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Starting up old Chain Saw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Dave A., May 17, 2013.

  1. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Haven't used my chain saw in many years McCulloch MAC 3818 18" 38cc. Just went to HD where am pretty sure I got it and didn't see them there anymore or any parts. Wanted to get the 2 cycle oil to mix up some gas and start it, but I guess I can use the generic and just mix at 40:1 as it says on the tank lid.

    I may have left it with gas in it (not drained) but it is empty now when I open it, so maybe I ran it dry. Any risk in trying to start it just adding new gas. Wouldn't think so, but just double checking. I know I had plenty of chain bar oil in there. That should still be there.

    Just wondering if there's anything needs done before starting it up after so long. It was never used much. But I would like to cut up some wood that's on my property.

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    You should be fine at even 50:1 with modern 2-cycle oil for air cooled engines that specifically states use in chainsaws. Today's synthetic 2-cycle oils are very good. Mix a can of fuel and give it a whirl. If you encounter troubles, what you're likely to find is that the fuel line may need to be replaced or your carburetor needs to be cleaned/rebuilt/replaced.
    Thistle and smokinj like this.
  3. Sean McGillicuddy

    Sean McGillicuddy Burning Hunk

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    When you do add the new fuel , shake the saw up with the new fuel in it.
    TreePointer likes this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Good luck. Sometimes they will fire right up but most times it takes several pulls. I'm wishing for an electric start on all my engines any more...
    jackatc1 and n6crv like this.
  5. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    TP, SM, BS, thanks for the suggestions/feedback. Had hoped to have tried it by now, just got the gas and oil, maybe this afternoon or tomorrow.
  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Oh, you big tease! ;)
  7. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Guess I didn't warn you, I do move slow on things.:) And it started raining today, supposed to be rain tomorrow and the next few days too :(
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    That happens here, too. I had a black locust tree dropped last August. It took me until March to get it bucked and split. I finally stacked it last week.
  9. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Used to be much more diligent about getting things done around the house. But had a dumb accident with an angle grinder few years ago where I just wasn't thinking. Had to call 911 -- rescue squad, ER, staples to close the wound. Fortunately, nothing more serious than a scar. But since then, just seem to put off projects that involve certain power tools. Not that I'm afraid or anything, just have to force myself to not put things off or make up deadlines that I can't postpone to get moving.
  10. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I'd try a little fresh mix in the tank, add a few squirts of starter fluid in the carb, and try to fire her up - see how she runs. If won't run well, and the saw has seen little use but sat for a long time, you can start with a check on the fuel line (cracked, real soft, etc.). If fuel line good, might need a partial carb kit - just diaphragms, and a good carb cleaning. Never hurts to take a look at the air filter (if real dirty, clean or replace) and spark arrestor screen on muffler for clogging - a couple of real quick and easy checks/repairs. Lastly, I'd pull the plug and check condition - for the money, a new plug is a real simple fix and can fix many issues with small engines.

    From what you've said, sounds like you'll have pretty good luck getting this saw running. Cheers!
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    This is a good way to break things that were not broken before you started. Substitute carb cleaner for starting fluid and you get the same results, just much safer.
    Thistle likes this.
  12. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Haven't gotten to starting it yet (fixing a broken drum belt on dryer and complications got in the way). But actually kind of glad I didn't do it. Hadn't really considered the issue of the gas but after reading a thread on ethanol gas here that got me thinking. Last time I used the saw, ethanol probably wasn't even around.

    But the thread reminded me that the saw directions specified using premium gas, and I had forgotten and got regular (which I use for my trimmer and mower w/o a problem).

    So am leaning towards getting the 40:1 premix gas from Lowes for the saw.
  13. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Just mix the regular gas with any modern 2 stroke oil at 50:1.
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  14. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Why 50:1, does that increase the octane somehow?
  15. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    No, but the octane doesn't matter. That little saw is no different than a weedeater. If I didn't run premium gas in my ported chainsaw, there would be no way I would waste money or even think about running premium gas in my weedeater or small saws.

    If you want to spend more, go ahead and run premium gas at 40:1, it will not hurt anything, it's just a waste of money.
  16. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Was just trying to understand the reasoning/logic in reducing the concentration of the mix to 50:1 when using regular. I mean it isn't being suggested to reduce it to 50:1 with premium.
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    The 2-cycle oil is for lubrication of moving engine parts. Modern 2-cycle oil with its additives has improved to the point that we don't need to add so much of it to a gallon of fuel. Since oil is much more expensive (per unit volume) than gasoline, I don't use more of it than is necessary.
  18. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    The logic has nothing to do with the reduction in octane. 50:1 is fine with any octane.

    When someone stamped 40:1 on the gas cap lid in china, oil was not as good as it is today
  19. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Okay, I got it.
    Appreciate the answers to that. I think I'm going to try a can of the premix 50:1 no-ethanol (can't argue with that 2 year shelf life) then if/after I get it working use 50:1 with regular (cause I'm thrifty) if I end up using the saw as much as am planning to .

    (But a little surprised the thread didn't get shut down before the replies appeared or before I replied. Seems these threads get shut down for no apparently sensible reason just before replies appear to a question or while I'm in the midst of sending a reply or edit.;))
  20. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I just rehabilitated an Echo SRM-200 that's over 25 years old if I recall correctly. The manual calls for 20:1 and that's what someone has been running it with up until about 6 or 7 years ago. It's up and running with Stihl Ultra at 50:1, and I don't recall it ever running this clean. The Ultra cleaned up the P&C really nicely, too.

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