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saultgirl
Jul. 15, 2012, 08:49 AM
How do you maintain your trails in wooded areas? Any suggestions for the best tools/equipment?

Any tips on how to fix areas of the trail that have deep ruts from ATVs?

Anyone use mulch or other footing on your trails to keep the grass/weeds from growing?

Thanks.

ShotenStar
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:30 AM
My trails are in a State Park, so there are limits on what kind of work can be done. As a general rule, we will chain saw out a section of any large tree that blocks a trail (assuming it is in an area we can get to while carrying a chain saw). For those places where cutting is not practical, we make a by-pass trail. Same with the ruts created by either the illegal ATVs or by run-off ... we make a by-pass trail to avoid that area.

*star*

wsmoak
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:38 AM
We've just barely started making a trail around the wooded property here, but the plan is to run the disc harrow around it periodically, then amend muddy spots with M10 (crushed granite) to firm them up.

Belg
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:47 AM
I bushhog a couple times a year... but dread what still needs to be done this year. I've got about 8 trees and a bunch of debris from the Derecho that needs to be chainsawed out of the way and york-raked off the path. ATV's not allowed.

wendy
Jul. 16, 2012, 10:40 AM
Anyone use mulch or other footing on your trails to keep the grass/weeds from growing?


mulch or wood chips will degrade and turn into the most awful mud. If you have the time and money to build trails up front, laying down a proper trail with weed-block fabric over coarse stone with a topping of fine crushed stone will save endless hours of maintenance later on. The trail itself will stay nice and mud- and weed- free and you'll just have to periodically cut back the woods on either side, and of course remove the occasional downed tree.

Tom King
Jul. 16, 2012, 03:11 PM
I cut ours with a 7' bushog. It lets the cutter stick out a little bit past the tractor tires on each side. Late fall, I drag it clear of leaves, pinestraw, and pine cones with a landscape rake. A Stihl HT75 keeps limbs from hitting you in the face. I'd fill the ruts with a box blade, but I don't think I'd had to put it on our trails since I first built them. No ATVs allowed in here.

Belg
Jul. 16, 2012, 03:15 PM
That HT75 looks downright useful.

wsmoak
Jul. 16, 2012, 05:35 PM
That HT75 looks downright useful.

I had to look it up, and... yes, it *is* useful! That is referred to around here as "the chainsaw on a stick". ;)

It also has a brush cutter attachment, which turns it into a sort of weed whacker with a circular metal blade.

Tom King
Jul. 16, 2012, 06:29 PM
The HT is not one of the multiple attachment things. It's a dedicated chainsaw. It does telescope out to about 12' long. There's probably a later model than the 75 now. I bought ours back in the '90s. Also called on once in a while for trails is an HL75 and an FS450K. The 450 does have a circular blade, and also a compression release so you can pull the starter cord.

FitToBeTied
Jul. 16, 2012, 07:31 PM
Brushcutter, or chainsaw on a stick, is very useful. People always forget about cutting the limbs that are about 8' in the air. Other than that a regular chainsaw and brush hog.

Belg
Aug. 22, 2012, 03:10 PM
So not to resurrect this, but on the same line of thinking, whats a good stihl of a deal for a strait chainsaw? is the ms290 "most popular" becuase it works well or because it's under 500$? ;)

Tom King
Aug. 22, 2012, 08:35 PM
ms290 is kind of heavy for its power. I also don't have much use for the mid-sized chain. I have one that someone gave me, but it gets the least use. We also have an 036 (limbing), an 066 (stumping) , and an ms180 (climbing and easy to grab). The little 180 will cut about as fast as the 290 with much less fatigue from using it and toting it around. Learn to sharpen the chain, and any size will do a lot of work. Here, the 180 gets grabbed most often. It's the one I recommend new saw owners get, and they are only a couple of hundred dollars. If you can't sharpen a chain, you might as well not have a chainsaw. Get someone to show you how that is good at it-few people are.

Belg
Aug. 23, 2012, 07:19 AM
I've got an older 007 or 008... not sure which. But I do get alternately frustrated with running with it and impressed with what you can actually do with it.

Actually, part of my problem is that I never really picked up small engine maintenance as a skill... I can bust down a motorcycle or a ford tractor to the pavement and put it back together(ok, I draw the line at preloaded tractor axles...), but small engines confuse & frustrate me to no end.

In fact, I just tried to resurrect a... has to be at least 30 years old, it's not even in the model sheet anymore... FS410-AV brushcutter. The engine was siezed (lack of use, thing is HEAVY), I got that broken free, got it started, got the mud dauber nest out of the muffler, and pretty much like evey other small engine I've got... when it gets up to full operating temp, I can't get it to stay running at speed/power. Squeeze the trigger, lugs down to a fast idle. Runs great for about the first 10 minutes then time to start fighting tools.

ETA: My other weeder is a homeowner job that seems to not be able to run for very long... needs to get replaced with something for farm use. I tried resurrecting the 410 to save some $$$ (and hey, if I can ressurect it fully, it'd be a nice coup... cost of replacement on that turkey is impressive.)

Tom King
Aug. 23, 2012, 08:41 AM
Sounds like the cylinder on the 410 is worn out. By the time it heats up, the cylinder expands, and it can't hold compression. It may be too old for anyone to offer a replacement cylinder for it anymore. We're on the third cylinder for the 036, and it's running better than a new one with the new cylinder. Also, the older ones, like all our "0" series stuff, doesn't like ethanol. I was taking the ethanol out of gas for the 2-stroke stuff by adding water, agitating, letting it sit for days, and then siphoning the pure gas off the top. That worked good, but someone close by started selling ethanol free gas again, so we are using that.

Belg
Aug. 23, 2012, 09:09 AM
Hmmm... Could well be, especially since it was seized. Yeah, we were told a couple years ago that parts were unavailable anymore for it. Kirsten said she used it as a kid lol; its got to be as old as we are though! Not so sure about picking up stuff on eBay... saw some but not much out there.

Alagirl
Aug. 23, 2012, 09:57 AM
I am tempted to quote Andy Griffith on you tho:

Call the man!

(in case you don't get the reference, Aunt Be is dealing with an antiquated freezer...)

Belg
Aug. 23, 2012, 10:11 AM
I am tempted to quote Andy Griffith on you tho:

Call the man!

(in case you don't get the reference, Aunt Be is dealing with an antiquated freezer...)

Butbutbut... that costs money and I'm trying really, really hard not to spend any on it :=) Certainly not the 60-80$ we paid last time I felt like my time was best served elsewhere than small engine repairs....:lol: A few times of that and you may as well have bought a new one!

Alagirl
Aug. 23, 2012, 12:36 PM
Butbutbut... that costs money and I'm trying really, really hard not to spend any on it :=) Certainly not the 60-80$ we paid last time I felt like my time was best served elsewhere than small engine repairs....:lol: A few times of that and you may as well have bought a new one!


CALL THE MAN!

:lol:

Belg
Aug. 23, 2012, 12:45 PM
Butbutbut!!!!

Belg
Aug. 23, 2012, 01:08 PM
If you can't sharpen a chain, you might as well not have a chainsaw. Get someone to show you how that is good at it-few people are.

Got that set up... :) Thanks for the tip!

Tom King
Aug. 23, 2012, 08:29 PM
You can still get a lot of parts for it. I did a Google search, and you can buy a new piston and rings. Since it was seized, the pison is probably scored.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Piston-Kit-fit-STIHL-041-AV-AVQ-AVEQ-AVFBQ-FB-G-FS-20-FS-410-44mm-Kolben-/170888220197?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c9bb4e25

Get someone to pull the cylinder, and the cylinder may be salvagable with a new piston and rings. Since the piston also fits an 041, an 041 cylinder may fit it.

Tom King
Aug. 23, 2012, 08:36 PM
I needed a replacement carb for an FS450K. Stihl dealer said I needed a 110 dollar carbuerator, and since the machine had been updated a number of times since my'99 model, also a new cable, shroud, and several hundred dollars worth of other parts since the replacement for the carb model I had was no longer available. I found a new old stock carb for 30 bucks in the UK on ebay.

I think this might work.
http://www.ebay.ie/itm/CYLINDER-PISTON-FITS-STIHL-FS400-FS450-FS480-SP400-FR450-/330770184694?pt=UK_Home_Garden_GardenPowerTools_CA&hash=item4d037079f6

The cylinders are just aluminum, whereas the crank assembly is almost automotive strength, so you can wear out a bunch of cylinders before anything else needs replacing. You have to heat the cylinder to get it on and off over the piston so not to put too much torque on the crank bearings.

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 07:37 AM
You can still get a lot of parts for it. I did a Google search, and you can buy a new piston and rings. Since it was seized, the pison is probably scored.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Piston-Kit-fit-STIHL-041-AV-AVQ-AVEQ-AVFBQ-FB-G-FS-20-FS-410-44mm-Kolben-/170888220197?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c9bb4e25

Get someone to pull the cylinder, and the cylinder may be salvagable with a new piston and rings. Since the piston also fits an 041, an 041 cylinder may fit it.

Hmmmmmmmm I will look into this. Do the cylinders slide into the engine head like car/bike cylinders or are they machined into the head? As in... are special tools required?

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 07:42 AM
I needed a replacement carb for an FS450K. Stihl dealer said I needed a 110 dollar carbuerator, and since the machine had been updated a number of times since my'99 model, also a new cable, shroud, and several hundred dollars worth of other parts since the replacement for the carb model I had was no longer available. I found a new old stock carb for 30 bucks in the UK on ebay.

I think this might work.
http://www.ebay.ie/itm/CYLINDER-PISTON-FITS-STIHL-FS400-FS450-FS480-SP400-FR450-/330770184694?pt=UK_Home_Garden_GardenPowerTools_CA&hash=item4d037079f6

The cylinders are just aluminum, whereas the crank assembly is almost automotive strength, so you can wear out a bunch of cylinders before anything else needs replacing. You have to heat the cylinder to get it on and off over the piston so not to put too much torque on the crank bearings.

Jackpot indeed.... I may still end up with having to get another one for the near term (I have a ton of stuff to trim that the deadline is Sept 7 on...) but this looks like a long term useable fix... I'll have to ask the cousin if he has a ring clamp or not.


ETA: That's an 042... think the head bolts will line up?

prudence
Aug. 24, 2012, 07:54 AM
If you scroll down in this article you can see what they used for ruts on the Western States Trail :

http://www.parkwatchreport.org/doc/343/TEVIST13.PDF

The SK 650 Trail Machine is truly amazing.

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 08:06 AM
ETA: That's an 042... think the head bolts will line up?

Actully, yeah, after thinking about it, there's not reason they would remap an entire block just to up the piston size 1mm... the only difference in the 900 kawa from the 750 was the sleeve & piston combo (and 1.75" of wheelbase)

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 08:22 AM
Piston kit ordered, will try that vice head swap first. Now to see how long it takes to get here from Greece... ;)

Alagirl
Aug. 24, 2012, 10:14 AM
Piston kit ordered, will try that vice head swap first. Now to see how long it takes to get here from Greece... ;)


Did you call the man?

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 10:17 AM
Did you call the man?

Nah... I can swap a piston out myself. I've just never done one that tiny before.

Also, as i recall, we'd gotten it back from a cleanout and service about 3 years ago & hung it up with a dry tank. Carb should be essentially pristine.

Belg
Aug. 24, 2012, 11:00 AM
And found reasonable convenient ethanol-free gas... sweet.

IronwoodFarm
Aug. 24, 2012, 12:14 PM
Our trails are on 50 hilly acres of woods with a creek in the middle of it. The trails were put in when he had the acreage timbered about 14 years ago and water bars installed on the steeper inclines.

Mr. IF maintains the trails with his DR Brushmower -- a walk-behind bush-hog plus his chain saw. It is work, but it doesn't require that he does it more than twice a year.

Tom King
Aug. 24, 2012, 05:11 PM
It's worth buying a service manual before pulling the cylinder.

http://www.mowergraveyard.com/stihl-service-manual-for-brushcutters-fs80-fs150151-fs200202-p-4347.html

Take the carb, and muffler off, and the cylinder unbolts from the top of the crankcase, and pulls up off the piston. You'll need a T27 wrench for the cylinder bolts. Buy the T-wrench from a Stihl dealer. You need various types of thread locker, and may need a cylinder gasket. The manual tells what type of locktite for each location. Buy the correct size OEM wrist pin clips (some few cents) from the Stihl dealer. Aftermarket clips have a bad reputation, which I can attest to after losing one of the 036 cylinders to them. Heat the cylinder in the oven and lube the inside, before slipping it over the new piston.

Belg
Aug. 25, 2012, 10:24 AM
Excellent. Manual should beat the parts; I'll check my motorcycle roadside kit to see if I have a 27.... I think I do, but I put it together 7 years ago. Feed store happens to be a stihl dealer so I'll pick up the clips today when I get feed.

Also picked up a chemtool dip for diverse things. Thought about dunking the carb in there for a bit; is it safe for diaphragms or is there one?

Tom King
Aug. 25, 2012, 02:58 PM
The T27 tool needs to be a long one. It has to go down through the holes in the cooling fins beside the cylinder from the top, to be able to reach the bolts that hold the cylinder on. I think the Stihl tool is about 8 bucks, but I've had mine a long time.

It might be worth getting the cylinder first, to make sure it will fit, before putting money in the manual and other stuff.

Belg
Aug. 25, 2012, 05:35 PM
Meh, need a manual anyhow :) I'll eyeball the head and see, mine is a socket set T wrench and if I have it, it's probably 1" or so. I'll also see if I can track down the rest of my metric set, I stripped my kit to exactly what I needed for every bolt, not, and torx on my BMW gs.

Chain saw seems to have appreciated the time spent cleaning it up. needs it again, it's running foul after a hard days use. Is not 007, it 009.

Today's trail maintenance brought to you by:

International Harvester w/Front Loader
A 5' york rake
And a special guest appearance by: Stihl 009L

I think I cleared about 24 branches and downed trees today. That Derecho and a couple storms since hit us really hard up there. Tomorrow I'll put the finishing touches on it with a 5' bush hog. Probably an hours worth maybe 90 minutes.

Belg
Aug. 30, 2012, 08:11 AM
Just a quick update;

Chainsaw cuts wood like butter now after it's been sharpenned... better than when I put the chain on last year.

Baby trimmer got 'cured' with a bit of MEK in the gas. Quick capful or thereabouts, Start, run, sit 20, start run, sit 20, fill, run, go. It still has underlying problem of not being able to stand up to the duty, but hey... It got the driveway and the main yard trees done :=)

Parts rolling in for the 410... got the ring compression sleeve/lube/spreader and the manual; in the meantime I'm going to give fuel supply one last go-round on the guitar today to see if MEK can work some magic...

Belg
Aug. 31, 2012, 07:29 AM
in the meantime I'm going to give fuel supply one last go-round on the guitar today to see if MEK can work some magic...

Got a little better... if I fiddle with the choke I can get full speed operation again... my guess is something got sucked into the gas because there's enough MEK in the fuel right now to strip paint.... If it doesn't start and run at full speed, full gas this afternoon, I guess I'll walk it forward from the tank in the next couple weeks with compressed air before pulling the head.

Man, that thing screams when it's running at speed... makes everything else seem like a kiddie model.

Tom King
Aug. 31, 2012, 07:42 PM
Check ebay for replacement carbs. You can buy a kit to rebuild the carb for 15 bucks, and need good luck to get it to work, or spend 30 bucks for a complete carb, and swap it out in 10 minutes for a machine that runs and idles like a new one (if everything else is okay with it).

I had been buying gas from a place that was ethanol free, and didn't notice when they changed to e10. Stuff sat around too long with eth in it, and I ended up replacing 4 carbs this past spring.

I'm not sure how well 2-stroke mix stays in suspension with MEK, so it won't be worth trying to save 30 bucks and score another cylinder. It might be okay, but I've had little luck getting problem carburetors going good once they start screwing up. I like for the tool to snap right to full throttle and drop right back to a nice smooth idle and stay there.

It could also be fuel line problems, but I've never had those. Something in my carbs always had some issue that I couldn't find.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tools/msg0813591710340.html

Belg
Sep. 2, 2012, 03:09 PM
Interestingly enough, I came across that exact thread last week :)

Found a new carb for 80$ in Ohio, and rebuild kits for 5-6$. I may just try & DA the carb first and look for that screen mentioned in the thread. Took 30 minutes with google and part number traces, but the carb is a Tillotson HS-138B and the rebuild kit is DG-5HS/T... For the convenience of not having to look it up again.

It's rainy. Think I might go pull a carb...

Belg
Sep. 4, 2012, 10:03 PM
Didn't get to it until late this afternoon after a heavy mow day. Picked up the rebuild kit, and tore down, cleaned, soaked, and blew the carb out. Lost the new screen in the wind but blew the old one clear. About 30 pulls later it was idling at full throttle. Dialed in high and low jets to run :)

It's alive... :)

Too dark to try an extended run so I'll give it a go tomorrow. If it runs for 20, we're golden!!!

Belg
Sep. 6, 2012, 09:45 PM
Well, it didn't. But its "original" owner offerred me a new one to replace it. So I went for it, except talked her down from the big brushcutter to a nice new FS110.

Man, that's a nice tool. First day went great :)

Tom King
Sep. 7, 2012, 06:14 PM
We have an FS110 that's been run hard for four or five years, and it still runs like new. The 25-2 string head has been replaced a couple of times, but it still idles and runs great. Put grease in the gearhead once in a while. We wore out one on an FS85 several years ago and the replacement head was something like 115 dollars.

My sister in law wanted to borrow a weedeater a while back so we gave her the 85. She had been used to a little one and to start with it got away from her and she took out the lower corner on some vinyl siding. When she came back a month later to borrow one again, I asked her if she wanted the one she borrowed before or a big one. Her eyes got big when she realized there was a bigger one than the FS85.

Belg
Sep. 11, 2012, 09:05 AM
We have an FS110 that's been run hard for four or five years, and it still runs like new. The 25-2 string head has been replaced a couple of times, but it still idles and runs great. Put grease in the gearhead once in a while. We wore out one on an FS85 several years ago and the replacement head was something like 115 dollars.

My sister in law wanted to borrow a weedeater a while back so we gave her the 85. She had been used to a little one and to start with it got away from her and she took out the lower corner on some vinyl siding. When she came back a month later to borrow one again, I asked her if she wanted the one she borrowed before or a big one. Her eyes got big when she realized there was a bigger one than the FS85.

I was skeered the 410 was going to blow up the first time I got it running... that thing's got some power when it's moving.

After a couple days with the 110, I'm genuinely impressed with it both operationallly and as far as noise level, etc. I put a 3-point blade on it and managed to chop down pretty much everything I pointed it at... just in time for the weekend. Can't wait to take it up the trail with a circular blade on it....