craftsman chainsaw problems

hillclimberOctober 10, 2008

Have a 3 1/2 year old craftsman 16" model 358.360260 chainsaw that I can not get started. Have spark and seems to get fuel - even tried starter fluid in the air breather and in the spark plug hole - Are there any other places to check for this machine to prevent it from starting. Has been working OK-do not use it a lot - but just finished cutting up a large maple tree and it worked OK but as I was finishing it started to act up and cut out on me and finally quit starting completely. Suggestions?????

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HandyMac

Change the spark plug.

2 cycle spark plugs foul easily when the fuel/oil mixture is too rich.

If a new plug does not solve the problem, the ignition module is the only other possibility---since they usually include the plug wire.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 9:59AM
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hillclimber

Thanks for the response. Forgot to mention that I did replace the plug and when I attach the plug and hold it against the engine and pull the cord I do get a spark - BUT does that mean I am getting the spark at the right time, etc??

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 12:56PM
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HandyMac

Take off the muffler and inspect the cylinder walls. If there is scratches/gouges, the piston and cylinder have been scored and ruined---either a too lean fuel/oil mix, overheating, or an air leak in the intake system which leaned out the air/fuel mix.

If the scoring is there, it usually costs more to repair than buying a new saw.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 6:22PM
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hillclimber

Good news and bad news - the piston and cylinder appear to be OK = tryed to start it with the muffler off = no luck. Put everything back together and still no start. Thought about adjusting the H and L screws but have not figured out how to get to them - is there some special tool for this or something to get down in that small space? Thanks for you responses on this problem.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 6:39PM
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HandyMac

Those screws only work when the engine is running, one is idle mixture adjustment and the other is high speed mixture adjustment.

Since the spark plug sparks and the cylinder/piston are not scored---every place in the cylinder you can see is smooth and shiny, right?---the problem is in the fuel system. Squirt a tiny bit of starting fluid in the air intake and try starting. If the compression is good and the timing is right, it will at least start momentarily. If it does, the fuel system is gummed up(inside the carb or a plugged intank fuel filter) or there is a fuel hose leaking air into the pressurized fuel delivery system. The fuel system is pressurized during the down stroke of the piston on most models, so a leaking gasket on the head or a cracked fuel line can be the culprit. Check the fuel filter first---make a hook using a short piece of wire, hook the fuel line/filter through the fuel filler cap hole in the fuel tank.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:05PM
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hillclimber

Again thanks for your response. Yes, the cylinder/piston looks smooth and shiny. I tried the fuel in the spark plug hole but got no start - that leaves timing-right? (I did hold my thumb over the spark plug hole before reinstalling it and there appears to be good compression. I also checked the spark by holding the plug against the cylinder head and got spark. Now, how does the timing get adjusted? ( I have tried starting fluid also) I did take the fuel filter out and reverse blew it out with a air compressor and it sounds like there was good air flow thru it. I would hate to take this to sears for repair - it might be better to get a new one that do that!!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 4:09PM
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HandyMac

The timing is preset with no adjustments to speak of. The flywheel is keyed to the crankshaft. It is possible that key has broken/slipped or the flywheel slot is enlarged and the flywheel is mismounted. Take off the flywheel retaining nut and gently pry---using two screwdrivers/small bars----under both sides of the flywheel. This is a touchy job as you can break cooling fins or damage the flywheel if you do it wrong. Check the slots and key.

The coil assembly is attached to the head with 2(sometimes 3) screws. The only adjustment is how far the coil assembly is mounted away from the flywheel. A general rule of thumb is to loosen all the coil mounting bolts, insert a business card between the coil assembly and the magnet on the flywheel and tighten the coil mounting bolts. Turn the flywheel to release the business card.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 4:14PM
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randy427

I had a similar sounding problem with my Poulan, who makes some of the saws for Craftsman. The shop said they replaced the electronic module that controls the timing. For half the cost of a new saw, I was back in business.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 5:37PM
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cloudcrasher

Try another plug, I've seen many new plugs that were bad right out of the package. Even though they fire when grounded, they might not fire under compression. Another thing I haven't seen mentioned, if the crankcases have filled up with fuel, it won't start. You can pull it through with the muffler off to help clear it or use a blowgun if you have one. If it doesn't pop with starting fluid, I would think Ignition is the problem.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 5:42PM
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thedurk

Certainly sounds as though a sheared or slipping key in the flywheel is a leading suspect, as you have spark, compression, and fuel(at least starting fluid). This happened to a Homelite of mine. The keys are soft and are designed to shear if overstressed, for instance if the chain locked at WOT while cutting a large maple log. See HandyMacs post above.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 2:12AM
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hillclimber

what a wonderful sound - a RUNNING chainsaw!!!!!!! After I adjusted the gap as handmac advised the saw started. It does not idle well - have to keep some pressure on the throttle to keep it running but it RUNS! Thanks for all the good advise and time to give it. You guys are great! I will have to adjust the idle screw - as soon as I can get something that will reach down to grip and turn the screw.
Again thanks to all.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 6:05PM
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psherwin_comcast_net

Replacing fuel lines in a '96 358.351081. How do you get the fuel line from the primer pump into the gas tank? The tubing is too soft to work it into the hole.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:33AM
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cfrose008_aol_com

has anyone had this problem? The oil for the chain quit working. any recomendations for a fix.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:17PM
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HandyMac

I used a very small awl to work the fuel/oiler hose into the hole. Then a pair of foreceps(thrown away by a vet) to reach into the resevoir and grab the end of the hose to pull it far enough to install the filter.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 1:41AM
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wfrederiksen_hotmail_com

I have my sons Craftsman 18" 42cc Eng: TPWO42UB24RA:EN Ser.# 96086H2OO795- The chain/bar oiler does not work and I have never worked on chainsaw before, please tell me how the oiler works and how to get it working again. All the rest of the saw is perfect.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:10PM
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pick305_yahoo_com

i have an 18" craftsman chainsaw it runs good but when i give it gas when i go to cut something it dies down and shuts off. any suggestions onwhat i can try to do.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:27PM
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vkosover

Could somebody help me? My Craftsman gas chain saw (358.351062) worked well, until I made a new portion of fuel. Now it starts and works for a few seconds. I cleaned air filter and spark plug with fine abrasive paper, but it did not help. When I checked fuel filter I found, that fuel line broke (it became fragule) and filter was on the bottom of fuel tank. If this may be a problem?
Thanks

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 10:17PM
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brickeyee

Gasoline with alcohol added (thank you EPA) will wreck the fuel lines in older power equipment in short order.

Any gaskets the fuel contacts can also be wrecked.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 3:53PM
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