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Stihl 038 AV Super wont start anymore

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by lonelyowl7, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello! I recently purchased an old 038 AV Super. I bought it at an auction for a good price, didnt really know if it worked or not. When i got home and tried to start it, it started right up and ran beautifully. A few days later I went to see if the chain was sharp by trying to cut a piece of wood, and it was not sharp at all. It also seemed like there wasnt the proper amount of oil coming out. The chain sharpness I didnt really care about cause i can always get a new chain or sharpen it, but the lack of oil was a little interesting. So I took the bar and chain off, took the little side panel off to access the gears on the inside to see if there was anything obviously wrong. I then watched a video on youtube which told me to start it without the bar and chain on, to see if oil was coming out of the oil hole, to eliminate the possibility that it was the bar. So I put it back together without the bar and chain, went to start it, and when I went to pull the starter cord, it was insanely hard to pull. It hurt my wrist when I gave it a good yank. I thought it might have been hydro-locked somehow, so i took the plug out and pulled the cord and it pulled freely and easily. I then did a little bit of research and found that it may be flooded, so I did all the recommended fixes for that including: taking the plug out and flipping it upside down and pulling the cord 20 or more times, letting it sit for 20 minutes without the plug in it, holding the throttle open and pulling the cord with the plug in and air filter off, I tried blowing in the plug hole with an air compressor, I even left it overnight with the plug out, throttle taped open, air filter off and a fan blowing at it. Blowing in the spark plug hole I noticed may have helped, but only a small amount. I do not know what to do now, it seems to have all the symptoms of being flooded, but I cant seem to fix it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    P.S. this is my first real chainsaw, i had a poulan pro, but that was a hunk of junk, but i am very mechanically inclined; ive rebuilt dirtbikes, replaced the timing chain on a car, done suspension work, fixed many a small engines, etc. so its a little annoying that i cant figure this out. thanks
     
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  2. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Welcome.

    Did you happen to read the sticky thread above, about posting chainsaw questions in this forum?

    This post belongs in the chainsaw forum.

    I'd start by pulling the muffler and seeing what the piston and cylinder look like. Post a picture, in the chainsaw forum.
     
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  3. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    @pioneerguy600. Could you move this to chainsaw for better exposure? Thanks .
     
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  4. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Lost in Space Staff Member

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  5. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    I once worked on an 038 AV that refused to start and run right even if it did. The problem was a cracked and worn out impulse hose that was known to have trouble because the saw was so old chronologically. Many of these were made last century and you really do not know the saw's history. I had to remove the tank housing to replace that impulse hose and believe me, that IH crumbled and fell apart as I changed it out.

    The engine ran fine after that replacement, but the symptoms were not quite the same as you describe. Your problems are likely several fold, which I am sure you did not want to hear. Others here will likely have more ideas and suggestions.
     
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  6. PV Hiker

    PV Hiker ArboristSite Operative

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    Lets start with.....Did you drain the fuel tank.. and add new fresh fuel mix WITH oil to the fuel tank?
     
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  7. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hey sorry about that didnt see the sticky.

    Yes, I did drain the fuel tank, and put fresh fuel with mix in.
     
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  8. Huskitoter

    Huskitoter ArboristSite Operative

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    Try it with the switch in the off position to see if the timing is off.
     
  9. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Did you look at your piston, yet?

    Will take about 5 minutes..........
     
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  10. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I just checked it out, i mean there are some lines, i dont know what i should be looking for. I know a knew cylinder is supposed to have a crosshatch pattern, but i realize this saw is pretty old. here are the pictures, kinda hard to get good focus. Also, i tried to find if i could get a rebuild kit, like a cylinder, piston, and all the other little parts, but all of them say out of stock, so if this is the problem, do you know where I could get those parts? thanks for the help 20200209_143738.jpg Screenshot_20200209-144310_Video Player.jpg Screenshot_20200209-144317_Video Player.jpg 20200209_143707.jpg
     
  11. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    how would i check the timing?
     
  12. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    im just confused as to why it was starting and running fine literally an hour before i tried to start it again. the only thing i could possibly think of is i was putting a small amount of pressure trying to pry the cover off that covers the oil pump, not realizing i had to take off the sprocket and snap rings. so maybe that could have pulled the whole piston crankshaft assembly over a little, but i dont think that could really be it cause i didnt put that much pressure on it, until i realized that stuff had to come off.
     
  13. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Piston is pretty worn/light scoring at the skirt. Ring area looks OK. And it had been running rich.

    Meteor and OEM pistons are available. Cylinder is probably OK but it needs a piston/rings.

    As to pulling over problem, not sure on that?

    Thanks for pictures! We like them.
     
  14. 1hander

    1hander ArboristSite Operative

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    if you pried on it enough to shift the crankshaft then you could be getting a binding somewhere... generally you will have a certain amount of side to side shift in the cranks shaft (crankwalk) try tapping on either end of the crank with a dead blow hammer to see if it frees up...you usually can just with your hands push on either end of the crank shaft (flywheel and clutch side and the crank will kinda audibly clunk side to side just a bit

    on the 015L i just finished rebuilding, i noticed that if i did not make sure the main journal bearings were not pushed out away from the crank journal edges, when i tightened the bolts to the cylinder/crank housing assembly it would bind , but the 015L is a clamshell design, im not sure about your saw. but even with that binding i was getting, it was no where near as much as it sounds like your describing.

    also maybe from the prying, the flywheel or clutch side maybe be rubbing ...try the light tapping ... dont go nuts beatin on it LOL , the bearings wont like that and it could render them POOOOOOOOOOOOOOP if you hit too hard

    the friction could be coming from the pull starter itself and not the crank/piston assembly.. it sounds like maybe some junk might be causing the binding or friction your describing..

    pull the starter off when you pull on it. also with the starter cover off and spark plug out you can spin it by hand on fan wheel and see if the friction is from the crank

    the piston does look like it needs to be replaced along with the ring. with that amount scarring on the piston, the cylinder probably did not get away unscathed from that amount of scarring. IMHO thats a horrible amount of scarring.

    please post back im curious and love problems like these ..or at least figuring them out.
     
  15. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Something else is wrong if it don't turn free. You'd have broken the the cover before moving the crank.
     
  16. SEAM

    SEAM Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If the saw is flooded, just remove the plug, place the saw on one side and pull the starter repeatedly to expel excess fuel. Then turn in the carb screws (L and H) fully, but not forcefully, remembering the number of turns (usually around 1 turn)...
    If the saw has spark and is in runnable condition it should start now and run a few secs until the fuel remaining in the crankcase is used up. Finally return the crews (L and H) to their initial setting and try to run the saw again. If it floods repeatedly the carb needs some work (no big deal).
     
  17. lonelyowl7

    lonelyowl7 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for all the responses. I did a compression test out of curiosity, and it was at 150psi, which from the little research seems normal. Also, when I was done with the compression test, i was curious if fuel got on the compression tester, so i felt the end of it, and it was dry, except for on the threads, from the spark plug i think. Does that mean there is no fuel getting to it, and if so, could that be why its hard to crank, since no mix is getting to the cylinder/piston to lube it up? just a thought...

    Also, just for your information, i bought it from a town's highway dept.

    I just looked on the meteor website and couldnt find an 038(av super) piston, it went from 036 to 044. The stihl dealers around me dont have an online parts finder for stihl, but do for everyother brand they sell, is that a stihl thing? Guess i will have to go to the dealer at some point and see if i can order one.

    I thought it was flooded, but i have done that procedure multiple times and it was not helping. And i have tested for spark, which it has, and replaced the spark plug.
     
  18. 1hander

    1hander ArboristSite Operative

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    maybe a clogged pulse line...or the fuel filter had a clog in it that worked its way into the fuel line when it started before and completely clogged it and or the carb,,

    even if the piston is completely dry, without the plug in it, it should still spin fairly freely..there will be some friction of course..but if its as hard as your saying to pull on the starter theres something else wrong. and that should be the first hurdle to jump.

    once thats done troubleshoot the fuel problem
     
  19. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Meteor may have discontinued 50mm 038 pistons, stihl has? Try ebay, but don't go chi-com. Italian tecomec is as good as oem.

    You can covert to a 52mm magnum. Do a search. Several of us have done that route and oem parts are still available.

    One more on pistons. I've heard good things about Espian. The greek guy on ebay has them.
     
  20. Jkstihl

    Jkstihl Chainsaws make me fap.

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    Pull the recoil and re gap the coil with a business card. Could def cause your symptons.
     

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