Chain help for a Newbie

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saxart

saxart

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Newbie needs some help with a saw chain...

My dad recently gave me his Stihl 041AV saw. I remember when the saw was new. I was 7 years old at the time (1976). I'm now 51 years old. The saw was in rough condition when I got it from Dad. The original bar was still on the saw, and since dad used this saw to down thousands of trees, the bar was a worn down stump! I managed to find a bar for it (the same part number that was stamped on the old bar.) so that is good to go.

Anyway, I'm searching for a chain, and having some troubles finding one that fits, but maybe I'm confused about what I'm looking for. The new bar is stamped "0.50" and 16". I know the clutch sprocket is 3/8", but where I'm having trouble is finding a chain with the correct drive link count. When I looked at the Oregon chains for sale locally, they say I need a 60-drive link count chain, (.050 and 16") but when I brought one home and put it on the saw, it was very tough to pull around the bar with a gloved hand. The chain that was on the saw when I got it from my father has a 58 drive link count. Does the drive link count have to match up to the clutch sprocket size, or is drive link count just related to the length of the chain? (That's where I'm confused...) I cannot seem to find a 16" X 3/8" chain with 58 drive links anywhere.

So....Does drive link count matter when buying a chain?

Thanks for the help!
 

J D

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I agree with Ken, first thing to check would be the sprocket.
If the old bar & chain were very worn the chain may have had a link removed to compensate for stretching.
The number of drive links is purely a measure of chain length. The pitch (3/8) is half the distance between the drive links & must match the saw sprocket & the bar (if it's a sprocket tip). Chain guage is the thickness of the drive link (.050/ .058/ .063) this must match the bar grooves.
It may also pay to remove the bar from the saw & check your chain slides easily through the bar groove all the way around
 
saxart

saxart

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Thanks for the thoughts. Greatly appreciated!

Here are some pics. Some of these are probably going to make you laugh. You can certainly see the wear in the bar when it was laid on top of the new bar.

Yes, it looks like the clutch sprocket may need to be replaced, correct? On that note, is it OK to use the plastic piston stop to hold things in place while I loosen the reverse thread clutch nut to get that sprocket off?

Thanks again for your help. Keep the thoughts coming!
 

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J D

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That "old" chain looks like it still has a few sharpening's left in it to me.
Your bars are solid tip (no sprocket in the bar nose) so the chain won't move around it as freely... especially if it's a bit tight.
Clutch spur looks worn enough that it won't be helping. Also, if the bar groove on the old bar is as worn as the tip that chain may be .058 or even .063.
If you can, leave the plug in & use an impact driver to undo the clutch. If you don't have an impact driver take some starter chord, double it over & feed some into the cylinder through the plug hole as a piston stop. Remember to pull the starter off or pull the chord out some when you put the clutch back on or cranking against it might brake something
 
czyhorse

czyhorse

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The bar should say somewhere on it how many drive links it should have. Drive links vary by the bar. A 16" by one manufacturer may take a different number of drive links on the chain then one from another manufacturer. I have run into this a couple of times with OEM Husqvarna bars taking a different number of links then an Oregon replacement bar. In short match drive links to what the bar says to put on it. It may take some searching to find the right length chains.
 
Brushwacker

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Pitch the old chain, it will not fit your sprocket well and cause it to wear prematurely if you use it for more then a short interval. All new and it will work a wear together much more smoothly like it should. 041's are great old saws if maintained. They do vibrate screws loose more then most saws so pay extra attention to them as that can ruin things. Small screw loctite helps, muffler screws coming loose is common and often critical so don't overlook them.
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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First thought- you have backed off the bar adjuster eh?

Looking at the photo of the old bar tip on top of the new, Id say coupled with chain stretch, the original chain has had links removed to stop it jumping out of what is left of the rails. The old bar is pooched- but the cutters of the old chain are certainly not fully worn down/filed away yet!
 

J D

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Just to confirm, if you are trying to fit the original chain on the new bar the sprocket shouldn't be an issue (chain & sprocket have worn together) but the chain may we'll be too short or the wrong guage for the new bar.
To check the guage slot the chain in the bar (off the saw) & it should move very freely all the way round.
When you tension it on the saw tighten it until the sag under the bar just pulls up to the bar. Run the chain back & forth a bit while tensioning to ensure it finds the groove in the spur
 
Brushwacker

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If the chain isn't very stretched I would use it until the tooth is filed away. Pretty obvious by the condition of the sprocket and bar that the chain is very stretched let alone it probably had 2 links out alteady. I don't remember ever going as far as removing 2 links before tossing the chain. Bad match up on the chain and sprocket = more vibration and stress on the saw.
 
saxart

saxart

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Thanks for all of the help so far. An impact popped the chain sprocket right off. It's pretty worn, so a new one is on the way.

I appreciate all of your thoughts. Now I understand that the drive link count is just a function of chain length.

I'll update once it's all back together...
 

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Ted Jenkins
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A standard chain for that saw was 3/8'' 050 either in semi or chisel chain with some exceptions. Get some chain any chain does not matter as long as it is 3/8'' get a roll or some loops hopefully you will use other chains and saws that is a common size. With a small grinder it is easy to file or grind down pins and install some splicing links which are very cheap. With just a hammer and hard surface you can make your own loops to any size needed as it is time to make chips fly. Thanks
 

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