Sometime in the distant past, before 1980, I became the proud owner of a brand new state- of-the- art Homelite 360 chain saw. Sometime in the 1990s, I was surprised to find that it was so old that Homelite no longer supported it. Sometime in the '00s while looking for repair parts, I ran accross a discussion board where some young snot announced that "the only good thing about them old saws is that you get a lot more beer cans when you melt them down".This saw has heated my house for 30 years and provided my income for several of those years
In my 60s even then, I became concerned that my trusty and faithful saw would die before I would, leaving me with unpleasant choices. Someone would also ask why an old man needs a chain saw anyway.
I embarked upon a mission to collect old 360 chainsaws. I bought a dead one on ebay, bought a dead one from a friend, and finally bought one that I found at the scrap yard. I was well prepared when my faithful old saw banged to an abrupt halt while cutting at full throttle.
The saw from my friend needed a new "boot", the rubber connection between the carbuerator and the engine. This is not an uncommon failure, and the typical symptom is that the saw will start but not run well. The single biggest problem with these saws I feel are the vibration isolators, and I decided to do something about them before reassembling the sawI ordered a foot of plastic rod from McMaster-Carr, and machined 4 pieces to the dimensions of the rubber parts.
Continuing on, several years ago my saw started to run poorly, like the ignition was breaking up. I found that the little contact spring deep within the spark plug well of the ignition module had broken. I wadded some "brass wool" into it, and things have been fine.
The old saw that "siezed up"?? I started to disassemble it into spare parts and found that a screw head beneath the flywheel had backed out to the point that it bound the flywheel. Easy fix, and now I have two good saws where once I had only one saw that was failing!
Running my "new" saw was a dream. While had the saw apart, I replaced the old and very worn clutch with a much newer one, and took the time to properly sharpen the chain rather than the usual lick- and- a- promise. After cutting the big stump I mentioned above, I salvaged some more figured walnut chunks, cut a truckload of firewood, and was hollowing out the second of two wooden bowls when I noticed that one of the vibration isolator pins had broken.
It had been such a great feeling... knowing that I could push on the saw as hard as I wanted to... that I couldn't help myself, I guess.I have had pins fail before, but I was surprised to discover that this time three of them had failed! The Homelite engineers may disagree if they choose, but the pins are poorly designed; there is too sharp a transition between the threaded part of the pin and the pin itself. Stresses concentrate at that point. Pictured below are the materials I used to make new pins. I bought a foot- long 3/16 drill bit and cut it into lengths that equalled the total pin length. I also bought four 5/16- 18 bolts, grade 2 for easier machining. In retrospect, I probably could have reused the original pin heads.
The bolts were drilled thru with the 3/16 bit and cut to length. I also faced some of the head thickness off and I countersunk the hole in the head so that a tack weld would be more effective. The completed parts are below, along with an original.