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Author Topic: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?  (Read 862 times)

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Offline stoneaxe

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help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« on: April 04, 2016, 02:02:42 PM »
Can you help me out with an old saw?  I bought this husky 61 rancher around 1982. have run it around the property cutting falling, firewood etc . It was a revelation when new, as the only saws i had run before that were giant old Mac's with huge bars, for cutting shake bolts out in Forks WA. Big cedars out there!
  It has not had gentle treatment, but still runs , although it takes a few pulls to start, if it has been sitting for a few months.  Usually it takes about 4-5 pulls full choke till it pops, then once or twice no choke,  and it will fire off.
  Once I got it so dirty cutting in a burn I pulled off the carb, took out the plug, and jammed a hose into the intake port to flush out the crap! Started it up and ran it for a while, been running ok for 30 more years... Just like running an old two stroke dirt bike into the river and having to kick the water out.
 It did fail to start once recently and I took off the side cover and cleaned out a solid mass of oil soaked chips out of the ignition sensor area and poked around a bit looking for loose connections and it started.
 Lots of you have rebuilt and hot-rodded saws- is there some place I can go to get a tutorial on rebuilding this saw?  It would be fun to go through it and rebuild it, but I don't know where to start or what the sticky parts are-for example, can I get parts? Ignition assembly, etc?

  Being an old guy, it is also getting heavy and I am considering getting a lighter saw for yard work- I put the 61 on a scale and it was about 16 1/2 lbs with a 24" bar. Was thinking about a new 30-40cc class saw with a 16" bar. Was thinking of a stihl 241 but that M -tronic stuff scares me- is that gonna be $$$$ to repair after a few years? My heavy use days are gone, so it is going to be an occasional day of use here and there. Sure sounded appealing though, half again as much power as a ms180 for about the same weight.
 These days with so much shuffling of brand names and overseas production and parts being made one place and assembly in another and all sorts of branding and marketing gimmicks it is very hard to simply trust a name brand and assume you will get the quality that brand has stood for in the past. So I am a bit lost on buying new. 
So to reiterate,  rebuilding info on the 61 rancher, and some recommendations on a lighter saw for yardwork.

 Thanks, stoneaxe.

Offline dougand3

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Re: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 10:33:26 AM »
Youtube has some good videos on rebuilds. Search Husqvarna 61 rebuild. Dolmar/Makita and Echo have quality small saws at a reasonable price.
Husky: 372xt, 272xp, 61, 55 (x3) Stihl: 026, 011AVT Poulan: 315, 4218 (x3), 2375, 2150, 2055, 2000 (x3) Homelite XL

Offline mad murdock

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Re: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 11:24:58 AM »
Welcome stoneaxe!! Are you still in the PNW?  I would second a Makita or Echo as pricing is more reasonable than the big brand(s), and IMO quality is not compromised as in the consumer grade major brands. You could do a search for an IPC or other manuals for the 61 online. Not sure where else you would find such info. Maybe a query to forum sponsor Chainsawr will get paydirt, as he has a very good selection of new parts and stuff for all brands of older saws.
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline stoneaxe

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Re: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 12:54:16 PM »
Yep, still the PNW, in Puget Sound.  Not much leg room here anymore though.
I live on the edge of a ravine on a dead end road- every time I go to town I can't believe the traffic. Oh well. Old codger-itis has set in I guess.

 One local box store has Husky's, one has Echo, and the local power equipment store has Stihl.  So it will be one of the three.  Probably they are all 85% Chinese...

Offline sawguy21

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Re: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 01:13:27 PM »
You would likely be best off going with Stihl in your situation, Husky and Echo are very good products but the box stores don't support what they sell. Echo is built in Japan, the most popular Stihl and Husky models in the U.S.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Phil_Oz

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Re: help with old Husky 61 rancher. Rebuild?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 05:40:27 PM »
Hi Stoneaxe.
 I note your post is from 2016 - I'm from Oz, have a similar request going for my rancher 50. How did you go?

I have a Stihl MS170 which I use mostly for light yard work. I thought it would be a toy, but I have been pleasantly surprised at what she can do. Very light and easy to use, and a small bar means not too many teeth to file.
You can get an easy start version too.

My Rancher 50 I have had since '86. It had hard use too. The only real issue it ever had was coke buildup in the muffler choking it. Other that that she is a bitch to start now - just old and cantankerous like her owner probably.

I want to do a rebuild on her - hopefully with a bigger bore - so we were/are on much the same page there it would seem.
Stihl MS291, Stihl MS170, Husqvarna Rancher 50 (~86 model).

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