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Early 90's stihl 029 farm boss difficult to start and won't start when hot. could this be a piston and rings problem?

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It very well could be. Pull the muffler and inspect the piston and cylinder for any scoring.

Posted on Jul 18, 2011


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Farm boss starts runs great until hot then stops dead let it cool and it runs what do I try?

Most likely needs to be torn apart, the cooling fins on the engine need to be cleaned regularly, also you have carbon build up inside muffler, there is a screen inside muffler, if not clean, you will eventually get a scored piston and cylinder wall, then you will need much more to fix the issue, also make sure you are using the correct ngk plug

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at

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A little more info is needed.

Compression test: a simple way is to hold the pull cord like you are going to start the saw. A strong motor with good compression tends to either stay in place or slowly fall as the piston moves. If the saw just falls down the motor is worn.

But compression increases as a motor warms up so I don't think this is your problem. If it was the saw would be very difficult to start like my dad's old Stihl 041 Farm Boss from the early 1970s.

20 minutes is a long time to run without a problem.

Consider cleaning the carburetor (or a small can of goof off) with carb cleaner - but don't get it on plastic or rubber parts only metal.

Smoke: How much smoke is there? If there is no smoke the mixture might not have enough oil causing the motor to overheat. Also, many small engines recommend regular not premium gas.

Apr 24, 2014 | Stihl Garden

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Have an 029 farm boss with 16 inch bar upgraded to 20 inch all was checked and bought from a stihl dealer they even put it on. went home used it for about 15 min and the bar and chain went dry no oil going...

It sounds like you may have something stuck in the oiler port or groove of the bar. You can use the pointy end of the chain file guide to clean the bar out and give it a shot again.
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55 rancher-put new after market piston,ring and cylinder new sparkplug,cleaned carb,tried adjusting hi lo-new gas filter,new fuel line ,cleaned air filter-will start but on acelleration bogs and dies took...

I had a very similar problem with a stihl 029 farm boss.I did everything you did except I took it to a shop to do the piston and ring replacement. When I got it back the first time it would run for about two mins. then die.I fought it for a couple of weeks then took it back and expressed my displeasure. Then checked it all over and replaced piston and ring again and it runs great. They told me they could not get the right compression with the first one and thought the groove for the ring was cut to deep.I hope this is of some help to you. Thank you.

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