I realized it was time to change the fuel lines on my trusted Craftsman chainsaw when it started having trouble starting up. After pulling the starter rope a few times, the engine would sputter briefly and then die. I suspected the issue was with the small fuel lines that deliver gas from the tank to the carburetor. If these lines become cracked or brittle over time, it can disrupt the fuel flow and cause performance issues.
Replacing the fuel lines on a chainsaw is one of the more straightforward DIY repairs you can do to restore performance. In this guide, I’ll walk through the complete process, including the tools you need and each step to change out the old fuel lines for fresh, new ones. With proper maintenance like this, your Craftsman chainsaw can keep running like new for years to come.
Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools and Materials
Before starting this repair, I made sure to have the following tools and materials on hand:
- New fuel line kit specifically designed for my Craftsman chainsaw model
- Needle-nose pliers
- Scissors or utility knife
- Small screwdriver
- Clean rags
- Fuel canister to catch drained gas
The fuel line kit was the most important component. It came with pre-cut sections of fuel line tubing designed to perfectly fit my chainsaw make and model. This makes the installation process much smoother than trying to cut generic fuel line to size. The other tools help in maneuvering parts during disassembly and removing the old lines.
Step 2: Drain the Fuel Tank
With the right supplies gathered, I started by draining the existing gas from the fuel tank. This is an essential safety step when doing repairs on any gas-powered equipment. I removed the fuel cap and used a funnel to carefully pour the contents of the tank into an approved fuel storage container.
Taking this precaution ensures there’s no flammable liquid in the tank if you need to test the chainsaw during the repair. A clean, empty tank also lets you install the new fuel lines without contamination from old gas.
Step 3: Remove the Cylinder Shield
The next step was to access the fuel lines themselves. On my Craftsman model, removing the cylinder shield gives you visibility and room to work. This protective metal shield is held in place by two nuts. I unscrewed them slowly by hand to avoid stripping the threads.
With the shield taken off, I could see the fuel lines running from the tank down into the carburetor area. You’ll also notice the spark plug wire and air filter housing attached nearby. Leaving these connected for now lets you test the saw safely later after installing the new lines.
Step 4: Disconnect the Spark Plug Wire and Remove the Air Filter
To create more room and visibility for removing the fuel lines, I went ahead and disconnected the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Removing the air filter housing also helps provide better accessibility.
I was careful when disconnecting the wire and filter so I could easily reconnect them in the same positions later. Avoid pulling too hard on the wire to prevent damage to the spark plug.
Step 5: Remove the Fuel Filter
My Craftsman chainsaw has a small fuel filter fitted where the line connects to the tank. To detach this filter, I squeezed the retaining tabs on either side and gently pulled it off the tank fitting.
This exposed a short section of the old fuel line. I made note of how it connected into the tank and carb for reference when installing the new line. The filter itself just pulls off the old line. A replacement filter typically comes with the new fuel line kit.
Step 6: Replace the Damaged Fuel Lines
With the old fuel lines detached, it was time to install the fresh lines from my kit. I made sure to handle the new fuel tubing carefully and cut it to equal lengths for each side as specified in the kit instructions.
The new lines push onto the tank and carb fittings just like the old ones. Taking care to route them exactly like the originals ensures proper fuel flow. I attached the new fuel filter to one line in the same spot as before. With everything connected securely in place, I double-checked the fittings.
Step 7: Reassemble the Chainsaw
After confirming the new fuel lines were installed correctly, I was ready to reassemble my Craftsman chainsaw. I attached the air filter housing and spark plug wire how they were originally positioned.
With the cylinder shield nuts tightened back into place by hand, the fuel line replacement was complete. I added fresh gas to the tank and pulled the starter rope. The engine started up immediately, running smoothly like normal.
Chainsaws require attentive maintenance and occasional repairs to keep performing at their best. Fresh fuel lines ensure smooth starting and reliable engine operation. Clearing debris from the oiling system allows the bar and chain to stay lubricated and protected.
Following the steps in this guide, you can replace damaged fuel lines on a Craftsman chainsaw yourself. Diagnosing issues like a Stihl chainsaw not oiling lets you pinpoint solutions to restore function. With proper care and maintenance, your chainsaw can handle all your woodcutting tasks for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I change the fuel lines on my chainsaw?
It’s a good idea to replace the fuel lines on your chainsaw every 2-3 years. Over time, exposure to gasoline and oil causes the tubing to degrade. Cracked or brittle fuel lines can disrupt engine performance. Proactively changing them prevents issues down the road.
What are the signs of a damaged fuel line in a chainsaw?
Difficulty starting, sputtering, stalling shortly after starting, and reduced power are common signs of a failing fuel line. Fuel may also leak from cracked tubing. Visually inspect the lines for cracks, brittleness or other damage. If you notice any of these issues, new fuel lines may be needed.
Can I use any fuel line for my Craftsman chainsaw?
It’s best to use the factory specified fuel line for your particular Craftsman model. The size, material, and fittings are designed specifically for your chainsaw. Universal or off-brand fuel line could have compatibility issues that affect performance.
How do I know if my chainsaw’s oil pump is working properly?
Check that the chain and bar remain wet with oil throughout cutting sessions – a dry bar indicates lack of oiling. Also look for oil leaking from the saw. You can remove the bar and chain to inspect the oil outlet for blockages. If oil flow seems low, the pump may need replaced.
What type of oil should I use for my chainsaw’s bar and chain?
Use a high quality bar and chain oil designed specifically for chainsaws. It has tackifiers that help the oil stick and adhere to the bar and chain. Regular motor oil is too thin and will not properly lubricate cutting components.
How can I prevent my chainsaw’s fuel lines from getting damaged?
Avoid pulling on the fuel lines and expose them to sunlight and chemicals. Promptly replace damaged caps that can allow debris inside. Use fuel stabilizer and drain the tank for long-term storage. Following fuel line replacement intervals will provide fresh tubing periodically.
Can I replace the fuel lines on other chainsaw brands using this guide?
While the general process will be similar, fuel line routing and replacement steps can vary across chainsaw models. Refer to your specific model’s factory service manual for detailed fuel line replacement instructions unique to that saw. Generic guides may not have exact details for your brand.
Michael Boyle is the founder and main author of Chainsaws Finder, boasting over 20 years of experience in the chainsaw industry. Hailing from Texas, Michael combines his extensive knowledge and hands-on expertise to provide reliable advice and top-notch service. His vision is to empower chainsaw users to tackle any project with confidence, making Chainsaws Finder a trusted resource in the field.