OT-Chainsaw

Well, it is a tool used to cut wood so I figured why not ask you.
I have a Poulan chainsaw, had it for 7 years. Been having problems with it and do not want to spend $80 to have it looked at. Anyway, it starts up fine and runs for about 5 miutes, then dies. It will restart, but only after hitting the primer bulb about 6 times. It will run for a minute and then die again. So, I cleaned the air cleaner, replaced the spark plug, got new gas and still have the same issue. Right now I am either going to send it to the curb or hopefully try to repair it, but I am not sure what to do. Any help would be great.
Matt
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It sounds to me like you aren't getting enough fuel flow from the tank to the carb. The initial 5 minutes just runs on the fuel in the carb then it's starved for fuel. Check the fuel line(s) for kinks and crud inside partially blocking it. If there is a fuel pump it may not be working properly. Art

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Might want to check/replace the fuel filter, if it's got one. (I don't know much about chainsaws, so I couldn't tell you.)
Puckdropper
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If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Matt wrote:

All the suggestions I would check. If nothing works it's probably the carb. When they sit for long periods the gas turns to turpentine and clogs some of the parts and corrode some of the rubber parts. You may need to rebuild the carb.
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but you can't make them THINK"
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That was my first thought -- left the gas in too long. I can't remember how long it takes before it turns to gunk. Three months? Then you have to boil something in acid or something like that. That's what my mechanic told me when I had my rototiller in for that reason.
S.
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samson wrote:

No need to boil anything in acid (that's a "hot tank" and it should _not_ be used with aluminum). You want to "cold tank" it which is a fancy way of saying soak it in parts cleaner.
Get a carb overhaul kit and a service manual, a can of carb cleaner (note--get a quart or gallon, as well as a spray can--you're gonna want to soak the parts for a while--Berryman has a nice little set that includes a gallon of cleaner and a dip basket that fits a gallon can, some "canned air" (Dust-off or the like) if you don't have a compressor with a tank, and you should be able to get it going if you have any mechanical aptitude. If you can't find the manufacturer's manual, Clymer has one for about 30 bucks that covers something like 800 models <http://www.clymer.com/Book.aspx?bidt5&title=Chain+Saw+Service+Manual+-+10th+Edition . Note that I gave the Clymer link rather than the Amazon link becaus Clymer says they have stock but Amazon, for 4 bucks less, says they're sold out.
Of course by the time you've got all this stuff you've gone over that 80 bucks, but you'll know a lot more about the saw than you did and should be able to fix it for the price of parts next time it goes bust (just remember to keep the lid on the carb cleaner--it evaporates _fast_ if you don't).
Wear goggles when you're working with the carb cleaner--you don't want to get that stuff in your eye.
--
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--John
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Thanks for the advice. It probably is the carb, or maybe a little of all of the suggested issues. I am guilty of leaving the gas in to long, wont make that mistake again.
matt
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It is probably NOT the carb as it runs fine for the first 5 minutes. Ditto for the spark arrester. You most likely have a fuel delivery problem to the carb. Go for the low hanging fruit first - clogged lines, filters, or tank vent. Then progress to the fuel pump if there is one. Art
Thanks for the advice. It probably is the carb, or maybe a little of all of the suggested issues. I am guilty of leaving the gas in to long, wont make that mistake again.
matt
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net says...

Got to be *really* careful with compressed air around small engine carburettors. You can easily rupture a diaphragm. You can blow dirt into very fine vents that it will be extremely difficult to get it back out of. You can do more damage than good. The soaking is better, and a very careful drying with air after, but not a blasting.
Been there, done that.
-P.
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Peter Huebner wrote:

A carb overhaul should include replacement of all diaphragms.

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I drained the tank, checked the fuel lines and everything seems OK. I am going to try a new filter today. The manual is of zero halp. No diagrams, parts list, etc. I am also going to check the manufactures website.
Matt
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if you check the size of the fuel pickup line in the tank the filter will be pretty much generic. ross
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says...

If you have to re-prime then you are losing fuel delivery. Check for a plugged up tank vent, and for brittle fuel line from the tank to the carb, letting air in the line. It might not hurt to look at the carb, but I would not take it apart first - I would look at delivery problems first.

You really have to leave the gas in for longer periods than most people think. Most people with chainsaws are burning gas that has been mixed up for at least a year, with no problems. Most also have chainsaws that are sitting around with last year's fuel in the tank. If your mechanic told you three months, he's wrong. That would have to have been some very old gas by the time you mixed it up for that to be true. My chainsaw will sit from the time I finish putting up firewood around September or October, until I start again in August or September. It sits with whatever gas is left in the tank. My gas can contains mix that is at least a year old. I've been cutting firewood for decades and have never varnished up a carburetor from this practice. My snowmobile has sat for two years and never varnished. Over that long a period, you can find sediments that settle out, but I have not ever encountered varnish problems from it. I've seen varnish in carbs before, and I really don't know how long those carbs sat with old fuel, but I can assure you it's not from sitting 3 months. I do not recommend letting fuel sit for two years as I've done with my sled, I only threw that in there as an example of how long fuel can last. BTW - I do not use fuel stabilizers other than what may already be mixed into the oil from the manufacturer.
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if you look in your gas tank there sould be a fuel line with a filter on the end, if you use a wire hook you can pull it out and change filter. also check for air leaks fuel line to carb. try adding some seafoam fuel additive. ross
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Yup. We always run 'em dry before putting them up for any period of time.
scott
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Matt wrote:

I had a similar problem with a weed wacker. Also check the spark arrestor screen on the exhaust port to make sure it isn't clogged with soot.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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If doing all of the other things that have been suggested does not fix it, then check the manual. If it doesn't have any helpful suggestions look for the exploded-drawing and trace the fuel flow from the tank to the carb. Some two stroke engines use a diaphragm pump for the fuel pump and the diaphragm can stretch or tear.
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FF

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wrote:

I had a similar problem with a gas weedeater. The fix was to clean the fuel tank out, there was a lot of crud there. New fuel line, replace the filter, and last, clean the fuel tank cap because the vent was blocked. As well as the obvious - spark plug & fresh gas.
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