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The spring will probably be intended to return the throttle to the idle position when the trigger is released. There should be drilled holes or notched tabs that the spring will connect to. When the trigger is in the idle position, the connecting points should be just a bit farther apart than the length of the spring.
The precision bent throttle connecting rod can only go in one way CORRECTLY.... if it has to be forced or bent, stop and figure out the puzzle before any damage is done.
I'd suggest placing the carb temporarily on the mounting studs on the side of the cylinder. Don't install the filter and nuts etc yet. Take the throttle rod and lay it in place this way and that way until it looks like it matches the trigger end AND the carb end. Usually the carb end has to be installed on the carb while it is removed from the engine as tightness of space won't allow moving it all over to poke it in the hole. Once it is on the carb and you are sure of the orientation, slide the carb once again over the studs and lay the throttle rod by the trigger.
You need about three hands to hold the trigger, trigger lock, trigger return spring and the handle together while you figure out how to snap in the top of the handle and start a screw under the handle.
There are typically two springs connected to the throttle linkage. One is on the carb, and one is in the handle. Those springs are meant to shut the throttle down when you let go of the trigger. The one that could cause the problem you are describing would most likely be the one in the handle. If that one becomes dislodged, is installed incorrectly, or is jammed by a piece of debris it could limit how far you are able to pull the trigger. If you are not able to press the trigger fully into the handle, then that is where I would check. If you are able to press the trigger all the way, then the problem is elsewhere.
If you are saying the spring is missing because it is no longer inside the saw, please describe it the best you can, and I will do my best to give a more precise location for installing it.
Wasn't able to get Poulan's online manuals to load for me, but perhaps you'll have better luck.
Here is the web site:
Select Download Manual
Select Illustrated Parts List and enter the model number for your saw. (It looked like there may have been two or three different models called wild thing.)
The Poulan manual will give you a detailed breakdown of every part in your saw, and where it goes.
There should be a small recessed area off to one side inside the handle for the routing of the throttle cable...Look closely. The spring that controls the return on the trigger isn't too complicated either. It has to be held in place somehere on the throttle handle also and may have to be preloaded so there is tension on it when you install it..Look around closely in the area in the handle RIGHT above the trigger.
Its a missing or broken spring in the handle(trigger). If you look inside the handle you should see a circular spring around the post of the trigger. This spring returns trigger to idle position. If its missing or broken the trigger won't spring back.