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Husqvarna 445 / loose chain issue...?

Post in 'The Gear' started by PSYS, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    You guys have helped me with everything else thus far, so I figured I'd toss this question out there, as well.

    I'm a total chainsaw newbie. I've helped a friend down a couple of smaller trees a few years ago but it was nothing extravagant and I've basically made just one cut in my entire life. No joke. I picked up a Husqvarna 445 with an 18" bar a couple of weeks ago (manufacturer refurb on eBay) and used it extensively for the first time this past weekend.

    My only issue was with the chain itself. It seemed like it was becoming loose and drooping on the bar rather quickly. I know this is an issue with new chains from what I've read, but it seemed extensive?

    It may be user error in the way in which I'm cutting and/or it may be the fact that I just can't grasp the connection between the chain tension bolt and the nut holding the bar onto the case.

    1.) For cutting, should I not be putting any pressure on the saw itself especially when cutting larger rounds? I used some pressure on with the saw while cutting and I'm wondering if that's a factor? Although, the chain still seemed to become rather loose even if I didn't operate the saw in that manner and even after just a couple of cuts.

    2.) For the mechanical part of it, the chain tension bolt/screw was tightened as much as I could and the same goes for the nut holding the bar onto the case. Both of these were locked down ftight and the chain was STILL loose at which point after a couple of more cuts, it ultimately came off the bar entirely. If neither the chain tenson bolt/screw nor the nut holding the bar onto the case could be tightened anymore... the only solution was for me to remove the cover entirely, pull the bar taut and then replace the cover. This would last another couple dozen or so cuts before I had to repeat the process all over again.

    I had to do this 4-5 times yesterday afternoon while chopping down the pile I got from a co-worker on Saturday.

    I read the manual again and clearly, I'm missing something or is this all part of the process?

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    This may be a dumb question . . . but did you loosen the nuts that hold the bar on to the saw before tightening the chain with the adjuster? Usually these nuts need to be loosened, the chain adjuster can then be tightened or loosened as need be and then the nuts retightened.
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  3. ErikR

    ErikR Member

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    Without seeing things and no pictures to go by... it's a guess. I have a 450, a very similar saw. I might have to adjust chain tension once in a while, but certainly not after just a dozen or so cuts.

    I guess I'd start by making sure the saw is assembled correctly. Is the little nub of the adjusted fitting into place on the bar?. I'd bet that the hole in the bar is not meshing with the chain tensioner nub.
    I can go clean up my 450 a little and take some pics if it would help.... Try to fit the bar onto the saw without the chain, make sure the nub of the adjusted is properly fitting into the hole in the bar...

    Make sure the chain brake in not on by pulling the brake handle back towards the front handle bar. Remove the chain side cover. Do you see the nub that fits in the hole n the bar? Can you adjust it with a screwdriver? Is it broken? Does the nub move without turning the screw?

    A couple of other things... are you lifting the nose of the bar when you tighten the side cover nut? When I adjust my chain, it usually just takes a tiny bit of a turn on the adjuster screw to make a big difference in chain tension.

    DSCF8789.JPG DSCF8790.JPG
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  4. ErikR

    ErikR Member

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    Good point! I forgot to mention that....
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  5. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    In almost all cases, you never should tighten the chain all the way. After tightening, you should be able to move the chain freely with your hand. Also, on an 18" bar, you should be able to pull the chain away from the bar to reveal almost one entire drive link (you'll get a feel for this as you get more experience). Of course, all of this should be done with the chain brake disengaged.

    As firefighterjake mentioned, you need to adjust chain tension with the bar nuts loosened a bit. After adjusting the chain tension, lift the tip of the bar as far as you can before tightening the bar nuts.
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  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    How many drive links (DL) are in your chain?
    How many DL are specified for your bar (look at the info stamped on the bar)?
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  7. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    Thanks for the replies, you guys!

    OK. I think my issue is what Jake referenced in his post. I've been essentially tightening down BOTH the nut that holds the bar onto the saw AND the chain tensioner screw/bolt.

    Perhaps this is the part that simply comes with experience. Do I hand tighten the nut that holds the bar on the saw and THEN tighten the chain tensioner screw/bolt? I was failing to see the correlation between these two but now I'm noticing how they go hand in hand. Sorry for the stupid questions! I dropped my chain off with a buddy last night to run through his sharpener and when I get it back from him this weekend, I'll give it a go...
  8. cygnus

    cygnus Feeling the Heat

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    From what i know of this saw, With only one bar nut, this is a common problem for the 445. You really need to crank on that nut.
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  9. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    Erik:

    Thanks for taking the time to post these photos! Yes, everything does line up perfectly and the nub you're describing does move without any issues. Like I said in my previous reply, I'm gonna give it a shot again this weekend and I'll let you guys know how I do.
  10. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    No kidding....? ugh. OK. I guess it'll be something I need to pay attention to much more frequently...

    Thanks for the reply!
  11. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    There is a little plastic "keep" (think it is called) that fell off and I did not notice it. The chain was loosening constantly. I took it in to my local saw shot and they noticed it. About $4 later I was out of there.
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  12. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    Where is this plastic "keep" part and what is its function?

    I'm gonna check out my saw when I get home today.
    Is it something that would be on my 445?
  13. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    It rides in the channel for the bar tensioner screw on the threads and keeps it from loosening up (as I recall). Maybe one of the chain saw guys can elaborate. Let me go look at it.
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  14. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    It is where the screwdriver is pointing to.

    Attached Files:

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  15. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    MARK:

    Thanks for taking the time to post a photo of that part!
    I'm going to check out my saw when I get home from work this evening and I will let you know.

    If it's missing, it wasn't on there to begin with. Not sure I completely understand even with it there what its functionality would be as far as keeping the chain on.
    Is it keeping the chain tensioner screw from coming loose?

    I'll check it out this evening and let you know.
  16. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    That is my understanding. When that part fell out of my saw the chain kept loosening constantly. Your saw may not have that part. That saw is from the early 90's I think. But it happened to me so I thought it could happen to you. No problem by the way!
  17. ketoret

    ketoret Member

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    hoo boy - glad to see this. i've got a 435T - nice li'l saw, but as of recent the chain loosens after just a few cuts. i have tightened that bolt down tight as it goes, and it makes no difference. I hope this is not just a design flaw of the the one-bolt saws. Scot, let me know if you're still having this porblem, and if/how you solved it. Thanks.
  18. ketoret

    ketoret Member

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    just looked at the parts catalog for the 435t - no missing parts I can see.
  19. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    You also need to keep your bar tip UP while tensioning and tightening. If you don't when you cut it will push the bar up putting slack in the chain.
  20. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Is the bar oiler working properly? I've head some odd chain tension issues when an oiler got plugged and the chain/bar got hot.
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