data-csrf="1656477989,561c50c6e0dad25772f48b366f40d43b" 044: Spark or Lean? | As Real As It Gets

044: Spark or Lean?

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
Haven't done much sawing in the last two years...pulled out the 044 yesterday to cut some firewood. The first half dozen cuts in some 16"-ish dia alder went fine, and then it started to miss. It didn't fade, rather it'd miss and jerk when the chain slowed and grabbed, then get back with the program. Is this consistent with leaning...cracked boot or fuel line, or is it more like temp-dependent spark issues?
 

Driftin'

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2009
2,213
11
Offshore
Likley bad fuel/air/exhaust flow....

Clean air filter/screen.

Clogged spark arrestor. Remove it, hold with needle nose pliers and hit it with a propane torch for a couple seconds until it is clean.

Fuel line/filter. Replace both if #1 fails.

Wood dust in the carb. Remove the carb and clean all jets/ports/check diaphragm. For the virgins, Youtube is your friend....

If you haven't done so in many moons, grease the clutch bearing via the hole in the center of the crank shaft on the clutch side. Clean out crud first.

Should run strong like my 50 yo Jonny.
 
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CaptArab

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2021
75
12
I've always wanted an 044 but my 372xp keep on truckin'. Its my favorite old school Stihl.

But I'm just a 2 chords-per-year guy so my opinion on saws ain't worth much.
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
Ha, the muffler only looks like one; it has no guts. The air filter wasn't too different than normal but did shake out the prefilter cover thingy...looking at an aftermarket one of those by Outerwears. Will dig in after the fuel line. Thanks!
 

cwh

Administrator
Nov 18, 2007
4,520
93
Anchorage
That time of year I guess. I started the 372xp and the cord didn't want to rewind. Broken spring - had to cut my 3 beetle kill spruce with the backup saw. Not nearly as much fun, but I managed to avoid hitting any buildings.

2 of the 3 were rotten in the center at the butt, so glad got it done. New spring came in today and she's back up and running.
 

dznnf7

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2016
527
19
Good Lord no. Live a little, man. Buy a decent saw. Buy two so you have a real spare, come to think of it.
 
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Driftin'

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2009
2,213
11
Offshore
I'm likin' your thinkin'.

The new 572XP was lovingly tweaked by Donny Walker and after a couple gallons of go-juice to loosen her up, I'm truly impressed and look forward to laying up the wood over the coming months....
 

cwh

Administrator
Nov 18, 2007
4,520
93
Anchorage
Good Lord no. Live a little, man. Buy a decent saw. Buy two so you have a real spare, come to think of it.

Lol. As the world's cheapest gentile, it took me a long time to buy a pro saw. No regerts there, and can't see going back.

I'd still buy an 044 if I found one that wasn't insanely priced, and just prepare myself for disappointment when stacked up to the 372:)

There is one for sale locally for $1200!
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
This is the 044 that I loaned out to a coworker, which cured me of ever loaning out a nice saw again. Don't know what he fed it...I left him with full tanks and not much work left to do, but it came back with a toasted crank bearing and a smeared piston. Felt like my dog died.

It then sat partially disassembled in a box in the tool chest for a couple years. I bought a bailey's 046 big bore cylinder kit, did a little grinding on the ports to (IMO) improve shape and flow, ground the case to clearance the 54mm piston, spent a fortune on crank bearings and peripherals, and it's been quite a ripper ever since. The piston change from 50mm 044 stock to 54mm 046 big bore results in 82ccs displacement now.

I just went out to see if maybe something had lodged in the high speed jet...started it up, warmed it, checked low speed, then while checking full throttle for 4-stroking or overspeed, it oversped, lost spark and croaked. I'm thinking there's an ignition issue afoot, but am also not ruling out a lean issue because it went from the saw I know and love, to one that oversped for a bit, to the no-spark croak. Still hard compression so no worries there yet.

Anyway, I have OEM rubbers on the way (fuel, impulse) and an imposter boot since OEM are either $$ or hard to come by, and now am thinking I'll get a coil coming too.

Also bought an open-box cs-590 from Ebay for $365 so will see how that one does. They apparently do well with a carb adjustment, cylinder base gasket delete, and a bit of muffler roto-rooting, all of which is allegedly expedient.

There are some fun threads on the OPE forum and arboristsite about 046 to 044 conversions. If my 046 Chineseum big bore piston/cylinder take a dump, if someone on here has a used OEM 046 cylinder I'd like to give that one a shot on my 044 carcass with a new Meteor piston...

Need to have more than one big Frankensaw on hand for when this happens. Will sniff around for another toasted candidate for rebuilding.
 

cwh

Administrator
Nov 18, 2007
4,520
93
Anchorage
It seems like used saws are either everywhere and cheap, or unavailable here. Could have something to do with the fact that there are no trees. I have a 262 that I bought parts for but have never put together. It's good to have a solid backlog of projects so you don't run out. :)

Only stihl stuff I have is a pair of 180s. I love those little things.
 
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tnv

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2007
703
9
TN
Vek,
Good luck with it. I've learned the hard way with using ethanol in my small engines. I've had it screw with fuel lines in my KTM and various trimmers and saws. I refuse to use it now. I'll go out of my way to find pure gas or will pay out the nose to use the can fuel.
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
Our little marina has ethanol free, and two different cenex stations 10 miles away have it. All the jerry cans and boat tanks get ethanol free. No telling what the coworker put in it!
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
Chinese coil, OEM fuel and impulse lines, was going to do a new boot but old one is still fine. Pulled cylinder and found no scoring. If I start the saw and run it hard for 3 or 4 cuts in decent size firewood (16" - 20"), it will start to miss. Kill it, set it on the log with the ignition bits in the breeze, and a couple minutes later it runs fine again, for another 3 cuts. Last thing to try is spark plug, though I didn't replace the plug wire when I did the coil. Might reinstall the OEM coil but one thing at a time. Will first try new spark plug NGK or Denso, then new plug wire. Flywheel magnets feel quite strong from when I did the coil.

Got the new 590 Echo going in the mean time. Removed the cylinder base gasket (measured quench at 0.030" afterward), did some muffler gutting, and installed a Tsumara 20" lightweight bar from Amazon. Also defeated the idiot-proofing of the high jet by peening closed the little jet opening that prevents folks from leaning it out too far, but also prevents folks from achieving a decent WOT tune. Pulled the limiters off the adjustments, and it's now a pretty strong little saw. Pretty happy with that one, and it uses a lot less fuel than the big saw.

Found an old West German 024 super sitting around at the farm...will see about getting that one back to life also. More of a toy there but maybe a handy travel saw for hunting trips. I pulled the muffler and the piston looked NEW, so shouldn't take too much work unless the rubbers are shot.
 
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Driftin'

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2009
2,213
11
Offshore
Nothing like working inventory! Sounds like you've got the 044 sussed out. With the fuel system work you've done, I'd agree that it's likely the coil crumping out when it gets toasty.

Been running the Walkerized 572XP a fair bit and really enjoying its mannerisms. Good low end grunt in the smaller stuff with the smooth transition to a Tasmanian Devil in the bigger hardwoods....
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
The little 024 went back together fine. Still waiting on the little kill switch contact that's broke but can jump it with a tuning screwdriver for now. Waiting also for the rim sprocket clutch conversion setup. Removed the base gasket, reinstalled cylinder, found an already-doctored muffler, and it started right up but running funny. Found the idle screw way out, the L screw out 4 turns, and the H screw seated...Turn 'em until it works I guess. It settled into running peachy with both screws out a turn and idle down to normal. Easy running saw.
 

Driftin'

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2009
2,213
11
Offshore
There are some good Youtube vids on chainsaw H/L screw adjustments, but like most things, one has to separate the wheat from the chaff....

Here are my notes from some years back.



4:20 Turn carb idle screw in slowly until chain just starts to move. Low idle screw is closest to the cylinder. Turn CW until rpm’s start to drop and then CCW until rpm’s also just start to drop + ¼ turn. Leave it there.

5:50 Adjust idle screw until chain just stops moving.

7:50 High rpm screw-more turns CW makes more rpm’s. Max is approximately 11,800. Don’t run it too fast! Stihl EDT 7 or 8 tachometer.
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
I set the H where it would "4-stroke" at no load (presuming the coil wasn't rev-limited and giving me a false impression), but switch to running clean when buried in wood with a sharp chain. That's probably plenty rich... Don't have a tach, yet. I might have my idle directions screwed up...basically before I messed with it the butterfly was held open a lot to compensate for the super rich idle setting. As I dialed down the L screw to figure out where it was, the saw started running quite fast due to the throttle opening held open by the idle screw. I killed it then to see just how far L was open and it went in another 3 turns or so! Backed both H and L out 1 turn from closed, started the saw and dialed down the idle speed, and went from there tuning L and H.
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
42,227
375
Paradise
Steve should stick to drinking.

I've always tuned by ear and never missed a lick. Quality fuel and mix is the tough one and I'm a Klotz Slut..............
 

myname

Well-known member
Feb 21, 2009
174
15
WI
Not to hijack, but since were talking saws - I have a Stihl 361, hard to start, have to keep hitting the throttle (dies while idling), & once it dies is a bitch to get restarted. Thinking fuel line or related?
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
42,227
375
Paradise
After time,ALL fuel supply lines get soft and collapse when running,which do no Race Track favors.

A vented gas cap,solves more than a few issues too.............(grin)
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
366
4
I need to look into the tank venting...but I'm business-as-usual by checking the easy stuff last.
 

Driftin'

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2009
2,213
11
Offshore
One last potential source of woe--

Found out about a decade ago that some synthetic 2T oils don't make nice with the natural options. If one switches one for t'other sans a tank rinse, or adds one to t'other in the tank, you can end up with a thin black film on all the surfaces of the tank and carb internals that peels off in sheets like a lepper. One had to change fuel line, filter, scrub-a-dub the tank and tear down the carb to get it running right. Don't ask how I know....

Perhaps your pard that borrowed your beloved 044 used what go juice he had on hand. Might be worth a call to ask what he used.