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Old 03-12-2014, 10:07 AM   #1
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


Hello friends. Just a general question here. Whenever I use my Stihl chainsaw, the chain will rather quickly re-tighten itself to the point that it's unusable. I must loosen the bolts, push the bar in a hair so it has an appropriate amount of slack, and tighten back up and go to town. I don't need to use it often and typically it's just for general trimming that's too big for loppers, but this was quite an issue when I took down our 4 holly trees a few weeks ago. I figured I'd ask to see if there's an obvious thing I'm overlooking when it comes to appropriately tuning this thing. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:12 AM   #2
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


I have a Stihl Farm boss saw, and have not had this issue. The chain will tighten up after the saw heats up, presumably because of expansion of metal parts, so if you take a cold saw and use it, you need to readjust the chain tension. But I only have to do this once, when the chain drive gets hot. Not sure what type of saw you have, but it does not sound correct, and I am not aware of any adjustments you could make. Sounds to me like your tensioner is malfunctioning.

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Old 03-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


As previously mentioned, the bar expands as the saw heats up and makes the chain tighter.

When tensioning the chain are you picking up on the bar, before locking it in place?
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:25 PM   #4
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


You say you "push" the bar back in? There should be some type of adjustment after you loosen the bolts. Check your manual on replacing the chain and be sure you are tightening and adjusting the chain properly.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


There should be a screw on the front of the saw to adjust the bar.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


My small Stihl (MS180) with some type of easy adjust has a black thumb wheel to adjust the bar after the side bolts have been loosened.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


Roasted, which model do you have? I have the same model as Daveb1 has, and never have issues with it tightening. Now of course you do have to adjust slack over time. Because the chains will stretch.

If you are running the saw a lot, and heating it up, it can cause it to tighten or loosen, depending on how you are using it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


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Originally Posted by daveb1 View Post
My small Stihl (MS180) with some type of easy adjust has a black thumb wheel to adjust the bar after the side bolts have been loosened.
I have the same model. Runs like a charm. I actually got smart and went with a Carbide Tipped chain, along with the 16" bar.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


Are you sure it is getting enough oil?
Aim at a cardboard and see how much oil it spills when running at high speed.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:34 PM   #10
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


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Are you sure it is getting enough oil?
Aim at a cardboard and see how much oil it spills when running at high speed.
Ayuh,.... That's 'bout the only reason I can think of, for the chain gettin' tight,...
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #11
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


Have been running a Stihl MS290 for somewhere over ten years, loosen nuts, tighten up chain, lift bar, and slightly tighten up the nuts. Check for proper tension "and then tighten down nuts. It has never "gotten tighter to the point of being unusable". Looser, yes due to the chain stretching, but not tighter. Possible problem with part of the bar track being compressed from getting caught up in a tree that you were cutting and then tightening down when it heats up? M ore likely the oiler as noted. Ron
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:46 PM   #12
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Stihl chainsaw chain continually tightening.


The oiler may be clogged. Time to run some Sea foam through the gas & oil to clean out the gunk. If I let my 180 sit for a long time, with oil in the reservoir. It will leak all over inside the case I keep it in.

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