Stihl chainsaw won't start

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Old 07-27-19, 05:05 PM
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Stihl chainsaw won't start

Model 021, 25 years old, and I'm not in the business so hard to say, but on average I would put it somewhere in the 4-8 hour range of actual run time every year, more for several years way back when, but I doubt ever less than 4. So what's that, say 150 hours total. Has been running fine. Have used it quite a lot this year, including a couple of something like 10-12" x 40' trees that I cut down and into fireplace length as recently as about two weeks ago. And not a hiccup. Grabbed it off the shelf just after lunch today and it would not hit a lick. First I checked the plug, clean, right gap, so I put it back in, then back out because it took a few seconds to kick in but the plug was bone dry. Hmm, obviously no fuel, so I drained the gas out of it, fished the filter out of the tank and it looks anyway to be clean as a bone. Left the filter off, refilled the tank, tried again, and the plug was still dry so guessit's not the filter. Also noticed while pulling the rope the second time that it pulled pretty easy, still some resistance, but easier than usual, I think, although this thing has always started good, usually the second or third pull, so a little hard to draw a comparison. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 07-27-19, 05:23 PM
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At least 95% of the time with a gas powered tool with that little use it's going to be a carb. issue.
There so tiny I gave up long ago trying to just clean them or rebuild one.
I can buy a brand new one that comes with new fuel lines, tank filter, sparkplug, and air filter for about $13.00. The dealer wanted $35.00 just for the carb.
 
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Old 07-27-19, 06:47 PM
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Try a spoonful of fuel directly in the spark plug hole to see if it will try to start. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 07-27-19, 07:48 PM
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May not hurt to check the compression if it seems to pull pretty easy through the compression strokes.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 04:21 AM
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Thanks guys. Carburetor was the next thing on my mind, but, like you said Joe, figured everything was so small that it probably didn't make sense to try to clean this one, and incorrectly assumed that it didn't make sense to buy a new one for a 25 year old saw. Had no idea they were that inexpensive. Obviously cheap knockoffs, but I'm almost certain that's where the problem is so will get one coming. If that doesn't do it, I might check the compression Bob, in fact almost did last night, but not sure what I'm looking for out of a test, have checked a lot of 4 strokes but no two's that I recall. But if the carburetor doesn't do the trick maybe I'll learn how to do it.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 05:23 AM
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Well George, I did not try the gas in the spark plug hole because I didn't know what that might tell me other than to confirm spark, but maybe that would have done the trick. After having my sausage, eggs, and hash browns this morning, I went to the shop and set the saw on the bench figuring I'd better back up and make sure I had spark and see what kind of compression reading I had before ordering the carburetor. Figured I'd pull the rope a time or two again to see how it felt, and darned if it didn't start right up on the first pull. Ran about 15 seconds before stopping, but I had drained most of the gas out of it last night so dumped some more into it, pulled the rope, it took right off and ran like a champ. So thank you again for the help guys, maybe there's something still looming, but it was hot yesterday, and I had uncharacteristically let it set in the sun for quite a while before firing it up so wondering if maybe it had some sort of vapor lock or whatever. Guess we'll see. Anyway, for now, it's running!
 
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Old 07-28-19, 07:05 AM
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Over a 100 # on a chainsaw. Since it started you're good there. All's well...........
 
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Old 07-28-19, 07:09 AM
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Hi Pedro, you put a little Seafoam in the gas now that itís running to help maintain a clean fuel system.
Geo
 
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Old 07-28-19, 07:10 AM
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I'm betting the gas/carb combination was the culprit. And putting in the new gas was just enough to "disolve" the crud just starting to form.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 08:07 AM
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Thanks again for the good thoughts guys. Now that I have an idea what I'm looking for will most likely run a compression check anyway, not for diagnostic purpose at this time, but more apt to remember for future reference if I actually do it. Could be the fuel, but I'm thinking not because I mix my gas and oil one gallon at a time and am on at least my third gallon in the past couple of months so it doesn't sit around too long. In fact I knew this can was only a few weeks old so when I drained the tank last night it went right into the can and then back into the saw this morning. Will add some Seafoam to it later today. Don't know why, have never run it in my chainsaws or weed whackers, but do in things like my mower and generator and believe that it helps so maybe it can clean the carburetor on this up a bit. Oh, and by the way, in case all you plan to do is just pull the rope to turn something like this over a couple of times, you still might want to set your coffee cup back a little farther anyway, If it happens to start unexpectedly it might vibrate the top of the bench just enough to walk that cup right off the edge. No, don't bother asking how I know these things.
 
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Old 07-28-19, 08:13 AM
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Success is a wonderful sound. Have a good one. Geo
 
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Old 07-28-19, 09:13 AM
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As long as it wasn't the beer.
 
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