Chain saw pull cord not working!

jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)March 26, 2009

Yes I did a Search and got over 900 listings.

When I pull on the cord the cord doesn't move. No spinning of the motor to start the saw. Dumb me I think I was supposed to oil that mechanism which I don't remember doing figuring that oil in the fuel did that.

So now what?

It's a Husqvarna 136. I need to look at the manual and the saw to see how it comes appart.

Meanwhile Any thoughts??

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canguy(British Columbia)

The engine is seized.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Canguy I think he added oil the fuel? IF the rope is old (Depending on which make of saw you have?) will jump out of the winder and get wrapped around it an lock it up. IF this happens you usually have a small amount of the rope sticking out the recoil cover. To know for sure take the winder/recoil housing off usually 3 to 5 screws and see it the rope is wrapped around the winder. IF so you might as well replace the rope before it breaks, do this by pulling the rope all the way out. Lock the winder with vise grips cut the knot feed the rope in and tie the knot and let it wind up. No pull about 1" or 2" put your handle on. IF the flywheel won't turn with the winder off the as Canguy susgested it is probably seized.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:00AM
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Perhaps you should reconsider using a chainsaw before you end up in the emergency room.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Make sure the chain brake is NOT engaged.....if engaged the engine won't turn over and start, many think it's engine seize.
The chain brake is the black plastic knuckle guard on top by the top handle, pull this guard back to the handle until you hear it click and the cord should now pull easier and should beable to start.
If not, have a dealer look at it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 2:22PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

friggs, I don't think you know what you are talking about.

The chain brake on all saws that I know stop the drum from rotating. The drum is engaged by the clutch only when the engine reaches a high enough speed to over come the springs holding it in.

If you read the manual on all saws, they state that you start the saw with the brake engaged. This is to remove the chance that you have a running chain on a saw that can easily get out of your control.

If your statement were true, engaging the brake would stop the engine.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Is this a new saw?

Well IMO, it could be the brake if he "overheated the chain/clutch". Reason I say this I have my 345 do the exact same thing ehen I pinched the end of the bar cutting up a big log. It froze to the clutch and the bar or engine would not move till I pry off the clutch cover, Then it free up the chain and engine. In my case I had to remove the brake band to be able to use the saw again.

I also agree that the brake on or off should still alow the engine to crank and idle if the brake is not malfunction (good chance if he overheated the bar and chain), rope not knotted (unlikely to knot if the saw is fairly new, or the engine siezed up (really good chance if he didn't mix two stroke oil in with the gas and ran it long enough to heat up and seize).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:13PM
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masiman(z7 VA)


Maybe it looks something like this chainsaw

I certainly don't know everything about engines. I know springs and bits of the flywheel can break, but seizing to the flywheel is not something I've read or run into before.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:44PM
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masiman I know we are most likely just guessing, "he" has to take it apart and respond back. That's why I asked if its a new saw. if it is mostly the recoil rope or spring clutch paws won't be the problem.

I was dumbfounded when my fairly new 345 chain locked up. It was the brake band that warpped and locked the chain and clutch up so tight I couldn't get it to turn over by pulling the rope. I actually had to pry the clutch cover off and it was very hard once I got the cover off the chain freed up and I could start it. The brake band that went around the clutch was warpped so bad I couldn't get it back on. I had to remove it to continue to cut up the log.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 8:46AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

rcmoser, So it sounds like your brake band came off and got bent and tangled up into the clutch and drum assembly?

So you went old-school with the saw and were cutting without a chain brake :).

I agree, jim_w needs to post more info, maybe some pix. I hope he does that.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 9:24AM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

Her I am.

I need to explain. A year or so ago I had a seizure/stroke that affectd my memory (I'm 81). So I don't remember a lot about how the saw worked the last time I tried it. Well anyway my posting got me looking at the saw again and trying it. Lo and behold the cord didn't lock up but it didn't spin the sprocket very freely. I tried it again and the cover came off! Seems as if I started to work on in and didn't finish so there was only one screw holding the cover. The cord seemed to be wound fine.

The saw while not new has been used very little. It looks new! Then I looked and found the small resovoir for engine oil. Filled so I guess I new about that and filled it. So apparently no seizure.

So back to the basic question! What things would cause the saw not to spin well. It spins a bit but never freely enough to start it. And pulling harder doesn't help.

Thanks all. I didn't realize that my post was still alive!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 5:42PM
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I dont know the particulars about the saw. But on my 2stroke saw, the oil reservoir is for the bar oil, not the engine. If you ran straight gas for more than a few minutes, the engine is probably seized.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 10:25PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

Jim W, I'm glad you are back to getting around.

I'll second about the bar oil vs. engine oil. You shouldn't do much damage with engine oil. It will lubricate the bar but not as well as bar oil would.

Straight gas indeed could seize the piston as it would be running without lubrication.

If gas powered tools are getting more difficult for you to maintain, there are some decent electric powered tools out there.

Best of luck on your recovery and your continued active lifestyle.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 9:54PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

I couldn't find in the manual any mention of oil for the engine. Wouldn't you think that the reservoir would be for that purpose? And why doesn't adding bar oil to fuel lube the chain? I suppose the oil in the reservoir could do both but it wouldn't it be sort of helpful for the manual to mention that!

The manual is more interested in protecting the maker from lawsuits than in helping the owner to take car of the saw!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:16AM
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masiman(z7 VA)

Jim, this is a two stroke engine. You must mix the fuel and the oil together. Typical ratios are 30:1 - 50:1. Most saws nowadays run at 40:1. Using oil from years ago, 2 strokes used to run at 30:1. The oils are more effective now and thus less can be used. Your fuel tank holds this mixture of gas and oil. If you use straight gas, you will burn up the saw, the engine will run hot and without oil. The cylinder will get scored. The hard coating on the cylinder will probably scrape off. Eventually the piston will seize. You likely will not be able to recover the cylinder as it will have scoring preventing a good seal (compression) and your piston won't move smoothly. You can hone the cylinder but it would probably not be worth it. The rear tank(near the handle) is the fuel tank.

The front tank, near the bar is your bar oil tank. This oil only gets distributed to the bar. If you run without bar oil, you will quickly dull your chain. You will also heat up your chain and bar. You could eventually ruin your bar and chain by overheating, but you will know fairly quickly that your saw is not cutting well. You will see smoke coming from your cut and even burn marks. The chain may get really loose as it expands. The bar and chain will be too hot to touch with your bare hand. If it is too hot, you need to sharpen, make sure your chain is on the right direction and/or make sure your chain is getting oil.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 12:10PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

My mistake, I should have said the modern 2 strokes are mostly running at 50:1. Some will run 75:1 or even 100:1 with other oils.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:23PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

There is a neat graphic of a 2 cycle engine on Wikipedia. It moves the cylinder, the exhaust, everything. Dumb me I finally realized something very obvious that the oil in the fuel did the lubricating of the engine. What was I thinking.

Anyway still haven't got the screws to put the cover back on of the pull mechanism. They may be lying on the bench under something.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:20AM
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Oh, my gosh!! If/ when i get that old, i hope i can get somebody to come over and do the chain-sawing thing for me!
Geez! Well, i guess i shouldn't be too hard on the old guy--time does things to the memory, they say. But, how about re-reading the directions on how to operate it, how to mix gas and oil, what type oil, how to start it--all of that!
I decided long ago that chain saws and me weren't going to be safe being used by me, so i even gave up working on them! Now, its only lawn mowers and tractors, etc. But, when i get old, i'll probably have the sense to ask my son, or quit while i am only missing one foot! Of course, being 84 yoa, folks do ask me how long i'm going to be working on them! I always say, if somebody invents a way to live without taxes and eating 3 meals a day, or even two, I'll retire!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:39PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

rusty, the Op has said they no longer have the book. therefore no instructions.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:05PM
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I think it's a little too late for any owners manuals or operating instructions. Sounds like he had absolutely no idea about mixing the gas/oil and siezed it up, Another good saw bites the dust !!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 3:30PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Rusty, that is one of the most entertaining posts I have read in a long time. I sure hope I am as active as you if I am allowed to reach 84.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:25PM
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