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Hello My Homelite XL (Red) 14 Inch, Chainsaw sometimes locks down, when I try to pull the starter rope to start the engin, and you can not turn the engin, The only way I can start it is to losen the spark plug to release the compresson, and crank it, When I turn the switch off to stop the engin to tighten the spark plug back, and tighten it, then some times I can pull it and crank thr engin, and some times I can not it is still locked down and I cannot pull and turn it. Is there a compression release valve, to release the compression while cranling, If so where is it located, I have taken the engin out of the housen and can not find one. If not whot could be the problem? Please answer E-Mail Address Amos Baggett Temple GA 30179

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Only certain models of Homelite XL chainsaws have a compression release valve. See this picture: The only models that do have the valve are distiguished by a G in the details of the model (right column).

If yours is one of the models with the compression relief valve they are either a button near the intake mainfold or and automatic valve net the exhaust port. All others use ports in the cylinder head for decompression. If the cylinder head gets coated with carbon and these get blocked you can have the symptom you describe. You might be able to use an old spark plug (Cylinder head pointed down) then remove the muffler and fill the cylinder with Chemtool B-12 to attempt de-coking / de-carbon of the head. Let is sit for a day or 2 with the chemtool in the cylinder. After that remove the old spark plug, clear out the residual chemtool and then try a start. This works about 60% of the time... the others the head has to be removed and soaked in a solvent tank.

Before you do all of the above with the muffler off... look for any signs of tiny holes in the exhaust port of the head that may be blocked. Use a knife blade and scrape a bit diring the search. A word to the wise... do NOT us a scribe in any of the holes if there are any.... I have broken off the scribe in the hole an ended up buying the customer a new head! Try as I may I just could not drill it out and by the time I would have had the machine work done to make it right.. the cost was nearly the same. The Chemtool will also clean these ports if you keep the cylinder filled.

One last oh by the way....Remove the old spark plug to drain the chemtool... do not let it get into the crankshaft seals as it will trash them if exposed to the seals for more than a few minutes..

Let me know how it goes.

Thanks for choosing FixYa.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011


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