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chain keeps loosening up

Post in 'The Gear' started by topcat, Nov 13, 2007.

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  1. topcat

    topcat New Member

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    hi guys, i am a first time chainsaw user. i got an echocs400. i've just began usung it 2 wks ago.i beleive i'm doing everything ok.after i cut a through some logs the chain tension loosens. i only cut through a few logs b4 this happens. chain fluid is full b4 i start so what am i doing wrong? any help will be appreciated.
    thanks,
    tom

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  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    It's normal for a new chain to stretch - you should check it and tighten it as needed. On most saws, you need a goodly amount of torque on the nuts that hold the bar on - perhaps more than you think. If you can find a torque wrench, get a sense of what the right torque feels like.

    I've also had some luck in reducing the need for frequent adjustment by pulling up fairly hard on the chain at the midpoint of the top of the bar while the bar is still loose, then tightening the nuts whil holding the chain taut. The bas has a small range of motion around the studs that secure it, and it is forced upwards during cutting. By starting out with it upwards as far as it will go, there's less opportunity for it to move in any way at all. My theory, at least.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Don't overtighten those nuts. You could pull them out of the casting if you over do it.

    How's your chain for sharp? Are you sure the chain tensioning nub is inserted into the bar? Sometimes people don't do that right when they put the bar back on, and then the chain will never stay tight. You may have oil in the tank, but is it getting to the bar and chain? You can check that by revving the saw the the bar tip next to a stump or a piece of wood. If oil flies off the end of the bar and hits whatever you're aimint at, then you're getting enough oil.
  4. topcat

    topcat New Member

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    thanks for the quick replies guys.i'm off for work for the day so i'll have to check out your suggestions tomorrow.anyone else who would like to add their 2 cents is fine. the more the merrier
  5. budman

    budman Minister of Fire

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    Eric, you said every thing i was thinking well said. ;-P
  6. Lignums

    Lignums New Member

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    Especially don't over torque those nuts. Use you off hand to tighten them up. Many moons ago when I got my first saw, ( may fathers 028 wood boss), I bought a new chain and I it stretched allot, and over the next few times I sued it, over torquing pulled the posts out of the block. I didn't have the guts to tell him what I did until I had it fixed. The only way any shop would fix it was to put a helicoil thread insert into in the block. Looking back I was ignorant of the fact the chain was stretching, not the nuts backing off. Years later and allot of crow for dinner, it runs great, cuts great, and a constant reminder...
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I concur with nofossil on holding the bar tip up while tightening both the chain and the retainer nuts.
  8. budman

    budman Minister of Fire

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    Hay Bart give your grand kid his toy canon back will ya :)
  9. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    That's how my Husky manual say to do it, also.

    More specifically: loosen nuts with wrench and then hand re-tighten, hold up bar, tighten chain, tighten nuts with wrench.
  10. topcat

    topcat New Member

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    thanks for all your replies.loosened bar,retightened chain and used saw.it did not come loose. i guess when i first put things together they weren't properly tightened.thanks again.
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I have a problem w/ my saw that the tension changes when I tighten the bar nuts, it gets a LOT tighter... I've learned that I need to initially set the chain WAY loose so that it will be where I want it when I finally get the bar tight - It takes a bunch of tries sometimes to get it right, but I don't seem to need to adjust the chain very often once I have it right.

    Another thing that I've been shown by a friend who is a long term wood guy, is that he thinks the current guidelines on setting chain tension are way to tight, and lead to excess wear on the bar, sprockets and chain. He adjusts his chains so that the center of the bottom run hangs down about 1/2 the width of the drive teeth, maybe a bit more on the saws that he uses personally. This is on a short sprocket nose bar, he runs solid nose or long bars looser, so that the full drive link is showing, which freaked me out a bit when I first saw it.

    His claim is that the chain "tighens up" when the saw is running, and that having it loose reduces wear and tear on the saw. I've been trying it, and it seems like there is something to the notion - I haven't thrown a chain since I started running loose, I used to do so all the time. I pretty much never have to adjust my chain, it just keeps the same setting tank after tank, where I used to need to futz with it after every tank when running it tight. When set to "official" specs, I had to really grab the chain hard and drag it around the bar, set the way it is now I can push it around with one finger. I actually have to hang onto the chain to keep it from moving when I'm sharpening it. Downside is that it is next to impossible to idle the saw down enough to have the chain stop completely when not cutting (it clearly isn't being driven hard, touching anything with the bar stops the chain). Upside is the saw seems to rev much faster and cut harder, putting more power into the cut and less into dragging the chain around the bar. I like doing it this way.... :coolgrin:

    Gooserider
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