Poulan P4018WT Wild Thing wont run unless chain brake is engaged

Hashburyfl

Hashburyfl

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Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Florida
Hey all,
I have a poulan 18in 40cc chainsaw that appears to have either a bad chain brake or clutch. Trying to start the saw without the chain break engage is almost impossible without giving it a good amount of throttle. When engaging the chain brake it makes a pretting loud plastic clanking sound. The saw is new to me so I'm not sure if the clank sound is normal.

When the chain brake is not engaged it seems to be really tight against the clutch cover. I ran it once while not engaged and it appeared to have smoke coming from the clutch area and heated up really quick.

I have not had the bar or chain on it while testing it out.

Is the chain break supposed to be tight around the clutch cover?
Could someone help me figure out if I need a new chain brake or clutch?

Thanks for any help.
 

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J D

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Apr 19, 2020
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Start by putting the screw back in the brake parts cover so nothing let's go under there.
Clutch drum off (that's the round metal cover with the star shaped spur on it to drive the chain) & release the chain brake (pull the brake flag backwards... towards the top handle). This should cause the band around the clutch to increase in diameter & fill the outer extremity of the clutch housing area (it should press against the little notches on the edge all the way around so it's uniform & round).
When the band is in that position you should be able to fit the clutch drum back on without it binding on anything & it should spin freely.
Tripping the brake (by pushing the flag forward) should lock the drum solidly.
It's advisable to fit the bar, chain, & cover before running the saw
 
Motherboard

Motherboard

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Check your clutch bearing, put your finger in and spin it around
before fitting the drum to the saw, and put a little light grease on the bearing too.
If the Clutch bearing is stiff that will cause the drum to want to turn as soon as you
start to pull the saw over, that would cause the saw to be under pressure during start
up and depending on the tune the saw could indeed be hard to start, throttle obviously
would help it start. When the saw would start the chain may or may not show signs of
creeping, as the engine would be going fast enough to over power the slightly sticking bearing
forcing it to free wheel.
 
thenne1713

thenne1713

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START W/ basic CHOKE OPERATION and starting: Normal COLD engine, PULL choke out and and CRANK UNTIL engine POPS (Normally not to exceed x3 pulls?), PUSH choke in, and crank until start; (excess cranking w/ choke out will FLOOD engine. ) WARM/HOT ENGINE: PULL choke out, and PUSH CHOKE BACK IN; (THIS COCKS throttle to FAST IDLE) and sounds like what you are NOT doing/ not knowing? HOPE this helps?
 
thenne1713

thenne1713

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Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
176
Location
Memphis
Hey all,
I have a poulan 18in 40cc chainsaw that appears to have either a bad chain brake or clutch. Trying to start the saw without the chain break engage is almost impossible without giving it a good amount of throttle. When engaging the chain brake it makes a pretting loud plastic clanking sound. The saw is new to me so I'm not sure if the clank sound is normal.

When the chain brake is not engaged it seems to be really tight against the clutch cover. I ran it once while not engaged and it appeared to have smoke coming from the clutch area and heated up really quick.

I have not had the bar or chain on it while testing it out.

Is the chain break supposed to be tight around the clutch cover?
Could someone help me figure out if I need a new chain brake or clutch?

Thanks for any help
BASIC CHAIN BRAKE TESTING: 1) NEVER engage a CHAIN BRAKE while NOT properly mounted ON CHAINSAW, or you will have a heck of a time releasing it so that you can reinstall it..; 2) with sprocket cover and chain removed, the cover and sprocket SHOULD SPIN VERY FREELY. IF NOT, CHECK/REPLACE THE NEEDLE BEARING. 3) with cover/ brake properly installed, chain/bar properly tensioned, and brake engaged (Handle kicked forward toward the bar tip), chain should NOT rotate. 4) When BRAKE handle pulled back, it should loudly CLICK, and stay in the RELEASE position, and you should be able to rotate chain around bar freely by hand.

PROBLEMS WITH CUTCH = 1) *** FROZEN/ BAD/ MISSING NEEDLE BEARINGS= CLUTCH/ CHAIN WILL NOT properly rotate when brake released BECAUSE CLUTCH SEIZED to the engine shaft/ engine shaft dragging the clutch/ sprocket when it should be sitting still/ locked; 2) WEAK Springs/Missing springs= CLUTCH will not properly disengage and chain will not properly stop rotating at idle (*** Most likely/ very common problem); 3) DAMAGED/ OVERHEATED CHAIN BRAKE AND CLUTCH w/ melted/ distorted PLASTIC? If chainsaw operator ERROR runs chainsaw w/ BRAKE ENGAGED, and/ or seized bearing w/ brake engaged, and/or broken/ missing springs and run w/ BRAKE ON, it can develop enough HEAT TO MELT THE PLASTICS IN THE CLUTCH VERY quickly and destroy the clutch and cover.

Smaller chainsaws, like the 40cc IDLE much faster (WITH CHAIN released) vs LARGE saws and also small saws REQUIRE HIGH RPM TO DEVELOP HP TO CUT, where LARGE saws idle slower and can develop more HP at lower speeds. Many times, clutch or clutch bearing issues/ problems keep chain spinning when small engine is idling at the proper speed, but with chain spinning operator THINKS engine running too fast... OPERATOR not REALIZING HE HAS A BEARING OR CLUTCH PROBLEM.

HOPE THIS HELPS
 
thenne1713

thenne1713

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
176
Location
Memphis
Hey all,
I have a poulan 18in 40cc chainsaw that appears to have either a bad chain brake or clutch. Trying to start the saw without the chain break engage is almost impossible without giving it a good amount of throttle. When engaging the chain brake it makes a pretting loud plastic clanking sound. The saw is new to me so I'm not sure if the clank sound is normal.

When the chain brake is not engaged it seems to be really tight against the clutch cover. I ran it once while not engaged and it appeared to have smoke coming from the clutch area and heated up really quick.

I have not had the bar or chain on it while testing it out.

Is the chain break supposed to be tight around the clutch cover?
Could someone help me figure out if I need a new chain brake or clutch?

Thanks for any help.
OTHER PROBLEMS OFTEN MISTAKEN BY OPERATOR FOR AN ENGINE/ POWER PROBLEM: Chainsaw bars w/ bearing roller TIPS on the bar can get bearing binding/ seizure in the bar tip, and Operator MISTAKENLY sees it as a SUDDEN engine performance/ power problem. If you have an apparent sudden power problem, shut down saw, and with brake released verify that chain will rotate FREELY. IF NOT, REMOVE BAR/ CHAIN, AND DETERMINE SOURCE OF PROBLEM. Saws w/ solid tip or roller bearing tip CAN ALSO DEVELOP BINDING if wood chips/ limbs/ sawdust pack into the cover/ sprocket/ clutch, OR A LOOSE CHAIN SUDDENLY DERAILS UNDER THE COVER. I have even seen bars not properly placed on the tensioner PIN, not flat on the mount and BINDING because bar at an ANGLE to the mount.
 
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