Poulan Chainsaw Help

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  #1  
Old 05-04-14, 08:39 PM
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Poulan Chainsaw Help

My brother gave me a Poulan chainsaw he's had for a couple of years. He used it to cut down 4 trees when he purchased it and has not used it since. When I took it out of the case and attempted to crank the engine, the pull cord stopped. (Yes, he used a gas/oil mixture, 50:1) I removed the side cover along with the recoil and discovered that I was unable to turn the engine forward by hand, however I could turn it backwards. After rotating several times backwards, I replaced the recoil and side cover and was able to pull the pull cord to full length about 5 times before locking up again. I also removed the spark plug and attempted to turn the engine forwards and was still unsuccessful. I'm looking for any USEFUL information as to what else I can do, any help is much appreciated.

On a side note, please spare me the comments telling me Poulans are junk and to get a "real" saw. The saw was free and if I can get it to work with a little tinkering then great, if not it can go in the trash.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-05-14, 04:20 AM
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I have 3 chainsaws and my favorite one is the Poulan [mainly because it's small/light ]

I only know a little about working on chainsaws but those that do will want to know which saw you have. I don't know about all Poulans but mine requires a 40:1 mixture.
 
  #3  
Old 05-05-14, 06:20 AM
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I've always had a Poulan back to the "306" made in Sweden days. Great saw. It was green. Today I have my Poulan Pro. It's yellow and has worked great for 10+ years.

The 50:1 works fine with the right oil. Stihl is one of those.

Have you tried pulling it over without the chain on it and is there a chance the brake has corrosion and is binding up.

There also could be some corrosion inside the cylinder. I would put some penetrating oil and Automatic Tranny fluid down the plug hole and let it sit for a couple of hours to see if that doesn't loosen it up. Then rinse all that out with gas/oil mix for starting.
 
  #4  
Old 05-05-14, 06:44 AM
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The one he gave me is a 40cc Poulan Wild Thing. Hope that helps.
 
  #5  
Old 05-05-14, 06:52 AM
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I didn't try taking the chain off and trying to turn it, I will this afternoon though. I was also going to pick up some Merv's Miracle Oil today and try that as well. Any idea why I can rotate the engine backwards and then back forwards to the point it's catching? I figured if I can make a full rotation then it shouldn't be the piston or anything in the crank case, but I may be way off here.
 
  #6  
Old 05-05-14, 09:26 AM
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With a little corrosion it would be hard to tell just where that stuff is. The brake is a band over the drive clutch and it could just get pulled off to one side as it turns - it's hard to tell.

Take the bar cover off the side with the drive clutch. That will remove the brake - make sure it's in the off position when you remove it. Take the chain and bar off.

Then before turning it over put a couple ounces of penetrating oil/ tranny fluid/or Marvel Mystery down the plug hole to give it a little lubrication before you move the piston too much.

** The Wild Thing is a 120 service hour saw, but that is a lot of sawing time.
 
  #7  
Old 05-06-14, 03:52 AM
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Good news, the piston is free and I got the engine to fire up last night. It was late, so that's as far as I got. I'm hoping I just need to adjust the idle now, when I disengaged the chain brake the chain was turning pretty fast, definitely fast enough to cut. I plan on looking at it this evening, if it's just adjusting the idle, that should take care of it for now. If not, is there anything else that could cause this?
 
  #8  
Old 05-06-14, 05:17 PM
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Fuel/air too lean causes higher rpms = critical mixture since the oil isn't there for lubricatiion. Then idle speed = throttle opening which you adjust so the chain just barely moves at idle.

Do you have the mixture screw caps on the carb? If so they can only be adjusted so far anyway. From there you would set the throttle opening for idle speed.

This is what ya do though:

Make sure you have a clean filter and the gas is new and the ratio to oil is correct.
Then:

Get the beast to idle without dieing and let it warm up.

*Then set the low speed (L) screw for max RPM
*Then hold the throttle wide open and set the high speed (H) screw for max rpms.
*Then back to the low speed screw and set it for max rpms. Now turn it back out about 1/16 of a turn to drop the rpms slightly.
*Then go back to the wide open setting for max rpms, set for max and turn the screw back out to drop the rpms slightly. At this setting the engine should jump when you crack the throttle = very responsive.

Now let it idle with the chain brake off and set the idle speed (throttle opening to just barely move the chain. It shouldn't spin, just barely walk around the bar.

Now you're ready to cut.

** Make sure you turn the rpms down off max = critical adjustment. This gives the engine a little richer mixture to not only cool it, but the extra oil for lubrication. An engine ran on a lean mixture that produces max rpms will self destruct with scoring in the cylinder and piston/rings and the crank/connecting rod.
 
  #9  
Old 05-06-14, 05:52 PM
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It's been some time ago, but my Poulan had a starter lock up. Seems a screw came loose and wedged in one of the fins, effectively locking the start rope.

May not be your problem but it's one more item to check.
 
  #10  
Old 05-07-14, 04:38 AM
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marbobj - Thanks for the instruction, I was able to get everything tuned correctly and it seems I now have a working saw at no cost to me whatsoever. However, either part of the plastic molding on the chain brake was making contact against the clutch, or the brake itself was still gripping the clutch when disengaged. After removing the clutch cover, I felt a tremendous amount of heat and noticed the molding on the chain brake had began to melt. Once it cooled, I removed the chain brake altogether and restarted the saw. It seems to run fine now.

goldstar - you hit the nail on the head sir, there was a small 1/2in hexhead/flathead combo screw with a washer wedged between the casing and the starter.
 
  #11  
Old 05-07-14, 06:41 AM
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You can probably get that side cover off Ebay pretty cheap. It's a common one. I even had a couple around here for a while, but have sold them since.

Glad you got it working. You'll get a lot of good out of that little saw. If you run it in hot weather I would go another 10 parts richer on the oil mix to be on the safe side. If you have 50:1 go to 40:1 or even 32:1. Saws take a beating in hot weather.
 
  #12  
Old 06-11-14, 04:18 PM
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Question Frankenstein chainsaw?

I have a poulan model 2050 that needs a few parts, primer bulb, the plastic cylinder cover and an air cleaner assembly. I found a poulan Pro PP4218AVX 18" 42CC Chain saw that the motor is junk and has no bar. My question is could i disassemble the 2050 and put the motor into the Poulan Pro PP4218AVX 18" 42CC Chain saw body? Would all of everything bolt up including the bar off the 2050?
 
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