Chain saw clutch problems?

glessdNovember 24, 2007

Gretings, I've been using my brother's Mac chain saw, a little 38cc w/ a 14" bar to buzz up some cherry and ash around my woods, it has worked fine until now. The clutch is alway engaged, it won't freewheel when I pull to start it.

My question is, How do I get the clutch off to free it up?

I've taken the recoil off, but that nut just releases, what do I use to hold the flywheel to undo the clutch nut?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated, I have about another cord on the ground and would like to get it cut up this week.

Thanks much

Dave G

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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Dave, which side of the saw is the recoil and which is the bar and clutch? Most saws have the recoil on the left side with the bar/chain and clutch on the right side. Removing the recoil is pointless.

OK, if your saw is typical with bar/clutch on the right side, the clutch nut will be reversed thread. To loosen you turn clockwise. Remove spark plug, move piston to down position. Use something like clean starter rope to stuff down the plug hole so that when you go to loosen the clutch nut the piston moves up and is jammed by the rope.

The clutch drum bearing may just be dry gummed up and need cleaning and greasing. However the bearing may be shot or the clutch shoe springs could be worn or broken. Drum bearings can be normally found at an equipment shop that carries Oregon brand parts. If the clutch springs are bad and this saw is older when McCulloch actually made them you will have trouble.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Nevada, I looked around and found the rope in the plug hole trick, an old one I forgot about. The clutch is ok, it looks like the bearing is shot, or gummed up, I'm soaking it now. Any good parts sites, or I may just go to my local small engine shop.
Thanks for the advice.
Dave G

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 11:26AM
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i just take a big punch and hammer and smack the inside arm in the loosen direction (not the outer clutch sprocket, but the inter arm with the spring around it with the threaded hole in the middle. Usually spins right off.

IMO the clutch sprocket locks up usually caused by the needle bearings worn and it locks it to the crank. With the chain off you would be able to spin it freely if it don't spin then the needle bearing are frozen or the clutch it expanded out ( not likely though). Clutchs are pretty cheap and easy to replace, just watch where the thrust washer goes...usually only two things go wrong with them. the needle bearings go or the sprocket teeth wears out.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 5:24PM
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