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Stihl 170 saw won't run


Handyman663's Avatar
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06-16-10, 03:10 PM   #1  
Stihl 170 saw won't run

I bought this new in late 2008 and have run about 1.5 gal of fuel thru it. I had a episode in March this year when it either wouldn't start or if it did it wouldn't rev. The dealer worked on it and it seemed ok. Today I cut about 50 logs and now it won't restart. It will run just a burst and dies off. I thought I was buying the Cadillac of saws but this has been much more of a problem than my previous two Poulans. Should I just junk this and buy a better saw. I note that here in Boulder all of the tree services use larger Stihls. Is the little one just a piece of junk? I can't afford the aggravation or money of having it repaired every 3 months.

 
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06-16-10, 08:57 PM   #2  
The 170 is a consumer grade, occasional use type saw, definitely not the cadillac of saws. It should be considerably better than the poulans on the market now, however, and it should not be giving this kind of trouble. It sounds like something got sucked into the carburetor. With the new fuels nowadays combined with the cheap carburetors coming out of china that are installed on a lot of this equipment, carb problems are becoming increasingly common.


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Last edited by cheese; 06-17-10 at 08:15 AM.
 
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06-17-10, 07:01 AM   #3  
I think what Cheese is saying is your carb needs cleaning.


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06-17-10, 08:05 AM   #4  
Thanks to both- and another question

I am now aware that I did not buy a Cadillac. This morning it started and ran just fine, so my best guess is vapor lock. Is that known to be a problem with these?? Should I just cut my losses and buy a larger Stihl? My use of the saw is occasional, but intense. Once or twice a year, over a 2-3 day period, I cut 350-6" oak logs to length. Then the saw goes back to the garage.

 
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06-17-10, 08:20 AM   #5  
I haven't known of vapor lock being a problem on these. I guess you could try loosening and re-tightening the gas cap if it does it again in case it is developing a vacuum in the tank. I don't know if you need a better saw or not. Your situation is borderline, where you could probably go either way. I think I'd try to keep using it because if the saw will run right, it should be up to the task for a few years.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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06-18-10, 05:51 AM   #6  
Thanks Cheese

Two days ago when it quit, I filled the tank even tho it was not dry and it still would only run in a burst. I think it is starved when it either won't run or won't rev. Do the larger Stihl's have better fuel systems????? Thanks for the advice regarding my saw being borderline. Would you personally buy a Stihl or is there another brand that performs well???

 
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06-18-10, 10:48 AM   #7  
The better stihls have different carbs, and they seem to be better quality than the homeowner versions, understandably. Stihl makes one of the best, if not THE best saws in the industry. There are others that are just as good out there. Husqvarna makes some really good ones too, but they have a homeowner line just like stihl. I have a husquvarna and a stihl and I wouldn't want to part with either. There are less popular names out there that are good but service and parts can be a little harder to find. Echo, Sachs-Domar, Makita, Shindaiwa, Solo, and RedMax are some good ones that come to mind. If I were buying, I think I'd get a commercial Stihl or Husqvarna.


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06-18-10, 03:13 PM   #8  
Thanks again Cheese

You have convinced me that I bought the wrong saw. Today it is running fine, but I noticed on the larger logs I needed more cubic inches. It was bogging. Hard to believe that I did this for years with a $100 Poulan Woodshark. I sold it on Craigslist for $45 when I bought the Stihl. Thanks for all of your help.

 
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