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.
You might be able to simply remove the carb and soak it in a solvent for
a day or two. A carb degunking solvent like what you can get at your
local auto parts store (e.g. Gumout, Deep Creep) ought to do the trick.
If you're fighting varnish, you'll probably have to scrub out the carb
bowl and jet(s). Carbs for 2 stroke engines are pretty simple. Just
take a toothbrush or maybe a conical dental brush and thoroughly scrub
out the bowl and float of the carb while flushing liberally with a carb
You may have to remove the jet's needle valve to clean it (and its
seat). That's the most likely victim of varnish. If you do that, try
to mark the needle adjustment screw somehow (or count the number of
turns required to remove it) before removing it. That way, you have a
fair chance of getting it put back together properly when you reassemble.
Also make sure that gas *is* flowing from the tank. There may be crap
in the line, the gas line filter, or there may be an obstruction in the
Finally, get some new gas. Higher grade gas is likelier to help
dissolve gunk and varnish all by itself.
Of course, do all of this outside in a well ventilated area.
Or you can just buy a new carb and replace the old one. It'll probably
be easier than cleaning the old carb and a lot cheaper than the $175 for
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