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Chainsaw won't start


My chainsaw stopped working right after I finished cutting up some wood some time ago. When I tried several times to restart it didn't. As I had finished the job I put it aside and only took it out the other day, hoping for it to work. But it didn't.

I have dismantled and checked the carburetor, the exhaust muffler is not blocked, the fuel intake filter in the tank is clean but there does not seem to be any ignition regardless of what I do including pouring a small amount of petrol straight into the air intake and also into the cylinder through the plug hole. I would have thought that I'd get some ignition even it would splutter and not keep running.

With the spark plug removed and held to the engine body there is a spark. Would it be that if the ignition module was faulty, eg a shorted turn in the coil etc, it would not produce a spark when the plug is in the cylinder under pressure.

Has anyone some experience or comments on that. I have no means of testing the coil and I am reluctant to get a replacement ignition module, at the price they charge for it in our part of the world and then find that it didn't fix the problem. It's cheaper to buy a new chainsaw.

Your help would be appreciated,


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  • steve556 Jan 29, 2009

    Hi dspear99ca,

    Thank you very much for your comments. I never thought of doing the compression test. I have now measured the the compression and it was down a bit, around 65-70psi. With some oil in the cylinder it now gets up to 100+ psi. I am now going to do the rings (or the ring, I think there is only one in those engines. I will also do the carbie overhaul, I think it's been some years since I replaced the gaskets, but I have dismantled the carbie and blown out the passages several times since.then.

    I wonder when doing the rings, if I need to replace the piston as well? I recall in my young days replacing rings in my then old cars but don't recall having to replace any pistons.

    Anyway I will order the parts in the next few days, in our part of the world it is not that easy to get parts for old stuff like this and it always takes a long while.

    Once again your comments are much appreciated and I will post the results when all gets done.

    Kind regards




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Not an uncommon problem at all. The orifices in the carbuerator body on chainsaws are TINY. They easily get plugged. Also, the gaskets and jet require periodic replacement. You can get a kit to rebuild the carb which consists of the gasket on the fuel entry side, diaphrahm and gasket on the opposite side, a fuel screen, and a new needle jet (and sometimes spring). I don't know why, but these gaskets need periodic replacement... they just do. Also, if the spark plug is old or has a build-up of carbon on it you won't get a hot enough spark. Replace the spark plug, blow out all the air passages in the carb body with compressed (canned) air, and do the carb kit and there's a very very good chance the saw will run fine. If you have a compression tester check that first as there's no point in doing the carb if the compression is inadequate... if compression is down (<80psi) pour a little 90W gear oil in the cylinder through the spark plug hole and try again. If it's good compression with the oil in the cylidner your rings are shot. Bear in mind it may need to be tuned. Start with the idle jet turned out maybe 2 turns and the high jet about the same.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

  • dspear99ca Jan 29, 2009

    Hi Steve:

    there are more than one ring, otherwise the piston would bind in the cylinder, generally there are 3 rings. It sounds like the saw is just tired.

  • dspear99ca Jan 29, 2009

    Oh, and there's no need to replace the piston. You can carefully take off the carbon build-up off the top with fine emery cloth.



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Please take time to rate me thumbs up

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