Stihl chain saw: Fuel problem?

My Stihl 021 chain saw has always been hard to start when it's cold. Now it doesn't start at all, but it will kick if I shoot starting fluid into the carburetor. The local repair shop didn't even look at it. Just said the carburetor's gummed up and they'll be happy to replace it for $175. Astronomical, in my opinion. I suspect that this is a reasonably simple engine to repair and am willing to attempt to correct the problem myself. I'm guessing that the job will require checking and cleaning out the fuel system, but beyond that I need some suggestions. Please let me know what ideas you may have that will help me get this done. Thanks.
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make sure you have good compression first at least 150 pounds,,, that your plug is sparking .take the muffler off and look at the piston and cylinder to be sre it isnt scored.if all that is ok, get a carb kit and all the fuel lines and fuel filter. lucas
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I had the same problem but hard to start when it's hot instead. Turns out the little hole in gas cap was plugged and was fixed with compressed air. I had some good responses in the rec.woodworking, misc.rural and misc.survivalism groups as you may try to ask them as well.
You should either remove the gas (or let it run till it dies) or use gas preservative before you put the saw is in storage to prevent future carb from gumming up.
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You can solve a lot of small engine problems with a new spark plug and opening up as much of the carburetor as you can get at and spraying at least half a can of Gumout or other carb cleaner up in there. If it's hard to get it open, try just removing (gently now) the carb needle valves (don't lose the spring) and blow the cleaner up in there--- then let it drain out and dry. Reset the valves to factory spec. If none available, turn them in very gently until they seat, then back out about 1 or 1 and a half turns.
If it works, you've got a $5 fix.
S1
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