    Further if you have problems with your chain cutting streight consider changing your filling system. I recomend one of the el cheapo electric chain grinders. Ideal to true out everything again and MUCH more precise than any hobby filer. Something like this. Just don't forget to let the grinder do the work, in other words THIS AIN'T NO ANGLE GRINDER!


    Good luck,

    7
     
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  2. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    I'm pretty sure the saw was running lean off of the rev limited coil at 15,000 rpm (supposedly the rev limit per a muff mod thread). Yesterday using it the saw never screamed that hard as it did when it munched the chain before the tuning. I even had big slack in the chain for a couple minutes from the new chain breaking in and it didn't toss the chain. Yes, the chain was tight when it flew off and destroyed itself.

    The tensioner works fine as long as the bar nuts are finger tight. Putting any real force on it without support on the tin back plate in a stalled state causes the bevel gears to force the assembly outwards, misaligning the gears breaking the teeth. Also if you back the tensioner off multiple times after multiple chain changes, it packs debris like a garbage compactor into the bevel gear drive and prevents the dowel from going all the way back.
    Have the tensioner in your hand off the saw trying to back the tensioner dowel way back to install a new chain with a maw full of debris... with a little bit of a rush, and a heavy hand, crunch... There go the teeth on your bevel gear.
    IMG_20171217_110458952.jpg

    Normally I can get a chain sharp and straight cutting with a file no problem. I've got a chain grinder but need to get it set up. For now, an occasional trip to my local Stihl dealer 2 miles away doesn't hurt me too bad on the ones that won't cut straight.
     
  3. Chris-PA

    Chris-PA Where the Wild Things Are

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    I have to disagree. While all my saws have at least a muffler mod, even my unported 40cc saws pull 16" bars easily, full bar in hardwood. I don't have a CS400, so perhaps with a cat muffler 16" is too much for it, but with sharp lo pro there's no reason a 40cc saw should struggle with a 16" bar.
     
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  4. Cliff R

    Cliff R Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The CS-370's and 400's will pull a 16" bar w/o much trouble, have ran a number of both of them and tuned/muffler modded quite a few for customers here. As good as they do with a 16" bar with 3/8LP they really shine with 14" bars and a better choice for them, IMHO. These are NOT high rpm saws by any stretch of the imagination. They have very broad/flat power curves and more of a "mid-range" engine far as power output in concerned. They also "grunt" much better than one would expect for the CC's. I don't believe either model has a "rev-limiter" far as cancelling them out at any given rpm, but I was told by a Rep from Echo that they do have a timing retard feature in the coil which basically does the same thing.....FWIW......Cliff
     
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  5. Milkman31

    Milkman31 ArboristSite Guru

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    This is my car-400 I got for $20 at a yard sale. Came with the 18 in bar witch was way to much for the saw so I put a 14in on it and love it now.
     
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  6. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    Even a 4218?
     
  7. Chris-PA

    Chris-PA Where the Wild Things Are

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    Never ran one. I'd be willing to bet that with a few simple mods it'll pull that 18" just fine! It shouldn't be any harder to mod than the older 42cc Poulans I did, and it's a strato so it should go even better.
     
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  8. Vibes

    Vibes Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My bud has 2 of these saws and he overworks them to the point of abuse. That's the only saws he has for putting up a mountain of firewood. I almost bought one but got sold on a Dolmar/Makita 4300.
     
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  9. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    Yes, even a 4218 (assuming you're talking about the Poulan model number). My 3516 actually has the same engine under the hood that the 4218 has, and it pulls an 18", 3/8LP bar like a champ. Will it perform better with a shorter bar, sure. Do the extra 2" mean anything - only when you have a 36" trunk to get through and you're the only saw on the job (been there, done that with my Poulan).
    [​IMG]
    Tree removal at the future in-law's place, 2006.
    More pics here if you're interested.
    http://www.kirbos.net/stuff/tree/
     
  10. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Bobby thats awesome!

    I have a 42cc Sears saw, but the new OEM anti-vibe is pretty soft on it compared to the OEM after all the springs broke. It has plenty of power for the 18" bar on it. It originally had the 14" bar I was trying to use on my Echo. What a ripper it was (still would be if I had another 14" bar on it)! I still prefer the saws without the anti-vibe....

    When I tore my house down I used that saw to cut up all the junk lumber. I have a couple loops of S52 with about 6 cutters left on it from hitting nails haha.

    Truthfully, I really like the crummy Sears and Poulan saws, and still use the heck out of them.
     
  11. LuDookie

    LuDookie ArboristSite Lurker

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    I could be wrong, but I don't think 15,000rpm's applies to anything made by Echo, especially on a 12,000 rpm max saw. If that saw is limited, I would expect it to be closer to 13,000. And you have some bad luck....I've thrown a chain or two but never had one destroy itself. I'm thankful for that.

    I also hope that you tighten those bar nuts past finger tight after you get your chain where you want it? I've never had problems with my 370 which has pretty much interchangeable clutch covers with the 400 and I wouldn't dare cut with it with the bar nuts finger tight! My 370 has been the epitome of problem free, going on 10 years of tons of cutting, but I always run good chains, good bars, and use correct tension on the chain and tighten the bar nuts before cutting and loosen them when I kill the engine just before loosening the chain. Easy Peezy, never any "misaligned gears breaking the compactor into the bevel gear drive" or anything close to that. You might have a busted unit.
     
  12. Cycledude

    Cycledude ArboristSite Operative

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    My cs400 came from Echo with an 18 inch bar, yes it could use more power but you got to use your head a little, I’m sure even a 14 inch bar can Overload the little engine but if the operator uses a little common sense either bar will do the job fine. Haven’t done any muffler mod on mine Simply because I prefer not to have the extra noise, I did remove the plastic plugs and re adjust the carb and yes that helped. The only time the chain has jumped off was a couple times when I was getting kinda careless while cutting brush but any saw I’ve ever used can have that happen, but I think maybe it happens a little easier with the small sized chain.

    I suspect there is something wrong with your assembly if tightening the bar nuts is damaging your tightener , maybe using the wrong bar ?
     
  13. LuDookie

    LuDookie ArboristSite Lurker

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    And I run a 16 on my 370 and cut up to about 12 inch stuff with it. With a good chain it pulls it, no problem. You can't lean on it but it does fine.
     
  14. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    Mine has many miles on it and still runs great. Fuel mix has never been less than 32:1. I never ran fuel with ethanol. I run it dry when it's not going to be used for an extended period of time. I may not have taken the absolute BEST care of it, but I probably do take better care of it than I do of my lawn mower.

    I don't think they are "crummy" saws. What makes them "crummy" saws is that people buy them expecting them to be crummy, then treat them like crap. When the saw fails, they blame the failure on the "crummy" saw, when the real trouble is how the saw was treated or (not properly) maintained.
     
  15. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    I explained my hypothesis on how it got damaged above... I should post a separate thread with pictures demonstrating how this could happen and how to prevent it.

    Bobby, I agree that the saws aren't crummy. Its nice to be able to play with them as inexpensively as we do due to this. Still wanting to get my own Poulan Wild Thing...
     
  16. scottr

    scottr Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bobby, years ago former member stihl tech had a signature that said , any saw is as good as the maintenance it receives .
     
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  17. bowtechmadman

    bowtechmadman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bobby I agree with what you said about equipment, misused usually results in poor performance. Suggestion for you...wear chaps (disregard if you took them off before taking the picture) I have a nice scar on my leg to prove how stupid I was. Also, if your cutting for money you will save a great deal of time by bringing a bigger saw to the job site, and time equals money.
     
  18. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    That job was done in 2006 for the soon-to-be in-laws. To say that my fiancée was worried as I dismantled the tree would be an understatement. I didn't know any better. I had a chainsaw and the tree needed to come down. Challenge accepted!

    After lurking and posting here for a bit, I now know better. I have since purchased a pair of chaps, helmet with face shield, and chainsaw gloves.
     
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  19. TimberWolf530

    TimberWolf530 ArboristSite Operative

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    You're right dutch, that saw is a complete POS. Just to show what kind of guy I am, I'll help reduce your stress by taking that junker off your hands for $50.
     
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  20. stevetheboatguy

    stevetheboatguy Guest

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    Guy's let me say Ryan is a good guy and if you ever need a lightbulb changed. He is your man. I never expected someone that goes by dutchman to be half a foot taller than I.

    Ryan it was great to meet you and your dad. It's always nice to meet good people. Hope you have a Merry Christmas Sir.

    P.s I'll keep my eyes out for more saws for you.


    Steven
     
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