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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had the saw noted for approximately 40 years and have always done the maintenance on it. The last few years it became increasingly more difficult to start and reached the point this week where I could not get it to run.

I've
  • Cleaned the air & fuel filters.
  • Installed & gaped a new spark plug (0.025").
  • Cleaned the carburetor, jets & jet ports with Gum-Out Carburetor & Choke cleaner, letting the parts soak overnight for approximately 12 hrs.
  • Adjusted the idle screw & the LO/HI speed jets to specs.
  • Blew everything out with compressed air to clean & to ensure the fuel lines were open.
  • Added ethanol treatment to the gas & used that to fill the tank.
  • Left the gas cap open to ensure air entry.
  • Poured a teaspoon of gas into the cylinder & dipped the spark plug into gas to wet the plug.
After approximately 8-10 pulls with the choke on, the saw started (weekly) & when I gave it gas it died out. This has happened each time I attempt to start it.

  • Any ideas on what else I can do to get this saw to run?
  • Any chance that the ethanol has taken it's "death" toll inside the carburetor or elsewhere?
  • I cannot fully take the carburetor apart since replacement parts are no longer made & I don't want to take the chance on ruining a gasket & being unable to remake or replace it.
  • I've been using 87 octane fuel. Would 89 octane be better?
  • I've also noticed in Home Depot that they sell a can of fuel that is pre-mixed with an additive that presumably solves the ethanol related "no-start" problem. Any merit to this?

Any help is appreciated as this has been very frustrating.

PS I have my eye on a STIHL MS 180 C-BE 16" which I most likely will get next week. However, I was hoping to keep the Homelite running for use in "dirty" cutting, i.e. when trimming close to the ground.

Thanks,
Al
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PS I just recalled that after failing to start & keep the saw running, as described above, I removed the plug & it appeared to be dry. Yet, I cleaned the carburetor & fuel line from the tank to the carburetor & blew everything out. So, I don't understand why the plug would be dry. Frustrating!!!!!

Thoughts???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thinking that perhaps the fuel line didn't re-fill with gas all the way to the carburetor thereby leaving it dry, and that since there isn't a primer bulb in the saw to load up the carburetor, I went back out & pulled the fuel line from the tank, removed the fuel filter from the end of the fuel line, sucked up some gas into a small squeeze bulb, filled the fuel line with gas using the bulb, put the filter back on, put the fuel line back into the tank, & tried to start the saw. Nothing!

Did I mention that this is frustrating?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No suggestions from anyone? Perhaps I've covered the bases & should just get rid of the saw???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
36 views & not a single suggestion. Am I approaching this wrong?
 

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take off the muffler and try to start the saw. It will probably start and if it does then you have a clogged muffler. this is a common problem on old machines and sometimes on new machines, if you are using crappy 2 cycle oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's a good suggestion.

I did remove the muffler & did clean it out, but it really did look pretty clean. However, I will take it off & will try to start it. I'll also do a much more thorough job of cleaning. Perhaps I didn't do a good job the first time. There wasn't an internal screen as in some saws, just the external housing.

Thanks for your response, a good suggestion.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, I give up.

I removed the muffler & the cylinder was exposed. No clogging going on.

I also totally stripped down the carburetor & cleaned it, plus clipped 1/4" from the end of the fuel line just to be sure of a tight fit to the carburetor fitting. I didn't totally strip it before, just removed the "top" parts & sprayed it thoroughly with carburetor/choke cleaner, let it sit overnight & then blew it out. Previously, I didn't strip the carburetor completely because I was afraid of damaging a gasket, or something & since these parts are no longer made/available according to a local Homelite dealer, I didn't want to take the chance. This time, with nothing to lose I took everything apart & sprayed & soaked it again with carburetor/choke cleaner. I have to admit there was still a lot of fine particles that flushed out. Blew it dry & tried to start it - nothing. Poured a teaspoon of gas into the plug hole & it started barely, after ~ 10 pulls, but wouldn't continue to run when giving it some gas. Continued to try & gave up. Checked the spark with a 1/4" screw in the plug boot & it did jump the 1/4" to the housing, although it didn't appear to be a strong spark. Nevertheless it did jump the gas.

I'm done - had the Homelite Super EZ start (really?) for ~ 40 years. Guess it's time for a new saw. Thinking of the Stihl MS 180 C-BE 16" saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
check out the Husqvarna 435, very simple, very reliable saw, easy to service and parts are inexpensive.
Thanks for the recommendation. I agree that the Husqvana 435 would be a very good saw.

I was in fact looking at the Husqvana, along with the Stihl saws. I had discussed my application with each of the local dealers and based on my application, they recommend the Husqvana 240 and the Stihl MS 180 C-BE. I really don't need a higher level chain saw.

Basically, I don't use a chain saw much, just to cut up trees if I have a special project around the house, or to clean up broken trees & branches after a storm, & cut up into firewood (which I give away-no longer burn wood), i.e. very limited use. The 16" bar is right-sized for this. So, the saw pretty much sits around waiting for something to do. ;)

Of the two saws noted above, the Stihl has 2.0 HP & weighs 9.3lbs, whereas the Husqvana has 1.5 HP & weighs 10.3 lbs, plus the Stihl is less bulky in overall size. In my limited judgement, both are very good saws and there are local dealers to service each if I need to have that done. I'm leaning towards the Stihl because of the extra 33% HP & lighter weight, although it would cost an additional $30.

I hate to see the 40+ year old Homelite go as it's been around for a long time, like an old friend, but it'e time for it to retire.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I've changed my mind about retiring the saw, at least until I try something else.

After thinking back on the results of the last carburetor cleaning & recalling that there was a significant amount of small black particles that flushed out, I'm guessing that the ethanol fuel may have eaten away at the diaphragm & other rubber components in the carburetor. If this assumption is correct, then the suction (vacuum) as the piston moves through its stroke might not pull on the diaphragm enough to draw in fuel because there isn't a vacuum as the diaphragm is porous as the ethanol ate away some of the rubber. And the plug did seem to be dry after trying to start it. So ???

I've ordered a carburetor kit. After being told by the local Homelite dealer that the parts are no longer made or available, I was surprised to find them readily available via Google. Guess the dealer wanted me to buy a saw rather than fix the problem. If the kit works, I may also have to replace the fuel line. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Finally!!!!!

It was the ethanol gas after all. I received the carburetor rebuild kit today & cleaned out the carburetor once again before assembling the new parts. The carburetor was still giving up a lot of small black particles after cleaning it "thoroughly" a few days ago. The ethanol really did a job on it.

It started up on the 6th or 7th pull - took a few turns to get some gas pulled into the cylinder. But once it started it kept on going and it now starts on the 1st pull. What a relief! Frustration is over!
 
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