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Problems with a new to me saw.

Post in 'The Gear' started by karl, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I few weeks ago I bought a used Poulan 4316. Judging from the condtion of the saw, and in particular, the muffler and bar, it looks at though it is either fairly new or hasn't been used much. It started right up and I have used it for the past few weeks without any problems, until today. Now it won't start. It won't even pop or sputter. I pulled the spark plug and it's in good condition. I checked for spark and it has a strong spark. I cleaned the air filter, filled it with gas, etc. I even poured a little gas down the spark plug hole, and then again down the carb throat. Both times not even a pop. I removed the spark plug again and it was wet and still making sparks. The piston moves freely and looks to be in good shape. With my thumb over the spark plug hole I can tell compression. I don't know how much but with it being warm out I would assume enough to get the thing to sputter. Any ideas what could be wrong with it.

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  2. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    More common things to check are the impulse tube/hose, the rubber intake manifold might have a leak also. But, it sounds weird that you can't get it to fire off even when you prime it?? You have spark, you have compression, and when you prime it, you have fuel. The only other thing is timing, and that is an unlikely issue.

    Did it die on you or just not start the next time you went to use it? Are you confident that you have good compression? KD
  3. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    One good way to check compression, (with the spark plug in) can you hold the pull cord and have the saw stay put or does the pull cord unravel?
  4. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    It ran fine. Then it was a pain in the ass to start once and kept dying any time i put a load on it or tried to rev it up. It did this for about 2 or 3 mins and then it ran fine, so I figured maybe I flooded it a bit. I haven't figured out exactly how it likes to start when it's warm. I cut with it for about 5 mins or so. I was just cutting a groove in some big rounds so my electric splitter could handle them. The next time I try to start it. It won't do a thing. As for compression. It feels like the pull is the same as before. Tomorrow, I'll put a bit of oil down the spark plug hole and see if it that changes the compression any. I'm pretty hand with small engines. I don't have alot of lot experience with two strokes, but I do know how they work.
  5. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    If you feel the compression is good, then it is most likely fuel related. If the rubber intake manifold (goes from carb to cylinder) is intact (look closely for leaks especially where it connects to carb and cylinder, then check the impulse line. It is a line (small diameter hose) that uses the engines compression to cause an impulse in the carb, making th diaphram in the carb move. This acts like a diaphram pump making the fuel move (or pumps the fuel) they can pop off, have a leak or what ever to cause weak or no impulse.

    The thing that bothers me is that it won't start when you prime it. Did you prime it with just a few drops of gas/oil mix? That is all it will take to make it fire off. If you get it to fire off with priming then we know we have enough compression to get it to run.

    The other thing is the fuel filter in the tank. Could it be clogged up? Also might need to pull the carb and take it apart. If the diaphram split, then no fuel pumping, so that could alo be a problem. You say you have good spark. Have you tried another plug just for giggles?

    Finally, if you can't find anything wrong with the fuel system, then maybe something bad like scoring of the cylinder walls have occurred. I know, highly unlikely, but possible. Pull the muffler and get a flashlight to look at the cylinder walls, and do the same for the carb. Look at the cylinder walls from both the intake anf the exhaust for scoring, but if it is scored badly, then you should tell by the amount of compression you have, but sometimes that is hard to tell.

    Good luck, KD
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    On my Poulan 2130, (home owner grade small saw) I have had the screws that hold the carb onto the cylinder back out on me, symptoms included increasingly poor running, then refusing to start... The problem wasn't real obvious as the plastic air intake tends to hold the carb still so it didn't obviously wiggle unless you pushed it just the right way.

    This is a saw that likes to "lighten" itself apparently - I've had it try to get rid of the carb several times, have had the muffler fall off or loosen up on me several times (currently missing one muffler bolt) and have learned the hard way that if you don't give the fuel and oil caps an extra 1/4 turn with a pair of pliers after they are hand tight you are likely to have them come out while running...

    It also changes the chain tension when you tighten the bar bolts :mad:

    I do want a better saw....

    Gooserider
  7. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Goose, rebuilding a worn out Stihl is always a fun winter project. Depending upon the model, an aftermarket cylinder and piston kit are very reasonable. I picked up a Stihl 028 (because of it's reputation for reliability and parts availability) with a worn cylinder from a local dealer for cheap.

    New piston and cylinder kit (slightly more cc's with the aftermarket cylinder I think it went from 46cc to 52cc) was about $100, then a little TLC here and there, carb rebuild kit for about $8 bucks, and the saw is a sweet runner. I figure I have about $225 into the saw, and I know it like the back of my hand (the benifits of rebuilding it yourself). It is basically a new saw now.

    A little heavy when you compare it to the newer models, but I'm just cutting firewood with it, not toting it in trees all day long. KD
  8. hatetocutwood

    hatetocutwood New Member

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    A few years ago I bought a (what I thought was) Husqvarna in my home town. It turned out to be manufactured by Poulan under the Husky name. It ran fine for a while (sound familiar?) then began to cut out and lose power. It turned out to be a spark arresting screen that is placed in the muffler to keep sparks from setting the brush to burning before you're ready for it to burn! It is installed from the factory on all brand new saws after (I believe) 1996. It is only required to be there if you plan on cutting wood on Federal ground, so removing it isn't against the law or anything that will get you into trouble. It didn't affect anything else (i.e. compression, spark fuel, etc.),and made it impossible for me to detect, so I took it to a friend and got the diagnosis. He also gave me the bad news about my "counterfiet" Husky and said about all a Poulan was good for was very limited use and advised me to get rid of it and buy a real Husqvarna, which I did.
    It's a cheap fix if it's your problem and something to follow up, hope this helps.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Polands are notorious for disintegrating fuel lines the are fed from the fuel tank threw the handle to the carberator. They usually split at a bend and once that happens they will not fire
    Some fall apart completely Like goose says check if it is seated re tighten the mount screws Examine the fuel line at times it will split at the carberator connection
    check the filter in the tank Is the air cleaner plugged up Bring it back to the Pawn shop and request another you have not had it that long... This assumes the gass is good the can not left out in rain and no possibility of water in the mix.. If you have compression and spark then it has to be carberation an or fuel delivery
  10. fire_N_ice

    fire_N_ice Member

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  11. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I took it apart today. The needle valves were fine. The idle screw had vibrated out. From the looks of the dust on it, it may have out since before I bought the saw. Anyway, I put it back together and it still wouldn't start. So I put a few drops of oil down the spark plug hole and pulled it through a few times, put the plug back in and it started right up. So, this means I was lacking compression right? The question now is how long can I do this to use the saw, before having to really fix it? Also, what do I need to fix it? I have worked on cars and motorcycles for years, so I'm assuming a new pistion and jug. Do they sell pistions only? Can it just be reringed? Where might I find parts for it? Any high performance kits for it?

    Thanks,

    Karl
  12. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    You need to check your compression to see for sure. Look at the items you just listed. I bet it will total more than a new saw. I think you would be better off picking up a replacement saw. While I am not familiar with your model, I wonder if you would be putting good money after bad. If it's just an average run of the mill saw, then go pick up another from any of the box stores or wally world. That will get you cutting again for less time and money (and time IS money) then rebuilding it.

    Then maybe pick up a higher end project saw for rebuilding at a later date. This is the cutting season and you don't need to be messing with chasing down parts and rebuilding a saw that may not be worth much in the first place.

    You should make sure the saw is toast before you start throwing parts at it or trashing it. After all you found the idle screw missing, I wonder if any other parts are lost or bad. You can pull the muffler and look at the cylinder walls, and look closely with a light in the spark plug hole for cylinder/piston damage. Then maybe a carb removal and inspection (filter, impulse line, carb diaphrams, needle, etc). Good luck KD

    PS a quick and dirty compression test is to hold the pull rope handle and let the saw drop from it's own weight while holding the pull rope. If it hangs or goes down very slowly, then compression is good. If it drops at a descent pace, then you have low compression.
  13. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I just back from using it and it seems to cut fine. I did the drop compression test and it went down slowly and not all the way. I also had the carb off and checked the diaphram and it was fine. I also looked at the pistion wall while I had the carb off and it looked good. I was ready to give up on the thing, when I called a repair shop and they wanted 55 an hour to look at it. That's when I decided to put some oil down the spark plug hole and it give it one last chance. We'll see what happens when I try to start it tomorrow.

    This isn't really cutting season for me. I do plan to keep cutting while it runs, but this is my first year burning and I'm sure I have more than enough wood for this year and maybe enough for next.

    Thanks for the advice,

    Karl
  14. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Today I tried it and it wouldn't start. I even put a little oil down the spark plug hole and nothing. Since it passes the drop compression test, what should I look for? Once I got it started yesterday it ran great. Fuel, air, compression,spark, and timing. I cant' think of anything else. Although, I don't have any way to check the timing on it.
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