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aesmith

MS261 Clutch/Crank

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Hi,

I have an MS261 on offer, but there is wear on the clutch/crank bearing.  I'm trying to see if this is repairable, or whether the crank is goosed.

 

As it stands the clutch drum rocks more than it should, but the saw idles with the brake engaged.  I've tried swapping bits with my MS180, the needle bearings are the same.  Obviously the clutch drums aren't interchangeable but can be slid onto the crank the wrong way round so to speak, with the drum outboard.  So swapping the needle bearings makes no difference - same play on the MS261 and same lack of play on the MS180.  Swapping the drums, the MS261 drum is sloppy when fitted to the MS180, the MS180 drum is snug when fitted to the MS261.  That suggests to me that the play is due to the drum being worn oversize, not the crank being worn undersized.

 

What do people think?   Is there any way I can be reasonably sure the crank is OK, I don't know if anyone would be able tell anything from a photo.

 

Thanks, Tony S

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27 minutes ago, aesmith said:

Hi,

I have an MS261 on offer, but there is wear on the clutch/crank bearing.  I'm trying to see if this is repairable, or whether the crank is goosed.

 

As it stands the clutch drum rocks more than it should, but the saw idles with the brake engaged.  I've tried swapping bits with my MS180, the needle bearings are the same.  Obviously the clutch drums aren't interchangeable but can be slid onto the crank the wrong way round so to speak, with the drum outboard.  So swapping the needle bearings makes no difference - same play on the MS261 and same lack of play on the MS180.  Swapping the drums, the MS261 drum is sloppy when fitted to the MS180, the MS180 drum is snug when fitted to the MS261.  That suggests to me that the play is due to the drum being worn oversize, not the crank being worn undersized.

 

What do people think?   Is there any way I can be reasonably sure the crank is OK, I don't know if anyone would be able tell anything from a photo.

 

Thanks, Tony S

Get  a 562XP . :001_smile: 

Edited by Stubby
  • Haha 2

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Just scrapped a 2 year old very nice condition 261 for having a worn crank where the needle bearing detonated and took out the crank.....shocking build quality!

The crank is 10mm so measure the crank with digital vernier calipers on the very end (should be 10mm) and then on each end of the part of the shaft where the needle bearing usually sits. 0.2mm is excessive and over this is scrap. If you visually inspect the crank shaft under light and magnifying glass, the surface should be very smooth and not look pitted and rough anywhere the bearing sits!

Personally I am appalled that these machines have such a fundamental issue with no recall by the manufacturer as they need constant attention to ensure they don't damage the crank and oiler mechanism!

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Thanks.   On close inspection I can feel some roughness on the crank where the bearing runs.  I guess the bearing failed at some time and has since been replaced, the fitted bearing has metal cage.   I assume if the clutch drum was replaced it would run OK for a time, but the bearing would have a short life and the crank would get progressively worse.  I'm going to pass.  Might have taken the risk if it was dirt cheap as the model seems just what I'm looking for.   I suppose I still find it hard to believe Stihl ran a model with this sort of inherent fault for something like 8 years before getting it resolved (assuming it is in fact resolved now).   Might need to start thinking of the H word ..

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19 hours ago, Stubby said:

Get  a 562XP . :001_smile: 

Serious suggestion?   I was thinking 346 or 550 would be the nearest equivalents, although I'm not sure I fully follow Husq naming logic (346 = 46cc except sometimes it's 50cc)

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6 minutes ago, aesmith said:

Serious suggestion?   I was thinking 346 or 550 would be the nearest equivalents, although I'm not sure I fully follow Husq naming logic (346 = 46cc except sometimes it's 50cc)

Is a 261 61cc ? No its 50.2cc ...equally illogical  . Anyway yes it was a serious suggestion  . Light for a 60cc saw I thought .

Edited by Stubby

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There were changes in bore size on both the MS260 and 346XP, I always put that down to both manufacturers trying to get dominance in this sector of chainsaw!

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id would avoid that saw! we had one with the same issues, ended up putting in new needle bearings in every 5 min and even then the crank had to be replaced.

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1 hour ago, carlos said:

id would avoid that saw! 

Yes, I'm passing.  Just a slight pang in case the owner might just replace the clutch drum and punt it onto some unsuspecting buyer.   

Edited by aesmith

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Definitely kick this one into touch. Stihl should be totally ashamed of the way they treated customers with the issue of crap clutch drums. There should have been a total recall and new drums fitted as default not on an as needed basis.

Brand protection at its worst (and I have a 2018 ms261).

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