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Bar & Chain oil

Discussion in 'Non-Mopar Tech Support' started by Scrounge, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Is it necessary to use bar & chain oil for chainsaw lubrication? I found a few free quarts at the hazardous waste facility, and have been using them, but am running out because my electric chainsaw leaks pretty bad (I've already tried to find the leak, but where the line goes, I'd have to remove two screws that holds the engine, and I stripped them). On the last quart, it says it's 30 weight oil. Can I just use straight 30 weight motor oil instead, or does the bar & chain oil have some special properties? Up here, there's a small container of 3-in-one oil in the shed that's 20 weight, and yesterday, I squirted a few drops of it into the chain groove every few minutes, so far without problems.
     
  2. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    This is one discussion about substituting engine oil for chainsaw bar oil. Engine motor oil has additional additives which are probably of no value on a chain saw. Chain saw oil does not have to contend with combustion gas blowby, etc. If you purchased the additive that makes chain saw bar oil sticky then it would probably be satisfactory. But the cost savings advantage would probably disappear. It seems to me that keeping the oil on the chain to reduce wear has high importance on a chain saw.

    The same argument could me made for motorcycles with chain drive to the rear wheel. One could use motor oil sprayed on the chain. But during operation the oil gets thrown away from the chain and makes a mess. No oil, chain and sprockets wear MUCH faster.

    Since chain saws are susceptible to extreme wear and dull quickly, i would think one would want to use any means to make that chain last as long as possible. But it is your choice.

    Think Again Before Using Old Motor Oil as a Chainsaw Bar Lubricant. (at https://www.thoughtco.com/using-regular-motor-oil-chainsaw-bar-1342724 )
     
    #2 AllanC, Aug 26, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
    Scrounge and tomit like this.
  3. tomit

    Ad-Free Member

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    I use 5W-30 in my motorcycle chain oiler (drip type). It's messy and fiddly, but when working right, chain is lubed and clean (dirt is throw off with the oil). Got 35K on the original chain and it's still working well.
     
  4. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    The link says a "high-tack additive" is in bar & chain oil, but he didn't say which one. Maybe that's why I have to add the 3-in-1 so often. It's old, but it isn't used. I have a very small bit of bar & chain oil here, so I'll use it until I use it up.

    The chainsaw itself cost me $15 used more than 2 years ago. I'm in the process of removing an old apple tree, and it just needs to last me that long (or not, if I use the bow saws for some limbs). Once this Michigan business is done, I'll look for a better one.
     
  5. ptschett

    ptschett Well-Known Member

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    They do work better with the bar & chain oil. Per my dad his Stihl needs a refill of the bar & chain oil about every other fuel fill. (I know this because I was just running it last weekend, helping remove some windstorm-destroyed trees from a pioneer cemetery near the family farm; when the fuel ran out I found the bar oil tank was also out, and it sure seemed like it cut better with both refilled.)

    35K on a motorcycle chain is amazing to me, but my bike was a dual-sport so I was riding on dirt/gravel roads & forest trails half the time and wearing out chains every 15K or so. I used Maxima 'chain wax' most of the time on that, and kept a WD-40 aerosol can in my tool kit box if I was riding enough miles to need to re-lubricate before I got home. FWIW the chain wax has been good for squeaky car door hinges & my clothes dryer's belt tensioner pulley too.
     
  6. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    In a pinch motor oil can be used for the bar & chain, but I wouldn't do it as a regular practice. As the article Allan posted indicates bar oil has an tacky additive that helps hold the oil to the chain & bar for good lubrication.

    In regards to motorcycle chain oil, when I had a motorcycle I used an oil spray that had a similar tacky additive to help hold it to the chain and not get thrown off easily. For both chainsaws and motorcycles, it's recommended to check the chain tension often. They will stretch out over time. Harley-Davidson had the best idea with using rubber drive belts instead of chains. I would have bought a H-D, but at the time they were very unreliable. Ended up with a Kawasaki instead.
     
  7. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's call this a pinch. I've not been using this saw heavily, and I squirt oil in the groove before cutting a limb. The job is almost finished, so I don't expect problems with it.

    Stihl has an excellent reputation, and a price to match it. The one I'm currently using is a Homelite 16". I previously bought a Craftsman 18" that worked great, until a part inside of the motor that made the chain spin went bad. That part is no longer available. That seems to be a problem with Sears merchandise (a similar experience with one of their electric typewriters years ago); maybe that's one reason why they're having financial problems these days.
     
  8. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so you wanna go cheap with oil.
    - use a dedicated chain and bar oil for motorsaws only..
    Why?
    - they have an enormous tackyness needen to stay on the chain and bar. Essential for chain and bar Life, chains and bars are more expensive than oil.
    - you stand and Breathe in the oil that the saw is throwing around you, Engine oil can and does contain things that isnt needed and isnt good for you to inhale. This is also the reason that you should use a premix alkylate gasoline also.
    Make sure your chain is Sharp and tensioned.
    - Make sure that the throw stop is working.
    - There is a reason that they sell clothing for chainsaw protection.
    - Always hold the saw with two hands!
    - Never work above your shoulders!
    - Never use the tip of the sword and keep an Eye of were it is when working.
    - When delimbing the tree, work on the outside of the tree. And let the saw slide on the bottom or silencer so you dont have to carry the saw.
    - Never cut into the ground or belive that its capabel of cutting Nails unless your really fond of either sharpening or waisting time.
    Its quite fun to use a motorsaw when the chain is Sharp, a dull chain quickly destroys your day.
     
  9. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    It should not be hard to find the proper product, so I'd get it and save money in the long run.
     
  10. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    And don't cut the extension cord with the saw!

    And don't fall from the ladder!

    The tree has 3 more smaller limbs I can cut with the chainsaw, on a much larger limb that I'll probably have to cut with the 30" bow saw. After that, there are just larger limbs, which I'd like to have a longer chainsaw for. I've been cutting branches from fallen limbs with the smaller bow saw to keep from using the chainsaw more than necessary.

    I sharpened the chain before bringing the saw up north. Don't know how much longer that will last, so maybe I should bring the files up there when I return. This saw has a good tensioner that stays where I set it.
     
  11. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    Actually you dont work from a ladder....
    - anyway, why use a bowsaw? Ok so im almost a professionell in lumbering but..
    There aint no such thing as to thick, you simply work from different directions and Always make sure that
    have any tensions in the limbs or the tree under Control.
    - for a beginner it maybe wise to cut the limb from the outside in so its tension is gradually removed, you can also relive tensions by cutting the main "body" of the tree first.
    Remeber if a "body" or a limb is carrying wheigt you have to cut it on the part that have tension not pressure in it.
    - generally you can cut half the thickness on the pressure side and then make the final cut on the tension side.
    Again...
    - make sure you hold the saw with two hands below your shoulders. ( actually preferable below your hipps for your back safety.)
    - take it slowly and remove anything you can trip on as your work progress.
    - never use the sword tip unless you really know what your doing.
    - keep the chain Sharp, lubed and tensioned. ( you should not be able to lift the drive tooth out of the bar and it should be slightly hard to slide the chain on the bar. A to loose chain can jump out of the bar or behave like its dull
    since the depth gage will tip up ( the tooth like part that actully runs Before the cutting tooth))
    - dont carry the saw when delimbering let it slide on the "body", work on the outside with the body between you and the chain. When a side is finished, turn the tree 90 deg and continue.
     
  12. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    If I can't reach it from the ground, I'll pay a professional. Stay safe.
     
  13. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I found a small oil can on the work bench that I added some of the bar & chain oil to, and have been using that to add oil to the bar. The retainer clip for the sprocket and its washer somehow came off the other day. According to some online sources, this seems to be a fairly common problem with this model. I found a replacement at a hardware store for 30 cents, and it's been working ever since.

    Regarding the ladder, this is a fruit tree, which is supposed to be trimmed to grow toward the sides rather than straight up, so that the fruit can be easily picked. But it had been trimmed to grow straight up, and since it was close to both the house and the power and phone lines, I didn't want any of the limbs to cause damage if they fell. But the job is almost finished, so that danger is passed. For those who want a shade tree in their yard, I'd recommend something other than a fruit tree.
     
  14. Meester Beeg

    Meester Beeg Active Member

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    Use the bar oil. Its cheaper than bars and chains.
    Motorcycle chains have come a long way over the years. The better ones hqve o rings that keep the dirt out of the rollers. DO NOT use WD 40 on chains. It does not lubricate...it instead washes any lube out and attacks the o rings if equipped and the chain gets ruined. Instead carry chain lube if you carry anything.
    Belt drive? Cars use shaft drive and did away with chains and belts.
    Stihls cost a bit more. Why? They are worth it. And made in Virgina Beach, VA.
     
    DC-93 likes this.
  15. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Didn't know that WD40 attacks (synthetic) O-rings (since it is harmless on rubber parts). But, I learn something every day. :eek:
     
  16. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Most motorcycle manufacturers have stayed with chain or belt drives. The only ones to use shaft drive were Yamaha and BMW. Some Honda's had shaft drive, but not the entire fleet.

    In the early 80's Yamaha went exclusively with shaft drive (for street bikes) and sales plummeted. Yamaha eventually went back to chains. At one point you could purchase a shaft drive Yamaha (new) for a song. There was something about the shaft drive Yamaha's that just felt different.

    Believe it or not, the H-D bikes with belt drives were fairly reliable. This was at a time when H-D's were not very reliable.
     
  17. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    The tree has been reduced to a stump almost level to the ground. I drilled holes and put some stump remover in them before returning to Texas. I brought the saw back, as I don't see using it any more up there.

    The WD in WD-40 stands for water displacement. I'd heard that kerosene was among their ingredients; here's what Wikipedia reports:

    WD-40 - Wikipedia (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40 )

    Stihls cost a lot more, but you definitely get professional grade. Were money no object, I'd buy one. Or a Husky.
     
  18. Meester Beeg

    Meester Beeg Active Member

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    Not true Yamadog went strictly shaft drive. The Virago series and XS 7550/850 triples was shaft but the XS 650 had chain drive along with the FZ crotch rockets. The Viragos felt wierd because of the short swingarm. The XS 1100 was fine. I had a XS850 and it felt normal to me. Of course I was used to shafts as I had a Wing, Concours and Guzzis.
    Stihls really arent much more than "cheap" saws. And if you use it a lot the difference is worth it.
     

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