Stihl 031 AV chain saw clutch problem

mvronDecember 1, 2011

The clutch on this saw does not engage enough to make the saw useable. The chain turns slowly under running conditions but is not able to cut anything. The chain just stops. Ideas on what to look for and how to fix the clutch.

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With the engine off, can you rotate the chain freely by hand? Just wondering if anything is dragging/binding.

Do you have access to a tachometer, to see if the engine is actually turning at the proper speed?

You could look inside the clutch and see if maybe oil has gotten in there, and is making it slip. Or if the clutch shoes are worn, etc. But problems like that don't seem to make sense with the chain also turning slowly when it's not cutting. With no load, even if the clutch was not really "locking up" fully, the chain should still turn fast. I'd want to make sure the engine is turning at the proper speed at full throttle.

If you don't have a tachometer, does your engine speed sound similar to the 031 in this video, for instance?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:36PM
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Probably need to inspect the clutch. may just be dirty or Spring maybe weak (though this problem would alow the clutch to keep turning cause it still engaged IMO not likely), needle bearings shot ( more likely meaning the clutch is no good lets the outer drum wobble), or as suggested chain too tight (Most likely cause if you are unfamilar how to correctly adjust the chain??(it the chain is too tight when the chain heats up it will drag the engine down and the chain will slow down or stop and the engine won't rev up much???). More history on your experience would help, IMO if you are seasoned with chain saw the clutch or brake (if it has one) is probably faulty???

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 7:35AM
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I don't have aby history on this saw - but - the chain is not binding up, the chain turns freely with the saw not running. I would say that the engine can run at full speed - not having a tach. I have not adjusted the chain - it feels about right on the bar. I'll look at the Utube video - and take the bar/chain off and check underneath to maybe see what's going on. Thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I brought the saw to the Stihl dealer. They confirmed that the clutch is defective. They also said that the I can't get parts for the saw. I looked on Ebay and there are a lot of clutch related parts for sale, I got the parts back from the dealer in a box. Looking at the parts, what would I look for in a clutch related defective part? Ideas on a good video that would show me how to put the clutch back together. Thanks for ideas. The saw itself runs really good. I would like to fix if possible.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 9:42AM
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The clutch shoes (the curved pieces that touch the inside of the clutch drum) should be on springs, which hold them in, towards the center of the clutch. You should be able to move the clutch shoes away from the center, out towards the clutch drum. You might need a screwdriver or something to see if you can kind of "pry" them away from the center of the clutch. They should be able to move, they should not be rusted/bound up.

The outside of the clutch shoes, and the inside of the clutch drum, should be smooth.

I'm including links to a few pictures I took of the clutch on my 032AV when working on it last year. I hope maybe these help show how the clutch looks "normally" on at least a similar Stihl saw. I'm no expert, just trying to share some info.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 8:03PM
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Thanks for the pics redocobyr. I'm not to sure I got all the parts back from the Stihl dealer. It looks like the 032 might be a little different than the 031. If I could just get a good .pdf parts list and a procedure of how to put the clutch parts back together, I could proceed. There is a good video on Utube but it's not about the 031. There are a lot of parts on Ebay - but i'm just not sure what parts should be there and what parts I have. It's too bad because the saw runs really well. I might just sell it for parts - or whatever.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:50PM
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Mvr: I would contact Scott on the Chainswer Site he most likely will have your needed parts and can provide detail instructions also .

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Some pages I found that might help you out.

An 031AV Illustrated Parts List:

It looks like you can actually download a PDF of it from this site, rather than simply viewing it, at the first link:

Stihl has the operator's manual for your saw at:

Please forgive the link to another forum, but was very helpful to me when I bought my 032AV. There are a lot of knowledgeable folks there:

You can find the 031/032 service manual here, at the bottom of post #6 of this thread about the 031AV:

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 6:23PM
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Thanks to all for the great info. I ended up selling the saw - didn't really want to. I'll keep the info for future reference.
ewalk, is there actually a chainsaw forum? (Scott)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 9:39AM
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txtom50(8a texas)

mvron - you may be money ahead selling your saw. I saw a replacement clutch at Bailey's Power Equipment online for the Stihl 031 priced at 109.99.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:53AM
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Mvr: Yes Scott can be found on the Chainsawr Forum Site. He has been in bussiness for Yrs . I have found numerous replacement parts for my 1960's Vintage Pioneers and other saws via his Site. Just do a quick Search via Chainsawr.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 5:20AM
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