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Author Topic: Smaller Stihl...  (Read 2564 times)

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Offline mrcaptainbob

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Smaller Stihl...
« on: March 07, 2011, 11:21:57 PM »
I was looking over my son's smaller (180, I think...) the one with the knob control chain tensioner. The booklet commented on the need to loosen the chain after using. Apparently the chain shrinks when cooling down to the point of possible bearing damage and/or crankshaft deformation. WOW! Never heard of that. Now I'm wondering...what about my larger 310? Or any chain saw, for that matter. Is that a procedure to follow on all saws?

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 12:19:03 AM »
That would only happen if the chain was re tightened when hot. Pretty hard to over tighten the chain when cold on that saw. Don't worry about it.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline clww

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 08:40:57 AM »
I've never noticed that much shrinkage of the chain. New chains I find will take a few adjustments for proper tension until they're "broken in". I have a chain that I used for 4 hours this past Saturday. It was a bit loose when I put the saw up and it looks like it has the same amount of slack in it this morning, so I don't think it shrank very much in 4+ days.
Many Stihl Saws-16"-60"
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 11:31:39 AM »
If you are running hot, most of the chain shrinkage will happen in the first 5 minutes or so after you stop cutting.

I don't notice it much when felling -- I guess things have enough time to cool off between cuts as I move from tree to tree. I do see it when bucking hardwoods for firewood -- I tend to get a lot more continuous use then.

John Mc
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 02:54:25 PM »
Evidently it over tightens the chain to start with, this would be the only reason to have to loosen every time after using.
I sure wouldn't care for that set up

In all my years running a chainsaw, sawing 10 cds of fire wood up in one day, felling, bucking, ect, i have never seen a chain get shorter.

I've had guys run the chain to tight, smoke'em hot, talk about a dummy, when you let up on the throttle and the chain stops its to tight.

Its about the hardest thing on a saw, next to no oil in the gas.

I used to tell my men, I'd rather see a loose chain than a chain to tight. 
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline tyb525

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 03:15:12 PM »
I do it in the winter when it is very cold, dunno if it helps or not, but I'd rather do that than risk having it tighten up.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 03:56:31 PM »
Only time I run a loose chain is in a speed bucking competiton. Chain side straps sags about a 1/4" below the middle of the bar's bottom rails.  Work tensioned chains don't work as good in this application. [time yourself with a stop watch and see for yourself]
Only exception in competiton I keep the chain work tensioned is on my bikesaw with its deep belly bar.

Willard.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline CX3

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 04:06:30 PM »
Dont worry about that on any small saw.  Where the idea comes from is loggers with very long bars(in excess of 3 ft bar) and using them in very cold conditions like 20 below.  When the steel in the chain heat up it expands.  Over the course of a long bar, the expansion is much greater than with your 14" bar or whatever you have on the small saw.  Well it the logger tightens the chain up real tight, runs it til its nice and hot, then shuts it off and it cools very fast in the frigid temps, it can crack the crank in a big saw.  I seriously doubt any one messes with loosening the chain every time you shut it off
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 04:38:00 PM »

 That is the first I have ever heard of a chain breaking a crankshaft, that must be dam good chain. I don't thnik I can get that here.
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline John Mc

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 07:59:09 PM »
Well if the logger tightens the chain up real tight, runs it til its nice and hot, then shuts it off and it cools very fast in the frigid temps, it can crack the crank in a big saw.  I seriously doubt any one messes with loosening the chain every time you shut it off

I thought the problem came when you ran the saw till the chain got hot & expanded (loosening the chain), then tightened it while it was still hot. It would shrink as it cooled, tightening even further.

If you tighten it when cold, heat it up, then let it cool back off, all that will happen is it will tighten back up to where you originally had it once it cools.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mrcaptainbob

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 11:29:30 PM »
Personally I agree with all what you guys are saying. I was really intrigued to have read it in the Stihl Manual for that saw. (I believe it's a 190).

Offline SawTroll

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Re: Smaller Stihl...
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 04:57:32 PM »

If you tighten it when cold, heat it up, then let it cool back off, all that will happen is it will tighten back up to where you originally had it once it cools.

Yes, basically. What can result in damage is tightening when hot, and failing to loosen it before it cools off again.
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