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I have a poulan woodshark p 3314wsa it starts and runs, but chain doesn't turn

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Does the chainsaw seem to rev up without any resistance, or does it bog down as you push the throttle? If it revs up quickly, then it sounds like the clutch plates may be frozen - usually due to rust. If it boggs down, then the chain and/or clutch housing are frozen or stuck somewhere.

The chain drive uses a centrifugal dry friction clutch with two weighted plates that are spring loaded. The springs keep the plates disengaged from the clutch housing to allow the engine to spin freely at an idle (or slip when the chain slows down due to the blade binding).

When you press the throttle, the engine revs up and the higher RPMs create centrifugal force causing the clutch plates to push outward - fighting against the springs, and begin creating friction on the inside of the clutch housing. If rust prevents the clutch plates from moving out to cause the necessary friction, the clutch housing (and drive gear which is permanently affixed to the housing) won't spin and the chain won't move.

With the engine OFF and cool...first take a thick towel or rag and place it over the chain with the engine switch in the OFF position. Try to move the chain in the normal rotation (top forward, bottom backward) to see if the chain moves freely or if it is stuck in position. If it does move, then take off the chain cover and then get a can of PB Blaster and spray the clutch plates and springs. Give it an hour or so and then take a rag and wipe off the excess and reassemble and try it. The excess PB Blaster will burn off with the heat of the clutch and the rust will no longer be a problem.

If the chain won't move, then somewhere along the drive the chain or clutch housing are stuck. Look for a bend or kink in the bar where the chain rides.

Posted on Jun 01, 2010

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