Help a lady put here chain saw back together
March 30, 2014 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I have a Poulan 14" electric chain saw that I needed the chain replaced. In doing so I ended up practically taking the whole thing apart. I did find an exploded diagram and got it back together - however, the 2 long bolts that you loosen before you tighten the chain do not seem long enough for the nuts to screw on to.

I did this once before and ended up leaving the washer off and barely got the nuts on but the chain came off after a few cuts.
I have taken it apart again and there are no stray leaves or anything between the pieces that would thicken the span for the bolts to pass thru. The nuts are beneath the handle and help hold the blade in place.
I figure if I am leaving a washer off and still cannot get them to bolt then I am doing something wrong- not a good feeling with an electric cutting chain.

Anybody have this issue before?
posted by shaarog to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Can you post a photo or two? We can see where you are getting stuck.

And does your diagram look something like this? I can't remember for sure but I seem to remember a similar part to #37 on our Stihl. I think I always want to put that on after the bar but it goes first.
posted by Beti at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2014

Could you link to the exploded diagram, or give us a model number?

I'm most familiar with gas chain saws, and a common configuration is that the bolts that hold the bar are inserted through holes in the side of the bar oil reservoir and must be rotated so that the head of the bolt drops into a matching recess inside the oil tank; if they're not positioned properly then the stud is shortened by the depth of the interior recess. Not knowing the details of your particular saw, this is only a guess.
posted by jon1270 at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is the chain tensioner fitting into the bar properly? If not it will keep the bar from being tightened. Try backing out the tensioner - like you were loosening the chain, then pull the nose of the bar outward to pull the chain snug. The tensioner should drop into place on the bar and then you can adjust the chain tension and tighten the nuts holding the bar. You should pull the nose of the bar upward while you adjust the chain tension.
posted by X4ster at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

You are off by quite a bit (more than a washer) if you can't even get the threads to bite.
Is it possible you put the bolts back in from the wrong side? Take them out and look for a recess like jon1270 mentioned.
The recess might be hexagonal to fit the bolt heads. That way you don't need to hold them with a wrench when using a socket on the nuts.
Then try inserting the bolts from the opposite side.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:40 AM on March 30, 2014

If you put the washers on the bolt heads rather than the nuts, they may be preventing the hex heads from dropping into the recesses.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

If the nuts are in hex shaped holes, they may be pushed out; pull the bolts out a little, then use a screwdriver or something to push the nuts deeper. Then try to get the bolts started by turning as you push them in.
posted by 445supermag at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks you wonderful people! The problem was twofold. The hex bolts indeed needed to be seated into the recess and the little nobbie that is attached to a screw that you turn to tighten the chain after a few cuts was not seated in the hole in the blade so it added an eighth or an inch or so.

All back together and ready to cut something!
posted by shaarog at 3:55 PM on March 30, 2014

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