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How to improve chain oiling?

Post in 'The Gear' started by wahoowad, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I'm gonna get a new saw 'soon' but for now need to keep using what I got - a Poulon. I seem to go through a tank of oil more or less in pace with a tank of gas, but I'm not sure enough is making it to the chain. The chain never looks oily, it usually looks gummed up with sap and sawdust. I try the trick where you point the bar at a tree and rev it and look for oil coming off, but never see it. I do see oil gunked up with sawdust under the cover so it is coming out, just not getting all over my chain. I clean the oil ports, clean the bar, etc. but it doesn't change anything. The saw also does not have an adjustable oiler.

    So what to do? Try a thinner oil? Can I cut my existing oil with some kero? I'm actually thinking I'd like to try and flush out the port and line but not sure how? Could I put some kero in an empty oil tank and shake it about?

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  2. MichaelS

    MichaelS New Member

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    That is how my Husky works. One tank of oil to one tank of gas.
  3. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    My Stihl is the same 1 to 1
  4. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, but mine doesn't get on my chain, which is where I was going with this....
  5. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    All that oil has to be going someplace. Is there a large build up outside the oil port? Are you burning up chains and bars? Is the hole in the bar blocked? If your going thru a tank of of oil to a tank of gas then something is getting oiled.
  6. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I do see oil gunked up with sawdust under the cover so it is coming out, just not getting all over my chain. I clean the oil ports, clean the bar, etc. but it doesn’t change anything.
  7. MichaelS

    MichaelS New Member

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    Try lowering the tip of your saw a couple inches from a stump and run it 3/4 throttle for 1 minute and see if you have a line of oil. That is what my husking manual said to do to check for proper oiling.
  8. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I try the trick where you point the bar at a tree and rev it and look for oil coming off, but never see it.
  9. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Wahoo,

    Over a year ago I posted that I made the switch to vegetable oil instead of bar oil. Yes, the same veg oil you use in the kitchen.

    I made the switch, after reading about it on the net. I did so because I don't like the idea of spraying motor oil all over the place.

    The pleasant surprise, after the switch, was that my equipment was alot cleaner. No gummy mess, and the chain rail stays clean. I turned up the oilers a bit just for insurance. I have not noticed any abnormal wear on the bar, chain or sprocket. I am aware that bar oil has "tackifiers" to hold the lube on the chain, but it also does a great job of holding dust, grit and woodchips.

    I would not use this in 25 degree temps or lower, because the oil gets waxy. Or If I did, I would keep the oil and saw in a heated environment until you are ready to use it. Some claim that the oil goes rancid and clogs the oiler, but I have had no problem.

    If your saw is a gummy mess, and its using oil, then the oil is going somewhere. Once cleaned up, you can try a thinner winter blend bar oil, or 10w-30 motor oil. Maybe the bar oil is just running down the case and onto the ground.

    P.S. I do not want a hard time about the veggie oil thing. It works for me and I am more comfortable using it around the house or anywhere else for that matter. I don't want to poison the landscape.
  10. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    My experience is MUCH like Sandor's

    veggie oil from the kitchen, about 50/50 mixed with the cheap poulan bar and chain oil, and the veggie oil makes it flow easier ( it isnt as THICK)

    I will run straight veggie oil when I run out of the gallon of bar and chain oil I bought.

    you need to remove your bar and chain, and see if the oilier hole is plugged up.

    My stihl wasnt oiling well a while back, I removed the bar and chain, and cut the oil tank with some gas ( or kero if thats what you have)
    and ran the say LIGHTLY ( since there is no load from bar and chain!) and then you can see the oil sputter out of the hole when the saw revs.

    I did that with the thinned oil, then refilled the oiltank with the veggie/poulan mix, and reinstalled bar and chain, oils better now.

    that hole easily gets plugged up.

    goofy as it sounds, but in my limited experience, a clean saw is a happy saw.










  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Nice to see you again Sandor.

    Wahoo--if your chain isn't smoking and getting hot and generally burning up, then it's getting enough oil. Sounds to me like it is.

    If your oil pump was shot then the tank wouldn't empty, so you can eliminate that, which I guess you already did. Ditto if the oil filter was clogged.

    If the oil isn't getting into the port on the bar, then you're either mounting the bar wrong or there's something blocking the flow.

    If the oil is getting to the bar, but not into the groove, then the bar port needs cleaning.

    If it's getting into the groove, then it's getting on the chain.

    It's possible to get those little thin metal springy things that go on either side of the bar through the lugs (damned if I know what they're called), on there wrong, and that will block the flow of oil. I've done it more than once.
  12. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Eric, I do suspect I'm burning up my chains, or at least getting them pretty darn hot.

    I clean the bar, oil holes, everything. Can I run a pipe cleaner into my oil outlet hole? It looks clear, but can only see a limited distance.

    How long does one rev the engine when testing the oil splatter against a tree? I usually do it like 5 seconds max (and don't see anything). I'm just not sure how much oil should be present on a chain.

    Will it harm anything if I blow some compressed air back into the oil outlet hole? I'd do it on an empty oil tank.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Thats a lot of oil to loose track of ............

    What about putting the bar on the chainsaw with out the chain and run it at 1/2 throttle to check things out.

    Be warned not to run WOT with out the chain on the saw.

    Whats your thoughts on that EJ ?
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    While it's never a good idea to run the saw without the bar and chain attached and working, you can check the oil pump easily by taking off the sideplate, the bar and the chain and fire it up. But don't rev it. Just let it idle for awhile. If the pump is working, then you'll see oil kind of running out of the hole. It won't squirt, just kind of ooze out of there. If you don't see that, then try replacing the oil filter. If that fails, probably time to start shopping for a new saw.

    I can't see how an oil pump can fail, but they will if you feed them contaminated oil or drain oil. Otherwise, they're bathed in fresh oil. What can go wrong?

    A pipe cleaner won't hurt anything. It's probably not the problem, but no harm in trying it.

    The reason you don't want to rev up a saw without the cutting gear attached is that the sprocket is not designed to run without a load and it could disintegrate on you. I wouldn't do that with a Husky, and I damn sure wouldn't do it with a Poulan.

    BTW, you know you're burning up your chain if you have stop and loosen it after cutting for a few minutes. Your bar will burn along the rails and pretty soon nothing will work right. And as I said earlier, make sure you have those little plates (I remembered what they're called earlier, but now I've forgotten again) in properly. You can get them in wrong and not know it, and your oil won't get to the bar.
  15. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I have never taken those little spring plates off, so they should be on correctly. I will check again. I've looked at this all before and am confident the holes are lining up. Obviously something is going on though. I don't cut a whole lot, so I actually haven't run multiple tanks of gas back to back to where I'm sure I'm getting a tank of gas to a tank of oil. It just more or less seems like that because I usually have to add oil when adding gas. My Poulon doesn't have an oil filter (that I know of...). Like I said, it's a Poulon :)

    I'm gona run it without the bar and see how it comes out. I know it comes out though as I always have a lot of compacted oily sawdust I need to clean out. Maybe poor design has chips/sawdust clogging up the exit hole really easy on this saw?

    Eventually I'll blow this thing up and get my Dolmar. I just want to learn whatever lessons the hard way on this cheap saw!
  16. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    seriously.

    thin the bar and chain oil with gas, and run it like that for a bit, that will normally clear the path to the bar.

    sticking a pipe cleaner in there, will just compact the oil/dust goo and make it harder to remove.
  17. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    How do I thin with gas (and is kero OK?)? I would think you really need a good way to mix it up sicne the oil is so thick. Do you just pour some gas & oil in the saw and shake it up? What kind of ratio do you suggest? I need to pick up a new bar so want to try and get my oiling situation straight.
  18. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    I poured most of the oil out of the reservoir, then added maybe a cup of gasoline.

    put the cap on, shook it around for a bit.

    then started it, with the bar and chain removed, and let it idle mostly, but I did rev it VERY carefully, like 1/4 throttle for half a second.

    I did that several times and at first it barely came out of the oil hole, after about 45 seconds, it started coming out more.

    killed engine, drained bar and chain reservoir again, replaced with poulan oil and veggie oil, remounted bar and chain.

    done.

    Kerosene shoudl work as well, Ive not messed with it much, but I assume its a very good solvent.
  19. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think even Poulans have oil filters. Just stick you finger in the tank, or use an old coat hanger and pull the tube out. There should be a filter attached to it.
  20. ozarkjeep

    ozarkjeep New Member

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    I would hope they do, on my old stihl, It was awkward to remove the filter, and reconnect with the hose ( its short in there!)
    so I just cleaned it another way.

    the solvent method was posted over on arboristsite.com a while back.

    for sure though, if you look in there and that filter is clogged clean it!
    BUT, if its going thru a tank of oil for a tank of gas, I think its pumping.

  21. qlty

    qlty Member

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    I realise this is an old post but I learned this from an old logger he carried a small chip brush and would dust off the gas and oil caps before removing them.I only takes a small amount of saw dust to clog the oil pump or gas filter.Also in cold weather I have read on some bar oil containers to thin it with Kerosene.
  22. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    IME, nothing to fear there- about sprocket disintegrating. They're typically made of tool steel, even on a poulan. It's enormously more likely that a flywheel would scatter, and that's not very likely.

    When you're revving the engine with b&c installed, and looking for oil spray:
    1. give it time, maybe 10 sec.
    2. WATCH OUT FOR KICKBACK. (You might not be holding on real tight here.)

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