Homelite chainsaw how to install a chain
HOW 2 TRUE UP YOUR BAR SO THE SAW CAN CUT STRAIGHT and
HOW TO replace a chain.
This is for first timers--so dont laugh too hard,all you old timers out there!
and maybe some of you old timers
should read this too, as you might pick up a trick or two.
You might say ," I always wondered why it did that and how to fix it."
first ,you need the proper chain to install so look at your owners manual for the chain number. or use oregon.com cross reference
you will need the make & model # of you saw as well as the bar length and their web site will cross reference you to a oregon chain #.
to install chain: loosen two shiny 3/4 inch bolts on the bar side of the chain saw and look low on the right side of the bar when viewed from the back handle of the saw for the chain tensioning screw.
it is black and has a single slot for a screwdriver.
loosening this screw (but only after the two 3/4 inch BAR LOCK DOWN nuts have been loosened ) will move the bar backwards towards the engine clutch sprocket.
look at the chain mounted on the bar and note the front of the teeth on top of the bar pointed forwards. also note that on the bottom of the bar ,the chain teeth are pointed backwards toward the saw handle.
REMemBER THIS ,so you dont put on the chain backwards and wonder why a new chain wont cut.
take the 3/4 inch nuts off compleatly and hold the bar on so you can see how things should look. you can put 1 nut back on snug to hold the bar in position while you learn your way around.
someplace inside there is a plastic raised picture of a chain tooth to remind you which way the chain teeth go.
there is a sheet metal chain guard sheild on the 2 studs that the 3/4 in nuts came off from. the bottom of the sheet metal guard has a 2&1/2in slot in it and the wings on top & bottom point outwards on the outside shield and inwards on the inside sheild .
P.S. the slots on the bottom of the shield allow the chain tensioner nib to move forwards to tighten the chain and backwards to loosen the chain.
remove the hold on 3/4 nut and take 1 outside sheet metal shield off the studs.
look at the chain bar underneath the two studs that the 3/4 inch nuts came off from. You will see the tip of the chain adjuster tensioning screw fitted through a hole in the bar.
now loosen the chain tension adjustment screw which will move the bar backwards and make the chain loose.
when the chain gets loose enough , you can remove it from the bar. but ,I bet that the will come off or fall off first. dont worry,this normal.after you take the chain off,you have to take the bar off anyways.
wipe the oil & saw dust off the chain,so you can see out of your good eye, like one eyed pete always says, and look at the bar rails.
these are the two rails that the chain drive teeth, the ones that go around the clutch sprocket and the idler sprocket at the tip of the bar ,fit into.
THESE rails must each be the same length or the saw will try to cut circles to either the right or the left. also, the chain teeth must be equally sharp on both the right side facing teeth and on the left side facing teeth, or again, the saw will try to cut circles either to the right or left. The only reason the saw cant cut circles is because the bar is too wide to make the circle. anyways ,the saw is susposed to cut straight and not in circles.
If your saw it cutting right or left,when you get far enough into a curved wood slot , you will reach a point where the chain teeth can no longer touch the wood and cutting stops, even though the motor is still turning the chain.
so,first we need to insure that the bar rails are even with each other and HERE is one way to do it.
Buy some 60 grit emery cloth and put it on a flat table top.
I use the top of my table saw, but any flat table top will work if the table is stable.
Place the bar with the rails perpendicular to the 60 grit emery cloth. THat means --at right angles to,or at 90 degrees,or straight up & down and sand the metal bar until
the rails are even and all chain chatter marks have been sanded off. This is usually the fine finishing step of severly
worn and burnt bars and works well for lightly worn bars.
ANOTHER WAY for really messed up bars is to hold the bar straight up & down on top of the table, with either your hand or clamp it in a bench vise.
DO NOT SQUEEZE THE RAILS together or the drive links of the chain wont be able to fit in the slot and even if they do fit in,they may not run in the slot because the slot is too tight;and that might burn out your centrifical clutch shoes or your electric chain saw motor.
Use first a course double cut metal file to even the chain rails of the bar and then a fine double cut or single cut file to do finishing strokes and then sand with 60 grit emery cloth as above.
Take the file and run it across the 4 inch wide sides of the bar where the rails are worn over the edge so that only a right angle, square edge remains between the 4 inch wide sides of the
bar and the bar's chain running rails.
this will allow the bar to go easily up and down in a wood slot without getting caught and binding and requiring extra force to free up, only to get stuck again & again.
IF YOUR BAR is too messed up for even a file to cure.
use the 6 inch or 8 inch side of a grinding wheel, to true up
the rails. a lighter grit ,like 100 grit circular stone is better than a 60 grit stone ,because the stone is fast and takes off a lot of metal quick . you can use a 60 grit wheel if you have a light sure touch and can see well out of your good eye but an old artheritis riden , and almost blind out of my good eye
unelse im wearing 2.75 power reading glasses , which always slip off my nose when im grinding anyways, id rather use the 100 grit,because its slower, like i am.
YET ANOTHER WAY to true up your bar is to use a bench sander with 60 grit belt. It does a good job , but eventually
you will cut through and rip your belt and have to spend $10.00 to replace it. thats why I dont use it much anymore
after ruining 1 belt & replacing it. But its great for those problem rails and beats spending $30.00 plus tax and $12.95 shipping for a new bar.
SO. now that your bar is all trued up ,we can finally put on the new chain.
You should save you old chain and buy a chain sharpening file and clip on angle holder for the size of file recommended for your model chain. cost about $10.00 and you can get 10 to 15 resharpenings out of one chain
before you end put taking too much metal off the cutting teeth or stretch the chain out too far or break off too many teeth by hiting nails in the wood. (ive done it all) and speak from experience.
NOW, PUT THE BAR back on and make sure that the nub of the chain tensioning screw is in the hole in the bar. You can put 1 3/4 in shiny bar lock down nut on finger snug to things in place. next ,put the chain shield back on the studs and insure that the slot is down [on the bottom side] and that the tenisioner screw nub is still in the hole of the bar and that the shield wings are angled outwards. make sure that the tensioner is all the way towards the back saw handle so the bar is loose and install the chain on to the bar with the cutting teeth facing forward on top of the barand backwards on the bottom of the bar. all the drive teeth should be inside of the top bar rails and should be properly engaged on the clutch sprocket.
If need be ,check the clutch sprocket engagement of the chain's drive teeth by removing the outer shield to look see
and reassemble. place the plastic cover on the 2 bar lock down studs and finger tighten the two-3/4 inch lock down nuts . I usually finger tighten only one of the 3/4 inch lock down nuts in case something pops out from where it is susposed to be ,as it usually does.
NOW, take all but a little bit of tension off the 3/4 inch lock down nut so that they bar can move forward when the screw tensioner is tightened. AS you tighten the bar, the drive teeth will be pulled into the rail slots on the bottom of the bar.
You will need a look see to insure all the drive teeth are inside the rails. Tighten up the chain until it has about 1&1/2 inch slack in the center of the bar and tighten up finger tight
one or both of the bar lock down nuts. now test the chain for free running by turning the chain by hand.
BE VERY CAREFUL where your fingers pinch the chain between thumb and index finger because you dont want to pinch a cutting tooth. you also dont want to loose your grip and have your fingers slip into a cutting tooth.
If you start with the chain somewhat loose,you will feel how easy it is to turn the chain by hand. as you tighten the chain,
it will become harder and harder to turn until it locks solid into place.
WHEN THE CHAIN GETS HARD to turn,this is when you can loose your two finger grip and have your fingers slide into a cutting tooth. the chain is already too tight to run without burning up the clutch a little. loosen the chain until it runs freely but does not sag more than a 1&1/2 INCH TO 2 INCHES in the middle of the bar. There is a point where the chain will not run any more freely even if it is loosened more.
if you hit this point tighten up the chain some until you feel it begining to run harder. check the chain sag tension11/2 inch in the middle of the bar or 2 inch max if the chain seems to be running a little hard.
Its better to have the chain a bit loose that a bit tight but you dont want the chain so loose that it will come off the bar.
new chains stretch a lot a first and will have to be readjusted twice as much as an older chain that is done with most of its stretching.
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