Three questions about two-stroke gas power tools (chain saw & hedge trimmer & vacuum/blower)


I'm new to two-stroke gas-powered equipment having owned the following California-emissions models for only six months and I'd like to ask one question of each: 1. Craftsman 18" two-stroke chain saw 2. Echo 20" two-stroke hedge trimmer 3. Yardman two-stroke vacuum/blower
Craftsman 18" chain saw: Is it "normal" for a chain saw to take up to 30 or so pulls before the darn thing starts and stays running?
Echo HC150 Hedge trimmer: Is it "normal" for the sliding blades to bind every hour or so, necessitating loosening of the bolts spaced every six inches or so?
Yardman vacuum/blower/mulcher: Is it "normal" for the blower to basically be almost useless and for the vacuum to get clogged constantly (on leaves & twigs mostly) such that, after twenty minutes, you have to spend a half hour cleaning out the passageways?
I ask because: a) I'd expect a chain saw to start like the Honda pressure washer does ... one pull and on it goes, not 30 pulls.
b) I'm not sure what's happening with the hedge trimmer; why are the nuts tightening up in use? Is that what happens with hedge trimmers?
c) Basically, the vacuum/blower/mulcher is basically useless. I'm not sure why anyone buys these. I had to go out and buy the Echo PB-500HC (Clifornia) backpack blower just to get a decent blower but now I need a decent vacuum and don't know what to get.
These are all lessons learned (that I wish I knew before I bought) ... do you have similar experiences or did I just buy the wrong tools?
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Elmo wrote: (snip)

Have you tried new locknuts?
Are you following the blade cleaning & lubrication recommendations?
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On Tue, 04 May 2010 02:13:18 -0500, Mike Paulsen wrote:

The hedgetrimmer is only a few months old and I have done zero maintenance on it (other than to loosen those locknuts).
I did take the bottom plate apart (six torx screws) and noticed it was filled to the brim with grease and had a little rotating gear but there didn't seem to be anything to do there so I closed it back up.
I don't see much else other than to repack the grease in this hedgetrimmer maintenance page ... http://www.jackssmallengines.com/hedge_trimmer_maintenance.cfm
Other than the "clean and check" stuff ... what is in that maintenance list which will make the blade lock nuts freeze up?
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On Tue, 4 May 2010 07:50:52 +0000 (UTC), Elmo wrote:

Nothing here either, other than replacing the gear-box oil (which isn't my problem here) ... http://www.chainsawspecialists.co.uk/acatalog/Hedgetrimmer_maintenance.html
That article even says to TIGHTEN the lock nuts (not loosen them).
Now I'm even more confused. Why would the lock nuts freeze up constantly?
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Elmo wrote:

Because it heats up because you don't lube the bar? Parts sliding on each other might like some oil. At least, I've always applied oil to mine. I'm surprised the manual doesn't suggest that.
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Elmo wrote:

It may be a good idea to follow the manual for the machine you own, rather than a generic page by the small engine guy.
http://www.echo-usa.com/pdf/documentation/HC150es1112_110609.pdf
If you think that the locknuts are not holding, try replacing them. They don't last forever.
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Mike Paulsen wrote:

There you go - page 23. Clean/oil the bar.
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I see it says tighten the bolts then back off 1/2 turn, but to make blades bind cant be good for the transmission or the blades, it takes alot of friction to stop them.
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On May 4, 2:10�am, Elmo <dcdraftwo...@Use-Author-Supplied- Address.invalid> wrote:

It is not normal to pull 30 times to get a 2 stroke to run smoothly (assuming there are no other mechanical defects).
If you have to pull more than a few, you are using the wrong technique. The air fuel mixure to get one running is very touchy. You are either using the primer bulb too much, or not enough, or leaving the choke on too long or not long enough, or mixing the gas/oil in the wrong ratios.
If your air filter is dirty, that will cause a "rich" condition and poor running. Spark plugs can become fouled with not only oil, but gasoline too.
I would suggest you change the spark plug. When you remove the old one, pull a couple times to get any unused gas out of the crankcase and cylinder, then put in the new one. Then try to start using the recommended procedure.
Hank
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Elmo wrote:

carry oil for when the blades start to gum and bind.
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On May 4, 1:10am, Elmo <dcdraftwo...@Use-Author-Supplied- Address.invalid> wrote:

I had an echo trimmer, great machine, are you saying the bolts tighten by themselves and you need to loosen them? Mine were locknuts and never tightened, after years they loosened a bit. Do you oil the bar before each use, but that shouldnt matter why dont you take it back and contact Echo, that is the best tool made. You are supposed to not have them tight so it can bind but loose, not real loose so the bolts wobble and the blades flop, and the locknuts should be very hard to turn and have alot of resistance, maybe the locknut is loose and worn or defective, replacing the bolt and nut would be easy but covered under warranty by a reputable dealer, what does the dealer say. I spray oil the blades before each use to keep them from wearing.
30 pulls to start something means you are doing something wrong or maybe no fuel from an air leak, try tightening all bolts relating to fuel delivery, Manifold, carburator, fuel lines etc, anything loose might enter air. Next time remove the plug after a few tries if its wet you are flooding it and need to reduce fuel, test the spark color and strength by removing the plug, grounding it and it should be strong and blue.
I only use a blower to blow so I could understand a certain type of debris clogging it or things that are damp, maybe you are sucking up damp dirt as its designed for dry leaves.
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On May 3, 11:10pm, Elmo <dcdraftwo...@Use-Author-Supplied- Address.invalid> wrote:

Saws (and most other 2-strokes) starting from cold: Full choke (or push the buld the number of recommended times). 2 to 4 pulls and hear it 'pop', i.e, fire. Choke off and 1 or 2 pulls should have it running.
What you may be doing: 1. Leaving fuel in it when putting it away. That is a no-no and gauranteed it will cause problems. 2. Leavign choke on too long (or giving it too many strokes on the priming bulb.
Harry K
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I had one 2 stroke that it was one pull with choke,[even if it didnt pop] then choke off and no throttle or it flooded. Some makes are or were poorly designed for easy starting
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Heh! The MS361 is a professional grade saw and, when first brought out, was famous for hard starting. The problem was 'one pull past 'pop' with choke on would flood it. The "pop" was _not_ very noticeable. Took me several 'won't start' instances with mine when I first got it before I learned to hear the indication.
That 361 is one wonderful saw and worth the price.
Harry K
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