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The Husqvarna 346xp story

Discussion in 'Chainsaws' started by livemusic, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. livemusic

    livemusic Super OPE Member

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    It seems the 346 has somewhat of a cult following. I have seen posts about it being the "best chainsaw ever" or something to that effect. No doubt, a great power to weight ratio. So, why did they kill it? And, first, they had the 346xp, and then the 346xpne. Why did they put out the 'ne' version, what necessitated that? Would love to know the story from those in the know, or your opinions as to why it's no longer made.

     
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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #3 by cus_deluxe, Aug 11, 2019 (4 points)
  3. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe ONE OF THE WORST!!

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    they had to go to strato technology for emissions reasons would be my guess. the first 346 was 42mm and is great for limbing and small stuff, but the NE was 44.3mm and just makes more power. they put cat mufflers on some the smaller saws in the 3-series for a bit and called them e-tech.
     
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  4. cus_deluxe

    cus_deluxe ONE OF THE WORST!!

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    Best Answer
    and also, the 346 can tip over on flat ground. not many chainsaws can do that.
     
  5. Derf

    Derf Pinnacle OPE Member

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    The posts about the best chainsaw ever are rather old. It was the lightest, strongest, fastest 50cc saw in its time. It was also faster and lighter than the 50cc Stihl 026/260. It was a smidge behind the Dolmar 510 in torque, but was lighter and easier to maneuver, and with a 16” bar you really didn’t notice the power difference unless the bar was buried. Echo didn’t even have the 490 yet I don’t think, but if it did it was lighter and faster than it.

    The 346xp was originally 46cc, as it evolves from the 246xp, which was 46cc and an “upgrade” over the 242xp at 42cc. Back in the 2-series days, there was a 242xp, a 246xp, and then a 254xp at 54cc. When the 3-series came about the 242xp was never made, the 254xp was “upgraded” to the 357xp at 57cc, and there was a hole in the lineup between 46cc and 57cc. So the 346xp was quietly upgraded with a new cylinder to 50cc to fill the gap mid production cycle. People on forums called it the new edition or NE, and the older 46cc version the original or old edition OE.

    The EPA mandates for cleaner emissions killed the saw off. It was a quad-port design, but it lacked the “stratified” design that Husqvarna now calls x-torq. Basically, it was a simple version of mix charge (fuel + air) filling the combustion chamber after detonation. That mix charge was responsible for chasing out the spent gas emissions from the cylinder. Some of that mix charge leaked out with the emissions, and the EPA said that’s bad. Strato technology, developed in house by Zenoah, and acquired by Husqvarna, was a new intake system that chased out spent emissions with fresh air before filling the combustion chamber with new mix charge. Less mix charge leaked out and the emissions were cleaner. Also, fuel economy improved.

    The 550xp was the successor to the 346xp. It used the strato technology, as well as autotune, and was lighter than the 346xp. It was also faster out-of-the-box than a 346xp, although a 346xp ported was faster. Porting a 550xp yielded smaller marginal returns as Husqvarna left less on the table to gain back. While most people appreciate all these improvements, some still bemoan that the end user can’t fix an autotune problem, and that it requires dealer support with cable/software to connect to the saw. However, the 550xp was a worthy replacement of the 346xp, improving it in several ways.

    The new 550xp Mark II is an official upgrade from Husqvarna on the chassis with noticeable changes to address poor air filtration at the filter neck, and heat removal from the cylinder. One of the main issues with strato technology, is that the fresh mix charge also cools the piston and cylinder, and by chasing the exhaust gases out with just air, the engine runs much hotter. This heat can creep into the carb and fuel lines, boiling fuel and vaporizing it out of the carb, which on subsequent use causes no-start symptoms. The Mark II was primarily aimed at solving this hot start issue.


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  6. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Super OPE Member

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    I have not had the pleasure of running one but it seems those that have really like them and hang on to them. I have seen a lot of them sell for premium prices on eBay.

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  7. shadco

    shadco Ban Hammer Custodian GoldMember

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    Unless

    25E44757-BF62-43E0-9959-3BC338C1EB3E.jpeg

    .
     
  8. a. palmer jr.

    a. palmer jr. Super OPE Member

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    I've hung onto mine for several years now and I do think they're a great saw. Mine is an older version made before the EPA crap ruined many things beside saws... 346-1.JPG I also own a 353 and really can't tell much difference...
     
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  9. J. Loe

    J. Loe Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Thanks for the rundown man

    I’ve been looking for something like that for years.

    What then, is the most desireable 346 then?
    The pre Strato 50cc edition?
     
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  10. KYsawman

    KYsawman Pinnacle OPE Member

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    The 346xp is still available in overseas markets along with the 61,272xp and 372xp non strato. The emissions is the reason for the discontinuing in the north American market. The 61 and 272xp are now made in the Brazilian husqvarna plant along with the 395. It seems that they move the products that don’t pass the sticker emissions to the market where it is not a problem.
     
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  11. shadco

    shadco Ban Hammer Custodian GoldMember

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    I like the 2018 NE version from Greece, with unlimited coil, 357 carb filter intake tract muffler modded, base gasket delete, squish cut, timing advanced, and ported.

    A8ECF6C6-D760-4DE9-A163-253A6803C621.jpeg

    3628C969-0C69-48F3-8FEE-762D8977CBDF.jpeg

    9311C414-B171-402D-9DD8-EB856AD6E3F6.jpeg

    .
     
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  12. huskihl

    huskihl Sausage Fingers Forever

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    I believe the epa killed the oe 346, as they added more restrictions to sub-50cc saws. So Husky added 2.3mm to the bore to get it above 50cc
     
  13. Dub11

    Dub11 Some body poisoned the watering hole! GoldMember

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    Yup
     
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  14. foeke

    foeke Well-Known OPE Member

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    I love working with my 353. I used the 550 xp and thought it was more powerfull burried in oak but didn't sound as smooth.
    The handeling on both is kind of perfect.
    And the other reason why I still use that 353 is that it never skips a beat. For 6 years and I would guess at least 200 m3 (solid).

    I was thinking of replacing it after 3 years ago, thinking it would start to act up soon.
    Than the 550 xp horror stories started and I thought I would replace it as soon as that moment came instead of preventive.
    The 5105 would be my choice right now. Tad less on the handeling front, same power as the 550 xp II. Bit better torque I think (might also be because of the different sound).

    If the 346 xp was still available, that would be my choice without a doubt.
    Even with the 5105 and 550 xp around. Handeling and durability is more important to me than emissions (not unimportant, just less).

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G955F met Tapatalk
     
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  15. CR888

    CR888 Here For The Long Haul!

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    The 346 was just one of them saws...
     
  16. Derf

    Derf Pinnacle OPE Member

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    That’s a lot of work on a saw that doesn’t look like it’s getting much use. But that would be the ultimate 346xp (unless you count adding in the generator for heated hand grips.).


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  17. shadco

    shadco Ban Hammer Custodian GoldMember

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    It was new when it was modded (manufacture date 9/18), it gets used now. It's still pretty clean now though.

    .
     
  18. chipper1

    chipper1 Here For The Long Haul!

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    The 346xp is the best saw ever, you'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers, I like when guys say that:jaja-no:.
    And don't tell my 550 that ;). They are one of my favorite saws to run, but the 550 has some great features that the 346 doesn't. The captured bar nuts are a nice time saver(ever have to find one in the brush or snow:confused:), the fuel gauge window is nice, the side tensioner is great, the fuel economy is outstanding(one of the main reasons I run it over the 346's on jobs), the flippy caps are the best, the return to run on the master control switch is also a time saver, and as derf said out of the box they are much quicker than the 346.
    While all the above are true there are a few things that can be done to help the 346 "catch up" in some of these areas, others not so much. The biggest advantage I see with the 346 is that no dealer support is needed like on the 550.
    To bad they went and put that grey paint on it, bring back the all orange, best feature about the early 346!

    Edit; I also personally like the primer bulbs on the 346ne and the 550, it's like a fuel system inspection bubble that doubles as a primer, or is it the other way around. It's nice to grab a saw that hasn't been run in a while prime it and to have it fire up just as if you ran it yesterday. If you go to buy one and the primer bulb looks like crap the fuel system likely needs an overhaul.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  19. livemusic

    livemusic Super OPE Member

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    The underlined part above... curious why you say that?
     
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  20. chipper1

    chipper1 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Same as Derf said in his post, when you have an issue with the electronics on the 346 you diagnose it and then replace the part, on the 550 it's not that easy. Personally I'm making money with my 550's and I buy them used so if I had a problem that was not easily corrected I'd just sell them at a slight loss and grab another one. In reality it wouldn't be a loss because the saw had already made me money and paid for itself. There are plenty of guys who enjoy troubleshooting those type of problems and have access to the dealer computers and would be more than happy to grab one up, but I've never had a problem with the ones I've owned other than a slight bog off idle on an early 550, and most likely knowing what I do now I could have fixed that in about a half hr.
    Basically if there was no computer on the 550 I'd advise everyone to have at least one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  21. HuskyFan1977

    HuskyFan1977 Dave's High Performance Saw Shop GoldMember

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