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  1. #1
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    Default Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    I have a Stihl MS290 "Farm Boss" saw. Bought it a few years ago and used it very occasionally keeping up the property. This year I've cut down a number of decent sized trees on my lot - and I thought that the bar oiler had been working ok - I saw a small amount of oil on the bar - and the oil resevoir was always going down (had to fill it on every tankful of gas).

    On Saturday I notice that the saw is cutting really bad - right after I sharpened the chain. It's just spitting out sawdust. I check the chain - it's sharp. And there's smoke coming out when I'm cutting - and the bar is looking a little burned. I check the bar - and it's dry. But the oil appears to be going somewhere.

    Is the oiler pump a diaphragm? Because I also noticed right about the same time that saw was getting harder to start. I'm thinking that the saw has been burning up the oil instead of sending it to the bar - because maybe the diaphragm in the pump is bad?

    How hard are these to replace?

    I was halfway thru a tree when this happened and had to keep going and get it down. I still have lot of cutting to do so I need to get it up and working again.

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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    Just a couple of quick things to check. First make sure the oil passages in the bar are clear, that is likely your problem. You can check the oiler by running the saw with the bar and side cover off, you should see oil dripping out of the saw where it meets the bar. The bar oil system cannot get inside the engine so it is not being burned. My guess is that if you have never taken the bar off and cleaned it and considering the infrequent use, it is just gummed up.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    The saw "engine" itself wouldnt be burning the bar oil, they is no way that they would cross contaminate.

    You need to take the side cover, bar and chain off.

    Not only the passage in the bar, but there are passages on the saw side itself that need to be cleaned. Also, there is usually a little metal plate that covers these passages that is held on by one screw, sometimes, like when a chain gets thrown off the bar, it will chew up that metal plate. That metal plate is what forces oil into the bar. It could be leaking out beside that plate and just dripping onto the ground.

    x2 on running the saw @ idle with the bar and chain off and see if oil oozes out.

    No its not a diaphragm pump. Typicall a worm and screw gear.
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    What they said, I take my saws apart and clean them as a lot of junk winds up in there. I have used the new formula Gun Scrubber that won't damage plastics or compressed air and tooth picks and brushes.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    Thanks for the info. Somebody told me (my dad) - that it might be a diaphragm pump. Good to know that it's not going into the engine. I had already taken off the side cover and the bar and was looking around in there to see if there was any evidence of where the oil was going - and it all looked pretty clean. That's what got us thinking that all that oil was going somewhere else - because it wasn't going onto the bar itself.

    I will try starting up the power head and seeing if I get oil flow out of the port without the bar on it. At least that will help narrow it down. I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. You're right Storm56 - I had only used the thing infrequently before - so I had never taken the bar off and cleaned it before. I didn't think I had used it enough to warrant having to do that.

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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    Quote Originally Posted by jim_wilson View Post

    On Saturday I notice that the saw is cutting really bad - right after I sharpened the chain. It's just spitting out sawdust. I check the chain - it's sharp. And there's smoke coming out when I'm cutting - and the bar is looking a little burned. I check the bar - and it's dry. But the oil appears to be going somewhere.
    I noticed this but did not address it in my original post. A properly sharpened chain will not spit out sawdust, regardless of whether the chain is getting oil or not. Also a properly sharpened chain requires very little pressure to cut and should be spitting out "chips", not dust. You may want to revisit the "sharp chain" issue. There is a knack to properly sharpening a chain so that it cuts properly. There are angles that are critical and it takes a more than just grabbing a round file and having at it. It is not hard but does take practice. A good guide is invaluable when learning to properly sharpen a chain.

    I am not a computer whiz and cannot provide a link without some looking, but there is plenty of info on the net to help you with this.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    As all have said above. When cleaning out the slot in the bar wear some gloves or something. They often get a burr on the rails that can be really sharp. I run a small nail or bar cleaning tool down the entire bar each time I take off the side cover.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    There are several videos on You Tube for sharpening. In the woods I don't use a guide, but at home I do which helps to keep the angle correct, when I was doing it more often I didn't need a guide so much and some won't use them. I have even dropped several off to have them sharpened when in a hurry, but like mine better.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm56 View Post
    I noticed this but did not address it in my original post. A properly sharpened chain will not spit out sawdust, regardless of whether the chain is getting oil or not. Also a properly sharpened chain requires very little pressure to cut and should be spitting out "chips", not dust. You may want to revisit the "sharp chain" issue. There is a knack to properly sharpening a chain so that it cuts properly. There are angles that are critical and it takes a more than just grabbing a round file and having at it. It is not hard but does take practice. A good guide is invaluable when learning to properly sharpen a chain.

    I am not a computer whiz and cannot provide a link without some looking, but there is plenty of info on the net to help you with this.
    I'm no expert at it - but I believe I am familiar with how to properly sharpen the chain. Up until now I had been getting those chips you're talking about. I've been using a Dremel tool with the chainsaw sharpening attachment which allows you to get the proper 30 degree angle on the teeth.

    There's actually a PDF on the Stihl site with all the tips about proper chainsaw sharpening. I was just looking at it this morning.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stihl MS290 using up bar oil - but no oil going to bar

    How old is this chain, and have you ever lowered the rakers?? Maybe it has been sharpened enough it is time? The chain could very well be good n sharp, but the rakers are what is causing the dust.

    Not related to the oiling problem though.....
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