Got My Old Homelite XL Chainsaw Running Again !

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It's has been sitting on the shelf for the last 25 years, collecting dirt and dust. These were well made saws. Constructed of all powder coated Aluminum, with very little plastic. And good, strong running engines. So this morning I decided I would try to get it running again. It's been a good saw, but has been badly neglected. And I felt bad about it.

So the first thing I did was open the fuel cap and turn the unit upside down. I thought it was empty, then after about 10 seconds this vile thick snot like substance came running out. It resembled a slimy 90W gear oil. Most likely it's what was left over after what gas was in the tank evaporated over the last 25 years... Yecch!

I filled the fuel tank about half full of fresh 40-1 Tru-Fuel Mix, and swished it around, and let it soak up and absorb whatever assorted crap was left in the tank, while I washed the unit down with some clean Kerosene. And then I blew it all off with compressed air. I wiped it down and detailed it a bit with some WD-40 and a clean, soft cloth. It cleaned up really nice.

After I got it all nice and clean, I pulled the plug and replaced it with a new one. Then I drained the fuel tank again, and filled it with fresh 40-1 Tru-Fuel, with some Sta-Bil added to it. Along with about a tablespoon full of some fresh Husqvarna Synthetic Blend 2-Stroke Oil, to richen up the mixture a bit. (I was able to find the operators manual on line. And Homelite say's it should run on a 32-1 mixture of gas and oil).

I oiled and adjusted the chain, and drained and filled the bar oil tank with some fresh Mobil 1, 10W-40 I had laying around. I really didn't expect it to start. But after a couple of pulls with the choke on, I switched it off, held the throttle wide open, gave it a yank, and it fired right up after the third pull! I was shocked! It stumbled and smoked a bit until it burned all the crap "fuel" out of the lines and carburetor.

Then I let it idle for a few minutes to warm up, while goosing the throttle to draw more of the fresh fuel through the lines, and into the carb. Now at full throttle it really screams! To be honest, it's the best I ever remember it running. I let it get good and warmed up, and all total I burned through about a third of a tank of the fresh, Sta-Bil treated Tru-Fuel.

So now she's good to go. I hate neglecting power equipment. And I thought for sure I was going to have to pull the carburetor off this thing, and soak it. Especially after seeing that nasty crap that drained out of the fuel tank. But she fired right up, saving me a lot of aggravation.

So now between this and my old Honda generator, along with my brand new Echo 8010-T power blower, and my Simpson / Kohler Power Washer, I've got everything all freshly fueled and running like Rolex's. I feel a lot better now!

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nvshooter

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Our family had one of those, too. I kind o' remember the purchase of it in 1979 or 1980. We bought a Buck Stove to heat with firewood. We had a connection who'd bring us wood that was not cut to length or split. We got a better price on it if I cut it to length and split it down for use in the stove. My dad eventually took-over with cutting the wood out of the forests around where we live to this day, and he wore that old XL completely out. His next saw was a Stihl, and he's still using it years and years after its purchase.
 

Ura-Ki

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Back in the 70's and early 80's Homelite were the king of all saws, no Husquvarna or Sthil could match them, and any logging camp worth it's bark was dominated by the Mighty Red Screamin Demons! Got ya a good one ya do, keep it up and it should last you!
 
OP
billt
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I heard of a trick for cleaning out neglected fuel systems on small gas engines, that I was going to attempt to use on my saw...... But fortunately didn't have to. I had heard that after washing out the tank with fresh fuel, you then fill the fuel tank with half pure Sta-Bil, plus half Chevron Fuel System Cleaner with Techron, straight from the bottle. (If it's a large tank, just add several ounces of each). This will help cut through any gum or varnish that is clogging up the carb and / or the fuel lines.

After filling the tank with this mixture, put the choke on FULL, and pull the starter through 15 or 20 times to draw the mix into the lines and carburetor. The engine won't run, but this mixture over time will eventually soften up the gunk, and get it through into the engine. I knew a guy who was in no hurry, and did this over a weeks time. Every day after work, going out to the garage and pulling the starter several times.

He said after a week of this, he pulled the spark plug, and he could smell the Sta-Bil and the Techron. The old spark plug was soaking wet with it. He then drained, flushed, and emptied the fuel tank again, and pulled the starter another dozen times or so to push whatever was left, out of the lines and cylinder. He then replaced the spark plug with a new one.

He refilled the tank with fresh fuel, and it fired right up after just a few pulls. He said for about a minute it belched white smoke and sputtered. But once it cleared out the lines of all the cleaner, along with whatever crap was left in the system, and it started drawing fresh gas into the engine, it took off like a pimp chasing a $50 New Orleans hooker. And it's never run better.

On my saw I honestly can't remember if I had used Sta-Bil or not the last time I ran it 25 odd years ago. I'm pretty sure I must have, because after over 25 years that crap would have for certain solidified in the fuel lines, and I would have had a royal mess on my hands. I normally don't neglect things like this. And from now on I'll take better care of the fuel systems on these tools. It's not that hard to do. Especially now that I'm retired. Plus, this Tru-Fuel they sell is much better than the 10% Ethanol pump gas, which starts going bad in just a few months. Plus it comes premixed to whatever fuel / oil ratio you need. If you treat the Tru-Fuel with a bit of Sta-Bil, it will last all but forever. I don't burn enough of it for the cost to be an issue.
 
OP
billt
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I ordered some of this stuff today. It's expensive, but a 1 quart bottle treats up to 512 gallons of gasoline. They say this stuff can even return bad fuel to factory refinery freshness. Seems like the perfect stuff for small engine fuel storage problems.

 

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