CRAFTSMAN (Poulan) Chain saw, Model# 358351063


I bought this thing 10-15 years ago and it's had moderate+ use. Before I bought it, it was returned to Sears under warranty, repaired, and I bought it for $50 clearance, under warranty, missing the manual.
Contrary to what I hear most people say, this thing always started and ran great! Normally 2 or 3 pulls in temps from 20F to 99F.
OK, the 2 nuts to hold the bar on and the chain adjustment always gave me a little trouble loosening up and the chain would loosen up. This led me to tightening the 2 nuts more and more. Finally I pulled one of the bolt heads partway through the plastic casing. A quick look seems like it's one hell of a job to replace the case where the bolt pulled through, plus I don't see that part listed on searspartsdirect.com
Any ideas what to do? I had pushed the bolt back into where it should be but that area is cracked so I can't make the nut very tight without the bolt coming out again. My one idea was to pull the bolt partway through the broken case how it was. At that point I could clean it as good as I can with carb cleaner, and/or maybe ether? After it's dry I'd fill the cracks and voids with epoxy, then bush the bolt back to where it belongs, adding more epoxy if there are any more voids.
And if I don't fix it, are the newer Poulan / Craftsman better or worse that the old? It is basically the same as the bright green Poulan "Wild Thing". I don't use it all the time, but when I do it often gets a heavy workout. I don't think I need a heavier duty model. If the $50 one lasted this long
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Tony wrote:

if it's a chain saw you need, please see www.stihlusa.com there really is no other.
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Agree. The old Poulan 3400's were the last decent saw they made and the new ones are crap. The Stihl saw is the best saw on the market. I've had one for several years, use it pretty heavily, and have never replaced anything except worn out chains.
Red
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I agree. Stihl is the best. That means it will start and run when you need it.
As to Poulan, I had one and spent more hours fixing it than running it. Piece of junk!
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Tony wrote:

I have a Poulan Wild Thing and when it works, it's fine, but I had to have oil pump replaced under warranty after about 5 hours use. It was a PITA because repair shop was off in the boonies about 20 miles from here and it took two round trips and a month.
My son bought one and with even less use, it's broken and he's returning for a new one.
Next time my saw poops out, I'm buying something decent.
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Your proposed fix will most likely work for about as long as the orriginal worked so I'd give it a try.
But the real problem is that the bolt head applies force to the plastic that exceeds the housing's strength. :(
If this is possible consider replace the studs with a threaded rod screwed into a coupling nut that fits the housing recess. Cut the coupling nut to length such that a hex bolt can be screwed to into and with a washer under the bolt head just contacts the outer surface of the housing (if there is room to do this)
The hex bolt & washer will give oyu some extra bearing surface. Do a dry fit up of the whole thing....if it works, Loctite (red) the bolt & washer into the coupling nut. Clean the housing & do your epoxy (actually plastic repair two part goop) thing...insert the assembly & you'll be good to go.
With the bolt Loctited into place oyu can use a wrench on it too when you tighten the bar nuts...this will lessen the forces on the housing...
A lot of work for an old "homeowner" chainsaw but fixing shit is more than half the fun
cheers Bob
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