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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Craftsman 16" (likely a Poulan) chain saw that is perhaps 5 years old and has no more than 5 hours run time on it. It may be an older than 5 years design as something caused the gas line to deteriorate and the only thing I can figure is the ethanol that has been added to gasoline sold in NJ in the recent past (I don’t recall when – may have been within the last 5 years). I have started adding preservative to my small engine gasoline recently, as I understand that mitigates the detrimental affects of ethanol on older engines.

When the saw would not start I look to be sure it had fuel, then pumped the primer a few times and it appeared to my eye that no fuel was coming through the primer. I pulled the spark plug, set the gap to 0.025 and sprayed some carburetor cleaner in on top of the cylinder. The engine started in a couple of pulls, but died after about 4 seconds.

I then dumped (into a container) the gasoline/oil mixture and looked for the fuel filter which I assumed was blocked. Fishing around I came out with the filter with a short piece of fuel hose on it. Fishing some more I came up with a length of fuel hose and it crumbled in my fingers.

As the gas line comes in from the top of the fuel tank, and I will not be trying to run the saw upside down it should be possible to simple “feed” a new gas line from the carburetor into the fuel tank and there-in attach a the filter. I believe the length of the hose needs to be such that the filer can be pulled out of the tank at the filler hole, and the filter will rest on the bottom of the tank.

I tell this story to learn what I can form others regarding similar problems. I also wonder (I have not tried to pull the hose) if there is some attachment or sealer requirements that I have to deal with. I have not yet tried yet to pull the hose from the tank at the carburetor side.

What size is the hose? Can one get that from a auto parts store or is this such a small diameter that one has to find a supplier for small engine parts – any recommendations here?

Thanks.
:trink39:
 

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The Magnificent
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Jerry, get the yellow Tygon fuel line from an OPE shop. My weed whacker used 1/8" FWIW.

A pair of hemostats comes in real handy for replacing it. Your manual might show whether or not there is a little clamp anywhere.

Oddly, my 16" Craftsman (Poulan) chainsaw purchased new in 1996 hasn't had any ethanol related symptoms yet, but my 5 year old toro weed whacker has. Go figure... Maybe NJ ethanol has more attitude than VA ethanol. :ROF
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I did a little searching on the web while waiting for an answer. No surprise, even though I was, Amazon has line and a 2-cycle repair kit for $12.99.... the kit looks like the best deal but Amazon acts only as a reseller on that item so it has a $7 S&H adder. The kit includes a couple sizes of hose and a "universal" filter. All I seem to need is the correct hose material, my filter looks new, and it almost is relative to how much gas has passed through it.

Is hose stated by inside diameter? I think yes, so if I measure my existing filter and find it has 1/8" OD, the 1/8" hose should fit.

I have locking forceps which may be helpful in pulling the hose through the hole in the tank, which I assume must at least be a tight fit. Clearly I need to be able to operate the saw in a horizontal position without gas dripping out.

I am encouraged this is easy enough to do and should get the saw back running. While my gas chainsaws were all (I have three) in the not running condition I started using my 14" electric chain saw, hauling rounds up to my shed area on a trailer - I had one gas saw running long enough to cut some too long rounds where the trees came down. I like the electric saw, and told my wife I want an 18" Poulan Pro electric for Christmas. Still I have to be able to cut far from any electricity and I'm not considering buying a portable electric power unit, even though that seems to be an option...and would provide power when we lose electric power.

Not sure about the attitude of NJ ethanol, but I sure hope this nuts idea passes and we go back to pure gasoline. I have much older 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines and none of them have failed due to ethanol yet. We did have an attitude snow late in October, which is why I how have a need for chainsaws... we lost some trees and some large limbs in other trees. Thinking out-loud, investing in a portable gas electric power unit (4 cycle, thank you) could be a good idea.

I plan to fix the gas line, thanks for the help.
 

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The Magnificent
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I believe I would rethink that Amazon buy, Jerry. I think I gave $1.00 per foot (which I thought was a little spendy) at my local mower shop. Like you, my filter looked fine, and a foot and a half of hose was enough to to the Toro and leftovers for the next thing to fail.

For the chainsaw, you need to consider both the ID and OD of the hose for it to pass through the tank grommet. 1/8" ID and 1/4" OD is pretty standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I'll check with my local repair/parts shop. I have purchased a number of items form them B&S tractor engines, but never anything for a small 2-cycle engine, e.g., chainsaw. I don't even associate them with that type repair, but the hose may be the same as used on the equipment they do support.

The minimum from Amazon is 5' for $1 a foot. Obviously I don't need 5'. The hose going into the carburetor may be good enough to take along, it hasn't been soaking in gas/oil. Thus, if the shop has the correct size I can make a match. I'll ask, and I assume, all hose being sold these days is resistant to ethanol. Still, I am adding stabilizer to my fuel can holding gas from my small engines, and my outboard boat motor.
 

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Jack of All Trades
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As you know, take a sample of the line in so they can match it. Also, make sure to get Tygon line as mentioned above. I have a shop and buy my line in 50' rolls. I used to sell it for $2.00/foot. Now I get $3.00. California has went to a mandatory "low permeation" fuel line, which is more expensive. Last year I ran out of line and went to a local competitor to pick up 5 foot to get me by. i asked the guy how much a foot. $4.50 he said. His boss looked over and said give it for $4.50 since thats what you quoted, but it has went up to $5.00 and soon will be $6-7 a foot!!!!!! I have also seen shops selling primer bulbs for $9.00!!!!
I think it was at home depot I saw a fuel line kit that had a neat wire hook for fishing the line through the tank. The fuel line was junk clear line (gets hard as a rock after 2 days in gas) but I bought it for the fishing tool. Works great. But for holes too small for the tool, I cut the line at an angle, poke a small hole in it and attach a fine wire, like a long bread tie wire, and fish it through the tank with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks the 18" Craftsman is up and running, pretty good and started after a few pulls. It even idles well, doesn't die. I put some Sea Foam in to clean the fuel system up a bit. I gave the blade a quick sharpening, needs more, and then tried it out on a broken pine tree. Not big, but big enough for a test. The trunk was about 10" across, and 7" deep, having a double runner after it came off the ground a few feet. I made three horizontal cuts, one at about chest high (with a wedge on the fall side) and two lower. All of these required I run the saw in a horizontal position, and I think by design, for a right handed operator that puts the gas line hole I used up and usually out of the fuel - and when in the vertical both the primer and fuel line are on top and not under any pressure to leak gas.

Anyway, yes, I took the piece of hose from the carb to the tank with me. I just pulled it out of the gas tank as the line below the hole had come apart in the failure. The shop didn't have an exact replacement, I took a foot of ethanol resistant line for $2. It has a larger diameter OD than the factory hose, The parts guy suggested using a jeweler's file to carefully increase the size of the hole. The hole is simply a hole in the top of the tank, no grommet - I decided to drill the hole up. I'll guess the top of the tank is about 1/8" thick, so there is some wall length for the hole. I worked my way up drill sizes trying the hose at each try. I ended up with a 3/16" drilled hole. The gase line required some pushing to get it to slip in, I put some engine oil on the tip of the line. I'm sure a smaller hole would be better, and had I gotten the good suggestion on ways to pull the line into the hole I might have gotten by with the next smaller size drill. As I said, no sign of gas leaks, so I may be okay with what I did. I know from gas line leakage problems on a lower cost weed string cutter that I can't find any sealer that will close a leaking hose hole. In the case of the string cutter the line comes in the side, so if the tank is more than 1/2 full there will be some leakage.

Thanks for all the help, at the "get-go" I wasn't sure the line could be repaired short of a new tank, and in the case of the saw I have that would be a new saw.

After drilling the larger hole I flushed the tank with a few ounces of gas. The filter should block any junk left in the tank. :trink39:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is a follow up... I had one short lived good result, the saw started and ran well after replacing the fuel line. Then it would not start the next day. After several checks, including removing the carburetor to clean (just a partial disassemble and spray cleaner) I noticed the new gas hose had a very loose fit in the carb. Then I noticed a break in the hose near the connection point (so much for the quality of the new hose, it seems), making repairs to this connection the saw started reasonably well. I spent some time trying to get the "L" jet adjusted to give a smooth idle. I was not successful. The idles RMP "role" up/down... but keep running. I note this test was done with the chain and bar removed. It may be the engine can't idle smoothly with in effect no load on it other than rotating the drive wheel/gear. I'll sharpen the blade and put the saw back together and if I can work it in try it out tomorrow on more down limbs on my property...far from the house, not within extension cord distance and my electric chain saws, which I like more-and-more as I continue to battle the 2 cycle gas saws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, may be running is improving with time. I grabbed the saw, absent the bar/chain, this morning and it started after a couple of pulls and after warming up in low choke for a minute or two the idle seemed fine.

There was a light visible smoke when idling - does this indicate too rich, or just right to keep it lubricated? I understand too lean can cause damage due to under-lubrication.
 
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