Craftsman chainsaw won't start.

diyourselferAugust 28, 2008

I have a Sears Craftsman 18" chainsaw that is almost impossible to get started. Fresh gas at 40:1. New plug gapped at .025. New air filter. New fuel lines and filter. I pulled the carb(ZAMA C1Q type) last night and took off the top and bottom and cleaned with carb cleaner. It looked very clean inside.

I did not touch the L or H setting on the carb. I use the primer and try it with the choke full or off. Today I managed to get it started and it ran OK for about 5 minutes. I was able to make a few cuts then it died and I could not get it started. I needed a pair of pliers to open the fuel cap because the pressure in their was so high I could not turn the cap. Is that normal? What could be going on?

Model Number 358.360171

Thanks in advance,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

it was not that the pressure was so high, it was the vacuum was so strong. sounds like a clogged vent.

i have a 18" crapsman saw as well. it has given this same problem since day one. i adjusted my carb adn alleviated it some, but never have got it perfect. i don't have the tool to turn teh adjustments in place, so i had to remove the cover, adjust, put the cover back on, test, remove, adjust, etc.. gonna be one of my winter projects to get it right.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can remove the l and h jets with a wiring butt connector. Do it one at a time and then notch the heads with a hacksaw blade so you can adjust them with a flat blade screwdriver.

Once you have them notched, rotate each of them in by turning clockwise until lightly seated. Dont force them in or you will ruin the seat. Then turn them counter clock wise one and one half turn out for each jet. This will get the engine running so that you can fine tune from there. The really irks me. They sell you an expensive tool that you cant adjust...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well not knowing which saw you have (primer Bulb or not) or how old I'm make a guess. Depending on how old, the carb. diaphrams get stiff and will not pulse the fuel through the carb when you pull the cord, Not likely unless it really old or you got carb. cleaner on the diaphrams and weaken them further. Also, IMO the needle may not be unseating properly by either weak diaphrams, worn needle, or just sticking, Thats whay a tap on the carb sometimes helps for awhile.

IMO Polans are sometimes tempermantal getting started after setting for awhile (this could be 1 hour, 1 day, or a month IMO). I just prime mine with carb. cleaner, choke if off and pull the rope usually fires by the thrid pull. I also spary the SHYT out of mine all the time with the engine running to keep the gum free. I done this dozens of time with my old lombard that's 40 years old and still runs great. and the bore, piston, rings, crank, and connection rods, look like new. Most mechanic's use the crap all the time, but you have to make up your own mind if you have dought's.

Zama's IMO aren't as easy as Wabro's to get clean and keep running right. If eveything is clean I would adjust the carb. Depending on what year they make it hard for you to turn the screw. usually 1/8 turn CCW richen them up enough beings they are adjusted very lean from the factory IMO now days.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Same thing here,,will run with fuel dumped in the cylinder, but won't start without doing that,,even changed exact carbs.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 10:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
2 stroke Mantis tiller vs. 4 stroke Mantis
I'm looking at buying a small Mantis cultivator but...
Tecumseh snow king fuel starvation?
My Tecumseh powered Toro snowblower hunts/surges and...
Snowblowers and engine choices - Ariens vs Toro vs Simplicity and
I live on the shoreline in CT, where we get anywhere...
Poulan Pro rear tine tiller, burnt valve??
I have a 6.5 Intec Briggs on my tiller, which is 10...
Reciprocating Saw
I am looking to buy a reciprocating saw. I am not looking...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™