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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 8 years ago I bought this Stihl (model 311y) new. It didn't get much use over the years, mainly because I had difficulty starting it. About 6 years ago I had it in the shop for maintenance but haven't really used it in about 3 years.

When I pulled it out a few days ago there was no gasoline in it. I fueled it up, added chain oil, and tried to start it. On the first pull I got a few putt-putts to my surprise, but after that, nothing no matter what I did - pulling it on choke, low choke, no choke, nothing.

So I changed the plug to an E3 with the funky anode (cathode?) and on the first pull got a few putt-putts again. Then nothing. I put a few squirts of gas into the cylinder - nothing. Then I pulled the spark plug, grounded it to the engine, and pulled.

I got a nice 2 feet of flame out of the hole thanks to the spark from the plug and the gas vapor (glad the Wife didn't see that) that caught the air filter on fire. Quickly blew everything out and replaced the plug - but got nothing.

So where do I go from here?

Thanks!
Surry County NC
 

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Check the compression. Hold the saw by the starter handle. If it falls quickly, compression is probably low. Add a little oil to the cylinder and see if this gets you started.
 

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There's alot of possibilitys. but, if you put gas in the cyl., it likley flooded it. .After that did you try it again?

I'd be willin to bet it's a carb problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok... After letting the saw sit overnight I choked it once and it started on the second pull. It put out some pretty strong black smoke and had a very rough idle. When I released the throttle to put the hand guard up, it died. After a few pulls it started again and I ran the chain for about a minute. I released the throttle again to see if it would idle, but it died. This time I couldn't restart it at all.

Bad fuel mixture?
 

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remove the muffler and inspected the cylinder. if scorring on the piston is present. i have not found any miracle putty to repair scorring. this is the first thing i do on any 2 cycle
 

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Make sure the fuel lines are not hard and brittle.
 

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How old is your gas mix? Have you messed with the mixture screws any?

I'm still thinking carb problem.

After re-reading the OP, and you said it has always bin hard starting. It leaves me to believe it was never properly tuned, to begin with. I don't know your capabilities, but you might wanta take it back to the dealer, and let them go over it.

If it was mine, I'd remove the limiter caps on the mixture screws, and adjust. Sounds like it's running to "fat". try turning the "L" screw in some. A 1/4 of a turn, can make the difference.
 

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I had a couple of stihl's years ago and they both were hard to start, even after dealer tune-up. Always seemed to have high compression. A few years ago, I was in the dealers shop and they had new models. Dealer said they were new easy starting models. I bought one and it is easy to start. This was about 5 years ago, Good luck.
Sheenist
 

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I have been using Stihl Motomix, Trufuel, JP Racing premix fuel for several years. Saws, weed eater, leaf blower, they run as they should and when you want them to. All Stihl equipment.

CCMoe
 

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Good ground saws, notorious for high compression and being hard to pull. You probably need to rebuild the carb, a stiff diaphragm will go back and forth between too much and not enough fuel.
 
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