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Resuscitating a chainsaw

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chaoticbob

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Last winter I had some health problems, and wasn't able to lay in firewood in my normal way - buying logs and cutting/splitting myself. Stupidly, I didn't drain my chainsaw fuel tank, so it's been sitting with two-stroke in it for over a year and perhaps unsurprisingly won't start now.
Do I need to strip it down completely and clean everything, or is there an easier way? It's a Stihl if that's relevant.
TIA for any advice

Robin
 

paulm

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Start by tipping out all the old fuel and filling with fresh mix, take out and check/clean the spark plug, and then spend a bit of time pulling on the starter cord.

Even if it still doesn't start you will hopefully be flushing any residual old mix out of the carb. If still not starting then leave it for an hour or two in case flooded, and then try again.

If still not starting take the spark plug out and clean/dry again and try again.

Shouldn't be necessary to take the carb off and strip/clean it, unless you don't get anywhere with the above, but not too difficult if you need to.
 

chaoticbob

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Thanks Paul, I'd got as far as tipping out the old and refilling with new, but haven't looked at the plug yet. I should perhaps have been more persistent in my attempts to start the thing - it used to fire on the first pull, so I thought it must be gummed up and I'd have to dismantle it.
Since my last post I've discovered that there is a a two stroke fuel called Aspen which (so it's claimed) doesn't age like standard two stroke, so I shall give that a try. May be better given my intermittent chain saw use.
Robin.
 

paulm

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I've used aspen for a few years in my chainsaws and garden equipment, shockingly expensive at around £20 for five litres, but good for the reason you mentioned, less bad fumes in use, and allegedly less corrosive on fuel lines and seals.
 

Gerry

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It's not uncommon for the diaphragm in the Walbro carburettor to dry out an split. This is part of a vacuum pump which is built in to the carb so if split it can't draw fuel.
Give it a few good tugs (chainsaw) and whip out the plug, It should be slightly wet and you should smell petrol in the plug hole.

Gerry
 

Phil Pascoe

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I've left my old Stihl for a year many times - I just tip the old fuel, replace it, remove the plug, put a drop of light oil in the cylinder and pull the cord a few times. It always starts without any problem when I replace the (clean) plug.
 

Lons

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I've done it a few times most notably with my lawn tractor and a strimmer and the only way to clean it properly is to strip the carb, however there are a couple of things that often work pretty well so first is to buy a cheap can of carb cleaner and spray that directly into the carb, after cleaning the spark plug, it often is enough to start the engine. If it doesnt then spray in some more and let it sit for an hour or so, tip it out and try again. The carb cleaner disolves the "varnish" deposits left by fuel.

Other stuff you can try is damp start sold for cars, I used that years ago 'cos it was there and I needed to start an ancient wacker plate which had stood with petrol in it for 2 years. :roll:
 
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