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Old 04-23-2004, 01:55 PM
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We just took apart our Stihl cutoff saw to figure out why it was running so bad and discovered a scored cylander wall. I suspect the fuel mix was short on oil. The saw is in very good shape otherwise, but the parts to repair are $425. I went ahead and bought a new saw (Partner this time- just to give it a try). Would you fix the old saw? Could I bore it out? It would be nice to have two saws, but I don't want to throw any money away. Secondly- who mixes your fuel? Is it whoever goes to the gas station?, or do you have a designated feul mixologist?
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Old 04-23-2004, 03:15 PM
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Good questions - we don't have a mixologist, but we probably should - a saw got cooked last year, the guy who repaired it claimed it was run w/o 2-cycle oil.

I took a small engine repair class a few winters ago, and one of the students brought in a Wacker cutoff saw that was running really poorly. I don;t know if this is the case with Stihl, but for this Wacker, many of the internal parts were plastic and had been sonic welded (I believe) together. This meant that you could get the cylinder out, but you destroyed the body of the saw in the process. The saw was quickly designated as a paperweight.

I would think you could bore it out 20-30 thousandths or so, and throw new rings in and it might do the trick. I would try to fix it, just for the sake of trying to fix it.

As for having two saws...You kiddin'? My ops are the same size as yours, probably smaller. We've got 4 cutoff saws, 2 tub saws. It's nice to have backups when you need them.
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:02 PM
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If we did more hardscapes I would have more saws. Recently we have been doing more and more planting jobs. Letting employees handle the fuel is a russian roulette game. I have caught guys putting straight gas into mix tools a few times. And these are guys with experience! I know they aren't nearly as careful as they should be when adding oil to gas. I guess it's time for a training session.
I got lucky just yesterday. I sent a new employee off to buy some plants and told him to go next door and fuel up first. He came back and said "Where are the diesel pumps? I couldn't find them." He was driving a gas truck.
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:17 PM
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Uhh... That reminds me of a time when I worked for another employer, and had a co-worker named Bobby. Bobby was as big as a house, but didn't have the smarts to match. The boss figured out he had filled a diesel skid steer with gas only after he had just finished topping it off.

I'm considering color coding everything - machines with a gas tank painted orange only get fuel from a can that is also painted orange, blue for blue, etc.
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:23 PM
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I've seen a few smaller portable fuel tanks around (Northern Tool) they are around 10 gallon size. You could use them for mixed fuel with one person doing the mixing. Cost about $100.

I have just one person do the mixing here have never had a problem with mixed gas vs unmixed.
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:57 PM
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How bad was the cylinder scored? Just a scratch here and there, or is the piston skirt welded to the cylinder wall? Is the aluminum piston discolored, like a brown cast and are the rings free or carboned and/or welded to the piston?

If the skirt is wasted, chances are it ran lean on oil. Since a two stroke oils through the crankcase then into the cylinder, if there was no oil in the gas, the crank, main and rod bearings got a taste of running with no oil as well. If the crank and rod bearings look and feel ok, I would hone out the cylinder and oversize a piston.

If Stihl does not make oversized pistons, you can probably get one from Weisco or another piston manufacturer. Should not cost over $80.00. What will need be doen first is clean the cylinder up and mike it to see if it can be bored. Most steel inserted walls are sweat fit, and you cannot safely take more than .125 off the walls.

Machine work, gaskets and piston/rings should not go over $250.00. Our engine builder charges $60.00 per hole, and $75.00 for a blind cylinder (one that the head is molded to the top)

It will make you a good back up saw.
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:40 PM
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Thanks for the help. I'll give it a try and report back
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:59 PM
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I personally mix the 2 stroke fuel myself to avoid any lean mixes.

I lost one string trimmer to straight gas in 8 years, frankly I expected more. I use a 2 1/2 gallon can and all straight gas is in 5 gallon cans. The rule is "Small equipment, small can". The one that got straight gas was from a part timer who I forgot to tell.

I also lost a Stihl chainsaw to old age. The dealer said overbore kits were not available, I'd have to buy a new jug and piston kit. The cost was more than the saw was worth, so I replaced it. You may find the same to be true of your cut off saw.
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:03 PM
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One more thing Site. Most air cooled engines can run effectively with clearances of .009-.012 between the piston skirt and cylinder wall. If you get a new piston, and the wall can clean up without oversizing, this is another way to fix the problem.

So, deglaze the cylinder, get a new piston and rings, check the end clearance in the ring, and tolerance between the wall and piston, slap it back together and you should be ready to rock.
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