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Author Topic: Husq 353 What do I do?  (Read 1588 times)

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Offline theRooker

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Husq 353 What do I do?
« on: December 08, 2017, 05:20:51 PM »
Shop tells me I'm leaking a little air on both the carburetor and the cylinder. Saw is 11 yrs old and I'm cutting firewood (10-15face/yr) as well yard work and some TSI. This is my main saw and I'm not a engine guy or anything. So I'm wondering if I should look to get it fixed (I'd probably risk a local repair guy rather than the dealer) or do I run her till she drops. They tell me it is still running at peak performance. My guess is the carburetor part isn't as big a deal unless I need a whole new one but the cylinder issue will get worse and possibly cause other problems and make repair impractical. I figure the cylinder deal may only be $300 now if it is only a seal. I'm pretty fond of this saw. I guess another avenue is get the new saw now, this one gets less use and hence lasts longer. Was thinking the 550XP. Thoughts or suggestions or both. Thx in advance.
"Trees are the answer"

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 11:33:27 PM »
From what I see you cut each year don't bother with the 550XP.
I suggest the 460 Rancher, here you have a 60 cc saw with almost the same h.p as the 50cc 550XP and with alot lower price tag. Plus you don't have to worry about dealing with a faulty AutoTune down the road.
Just keep your 353 for underbrush and limbing.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline theRooker

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 07:27:06 AM »
Isn't that a step backwards from the 353. I also didn't want to add any weight to the saw I use regularly due to hand pain. I guess I'm in mourning over the 353. I read your thread on the 550xp vs the MS261 and that does cause some apprehension. Should I consider the 261? The mechanic at the shop was pushing me towards the 550. It seems to me this autotune is an an example of technology replacing the 'old and true' for the sake of technology. Also, is it unheard of for a saw to develop the problems of the 353 after only 11yrs?   
"Trees are the answer"

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 08:36:03 AM »
I didn't know you had hand pain good thing you're not cutting wood for a living.

11 years on a consumer grade 353 is a good run for what it's built for.
Now a pro grade 550XP for part time cutting I'd expect more alot more then 11 years out of it.
But how much reliability will the AutoTune be over those years, especially running it sporadically a few times a year.

You have to understand everyone wants a pro grade saw but these saws were designed to work 8 hours a day 5 days a week. After 1 year their pretty well completely worn out, end user buys a new one and keeps the old for parts.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline theRooker

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 01:11:49 PM »
So is the Autotune an issue across all their saws. I thought they had this technology for a few years already. Yes, I want to keep weight of the saw down without sacrificing power. I have to admit that the 353 had it all for me. I'm cutting hard wood and often run into some bigger trees. I know the Stihl 261 is a pro saw but should I look at that? What other saws might be comparable to the 353? I've mostly been looking at Stihl and Husky but I know Echo makes good saws. I have an old 4600.
"Trees are the answer"

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 04:00:09 PM »
Your 353 is a good saw, it is built the same as the Husky XP line of saws.
There is a known problem with the intake manifold.
The intake manifold can easily be upgraded, I think there might even be a recall on it.

If the cylinder is leaking air,it is either the base gasket or the decompression button, both cheap parts.

There are lots of videos on rebuilding the 3 series saws on you tube.

If it has a green gas cap get a non catalytic converter muffler for it.
If you do the work yourself there is a good chance it wont cost you much.

Personally, I would rather have a rebuilt 353 than a new 550.

Good luck.
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK !

Offline John Mc

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 12:02:12 PM »
I agree, the 353 is a good saw. I have the sister saw, a Jonsered 2152. It's been a solid, reliable saw for me. They are not the top of the line in their size range, but I would not call them a "consumer saw". The construction does share a lot with the Husky XP pro line of saws. It's certainly a step up from the Husky 450 (which is not all that bad a saw itself for what it's intended use). The 353/2152 saws do tend to be worth fixing as long as the damage isn't extreme (unlike Husky as well as other brand's true "consumer saws" which you might as well just throw out if they experience all but the most minor of problems).

When my 2152 finally dies, I had been considering replacing it with a Husky 550XP. However, having read HolmenTree's Official MS261CM vs 550XP test thread, I'm certainly going to give the 261 a close look when the time comes.  A few years ago, the Husky would have been my choice simply because we had two great dealers in my area who really knew there stuff on servicing them. They've now both retired. What we have left are two tractor dealerships, one of which sells Stihl, the other Husqvarna. Both of these guys are pretty good, so the service does not give a real edge to one brand or another.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 04:33:58 PM »
Good post John and thanks for the reference to my MS261/550XP test thread.

I agree the Husqvarna 353 is a good quality saw and yes it does have a metallic crankcase housing like the XP pro saws.
But my reference to it being a "consumer saw" goes with my experience with its un-identical XP twin the 346XP.
Now with that comparison the 346's cylinder with its huge transfer ports for example puts the 353 in the minor leagues.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 05:51:21 PM »
I agree that power wise the 353 is certainly no match for the 346XP. (It was also no match price-wise.)  I was thinking more along the lines of durability and quality of build, rather than power, but I did not make that clear.

Before the 550XP came out, it was the 346XP I was drooling over, and figured it would replace my 2152 when the time came.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 03:19:45 PM »

You can get a genuine 346 xp piston and cylinder for $136.
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK !

Offline John Mc

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 04:21:02 PM »
You can get a genuine 346 xp piston and cylinder for $136.

A friend of mine did that to his 353 when he developed cylinder problems. It's been working out great for him so far.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 01:48:59 AM »
I put a $30 Chinese P and C on a 351.
It works, but it's defiantly a step backwards in performance.
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK !

Offline theRooker

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 11:17:00 AM »
Will check gas cap when I get home. What is it about a non-catalytic converter that improves things and how would I find out about a recall on the intake manifold? Dealer didn't mention it. If I can keep this saw going at reasonable cost , that would be my preferred route. Maybe down the road some, the Autotune situation will be figured out by Husky. Holmen Trees comparison of the 550XP vs the Stihl MS261 is reason for pause. The repair shop I'm using sells both Stihl and Husky and the mechanic was edging me towards the 550XP and not Stihl. Not sure what that was about. Seems like an honest guy.
As I said, I love this saw so if I can get by with repair, that's the ticket. Good tip on decompression button. My current thought is to hit another Husky dealer for their take and maybe info on recall. Going to see a logging buddy around Holidays for his thoughts on a repair shop, maybe one that doesn't sell Husky so they have "no dog in the fight".
Gonna check out the vids too in case of I get brave enough to tackle that but tearing the whole saw to pieces might be like seeing my mother naked.
"Trees are the answer"

Offline theRooker

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 11:28:02 AM »
I agree that power wise the 353 is certainly no match for the 346XP. (It was also no match price-wise.)  I was thinking more along the lines of durability and quality of build, rather than power, but I did not make that clear.

Before the 550XP came out, it was the 346XP I was drooling over, and figured it would replace my 2152 when the time came.

A real kicker is I paid $368 shipping included with 3 chains and a Husqvarna tshirt. Right? Where you gonna touch that now. Please hear 'sigh' for old days.
"Trees are the answer"

Offline Fishnuts2

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2017, 10:09:14 AM »
See if you can find a friend or small engine shop to replace the intake boot w/ clamp, and install a new decompression valve for your 353.  $50 plus something for labor and you'll have your saw back in top shape.

A 353 is well worth maintaining, especially when you already own it.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »
See if you can find a friend or small engine shop to replace the intake boot w/ clamp, and install a new decompression valve for your 353.  $50 plus something for labor and you'll have your saw back in top shape.

A 353 is well worth maintaining, especially when you already own it.

If your clamp is metal, then you already have the new style.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline deerslayer

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2017, 02:01:12 PM »
"leaking a little air"  and  "still at peak performance" has me a bit confused. I'd try to get some definition as to what they mean when they say "leaking air". Is this the findings from a pressure/vacuum test? A low compression reading? or what?
If it's still running at peak performance, does that mean the air leaks are so insignificant they were tuned out?

Your saw may not be in as dire straights as you think. It could be that a relatively inexpensive repair will extend its life. You seem to like the saw so it may be worth the maintenance.
Too many chainsaws, not enough wood.
Stihl, Husky, Craftsman, Mac, Homelite, Poulan. Some live here, some just passing through.

Offline starmac

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2017, 02:39:53 PM »
I am with Deerslayer on this, running at peak performance yet leaking, needs some questions answered.
What was the reason the shop was in the shop to start with?
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline weimedog

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2017, 02:24:30 PM »
For what its worth, often times the air leak is related to the intake manifold.  REAL easy to fix. Personally I like 353/346xp saws. Just an old man's opinion. You can pretty much drop a new OEM 346 top end on the 353 cases. Worst case, splitting cases , bearings & seals are real easy to change out as well. Easy to work on, Solid saws...the whole lot of them. Perfect project saw..:)

As far as the 550, I don't have much time with running them, only ran them at work on road side brush so really don't know much about how they perform. Fixed a few. Mostly bearings & seals. Also see some significant upgrades available. Especially in the Carb area, WHICH I will employ on future fixes & builds.  But see there is a fair amount of negative commentary on them on this forum. SO I'm now curious. I have a 550 carcass, an early one. Gong to build it into the most current configuration. Also have a MS261 "m-tronic" on the bench. It has been...skidder modded. I'll fix all that and while its here will have some time to run it. They are in reality both "autotunes" as well, just different labels for that feature and as an aside, I also now have a Stihl 441 as a project saw.  I really like that 441 to this point BTW. It's auto tune, "mtronic" reminds me a lot of the first gen 576's. Not what I expected based on being fed online commentary from the day they were introduced. SO those who have infinite amounts of experience and can "intuit" the future, when the 550xp is finished and the 251 is also finished. What will I see when I compare them? And where will the 441 fit into the mix of saws I use now? ( Husqvarna 562xp, 560xp build, And a built 385 & stock 390 ) Hoping it gives me similar ease of use the 560xp gives with 372 level power. And when the "tweaks" are done (I have two of them, one is going under the knife) want it to push into the tweaked 372xpw saw I have territory .. but with the easy of living with because of the autotune/m-tronic feature and lighter, (they are lighter than I expected....especially with a light bar).

As far as the original question, I wouldn't get rid of a good 353. Fix it. Also, just an opinion; but for an occasional user those Husqvarna 455/460's are awesome. But so are the comparable Stihl's. Much is made about the plastic and "clam shell" design on those 455/460's. I would counter by saying they deal with sitting around and moisture better than some of the Magnesium Pro saws. All the feed back Ive had from the dealer(s) who I deal with are along the lines of "They go and never come back", code for saying they don't have problems with them. I did have a 455 for a few seasons. Always started. Never failed me in any way. Might be heavy for what they are, but who cares. They just cut and cut and cut....and for the price point the blend of reliability and ease of living with them is far more important than their porky stature. I like them.
Husqvarna 365sp/372xpw Blend, 365/Huztl 52mm build (Cyclops),562xp "HTSS", 272XP, 61/272XP, 555, 257, 242, 238, 440e, Homelite 540, S-XL 925, XP-1020A, Super XL (Dad's saw); Jonsered 2094, Three 920's, CS-2172, 49sp, 621; Solo 603; 3 Huztl MS660's (2 54mm and 1 56mm)

Offline decableguy2000

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Re: Husq 353 What do I do?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2017, 08:39:40 PM »
Can always sell the 353 for parts. I might be interested.


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