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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    16
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Mower
    John Deere

    021 Stihl Problems

    Hi all,

    What a fantastic forum.

    I know this isn't a lawnmower problem so please, bare with me. A few years ago my late dad purchased a Stiihl 021 chainsaw. It ran great when he operated it, which wasn't much. But, he died 4 years ago and it had been sitting since then. I had a load of logs delivered to my property to buck up and split for next winter's heat supply. Approx. half way through the log pile the unit began acting up. Acting up in the sense that it began sputtering. Hold the throttle wide open and absolutely no power from it. I cleaned the carb knowing it had been sitting for awhile. Now, that thing was in bad shape. I took all the gaskets and screens out if, soaked it in gumout for 24 hours and rebuilt the carb. It ran like a charm for nearly an entire day. The 2nd day of operation, performed as described above after about an hours worth of running time. No matter what I do to it, it does not have any power to turn the chain. I checked to be sure I didn't accidently push the anti-kickback mechanism forward (which I have done a few time), I didn't touch it, the chain rotated freely when pulllin on it by hand. It's got to be something simple that I'm missing but darned if I can figure it out. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any/all advise. Roger

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  3. #2
    Hand2ThePlow's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    59
    Location
    Iowa
    Mower
    John Deere D170, Kubota L2900GST

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    I had a similar problem with a Craftsman (Poulan) chainsaw. The engine seemed to lack the power to turn the chain but I could still turn it by hand. It turned out to be the centrifugal clutch assembly.

  4. #3
    rekees's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Location
    Indiana
    Mower
    Craftsman

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    So the engine runs okay now but the chain doesn't turn? My 026 Stihl did this once and it turned out to be the anti-kickback mechanism. Took it to the dealer and he pushed it back ... I felt like a complete idiot! Anyway you said you checked that so that's not the problem. As Hand2ThePlow suggested, the centrifugal clutch may not be contacting the chain drive sprocket thus no friction to drive the chain. Remove the bar and chain to check if the sprocket spins when the engine is running at high speed. The problem can probably be fixed by replacing the sprocket. They eventually wear out just like chains.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    66
    Location
    Virginia
    Mower
    Cub Cadet

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    I have to pipe in and say we own a Stihl and it has hours and hours of use on it. We have never had an issue and feel like it was worth the investment (since it wasn't cheap!). I don't know what's wrong with yours but I hope it is a simple fix.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    99
    Location
    New Jersey
    Mower
    John Deere 56

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    My Stihl 023 has a red plastic baffle at the air cleaner inlet. It is supposed to be up in the summer and flipped over and pushed down into two grooves pulling the inlet air over the engine during cold weather ( less than +14 deg F). If it is down and the engine is run for along period it will be down on power, but run ok when still cold. Have you replaced the spark plug? I would get an owners manual from Stihl.

  7. #6
    essasmallengines's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    John Deere

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems


  8. #7

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    16
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Mower
    John Deere

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    Okay, let me state that I'm not badmouthing the Stihl chainsaw. I had an 031 for years until a tree fell on it and destroyed it. Aside from the occassional carb cleaning, it ran great. The 021 however, is giving me a headache not knowing where to look for the source of the lack of power.

    I'll try to do a better job describing what's happening; Hold the throttle wide open, the motor bogs down, acts like the carbs dirty, highspeed jet is clogged. Let me add here that I also drained the gas tank thinking that I had dirt in the tank. That didn't work either, but at least I removed it from the picture as a possibilty. Still, engine bogs while holding throttle open.

    I wouldn't want to run the saw too long without it but is there a way to disable the chain lock, essentially removing it as a possibility? If it is the problem, I'll have the repair shop fix it so I can use the saw with it fully operational. Again, thanks for taking the time to off up your suggestions. Roger

  9. #8

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    5
    Location
    North Carolina
    Mower
    Cub Cadet

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger2561 View Post
    Okay, let me state that I'm not badmouthing the Stihl chainsaw. I had an 031 for years until a tree fell on it and destroyed it. Aside from the occassional carb cleaning, it ran great. The 021 however, is giving me a headache not knowing where to look for the source of the lack of power.

    I'll try to do a better job describing what's happening; Hold the throttle wide open, the motor bogs down, acts like the carbs dirty, highspeed jet is clogged. Let me add here that I also drained the gas tank thinking that I had dirt in the tank. That didn't work either, but at least I removed it from the picture as a possibilty. Still, engine bogs while holding throttle open.

    I wouldn't want to run the saw too long without it but is there a way to disable the chain lock, essentially removing it as a possibility? If it is the problem, I'll have the repair shop fix it so I can use the saw with it fully operational. Again, thanks for taking the time to off up your suggestions. Roger
    Loosen the bolts holding the muffler enough to allow the exhaust to leave the engine. If the muffler is carbon clogged a two cycle engine will run as you have described.

  10. #9

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    65
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    jd245,kubota l2500 diesel

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by gator6x4 View Post
    Loosen the bolts holding the muffler enough to allow the exhaust to leave the engine. If the muffler is carbon clogged a two cycle engine will run as you have described.
    HAD THIS HAPPEN ONCE---------ON A STIHL O41 Farm boss---- cut 10 cords a yr with this old beauty until dealer said was just worn out-23 yrs old

  11. #10

    1,000 Post Club
    BKBrown's Avatar
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    Virginia
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    VENTRAC

    Re: 021 Stihl Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by gator6x4 View Post
    Loosen the bolts holding the muffler enough to allow the exhaust to leave the engine. If the muffler is carbon clogged a two cycle engine will run as you have described.
    Yes, the muffler or the spark arrestor can cause back pressure that will cause those symptoms. Is there a fuel filter inside the gas tank ?

    Side note: I had a Kawasaki 500 3 cyl. 2 stroke that was bogging down after run for a while -- I FINALLY found that it was the exhaust baffles -- Cleaned them out and it ran fine.

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