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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw

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09-09-2010 16:03:05

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Tried to start my 041 AV Stihl Chainsaw to cut a fallen tree off the line fence.It is an older saw with points.Always been a great saw and generally starts on the second or third pull.Not this time!! Cranked and cranked but wouldn't start. Pulled the spark plug and had no spark. Thought maybe the armature had rusted up. Cleaned and checked the armature,cleaned and gapped the points, reassembled, still no spark. Question: How do you check the condenser? Could this be the problem? Thanks in advance for your help.

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09-10-2010 07:05:51

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 Re: Don't over thing the thing . . . in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
Points are a major wear item in 041s. They run pretty fast. And yes, condensor can short out also. That is much more common though in the 031 series. Mostly likely your rubbing block on the Bosch points is worn down, points barely opening, and they might have a light coating of oil on them.

I don't know why anybody's first guess is everythig else but the points. That engine runs a max of 11,000 RPM. That means those points open and close 11,000 times a minute at full speed. 660,000 times in one hour. It's absolutely amazing the points last as long as they do! Let's say you've used that saw 30 years, at 30 hours per year. In that time, the points have opened and closed 10 million times. Roughly equal to a V8 car driven 10,000 miles.

A car with a V8 engine often needs a "tune up" and points-change every 10,000 miles. The average driven car driven 10,000 miles has the points open and close 11 million times.

Anyway, "Occam's Razor" dictates the simplest solution to a problem is often the correct one. In your case, you are WAY overdue for a points-check-up. Back when those saws were current - for professionals, we checked and/or changed points and condensors every winter. Bad coils were very rare. So were shorted condensors in 041s. Dead condensors, yes. O30 and 031 condensors did short a lot.

By the way, the little el-cheap breakerless add-on units don't work very well. And,if you had an 041 AV with Stihl electronic, the parts are not available. Many with older Stihl electronic saws are converting back to points.

I'm still using my 041 AV Super Electronic. Luckily, it has not failed yet. My 045 Super Electronic did. Also still using my 040 (with points).

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09-10-2010 07:18:33

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 Re: woops . . . in reply to jdemaris, 09-10-2010 07:05:51  
Excuse my lousy keyboarding and lack of spell-checking. Meant to state "don't overthink." Not "over thing."

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lucas boy

09-10-2010 03:45:02

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
My 041 did that,after 30 years,and it was the condenser,put new points in too.

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Tom from Buckeye Lake

09-10-2010 07:26:00

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to lucas boy, 09-10-2010 03:45:02  
I bought my 031 new in 1976. Cut 8 cords of firewood each year for 12 years with it. Since then I just use it when needed around home. Last year it wouldn't start, yep, the point gap had closed over it's many years. Reset gap with old points and all is well. I wouldn't trade it for a new one!

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09-10-2010 07:40:28

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to Tom from Buckeye Lake, 09-10-2010 07:26:00  
For a smaller saw, I think the 030 and 031 were one of the best saws Stihl ever made. For a bigger saw, the 045 was built on the same format. Upright cylinder with high RPMs. 045-056 is probably one of the best bigger saws Stihl every made. I used my 045 Super all summer, every summer since 1979. Never even put a spark plug in and ran pefect until last year when the ignition module died. Stihl told me that no parts were availab;e to fix, anywhere on the planet. Pretty lousy service considering this is a professional-grade, expensive saw.

So, I bought a 64 cc. Dolmar/Makita (and love it). Every bit as good as any Stihl ever made. Later, I found a saw place in West Germany that stocks all the new repair parts for older Sthils. So, I ordered through German Ebay, got the parts a week later, and my 045 Super is running great again. NO THANKS to Stihl in the USA who offered no help at all.

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09-09-2010 22:12:23

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
like PJ says, try new plug. If that doesn't work, then throw in new points & condensor. Still no fire? Then put in new coil.

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09-09-2010 18:21:41

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
OK, I'll ask the stupid question:

Did you try a fresh spark plug?

I bet you did, and I apologize for asking.


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09-09-2010 20:10:33

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to PJH, 09-09-2010 18:21:41  
Have you ever heard of the electronic ignition conversion setup for small engines. I picked up a couple of basket case Stihl 041 AVs several years ago and found one had been converted and one had electronic ignition from the factory. I think you can still get the conversion at NAPA.
Don't need no stinkin points and condensor.

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09-09-2010 17:05:37

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
my 028 stihl wood boss did the same thing. the cam that opens the points is part of the flywheel and you cannot adjust the points without a special tool. had the dealer do it, cost about 80 dollars.

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Tom from Buckeye Lake

09-11-2010 06:23:59

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to glennster, 09-09-2010 17:05:37  
Glenn, my 031 has a couple of plugs in the flywheel to access the points. Removed them, adjusting point gap was trial and error but got it!

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LOU from Wi.

09-09-2010 16:53:56

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 Re: No Spark on Stihl 041 AV Chainsaw in reply to ohioironman, 09-09-2010 16:03:05  
Did you check the coil? That would be my best guess.I have a Stihl O44 that we overhauled several years ago,was hard to start till we changed electronic ignition. Plus had to do the head piston and bearings,ran lower octane fuel,expensive overhaul.Your problem sounds like coil,condensor failure,shouldn't be too much for a new one of each.Hope this helps.

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