Stihl Chainsaw not oiling?

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by EricG, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Ok, I may have gotten ripped off on Craigslist ... surprise surprise :rolleyes:

    I bought a used Stihl MS310 for $200. Met the guy at a parking lot in town to make schedule work, reduce driving et. Stihl saws don't last long on CL so I wanted to jump on it.

    It started up great, then I aimed it at a patch of snow to check the oiler - no oil :doh:So I said something to the guy and he says maybe it's empty. Now when I run a chainsaw, if there's gas in it, there's oil in it - no question. You never fill one tank without filling the other. But a quick look in the tank confirms it's bone dry despite > 1/2 tank of gas.

    So ... I bought it anyway, hoping it's probably just empty and $200 is a good deal for what looks to be a relatively new & lightly used saw.

    Bring it home, add oil, aim the bar at a log ... still nothing significant. Occasional spatters of really black stuff, not the spray of fresh oil I'm used to seeing from my POS HD Poulan.

    My guess is the seller new the oiler wasn't working, so he drained the tank. No oil? "Oops, must be empty - sorry". The guy was on his way to his job selling cars - considering what I know of car salesmen, it wouldn't surprise me :censor:

    So - any suggestions where to start? I'll be taking a look at the manual tonight.
  2. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    There is a drive gear behind you clutch. Take you side cover and bar and chain off. Remove the e-clip holding the sprocket drum on and remove the drum. Make sure the chain brake is disengaged. On the back side lip of the drum you will see a notch. Look on the outside of the clutch and you shoul see what looks liek a little wire. That little wire fits into the notch of the sproket drum. If the tip of the wire is broke off or worn off it will not drive the oil pump. No biggie to repair.
  3. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Ok, thanks! I'll take a look.
  4. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    if you have Dan working with ya on anything related to saws, you're golden! :)


    I also make a point of making sure that the hole in the bar that directs the oil into the groove is not plugged.
  5. Jimmy B

    Jimmy B

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    To thick of oil can sometimes affect the oilers performance also
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
  6. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Yea, that is one concern - the oil I dumped in seemed thicker then usual. Hadn't used that brand before, and it was relatively cold. But the chain has to have oil, cold or not!

    Anyway, I didn't get to it tonight.
    Thanks guys.
  7. did you check the oiler for debris?

    then run a very thin oil through it? (rev and shake the tar out of it)

    it works a whole lot better with the bar out of the way.

    then check the oil pump, and I dont know exactly how but I know you can adjust the flow.

    try that, if you adjust it and get the oil flow going, more than likely it will oil too much, then slowly back it down to match the tank


    I should be a rep for STIHL! ;)
























    :flipoff2:
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  8. Jimmy B

    Jimmy B

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    I have gallons of the summer stuff at work and just thin it out for the winter with a little 10w engine oil or even the 2 cycle oil works for thinning( not the mixed fuel,just the oil)
  9. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Summer weight oil is a base 30w and winter is a base 20w.

    Running summer weight oil in the winter puts extra stress on the oil drive gear and will wear it out prematurely.

    The oiler drive gear is the one I mentioned in my above post. The wire clip is connected to the oiler drive gear and the other end is engaged in the backside of the drum. The oiler only turns when the clutch is engaged and the drive sprocket is turning. Not all saws are this way but you is. The oiler drive gear is the designed weak link in the system. If it breaks, wears out, etc it is less than $10.00. No damage to the pump itself or the cutting attachment (bar and chain)

    There is a screen in your oil tank that you should probably check. It is a black plastic piece about the size of a 9mm bullet. It is stuck on the end of the hose. It comes off with needle nose pliers.

    The clutch comes off to the right. DO NOT USE AN IMPACT WRENCH! You can shear the flywheel key if you do.
  10. Dave-T

    Dave-T

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    Yep. Take the spark plug out and cram something clean (I use starter cord, easy to get back out) into the combustion chamber to limit the pistons motion so you can take the clutch off.

    I also clean the oil passages out all the way to the tank. As mentioned above be sure and clean out the holes in the bar and also the entire bar grooves. If your oiler is adjustable turn it all of the way up, just keep an eye on the tank. On a cold morning let the saw run for a bit before cutting. It will heat up the oil and make it flow better.
  11. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Well?

  12. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    To damn busy - hoping to get a look at it this weekend.
  13. Spud

    Spud

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    Yes, as someone else mentioned, the flow rate is adjustable for the oil. Could be as simple as that.
  14. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Well how did it work out?


    It's getting too darn close to wheeling season for you to start using it. :D
  15. Spud

    Spud

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    I think he forgot he needed to use the saw???
  16. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Well, I finally got at it tonight - gotta get some beetle kill trees down before they fly :(

    Much warmer weather now, so I decided to try it again - the oil was very thick when I added it previously. Started right up and revved it - nothing/very little for a while, then some blobs of thick grease-like stuff flew out. Then it started oiling at what seems to be a respectable rate - though not as much as my old HD Poulan seems to do. Any tips on determining if it's pushing enough out? Since it appears to be all crapped up in there, I wonder if running a little kerosene through the oiler might help?
  17. Dave-T

    Dave-T

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    Do not run something like kerosene through it, that could damage the oil pump. Did you perform all the things listed above? Like cleaning the bar, checking the oil pump, and turning up the oil?

    A few ways to know if it's oiling enough. Place the tip of the bar close to pavement or a piece of wood etc and throttle up the saw. You should see a defined discoloration (oil being thrown off the chain) withing a few seconds. When cutting is the chain getting hot and burn marks on it? Also, when the saw is out of fuel there should be about 1/2 to 1/4 left in the bar oil tank.
  18. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Well, after running it a bit more and seeing how much was being sprayed off, I decided it was probably OK and started cutting. I kept a close eye on the chain for overheating, but it worked fine! I took down two ponderosas - one about 16" diameter at the base, and the other probabaly about 20" at the base - the saw worked beautifully! Much better then the old Poulan. Where I would have to really work to get the poulan through those logs - overheating & dulling the chain in the process - the Stihl just walked through it! I may keep the poulan around for a backup/limbing saw, just because it's so light and I probably won't get squat for it if I try to sell it anyway.

    Thanks guys
  19. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    The flow rate is 8 – 18 cm3 at 10,000 rpm. With the oil pump adjusted to the minum setting it will be 8 cm3 at 10,000 rpm and in the full open position it will be 18 cm3 at 10,000 rpm.

    A good quality bar and chain lube will not spray off the tip of the bar. You need the lube on the bottom of the bar since that is where you are cutting and the majority of the heat build up.
  20. EricG

    EricG SILVER Star

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    Ok - is there a rule-of-thumb for chain oiling that doesn't involve this level of test equipment?

    Interesting - that's how I've always checked for oiling. So if I'm getting some spray it either means I've got crappy lube, or I'm over-oiling. The latter shouldn't be a problem other then a messier saw - as long as I don't go through a tank of oil in less time then I go through one of gas.

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