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Cutter X

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Hi everybody! I just joined, tho not a newbie. I just found this forum while searching out some expert info on a saw I am keeping alive. Not sure why I haven't found you all before, but my people!!! First a little background so you know who you are dealing with, I'll try to keep it as brief as possible:

As far as this forum is concerned, I am a diy guy from the earliest days of my first vehicle, A Kawasaki Baby Greenstreak 100 that somebody turned in to a flat track bike. That was my first attempt at rebuilding an engine and boy was that fast. Learned about 2 strokes, rotary valves, etc, soon after was a 1974 Yamaha DT175 enduro. I was a Carney for my first job at 19 in 1979 and that was my transportation. I drove the semis that hauled the rides and tossed that on the back of my ride, the Ferris wheel. At one point the crank bearings failed and I pulled that thing apart under the 5th wheel of the Ferris wheel and took the crank in to the Yamaha dealer and they quickly pressed it apart and together while I waited. I returned and reassembled the split cases and the thing ran for years later. I impressed myself.

At 15 years of age my folks moved to the northern Sierra and I took on the task of cutting firewood, which began my career of working in the woods. I bought a 2100 as my first saw and cut large black oaks and dead fir trees, all above the 4' diameter mark, for selling as firewood. Them were the days, cut, and split by hand with a maul and deliver a cord a day with my partner. Only thing we could do for money in that depressed economy. I bought a 181 not long after, which I still have. I used that for slashing log jobs for years, as well as my own firewood and selling firewood commercially. It was worn when I bought it at a pawn shop for $300, not able to support its own weight by the starter handle, yet it still ran like a top other than leaning out if it sat idling long enough. I later discovered this to be the crank seals being hardened from years of use.

I rebuilt this thing a few years ago finally, with a meteor kit which I upgraded to 88 CCs, making this a "188"! Sorta... Runs great. I put in new seals of course. I also got into the Ebay thing, a disease for sure, and bought all the tools for a complete overhaul, all the parts to maintain it and got a 288 xp for $350, that was in great shape. As I fell down the Ebay rabbit hole, I eventually would get great deals on stuff and have to buy it. This led to buying a new tank, new crankcases, new Mahle 88cc top end, and piston to go with, and every single part including all the screws, NOS, OEM ONLY! I have everything to build a brand new OEM Sweden made (US assembled) 288XP! Sitting in it's OEM boxes in a display case, the covers and tank and cases sitting together like a built saw. I even got new full wrap handle bars. All my saws are full wrap. I got lucky and bought a parts lot a few years ago and discovered a NEW UNUSED HD hightop cover, which I had never seen. You all know exactly what I'm talking about. At first, I put that right on the 181 which had a hole cut in the cover, and an aluminum velocity stack and a green weenie pod filter which all the pro loggers were running out here in the sierras. The high top covers that filter, so I thought PERFECT!

Until I found out what that thing is worth. More than the saw! I put that in the case on top of the Display case queen.... Recently found that guy who now makes that cover for about $60 and bought three. Hoorah. All is well in the woods here. A friend with similar disorders, but a confirmed Stihl man, gave me a 2100 that is in pretty good shape. 120 psi of compression, starts on the second pull and pulls the 36" bar quite well! FREE! Why go out and buy a 572???

Well, a forest fire came thorough this year and melted the shelves in our shipping container, the contents of which fell on, and melted around my saw collection. Saved them all with minor damages. Some plastic melted on the shaft of the Stihl pole saw. Lots of thick black soot that smells horribly on every surface. TOXIC!!! It was so bad the fire fighters had to wear respirators with oxygen to go inside the container and pull out the contents. We lost the house and the garage, but NOT my saws! I fired them all up and they all run perfectly. That said, there is some issues:
The handle/tank on the 181 is now so brittle it cracked. broken beyond repair. So I pulled out the computer and started searching to see what the differences are between the old version and the new 288 version. Not much. I found a 288 version for $127 and ordered it, then pulled the one I have out of the display case and began swapping out the parts. Seems to be a perfect match except.... The kill switch was also bad and there is a new revision or 2. One requires you to drill a hole in the case right next to the throttle linkage hole, which sounds dangerous, and screw in a metal screw to hold/ground the switch. I bought one, but I don't wanna drill a hole there. Seems dangerous. The next type which I will try to buy locally tomorrow had 2 spades, one goes to a wire that I will need to ground somewhere. Here is where you all come in? What have you all done about this issue? I'm thinking to run a wire around to where the screws hold down the coil?

I have other 181 questions as well. I kept the original cylinder when I saw what a good one goes for. The piston and cylinder have NO scoring after all those years. Yeah, it's a little sloppy, but I could get a new version of that piston and slap it right in there, but honestly, I looked into the old school thin ring thing: Apparently, so I read, the 2 thin ring piston holds more compression, they just wear out faster? BUT... They hold that compression at LOW rpm better than the one ring, but the one ring allows more to slip by during starting, and combined with the compression release, is easier to start than the older smaller displacement 81 CC with double thin rings. Once up to high chain speed, it doesn't matter, other than the 88 having slightly more power overall. So... Do I look for a set of rings and toss that back together??? Save the Meteor for the next rebuild? Just for the sheer bragging rights of having the original top end still pulling a 36" bar like a new saw?

I have the skills. I even rebuilt a Honda E2000i just because I could. I have a YouTube channel with all this crap on it. Not sure if anybody even cares. There is better stuff out there.

Thanks for reading. Pictures to come eventually. Saw porn.
 
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Cutter X

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Are we allowed to add YouTube links to our channels and videos? I have a series on rebuilding this 181, and a series of falling a bunch of large hazard beetle kill Ponderosa pines with it right after rebuilding it.
 

srcarr52

Shop rat, backyard slice cutter.
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You can post links to videos.
 

Stump Shot

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The switch can go either way with a modern replacement that you care to do, the originals have been nla for quite some time.
If you can find rings for your piston, that may be a good way to go if it's still in good shape, otherwise replace with a 281 and just go with it. Definitely good old saws worth keeping up and running. :)
 

Dogfather

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Cutter X, I sent you a private message re: parts...did you receive it? Check your "in box".
 
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