Poulan wild thing won't start at all

Stateline Sawer

Stateline Sawer

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I had a Poulan 295 that I tried rebuilding years ago. When it ran well it was a nice light screamer, but it had air leaks. My take away after many new parts and hours into it, not messing with those clamshells ever again! Sold the carcass for $20. Buy a craftsman/Poulan saw used that runs cheap and keep the wild thing as parts!
 
Old2stroke

Old2stroke

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I tried draining the cylinder and giving it a little fuel straight down the hole, still no luck. The diaphragm on this saw seems to be ok from what I can tell. I haven't worked on saws much but I've worked on quite a few old outboards and the fuel pumps are pretty similar.

Ended up trying to explore the bad crank seal theory. Watched some YouTube videos and most were testing with the motor pulled out of the saw. When I got down to pulling the 4 bolts holding the motor in to the saw (which for this saw also holds the crank case onto the cylinder) the crank case and cylinder fell apart on their own. There was some type of rtv between them but it appeared that the two parts had been tightened together to much before the rtv had set up and it all mashed out because much of the joint appeared to be metal on metal. I assume I may have had a pretty substantial leak there. The crank shaft seals seem good though, honestly I feel like they may have been replaced before at some point.

My dad had picked the saw up for me. He said that the guy mentioned having had the saw in the shop and then it not running anymore after that (first I've heard of that part of the story). So it seems like whoever worked on it before me may have replaced the crank seals and rushed the reassembly.

I went ahead and pulled the piston out and took a good look and feel of it and the cylinder and I don't feel any scoring or anything there. Sliding the crank seals out a little on the crank shaft they seem to be nice and tight and there doesn't seem to be any deterioration in the rubber at all, which is why I feel they may have been replaced. From what I can tell this saw is a 2000 model and that just doesn't seem like 20 year old rubber (unlike the fuel cap o ring which is a leaky deteriorated mess)

All that being said I think for now I'm going to clean it all up, put it back together and make sure to give the gasket maker time to set up before final tightening and see if that solves the problem.
It's a clamshell engine, the sealant between the 2 halves is supposed to get squished out to get a metal to metal contact. These engines rarely live long enough to have a bearing or seal issue but if you suspect an air leak, a pressure/vacuum test should always be done before tearing it apart. Do not get sidetracked by air leaks, plugged mufflers and bad carbs, they have nothing to do with an engine that won't even fire with some fuel in the combustion chamber. If the plug is always getting wet, do a search on how to get a seriously flooded engine unflooded. It's not that easy, the gas component of fuel pooled in the crankcase may evaporate but the oil won't and will continue to fowl the plug until it gets cleaned out.
 
Jbroberson21

Jbroberson21

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Interesting.... I gave 20 for this one.... Sold the case to my dad for 10 so I dont have much money into the project yet. I just got the saw reassembled. I wasn't planning on splitting the case yet, I was just getting it out of the saw to do pressure/vacuum testing as suggested by the YouTube videos I saw and it fell apart on its own.
 
Stateline Sawer

Stateline Sawer

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Interesting.... I gave 20 for this one.... Sold the case to my dad for 10 so I dont have much money into the project yet. I just got the saw reassembled. I wasn't planning on splitting the case yet, I was just getting it out of the saw to do pressure/vacuum testing as suggested by the YouTube videos I saw and it fell apart on its own.
Hell, I scoop the little Poulans/craftsman up cheap for $10 or so, that don't run, just for the bars/chains. Sometimes they have a case, scrench, etc! Then I always have spare parts if someone brings one my way for repair.
 

J D

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Yes - I’m still looking for my favourite, I’m not there yet. Either short work times meaning rushing or silicone which isn’t ideal with fuel. Dirko HT is my favourite, but it is a silicone based product - though Stihl recommends it.
I haven't used Dirko myself but would like to for comparison sake. My understanding is that it's more the silicones cure chemistry that determines stability in fuel so some are ok (Dirko being one). Given that Stihl has been recommending & using it for years it obviously works
 

J D

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Interesting.... I gave 20 for this one.... Sold the case to my dad for 10 so I dont have much money into the project yet. I just got the saw reassembled. I wasn't planning on splitting the case yet, I was just getting it out of the saw to do pressure/vacuum testing as suggested by the YouTube videos I saw and it fell apart on its own.
Pretty clear what at least one of it's issues was then... Was it missing the bolts? I'd inspect everything seeing as it's apart anyways, put it back together with the right sealant & pres/vac test it
 
Vintage Engine Repairs

Vintage Engine Repairs

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I haven't used Dirko myself but would like to for comparison sake. My understanding is that it's more the silicones cure chemistry that determines stability in fuel so some are ok (Dirko being one). Given that Stihl has been recommending & using it for years it obviously works
I have done quite a lot of research into different sealants and their msds. Dirko has zero fuel resistant qualities. It’s no different to any normal acetic cure, RTV on the market. I have tested it in fuel which it absorbs when in contact. It doesn’t disintegrate though, which is why it works. As it absorbs, it expands and maintains its elasticity.

I have tried motoseal and threebond 1104 too, but their very short work times (especially here in Australia where it’s so warm) and inability to fill gaps as effectively means I’m back to Dirko.

Longer work time, it works and Stihl recommend it.
 

J D

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I have done quite a lot of research into different sealants and their msds. Dirko has zero fuel resistant qualities. It’s no different to any normal acetic cure, RTV on the market. I have tested it in fuel which it absorbs when in contact. It doesn’t disintegrate though, which is why it works. As it absorbs, it expands and maintains its elasticity.

I have tried motoseal and threebond 1104 too, but their very short work times (especially here in Australia where it’s so warm) and inability to fill gaps as effectively means I’m back to Dirko.

Longer work time, it works and Stihl recommend it.
Have you tried threebond 1184? A lot of the glues/sealants/gasket makers etc that cure by releasing solvents will keep longer in the fridge, &, if used cold will have a longer setup time. Just don't keep it next to that tube of tomato paste ;)
 
Vintage Engine Repairs

Vintage Engine Repairs

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1184 isn’t sold in Australia, we have 1104, which just dissolves in fuel. Motoseal is far better but it’s such a quick work time. My
Partner wouldn’t approve of it either :laughing:

I wish there was a product that had a 10 minute work time rather than 1-2 in our temperatures, was gap filling and was totally impervious to fuel.
 
cookies

cookies

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a lot of this sealant controversy is silly, its used between machines surfaces squished out very thin to a point fuel exposure is irrelevant as where its sealing will not be reached by fuel or oil. The important factors are flexibility, working time,the temperature range it can tolerate and whats locally available. For me its permatex brand on the shelf everywhere here with the weapon of choice being their black "optimum" gasket maker for maximum oil resistance and up to 500f temps...seems to have a 20 minute working window on a blob and a 10 minute window on a thin line. The other choice is their "just right" gasket maker that has a 90 minute window before it sets up.
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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a lot of this sealant controversy is silly, its used between machines surfaces squished out very thin to a point fuel exposure is irrelevant as where its sealing will not be reached by fuel or oil. The important factors are flexibility, working time,the temperature range it can tolerate and whats locally available. For me its permatex brand on the shelf everywhere here with the weapon of choice being their black "optimum" gasket maker for maximum oil resistance and up to 500f temps...seems to have a 20 minute working window on a blob and a 10 minute window on a thin line. The other choice is their "just right" gasket maker that has a 90 minute window before it sets up.

There is real life experience- then there is interweb video gospel. I tend to rely on life experiences, but then I have been using various gasket goo's since before the interweb thing was launched! :yes:
 
Old2stroke

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All that being said I think for now I'm going to clean it all up, put it back together and make sure to give the gasket maker time to set up before final tightening and see if that solves the problem.
Do NOT use any kind of sealer that will introduce a space between the mating surfaces. It's important to get the two machined surfaces to touch in order to establish proper clamping pressure on the bearing/seals. When you are putting it back together, be careful to tighten each of the 4 bolts the same amount and a little at a time or you risk breaking the bottom casting. By the way, when you remove the 4 bolts to remove the engine, it is normal for the engine to come apart in the process.
 
Jbroberson21

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Time for a little update, I ended up using motoseal and after a few hours (I know, less time than many people prefer for this product, I've read between a day and immediately after assembly for wait times) I fired the saw and it ran a little, then died. After that I waited a day then I've tweaked the carb a little and got it a lot closer to actually running, I can keep it going for a minute or so by playing with the throttle now.

Only had a few minutes to work with it today between work and going and doing a side job, but hopefully tomorrow I finish getting it dialed in.
 

J D

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I'd say there's a good chance you still have a case leak. If the sealant wasn't set & leaked initially that leak will still be there. What you'd ideally do is assemble, wait for sealant to set up as per manufacturers guidelines, pressure/vac test, upon passing set carb to it's base adjustment as per saw manual, ensure fuel is fresh, full & the right mix & air filter is clean, run & tune carb, any issues or just for interest sake do a compression test. Good compression but further issues check lines/filters & clean/rebuild carb. Good luck :)
 
Jbroberson21

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I adjusted the carb some more and finally got the saw running. Apparently I didn't blow out the seal like I had thought I might have, but the saw had just flooded. I guess during the disassembly and cleaning I did I got all the old fuel and oil out so when I started first time after putting it back together it just took a minute to flood again.

That makes me think the crank case may have been sealed fine to begin with and it falling apart while I was taking things apart to do the pressure and vacuum test just sent me barking up the wrong tree.

Thanks to everyone for all the tips and suggestions. This project has been very educational. Looking forward to finding some more cheap non running saws to tinker on now that I've got a little more experience.
 
SteveSr

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I adjusted the carb some more and finally got the saw running. Apparently I didn't blow out the seal like I had thought I might have, but the saw had just flooded. I guess during the disassembly and cleaning I did I got all the old fuel and oil out so when I started first time after putting it back together it just took a minute to flood again.

That makes me think the crank case may have been sealed fine to begin with and it falling apart while I was taking things apart to do the pressure and vacuum test just sent me barking up the wrong tree.

Thanks to everyone for all the tips and suggestions. This project has been very educational. Looking forward to finding some more cheap non running saws to tinker on now that I've got a little more experience.
Go re-read (or maybe just read) post #14. I guess some folks just love self immolation or :angry:.
 
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