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Inside the Stihl MS500i - SNELLERIZED Style

Stihl #1

Stihl #1

ArboristSite Operative
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Apr 13, 2005
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I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of the fact that Stihl spends millions on R&D before settling on a new design, and then even more to take it to production.
Sure, more power is possible on most any production saw, but at the cost of fuel economy, durability, and increased emissions.
But then again, people jump out of perfectly good airplanes too....lol
Alex you are spot on with what you said. I was sitting at the hotel beer garden in Stuttgart with some engineers from STIHL a few years ago and the topic of performance and mods came up. One of the guys used a MS 441 for example. Rated at about 5 hp with proper care and maintenance that saw can run several hundred hours and maintain a power and performance level that barely starts to fall off with run time. Field testing saws have hour meters that also record data. He told me he can get 15 hp out of a 441. It is now a 10 hour engine. Think about a small block Chevy in NASCAR form back when they were still production models. If they finished a 500 mile race they were happy. So mods are fun and yes there is always some HP and RPM left on the table in a factory delivered saw, but you will always pay a price when you push the engine beyond what was delivered in the box. I don't know what the limit is for how much fuel the MS 500i can flow but there is a limit and it will be expensive for whoever finds what it is.
 
Andyshine77

Andyshine77

Tree Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
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Location
Cincinnati, OH
Alex you are spot on with what you said. I was sitting at the hotel beer garden in Stuttgart with some engineers from STIHL a few years ago and the topic of performance and mods came up. One of the guys used a MS 441 for example. Rated at about 5 hp with proper care and maintenance that saw can run several hundred hours and maintain a power and performance level that barely starts to fall off with run time. Field testing saws have hour meters that also record data. He told me he can get 15 hp out of a 441. It is now a 10 hour engine. Think about a small block Chevy in NASCAR form back when they were still production models. If they finished a 500 mile race they were happy. So mods are fun and yes there is always some HP and RPM left on the table in a factory delivered saw, but you will always pay a price when you push the engine beyond what was delivered in the box. I don't know what the limit is for how much fuel the MS 500i can flow but there is a limit and it will be expensive for whoever finds what it is.
I see you're a Stihl technical supervisor, so it's not a surprise this is your opinion. How is that Kool-Aid? lol.
 
alexcagle

alexcagle

Cutoff Saw Specialist
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
6,259
Age
56
Location
Broken Arrow,OK
I see you're a Stihl technical supervisor, so it's not a surprise this is your opinion. How is that Kool-Aid? lol.
Lol.....for those like me, who didn't understand his reference.....
"Drinking the Kool-Aid" is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards. The phrase often carries a negative connotation.
 
Stihl 041S

Stihl 041S

Tree Freak
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
14,445
Age
67
Location
Quaker Valley
Alex you are spot on with what you said. I was sitting at the hotel beer garden in Stuttgart with some engineers from STIHL a few years ago and the topic of performance and mods came up. One of the guys used a MS 441 for example. Rated at about 5 hp with proper care and maintenance that saw can run several hundred hours and maintain a power and performance level that barely starts to fall off with run time. Field testing saws have hour meters that also record data. He told me he can get 15 hp out of a 441. It is now a 10 hour engine. Think about a small block Chevy in NASCAR form back when they were still production models. If they finished a 500 mile race they were happy. So mods are fun and yes there is always some HP and RPM left on the table in a factory delivered saw, but you will always pay a price when you push the engine beyond what was delivered in the box. I don't know what the limit is for how much fuel the MS 500i can flow but there is a limit and it will be expensive for whoever finds what it is.
There is a big difference between increasing power 30-40% and 200%.
The length of life is not a straight line.
And a modded saw runs cooler.
Apples and oranges.
 
Haywire Haywood

Haywire Haywood

Fiscal Conservative Social Retard
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
6,316
Location
Kentucky
Lol.....for those like me, who didn't understand his reference.....
"Drinking the Kool-Aid" is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards. The phrase often carries a negative connotation.
It stems from the Jim Jones massacre where his followers were poisoned with kool aid and they so believed in their leader's message that they willingly chugged it down.
 
Andyshine77

Andyshine77

Tree Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
10,514
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42
Location
Cincinnati, OH
There is a big difference between increasing power 30-40% and 200%.
The length of life is not a straight line.
And a modded saw runs cooler.
Apples and oranges.
I would like to see a 441 that is making a real 15hp last 10 seconds let alone ten hours,:omg: but you and I know that never happened anyway, so why even think about it lol.
 
Stihl 041S

Stihl 041S

Tree Freak
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
14,445
Age
67
Location
Quaker Valley
It has been proven for years that modded work saws live a long happy life. It isn't just hobbiest doing this...it's men that count on them to make their living.
Walkerized saws weren’t kept in business by fanboys........and I would think the customers were fairly vocal if they didn’t last.
 
SCHallenger

SCHallenger

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
830
Age
82
Location
Lansing, Michigan
Maybe we need a poll. I think more commercial cutters (loggers and tree services) use more stock saws, then modified saws.
I don't think very many of the tree service guys know much about modded saws or ever get a chance to run one. Most are not running their own, & their bosses are looking more at economics than anything else. I can't imagine that any significant percentage of them would consider spending an extra $350 on a saw to improve the performance.
 
KarlD

KarlD

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Apr 11, 2019
Messages
427
Age
44
Location
UK
I love this saw, this thread about modifying/improving it and I love modified saws...but none of my saws are modified. Today I used 5 different saws to complete the job; if I used one or two saws day in day out I might get them modified but the money, time and hassle involved with getting them to someone that can do the work means I do not bother. Maybe though if I was in the US and I had a saw modder down the road that would be different. I myself can just about gut an exhaust, nothing more.

Great thread and thank you for taking the time to share it all with us
 
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