Craftsman 40cc scored piston - worth repairing?

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PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
313
Blair County, PA
I have a 40cc Craftsman chainsaw (Model # 358.360130) that ran great all spring for cutting a tri-axle load of logs for firewood. The saw is 8 years old and was only used for light work before this year. At the end of the summer, I was working on two larger trees when my saw would not start. After a couple of repair bills for cleaning and replacing the starter cord assembly, I took the saw to a different shop and was told that the piston is scored and the saw is junk. I removed the muffler and looked at the piston. I does have marks running down the side which I expect should not be there. Is it worth buying the replacement parts for this saw? SearsDirect has the cylinder for $45 and the piston for $20. I would not attempt the repair myself and would need to pay a local shop. Is it worth repairing this saw? I'm planning to buy a Stihl Farm Boss to handle the work load for the spring but I would like to have the smaller saw for smaller jobs.

A note to anyone considering a Craftsman saw. We bought a new Craftsman for my father-in-law. We only ran the saw four or five times (several hours each time) before it would not start. It had a scored piston. Since it was past the warranty period, we could not get the saw repaired. He traded it in on a Jonsered. I would not buy a Craftsman unless you are only planning to use if for light work. Both repair shops told us that the piston looked like we were running straight gas with no oil. We were using mixed gas that worked fine in other saws and a weedeater without any problems. Apparently, the Craftsman saws got too hot or took in dirt which ruined the piston.
 

Kenster

Minister of Fire
Jan 10, 2010
1,705
Texas- West of Houston
I have a Craftsman saw very similar to yours. It was my primary saw for a few years. I had no trouble except that it was occasionally hard starting. A couple of times the pull cord would not retract and I had to open it up and rewind it manually. 16 inch bar. It took quite a while to cut through my first felling job. a 30 inch BHD Water oak.
I haven't touched it since I bought a Stihl MS390 with muffler mod a year ago. The Comparison is.... well the 390 make the Craftsman look like a Tonka toy but it will serve as a backup if I need it.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
I would not put that kind of money into a saw that would never sell for more than 50.00 bucks in top shape. Dime holding up a dollar! (parts saw)
 

Thistle

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
4,205
Central IA
8 years even with light use,it dont really owe you anything.I'd save the repair costs & put them towards a new saw.
 

Naandme

New Member
Jan 16, 2011
148
Eaton, Indiana
Its junk, I would be hard pressed to give you 50$ for one that runs lol Put that repair money toward a good stihl or huskey you will be alot happier!
 

mayhem

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2007
1,937
Peru, MA
I have basically the same saw, had it for 12 years now, probably cut up about 25 cords or so in that time, just this past fall I had to put my first money into it when one of the spring isolators that keeps the handle connected to the saw snapped on me. Given the cost new and the fact that you won't be doing the repairs yourself, I'd say don't bother fixing it as there is no way you'll get out of it for under $100. As noted above, put it on CL for $10 or even free and pick up a short bar and chain for your new Stihl.
 

Singed Eyebrows

Minister of Fire
Jan 22, 2009
1,439
Midwest
Either take it apart & free up the rings & just reassemble, or hold by starter rope over garbage can & let go of same, Randy
 

bogydave

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2009
8,426
So Cent ALASKA
If you can't make it work as is.
Save the bar & chain for a few years, looks cool hanging on the garage wall, then toss them too.
 

ccwhite

Member
Oct 14, 2008
238
Steubenville, OH
Best way to fix a "pull on" er ah Crapsman saw is to go out and pick up a shiny new Stihl. Then your Crapsman will get to see what a real saw looks like. :p :)
 

JeffT

Member
Jan 27, 2009
156
Dayton Ohio
aroth said:
I have a 40cc Craftsman chainsaw (Model # 358.360130) that ran great all spring for cutting a tri-axle load of logs for firewood. The saw is 8 years old and was only used for light work before this year. At the end of the summer, I was working on two larger trees when my saw would not start. After a couple of repair bills for cleaning and replacing the starter cord assembly, I took the saw to a different shop and was told that the piston is scored and the saw is junk. I removed the muffler and looked at the piston. I does have marks running down the side which I expect should not be there. Is it worth buying the replacement parts for this saw? SearsDirect has the cylinder for $45 and the piston for $20. I would not attempt the repair myself and would need to pay a local shop. Is it worth repairing this saw? I'm planning to buy a Stihl Farm Boss to handle the work load for the spring but I would like to have the smaller saw for smaller jobs.

A note to anyone considering a Craftsman saw. We bought a new Craftsman for my father-in-law. We only ran the saw four or five times (several hours each time) before it would not start. It had a scored piston. Since it was past the warranty period, we could not get the saw repaired. He traded it in on a Jonsered. I would not buy a Craftsman unless you are only planning to use if for light work. Both repair shops told us that the piston looked like we were running straight gas with no oil. We were using mixed gas that worked fine in other saws and a weedeater without any problems. Apparently, the Craftsman saws got too hot or took in dirt which ruined the piston.
You would first want to find out why the piston scored.Could have been an air leak(bad seal or gasket)improper tune,dirt or just a p.o.s.Bye a new saw and sell or donate the Craftsman.
 

PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
313
Blair County, PA
Thanks for the advice. I picked up a Stihl 290 Farm Boss yesterday from a local dealer and am planning to sell the Craftsman for parts. Now I need to get some wood to give the new saw a work out.
 

DanCorcoran

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2010
2,205
Richmond, VA
Your signature says you bought a Stihl 209...
 

ccwhite

Member
Oct 14, 2008
238
Steubenville, OH
aroth said:
Thanks for the advice. I picked up a Stihl 290 Farm Boss yesterday from a local dealer and am planning to sell the Craftsman for parts. Now I need to get some wood to give the new saw a work out.

Awesome news! Now your talkin. I'm sure you'll love it. What chain and bar you got on there? That saw will eat that crapsman saw's lunch any day. Congrats on the purchase. Let us know how you like it.
 

PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
313
Blair County, PA
The dealer gave me the choice between a second chain and a carrying case. I took the chain. The number is 26 RMC3 74. I assume that the chain that came with the saw is the same. I bought a third chain a few weeks later so that I don't have to stop cutting if I dull the other two.

I've given the saw a couple of good workouts and am very pleased with the performance. The manual said that the power would improve after several tanks of gas/oil. I didn't think that the difference would be noticeable but the saw seems to be running faster even with the same gas/oil mixture.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
aroth said:
The dealer gave me the choice between a second chain and a carrying case. I took the chain. The number is 26 RMC3 74. I assume that the chain that came with the saw is the same. I bought a third chain a few weeks later so that I don't have to stop cutting if I dull the other two.

I've given the saw a couple of good workouts and am very pleased with the performance. The manual said that the power would improve after several tanks of gas/oil. I didn't think that the difference would be noticeable but the saw seems to be running faster even with the same gas/oil mixture.

When the rings seat you can hear and feel it. 5-10 tanks of mix. Maybe easier for me I have heard over a dozen saws and felt and heard 8 or better.
 

TreePointer

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2010
3,122
PA
aroth said:
The number is 26 RMC3 74.

That's the semi-chisel low kickback chain (nothing wrong with using that). I put regular full chisel (26RSC) on my .325 pitch 290, and the difference is night and day when cutting and a bigger grin on my face. :)
 

mayhem

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2007
1,937
Peru, MA
Funny that I replied to this thread in January without issues on my Craftsman and here we are in mid April. Took my own advice and now I've got a nice shiny new Husqvarna 359 because my Craftsman also suffered a scored piston.

I kept the bar and all the chains because they'll come in handy for someone else (or maybe me...need to see if the chains fit the sprocket on the 359) and took the powerhead in the case to the local dump. Someone got a good parts saw or rebuild project. Not worth putting $50 into for me, but for someone with no other alternatives and if they're handy they cna probably get another few years of reliable service out the old thing.
 

PA Fire Bug

Feeling the Heat
Jan 13, 2010
313
Blair County, PA
TreePointer said:
aroth said:
The number is 26 RMC3 74.

That's the semi-chisel low kickback chain (nothing wrong with using that). I put regular full chisel (26RSC) on my .325 pitch 290, and the difference is night and day when cutting and a bigger grin on my face. :)

I didn't realize what the difference was between the two types. When I bought the saw, the dealer didn't ask what type I wanted. Maybe he could tell that I didn't know the difference. When I bought the additional chain, I took the label from the first chain and asked for the same thing. If the full chisel chain cuts wood faster, that's what I'll look for when I buy my next chain. Thank you.
 
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