Stihl 028 Super chain tensioning problem

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ShawnC

ShawnC

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I just found a pretty nice 028 AV Super which does not appear to have been used much at all. The only issue is that chain is very loose, even with the tensioner all the way in. The chain sprocket was a little worn (not bad though), so I replaced that just in case, but it didn't make much difference. I counted the chain links, and they are correct according to the bar. This is a 16" 3/8 chain, and I don't know if that's what originally came on this saw, but maybe it's just not compatible.

I've posted pictures of everything, so if anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate the help. I wonder if a different type of tensioner might help take up more slack?

Thanks.
 

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ShawnC

ShawnC

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The two items in this pic need to be thrown in the trash.

I included the drive sprocket in the picture for reference, but yeah I already replaced it. Chain is next...

The table Jasonrkba posted shows .325 as the correct chain, but from what I've read here, it looks like 3/8 is used pretty often on the 028. I can see the drive lugs are pretty worn on this chain, but before I buy a new chain, I just wanted to make sure this bar is OK.

Pioneerguy says just replacing the chain should work, so I might go ahead and try that. Would it be best to stick to the Stihl chart though and go back to the .325?
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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Check to see if the bar rails are clean and clear of debris, oiler holes in the bar are not blocked and if the oil pump is delivering oil to the bar.
Nothing like a lack of lubrication to heat a chain and cause stretch.
New drive sprocket and new chain go hand n hand- or the worn item will accelerate wear on the new item. Clean and dress the bar, check the rails for burrs and remove any with a flat file, clean the groves out and go buy a new chain as suggested above- the saw will run 3/8th chain no problems.
 
ShawnC

ShawnC

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Check to see if the bar rails are clean and clear of debris, oiler holes in the bar are not blocked and if the oil pump is delivering oil to the bar.
Nothing like a lack of lubrication to heat a chain and cause stretch.
New drive sprocket and new chain go hand n hand- or the worn item will accelerate wear on the new item. Clean and dress the bar, check the rails for burrs and remove any with a flat file, clean the groves out and go buy a new chain as suggested above- the saw will run 3/8th chain no problems.
Thanks, I'll do all of that. Wondered if the chain might be stretched, and since I have no history on the saw, that's definitely possible.
 
pioneerguy600

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The table Jasonrkba posted shows .325 as the correct chain, but from what I've read here, it looks like 3/8 is used pretty often on the 028. I can see the drive lugs are pretty worn on this chain, but before I buy a new chain, I just wanted to make sure this bar is OK.

Pioneerguy says just replacing the chain should work, so I might go ahead and try that. Would it be best to stick to the Stihl chart though and go back to the .325?
The 028`s do fairly well with the 3/8" chain but if you don`t mind spending the money then a new .325 bar, chain and rim drive would be a good improvement for this saw. I have owned many od these 028`s, still have 6 of them in the garage, some like new . They were very popular with the firewood cutters around here.
Picturesteer%2520roast%25202011%2520006.jpg
 
ShawnC

ShawnC

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The 028`s do fairly well with the 3/8" chain but if you don`t mind spending the money then a new .325 bar, chain and rim drive would be a good improvement for this saw. I have owned many od these 028`s, still have 6 of them in the garage, some like new . They were very popular with the firewood cutters around here.
Picturesteer%2520roast%25202011%2520006.jpg

I don't mind spending the money, but I had understood (maybe incorrectly) that 3/8 chains on these were generally preferable for longevity. Can you elaborate more on why the .325 is a better choice?

Thanks
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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I don't mind spending the money, but I had understood (maybe incorrectly) that 3/8 chains on these were generally preferable for longevity. Can you elaborate more on why the .325 is a better choice?

Thanks
Lots more things will factor into longevity before debating 3/8 versus .325 in the 16 to 18 inch range.
Mostly it will come down to what you are cutting- softwood or hardwood, but either will work.
If you don't do a whole lot of cutting, the saw is fairly new to you and you don't really know what it does or does not do well for you yet- buy a new chain, you have the new clutch sprocket drive already and probably a serviceable bar- buy what you need to get that combination running and cut some wood with it.
Then you can decide if it is for you, or if something needs to be changed.
 
ShawnC

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Lots more things will factor into longevity before debating 3/8 versus .325 in the 16 to 18 inch range.
Mostly it will come down to what you are cutting- softwood or hardwood, but either will work.
If you don't do a whole lot of cutting, the saw is fairly new to you and you don't really know what it does or does not do well for you yet- buy a new chain, you have the new clutch sprocket drive already and probably a serviceable bar- buy what you need to get that combination running and cut some wood with it.
Then you can decide if it is for you, or if something needs to be changed.

Makes sense. I was just reading up again on the .325 vs 3/8 debate, and I can see that this saw might be kind of right on that line. Since I have to buy a chain anyway, I'll think about going ahead and switching the bar at the same time. If I did that, would you stick with 16? Or would 18 be a better choice? I don't do a lot of large cutting, so I doubt it would make much difference for me if the 16 runs better.
 
pioneerguy600

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I don't mind spending the money, but I had understood (maybe incorrectly) that 3/8 chains on these were generally preferable for longevity. Can you elaborate more on why the .325 is a better choice?

Thanks
The .325 does not put as much strain/drag on the powerhead/engine. I run both in all types of wood from soft pine and fir to hard maple, oak and yellow birch. In the hard woods the .325 will cut a bit faster as it lets the engine rev more freely. Our wood is very clean, we don`t have dust or grit floating freely around or carried about by flood waters so I can cut for a half day without resharpening a chain. On my saws .325 will last a good long time, I only run Stihl chains in chisel bit style. My bigger saws over 60cc run full size 3/8" Stihl chisel and the 066 and bigger saws run .404 Stihl chisel. In other parts of the world differing conditions may require different chain sizes and styles of cutters due to dust or grit in the wood or in the bark plus in Australia there is much harder/denser woods that require different chain to stand up to different conditions.
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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Makes sense. I was just reading up again on the .325 vs 3/8 debate, and I can see that this saw might be kind of right on that line. Since I have to buy a chain anyway, I'll think about going ahead and switching the bar at the same time. If I did that, would you stick with 16? Or would 18 be a better choice? I don't do a lot of large cutting, so I doubt it would make much difference for me if the 16 runs better.
Matters little what I might do- I cut mainly softwoods, but big old growth ones. I do VERY little cutting with rear handled saws with below 20 inch bars and like to keep as many as I can in the same gauge and pitch of chain to keep rolls of chain to a minimum.
If you want to experiment, buy a chain to suit the 3/8th gear you have and a new drive sprocket, bar and chain in .325.
Then you can swap over to see which best suits you. What you normally cut will dictate the 16-18 inch debate- I normally step up bar sized in 4-6 inch multiples rather than 2 inch ones- as I consider a 2 inch step to be kind of insignificant- apparently, most wives/girlfriends will tell you different...... but those are my findings. :laugh:
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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All good info so far but one comment to clarify chain stretch. The "stretch" is caused by wear at the rivets. The chain cutters, drivers, and straps don't actually stretch.
Layman's terminology!
But hey, you never know, some of those Asian chains- the straps might just stretch on those! :laugh:
 
Bob Hedgecutter

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Lots of good info. I'll probably stick with Stihl branded bars and chains, and will definitely avoid the really cheap stuff.

I was only teasing- straps do not stretch- as Buzz rightly points out above, rivets wear and holes elongate allowing the chain to lengthen- in layman's terms, we call that stretch (well at least we do over here!) even though we are aware side straps are not made from rubber. ;)
 
SteveSr

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Lots of good info. I'll probably stick with Stihl branded bars and chains, and will definitely avoid the really cheap stuff.
That new sprocket is AM not Stihl and may be part of your issues. Ir is also not likely to last near as long as an OEM.

Before you invest in a new chain for that bar you should check the bar groove width for excessive wear with a feeler gauge. If the bar groove is worn excessively the chain will flop from side to side causing issues. A new .050" bar should measure about .053" +/- . I have one that is worn to about .058" and is noticeably too loose.
 

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