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Stihl MS-290 Farm Boss chain saw won't stay running


TexasFire's Avatar
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03-13-16, 11:50 AM   #1  
Stihl MS-290 Farm Boss chain saw won't stay running

I've had this Stihl MS-290 Farm Boss chain saw for at least 5 years with impeccable trouble free service. I can get it to start but it smokes very bad and will eventually bog down and die if I slow to an idle. It has fresh fuel and plenty of oil and gas started pretty much 2nd pull since I've owned it. I am comfortable with working on 4 cycle stuff but have never really tore into 2 cycle. I'm wondering if there are any tests I can run or simple maintenance work that might resolve this issue. This has been a fabulous saw, I was bragging about it just the other day, maybe too soon. Any input is appreciated.

TF

This saw will run with a 16, 18 or 20" bar, I have an 18" on it and it spins free.

 
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03-13-16, 01:04 PM   #2  
Have you tried any mixture adjustments?


Just needs a bigger hammer
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03-13-16, 04:17 PM   #3  
Saw

What maintenance have you done to the saw?

 
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03-13-16, 04:27 PM   #4  
The bar length has nothing to do with the engine running or not. And the fuel you just put in it probably has little to do with it. I'm wondering how long the saw sat without running and how old that fuel was. 9 times out of 10 it's old fuel and sitting without running. But without knowing more I'd suggest removing the carb. Disassemble it and give it a thorough cleaning.

 
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03-13-16, 05:52 PM   #5  
Been using ethanol fuel in it, sure way to have carb. and fuel line issues.
About 5 years is all I get out of all my Stihl saws and weed wackers before having to work on them.
There's so many tiny ports and parts I just replace the whole carb. instead of rebuilding.

 
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03-13-16, 06:50 PM   #6  
The only maintenance I have done to the saw is a tune up kit, air filter, fuel filter, new plug about a year ago. I have made no adjustments to the carb.... yet. I use the saw on a regular basis, the last time just a few weeks ago, the fuel is fresh. When warmed up even just a little bit this saw will drop start in one shot. It's never a acted up this way before. I did get it to run about 15-20 secs at full rev but as soon as it went back to idle it sputtered and died.

TF

 
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03-14-16, 12:33 AM   #7  
If it is smoking, it's either flooding or getting way too much oil in the mixture. I'd start by trying some new fuel mix.


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God bless!

 
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03-14-16, 04:57 AM   #8  
What does the spark plug look like? Is it's tip black and oily?

 
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03-14-16, 07:50 AM   #9  
I just mixed up a fresh gallon of mix, the same way I always have. I use the Stihl oil and it has the measuring chamber on top where you squeeze the container to "pump" oil companies up to fill it. I haven't pulled the plug yet, will do that today. I think I'll go buy a can of Tru-Fuel and give that a shot.
Thanks so much for the input. I really need my saw running!

 
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03-14-16, 09:37 AM   #10  
If you have a "smoking badly" at each start up after it's been running for even the short time and warmed up, your valve on the reservoir may not be controlling the fuel like it should.

If it started acting up just recently after it's been running well and you have the new fuel in it, I wouldn't do any carb adjustments yet. If you have a leak through you can improve it by turning the L mixture screw in, but it would only serve as a crutch and not fix anything.

At five years service it could well be time for a carb rebuild or replacement. If you have fresh fuel like you have always used, I doubt if replacing the fuel with Tru-Fuel would be the answer.

The saw is an excellent saw by any standards.

 
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03-16-16, 07:42 PM   #11  
Only 5 years old AAH that's a fine saw right there yea.

Maybe just maybe your fuel lines are shot somewhere. Open the fuel cap and fish out the filter very slowly. If it comes out broken WELL that's the problem. You might have a line that is bad somewhere. I have Husqvarnas that are 10 years old and the fuel line yes only one line going in the tank that break down and with a lot of use.

Those 136 Husky's are hard too beat.

 
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03-19-16, 09:01 PM   #12  
Oops wrong post

I put this on the wrong thread please dis regard ~~~

 
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03-21-16, 11:50 AM   #13  
My shop tells me the ethanol eats the heck out of the gaskets and fuel filters. It also attracts moisture that will get caught in the filter.


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03-25-16, 05:19 PM   #14  
OK, sorry so long to circle back but the saw is running now. I dumped that fuel & loaded it up with TruFuel. It started and after about 15 seconds of smoky sputtering it runs perfect again. I also changed the fuel filter but by visual observation it appeared to be in perfect shape. I rechecked the directions on my Stihl oil bottle & I'm confident I mixed it right, 2.6 ounces of oil for one gallon of fuel. I used the unmixed gas I made this batch in a number of other engines with no problems.... Go figure....

TexasFire

 
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03-25-16, 05:35 PM   #15  
Gremlins I tell ya, it's always Gremlins...


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03-25-16, 06:23 PM   #16  
I'd say either somehow it got too much oil in the gas or the carb leaked while it was sitting unused. The gas can leak into the engine, then evaporate but it leaves the oil behind. Then when it starts next time, the oil left behind gets picked up in the fresh mixture and burns off causing a lot of smoke.


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

God bless!

 
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