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babaganoosh 11-06-2012 09:27 PM

I have a year old homelite chain saw that burned out
I have a homelite chain saw that overheated, according to the repair shop I brought it to. He said the spark plug was dry so it looks like I didn't use (enough) oil in the gasoline. I know I put some in the gas. Maybe a little too little? it's 50:1 so there's not much room for error?

Anyway, what do you think of homelite products? Should I get something different?

joecaption 11-06-2012 10:13 PM

No matter what brand you buy if your not mixing the right amount of oil in the gas it's doomed.
I'd suggest a Stihl brand saw.

I make it as simple as possible for myself I use 1, gas cans so it's more likly to get used up. I only use the small bottles of oil that I know it's one whole bottle per gal. You add the oil before you add the gas. Make sure to shake it up every single time you add more gas.
I also only use nonethenal fuel. Since I've been using it eveything I owns starts, runs perfect and not once in 5 years have I had to stop and rebuild the carberators.

md2lgyk 11-07-2012 07:10 AM

My first saw (purchased in 1979) was a Homelite. Back then, it was about the only consumer-grade chain saw brand there was. It was a piece of junk and didn't last long. I recommend a Stihl saw, though they are more expensive.

I do the same as joecaption: a 1-gallon gas can and the small, pre-measured bottles of oil. You do need to be careful though - some saws and trimmers use a 40:1 mix instead of 50:1. My saw's manual says to use mid-grade (89 octane) gas. I use non-ethanol gas, but in same places that's difficult or impossible to find.

joecaption 11-07-2012 07:35 AM

If your having a hard time finding it ask at the local place that sells boats or lawn equipment. All of them have recieved warnings from the manufacturers on the damage ethenal fuel does.
Gels up, attacts moisture, eats gaskets and fuel lines.

I'm lucky and live in a boating area and it's sold all over the place.

babaganoosh 11-07-2012 09:29 AM

Thanks. Yeah, I am analytical and did that - took a 1 gal can, marked all over that it has oil in it / not for cars, and measured out oil to go in there.

that said, 2 more pieces of info:

in that last batch I mixed, I used oil from a can of sears oil that was 10+ years old. It was an old style can - cardboard body and metal top / bottom.

Does oil 'go bad' or the newer machines need newer style / blend oil?

and the unit would stall when the choke was set to 'run'. I found I could nurse it along by closing down the choke, and then 'rev' it up (give it gas, release, gas, release, gas, etc..). so it wasn't running right.

even with the right gas / oil mix and that rough running, can closing down the choke and nursing it along wind up overheating it?

and any thoughts on if there was a quick fix to get it to run right rather than close down the choke. It was rarely used - just around my house. 1 day for a few hours, then sit for months....

Bumpr1080 11-14-2012 12:34 AM

Hmm, from what I'm reading, it sounds like a few things happened. I think you used either improper oil or a light mix ratio. typically the wrong oil will create that 'rough running' you were talking about. Also, if the saw 'sat for months' Im assuming that you did not run it dry in between uses, so you may have gummed up the fuel lines.

For example, if you were to use bar oil vs. STIHL (optimal) or equivalent 2 stroke oil, this probably would happen.

If the saw didnt torch itself and cause major fouling or distemperment to its tender should try to first off empty the gas tank entirley. then replace the spark plug ( be careful not to cross thread it.) Then get some quality STIHL mix, and premium non ethanol gas. In theory it should take a bit to run out that junk gas, but if its worth anything, it should cough back to life.

In other news; I strongly reccomend buying a quality saw, regardless of how much use it will see. and NEVER run a saw on choke, if it wont run, there is a problem, and you should fix it, not run it.

US Forest Service
Non Motorized Trail Crew Supervisor
Granby, CO

joecaption 11-14-2012 07:11 AM

The carberator needed to be removed and rebuilt or replaced.
Having to run it with the choke partly closed is a sign or restricted fuel flow.
Toss that old fuel can and buy a new plastic one.

user1007 11-14-2012 10:46 AM

OP. Are using regular motor oil in your fuel mix? You describing an old can causes me to ask and we may have found the root of your problem.

As mentioned, you need to be using two cycle/two stroke oil for the gas mix. It comes in small containers for home use. Use non-ethanol gas if you can find it. Never try to get more than a season out of the mix. The regular motor oil, depending on the weight, may be correct for the reservoir and the chain but ask.

If non-ethanol gasoline is hard to find at the pump, you can usually buy a pre-mixed fuel in quart cans---50:1 and 40:1, etc. These nicely sealed canned fuels have the advantage of not going bad if you tend to go long periods with the fuel mix sitting. There is no airspace for condensation, etc. They would be outrageously expensive to run in equipment under constant use but are nice for the weekend warrior who might not use up even a gallon of fuel in a chainsaw or weed wacker in a year?

As for chainsaw brands? I would definitely hit a real tool shop or the local lawn and garden equipment supplier in your area. You might pay a bit more but will be getting a piece of equipment they will endorse. You will at least have a responsbile place to return the saw if something goes wrong. You will just get a "caught-in-the-headlights minimum wage stare at a box store.

babaganoosh 11-14-2012 06:01 PM

thanks for the reply!

the oil i used wiht the gas was from the small cans sears used to sell their 2 stroke oil in. So yeah, it was 2 stroke oil, but old. I mixed it with fresh gas (with ethanol... I have to go down the shore for boat / non -ethanol gas. It's not around here.

I think the issue of running it with 1/2 choke is really what caused the problem : (

Bondo 11-15-2012 05:25 AM


Originally Posted by babaganoosh (Post 1052234)
thanks for the reply!

the oil i used wiht the gas was from the small cans sears used to sell their 2 stroke oil in. So yeah, it was 2 stroke oil, but old. I mixed it with fresh gas (with ethanol... I have to go down the shore for boat / non -ethanol gas. It's not around here.

I think the issue of running it with 1/2 choke is really what caused the problem : (

Ayuh,... The fact that it wouldn't run with the choke off, says the carb is plugged up with junk, causin' a lean condition, which smoked the motor....

Runnin' it with the choke 1/2 on, probably prolonged it's death by a few minutes...

babaganoosh 11-15-2012 06:24 AM

it was only 1 year old.

joecaption 11-15-2012 08:38 AM

Running with the choke on would make it run rich not lean.
Ever notice a puff of smoke when you first start a power tool that has just been started. It's because it has to much fuel and not enough air so there's incomplete combustion.

user1007 11-15-2012 03:23 PM


Originally Posted by babaganoosh (Post 1052589)
it was only 1 year old.

You've mentioned this several times. Wasn't it warranted for at least a year? Did they scream misuse or something when you tried to exercise the warranty?

Since HD seems to have no qualms about planting product trolls on this site let me put my senior PR exec hat on and suggest you find out the PR director for the Homelite brand. Suggest you are posting about your broken saw on this site. I bet you will ge a response to replace it or at least contribute to a new one you can brag about, legitimately, here.

I used to have fairly lavish discretionary budgets for just such things as quieting tempests in teapots. Most often, I did not have to work through stores so the process was fast. Handing you a new saw and seeing your happy smiley face posts would have been much cheaper than hiring a troll to follow your possible negative comments.

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