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Stihl 015 -- Bad Clutch Drum/Oiler Design

Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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I believe the Stihl 015 chainsaw was somewhat doomed from the start. The only sprocket and chain that it will accept is 1/4" pitch and it cannot be modified with a new clutch drum sprocket and bar to accept any other chain pitch. Reason?

The clutch drum's sprocket meshes with and drives a nylon spur gear that in turn drives the oiler. So, the 1/4" pitch sprocket on the clutch drum is the Achilles heal because without it, you cannot drive the spur gear. Worse yet, when the 1/4" pitch sprocket is worn out, you can't even order a new one from a Stihl dealer. If the dealer orders the same part number, something else arrives that won't work with the saw.

To me, that's an idiotic design. Stihl 015 saws that run fine are thus becoming worthless because of worn out clutch drum sprockets that cannot be replaced. Has anybody else run into this mess? WDYT?
 
struggle

struggle

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Actually it can be changed over to LP 3/8 I think but you have to replace the oil pump drive gear to match up to the 3/8 drum. It seems there are parts around for them it just as always takes time to find them.

I had one with the 1/4 chain and it was a quick cutting strong little saw I thought for its time.
 
71dart

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Actually it can be changed over to LP 3/8 I think but you have to replace the oil pump drive gear to match up to the 3/8 drum. It seems there are parts around for them it just as always takes time to find them.

I had one with the 1/4 chain and it was a quick cutting strong little saw I thought for its time.
Right. I've recently switched over two 015s to LP 3/8 because 1/4" chain was just too hard to find.
 
NIP Group
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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A Few More Flaws

So, the nylon spur gear that drives the oiler has to be changed out as well as the clutch drum. That makes sense, but finding that magic spur gear is next to impossible.

Also, 1/4" pitch chain is prone to breaking in addition to being expensive. You need 80 drive links for only a 16" bar. It's really a shame that a lot of good engineering was ruined by this design flaw. Oh, and BTW, if the pull cord, the carb, or the ignition components need attention, you have to take almost the whole saw apart to service them. That's another boo boo.

I can't imagine that Stihl ever released this saw.
 
redunshee

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So, the nylon spur gear that drives the oiler has to be changed out as well as the clutch drum. That makes sense, but finding that magic spur gear is next to impossible.

Also, 1/4" pitch chain is prone to breaking in addition to being expensive. You need 80 drive links for only a 16" bar. It's really a shame that a lot of good engineering was ruined by this design flaw. Oh, and BTW, if the pull cord, the carb, or the ignition components need attention, you have to take almost the whole saw apart to service them. That's another boo boo.

I can't imagine that Stihl ever released this saw.
My Stihl dealer had the oil pump gear in stock. I've got three 015AV's. I agree that you have to remove the left side of the saw to get to the carb, etc. Guess I've done it so often that its second nature. Put it this way, I was looking at an 170 at the Stihl dealer and he said the 015 was a far superior saw, even as old as it is.
If you think itthe 015is a bad saw to work on don't ever get a Homelite XL Automatic. That's the worst saw I ever worked on.

Bob
 
Wood Doctor

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My Stihl dealer had the oil pump gear in stock. I've got three 015AV's. I agree that you have to remove the left side of the saw to get to the carb, etc. Guess I've done it so often that its second nature. Put it this way, I was looking at an 170 at the Stihl dealer and he said the 015 was a far superior saw, even as old as it is.
If you think the 015 is a bad saw to work on don't ever get a Homelite XL Automatic. That's the worst saw I ever worked on.

Bob
I agree on the Homie. The Mac Minimac 10 is in the same league. May they both rest in peace.

I'll keep looking around here for that nylon spur gear that adapts to a larger pitch chain and clutch drum. There are several dealers in town, but both the ones I called had nothing available and said it could not be ordered. Actually, 0.325" pitch would be ideal, but I imagine we could live with 3/8" as well. One has to wonder if Stihl was trying to make the 015 a dedicated carving saw by using chain this small. I imagine the saw dates back to the early 1980s.
 
wudpirat

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015 drum and oiler

The 015 can run a 3/8" LP chain, I have done it.
Change the oil pump gear and clutch drum and bar.
All you're doing is changing the number of teeth to sharpen and the availability of 3/8" over 1/4".
The advantage is not worth the cost,about $75 IIRC.
I have a 020AVP that is fitted with 1/4"chain and I'm not even considering changing pitch.
A sharp 1/4" chain will cut with the best on these little saws.
FWIW I have a friend that has a 015 that came with 3/8" new.
My big problem is Air Filters, can't find a new one. So I wrap a piece of panty hose around the old one.
The 015 is a great little saw, bought mine back in '76 for $150 and can't even guess the amount of wood it has cut.
Had to replace the crank seals (NLA) and breaker plate, points and cond. $27.
At least it's all metal, very little plastic.
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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Thanks Guys...

... for keeping this thread alive. I bought a new 1/4" pitch chain that fits the 015. In some respects, that's also a cop-out on my part. Sure, the saw will run and cut for awhile, but the clutch-drum sprocket is shot and I can't find one anywhere, so my new 1/4" pitch chain is destined to get chewed up. The motor starts and runs like a champion, but I cannot replace the worn-out clutch/drum sprocket that is eating up the chains. So, what good is that?

I need a new clutch-drum sprocket and a spur gear for the oiler that matches a .325" or .375" chain to keep this saw alive. I've been told that even the original 1/4" pitch clutch/drum sprocket cannot be supplied by Stihl anywhere in the world for a Stihl 015. Is that true?

If so, that is nonsense.
 
eiklj

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... for keeping this thread alive. I bought a new 1/4" pitch chain that fits the 015. In some respects, that's also a cop-out on my part. Sure, the saw will run and cut for awhile, but the clutch-drum sprocket is shot and I can't find one anywhere, so my new 1/4" pitch chain is destined to get chewed up. The motor starts and runs like a champion, but I cannot replace the worn-out clutch/drum sprocket that is eating up the chains. So, what good is that?

I need a new clutch-drum sprocket and a spur gear for the oiler that matches a .325" or .375" chain to keep this saw alive. I've been told that even the original 1/4" pitch clutch/drum sprocket cannot be supplied by Stihl anywhere in the world for a Stihl 015. Is that true?

If so, that is nonsense.
I think Oregon still offers a spur sprocket in 3/8. i'll look up the part number tomorrow.
Also check with some of our site sponsors like Chainsawr. i'm sure Scott could hook you up.
 
blackoak

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Fish, I never said that I ran it with the new chain. I'll use the saw only if all other saws that I have fail. I have about a half a dozen to choose from.
Let me check. I have parted out several 015's and some were 1/4" pitch. Now just finding them may pose a problem, but I will try to find them and see what shape they are in. I might even have a 3/8 sprocket and oil pump drive gear for one.
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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We are Getting There

I called my local dealer, he has the 3/8 picco sprocket and oil driver, no 1/4 pitch.
Fish, I will order this tomorrow from either you or the dealer. You picked up very well on the original problem. Without a spur gear oil driver sold with the 3/8" clutch/drum sprocket, the sprocket is worthless. Without a clutch/drum sprocket, the saw becomes worthless. The pitch of the nylon spur gear oil driver must match the clutch drum sprocket, and that pitch must also match the roller nose bar and the chain.

Fish (or anyone else), please let me know who the Stihl dealer is who can supply a spur gear oil driver that matches the clutch drum sprocket. I can take care of the bar and chain that will keep this saw running so that a vintage Stihl 015 in very good condition does not become a boat anchor.

PM if necessary, and TIA.
 
Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

Edwin
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Didn't see you at the GTG? must have been to busy with the 015:msp_confused:
Yes and many other things. Damage to my house from monster hail got into the way. Entire roof will have to be replaced. I'll be spending most of the summer putting things back together. It's a mess. :bang:

I'd have given my eye teeth to have been there Saturday. Looking forward to posted Pics. I'm wagering that Jake's notorious pipe saws and Shawn's big Husky kicked butt again. ;)
 
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