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Author Topic: Chain tightening on its own  (Read 750 times)

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Offline jwillett2009

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Chain tightening on its own
« on: September 23, 2020, 01:14:46 PM »
Well, I thought I knew how to deal with everything related to my saw but came across a new one today. I've had a little husky 455 rancher for about 10 years or so, it been a great saw. It is tensioning the chain right up super tight as I'm cutting. I've tensioned it properly and repeated this three times now, it tightens the saw chain up super tight on the run.

I've looked at the pulley, there is some slight wear, nothing bad. I cleaned the tensioner and made sure its not slipping. It looks fine. The bar looks fine, as does the chain itself.

I am tightening the nuts right up to the point I'm afraid to torque more for fear of breaking something.

Weirdest thing I've seen. Anyone else ever have this happen?

I'll go get another bar and tensioner but want to hear if there are any similar experiences.
60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

Offline joe_indi

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 01:29:15 PM »
The two possibilities that come to mind are either the chain is of the wrong pitch or the sprocket is badly worn

Offline Greyman

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 07:41:26 PM »
Is it getting enough oil?  Is the oil tank at about the same level as the gas tank after running it?  Could be plugged up.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 09:19:32 PM »
If that were the case the chain should stretch from the heat. Is there a groove looking like an inverted T in the drive sprocket?
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Online Al_Smith

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 06:30:59 AM »
Generally speaking it could be "climbing " a badly worn sprocket, rim or spur whatever it uses . When you tension the chain do so with the bar lifted because most cuts will be made on the bottom side of the bar and see if that helps .

Offline sharp edge

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 08:32:30 AM »
I keep the nose greased with wheel-bearing grease. If its turning hard that will do that.


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Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 08:55:13 AM »
WHen you tighten the bar, do you have it in the 'up' position? Bars have slop around the screws and when they are loose, they can wag up and down. To properly tighten the bar, you should grab the handle and lift the back of the saw so that the nose of the bar hits the bench and swings up as far as it can go, THEN tighten the nuts. 
 I think what is happening to you is that the bar is in the 'down' position when you tighten it, then as you cut (and push), it slides to the 'up' position making the chain tighter.
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Offline jwillett2009

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 10:12:50 AM »
Thanks guys.

I do not see enough wear on the sprocket to cause a jump up out of a groove to tighten the chain. Pitch is good, chain's fairly new, bars a little older but in decent shape, nose sprocket turning nicely, I gave it a little grease anyway.

There is some "slop" that would allow the bar to pull out more because the tensioner pushes the bar away from the saw so to speak... but its slack that would still be there even if I changed the tensioner and bar. Not much on the up-down, but a little. I will retorque per 'Old Greenhorn' post. I am tightening the cover down way tighter than ever before. I don't want to go tighter for fear of pulling a stud out.

The chain is not stretching in any un-normal way due to lack of oil and is not abnormally hot either after cutting.

One other thing I am chasing down... I run some hydraulic fluid through the oiler a couple weeks ago, just the end of a jug I wanted to get rid of. Although it keeps the chain cool enough, I am wondering if it is just so slippery that it is degrading the friction enough that its causing the bar to be slipping between the cover and the plate on the power head when I'm using a "pushing chain" cut.

I'm going to empty the oil tank, clean it, clean up everything on the saw and bar good with some brake cleaner and run some new proper chain oil through it. If this is indeed the issue, I suspect it should go away quickly.

This has been the best darn saw I've ever had. I hope its something simple and I haven't messed it up. Its almost like I've got a sick friend :) . Kidding.

Thanks again for the responses. I'll report back soon.

Jamie 

60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 01:00:16 PM »
You can spin the sprocket nose right off of a bar after a long time of usage but it takes a long time .A lot of controversy about greasing a tip, some do some do not .The thinking is the grease will plug full of fine sawdust and jamb up .Besides that it gets a tad bit of oil from the chain .6 of one half dozen of another . 

Offline esteadle

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 04:22:51 PM »

Did you change the chain recently? 
What is the gauge of the new saw chain? 


Online donbj

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 12:18:03 AM »
My 262XP does this same thing if I lay in to it a bit hard in a heavy cut. It isn't your chain tightening up because your adjuster is not working correctly. Don't wreck your mount bolts by over torqing them.

When it does this hook your chain on the end of the log or something so you can pull on the chain backward pulling on the saw a few times. If it's doing what mine does the chain will loosen up by just doing that, and back to work. Mine has nothing to do with the adjuster, it's either climbing the sprocket or binding up in the nose or something. 
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Offline homeheater

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 07:33:37 AM »
+1 on a worn sprocket.  I had the same problem at one time on my oldest saw.  Couldn't figure it out.    It was at that time I became serious about preventative maintenance and inspections .    By the time you are on getting ready for a third bar and numerous chains, yeah I  really need to swap out a sprocket.

Offline jwillett2009

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 01:44:10 PM »

Did you change the chain recently?
What is the gauge of the new saw chain?
No, same chain as always. 72rd Oregon chain. 
60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 03:18:36 PM »
If you are doing OGH's lift and snug on the bar bolts the next thing I'd do is put on a new drive sprocket, 9 times out of 10 that is the problem, especially suspect if it is original at 10 years old.
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Offline jwillett2009

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2020, 12:19:18 PM »
So....

I took the bar off and cleaned the pad on the powerhead that squeezes the saw, I also cleaned the cover and the bar itself using a good brake cleaner. I put some fall husky chain and bar oil in, put it all together and tighten per my normal routine. I just run a tank of gas through cutting some hardwood firewood and the bar never moved and no tightening. (I was only making 4 or 5 cuts before it would tighten earlier).

At this point, my theory is that it was actually the improper use of the hydraulic fluid. It was new fluid, not spent.

I took a "pinch" of the real bar oil and was able to actually squeeze it out from between my finger and thumb but the hydraulic oil will not allow this, no matter how hard I squeezed, it still felt like the oil was the same between my fingers.

I believe at this point that it was actually not getting enough friction between the power head and the cover to hold the bar still, regardless of the torque on the nuts. I think the hydraulic oil film was present between the bar and powerhead and between the bar and the tensioner / cover until I cleaned it with the solvent brake cleaner.

I'm going out for a couple hours in the sugar bush to clean up some wind-fall wood. I'll come back if the problem comes back. Right now, it looks like my saw's back in form.

I appreciate you all.

J
60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2020, 12:26:21 PM »
Hopefully that fixes it. To me, oil's kind of a non obvious culprit. That isn't something I'd have considered using a different oil type.

Offline jwillett2009

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2020, 01:07:58 PM »
Hopefully that fixes it. To me, oil's kind of a non obvious culprit. That isn't something I'd have considered using a different oil type.
Yeah, I know, I just went through everything else and wasn't seeing any issue. I work as an engineering tech so I just went back to my basics of trying to figure out if I had changed anything else in the system, which made me think of the oil. The issue appeared suddenly and was persistent right off the bat.
Its a real high grade hydraulic oil that I use in my tractor hydraulics and I think its just so super viscous that it created that issue. I've used the same spent oil in my slabbing saw (ms660) before, but I had never run new oil this type in my little husky. Really need to get a few days of good work on it to convince myself too though.
I haven't seen any issue on the Ms660 but the tightening mechanism works a little different. I also run my slabbing saw chain very slack to get a fast and smooth cut and while slabbing with my big saw so I might'n even notice on that saw if the bar was moving. I'll probably mark the bar on that saw just to make sure its staying still.
It was really incredible that difference in the feel between the two oils though on the fingers. I wouldn't have guessed.
J
60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2020, 04:19:56 PM »
Sprocket getting clogged with debris perhaps.  
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Offline jwillett2009

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2020, 07:13:50 PM »
Just put in a good afternoon of work. I'm willing to say conclusively now it was the oil.

Cheers,
J
60 acre woodlot, 455 rancher husqavarna, MS660 stihl, 196? Massey ferguson farm tractor with three point hitch, Granberg Mark III Alaskan CSM, Sierra 1500

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Re: Chain tightening on its own
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2020, 07:23:01 PM »
Interesting, who'da thunk it.
I did see one misconception, the bar to cover nuts do not hold the bar in place, racking the bar as per OGH's method removes the slop between the slot in the bar and the studs. The nuts simply hold the cover and keep the bar from dropping off that racked setting.
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