How to Adjust Poulan Chainsaw Carburetor? Quick Tune-up Tips




Adjusting a Poulan chainsaw carburetor

To adjust a Poulan chainsaw carburetor, locate the L (low), H (high), and T (idle) screws; then turn them to achieve the correct fuel mixture and idle speed. Begin with slight rotations to fine-tune the chainsaw’s performance.

Maintaining an optimally functioning carburetor on your Poulan chainsaw ensures peak performance and extends the life of your tool. Precise carburetor adjustments keep the engine running smoothly, prevent stalling, and facilitate easier starts. The process requires a systematic approach, patience, and a basic understanding of small engine mechanics.

By tweaking the low-speed, high-speed, and idle screws, users can adjust the chainsaw’s carburetor to suit specific cutting tasks and altitude conditions. Regular tuning can also mitigate common issues such as rough idling or difficulty in acceleration, thus ensuring your Poulan chainsaw remains a reliable ally for any woodcutting job. It’s essential that these adjustments are made cautiously, as incorrect settings can lead to engine damage or unsafe operation.

Poulan Chainsaw Carburetor Adjustment Guide

Proper carburetor adjustment on your Poulan chainsaw is crucial for peak performance and longevity of the engine. A well-adjusted carburetor ensures that the engine receives the correct mixture of fuel and air, which helps in efficient combustion. Without this balance, you could experience issues such as rough idle, poor acceleration, or even engine failure.

An improperly adjusted carburetor can lead to numerous problems. A mixture that is too rich can cause excess carbon buildup, leading to engine clogging and reduced performance. Conversely, a mixture that is too lean may cause the engine to overheat and result in premature wear or damage. Regular adjustments ensure that your chainsaw operates smoothly and efficiently, maintaining its performance and extending its lifespan.

Signs Your Poulan Carburetor Needs Tuning

Erratic idling or stalling often indicates a need for carburetor adjustment on your Poulan chainsaw. This is typically a sign that the fuel mix is not right. Poor engine performance, including a lack of power or uneven power output during operation, can also suggest the carburetor settings are incorrect. Difficulty starting the chainsaw is another symptomatic clue that the carburetor requires attention. A chainsaw that struggles to start or requires several attempts before it begins running may have an improperly adjusted carburetor.

Addressing these symptoms promptly can prevent further complications with your chainsaw’s performance. Ensuring the carburetor is properly tuned is crucial for maintaining the longevity and effectiveness of your Poulan chainsaw. By monitoring these signs carefully, you can determine the best course of action to take for readjustment.

Tools and Preparation For Adjusting

Before adjusting the carburetor on your Poulan chainsaw, ensure you have the necessary tools. Typically, a small flathead and a Phillips screwdriver are essential. Some models might require a special carburetor adjustment tool, available at hardware stores or online.

Prioritizing safety, wear protective gloves and safety goggles to safeguard against potential harm. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental start-up. Thorough pre-adjustment checks involve a clean air filter and ensuring the chainsaw is warm for an accurate read on the engine’s performance.

ScrewdriversSpecial ToolsSafety GearPre-adjustment
Flathead & PhillipsCarburetor adjustment toolGloves, gogglesCheck air filter, warm engine

Starting the Adjustment Process

Locating the carburetor adjustment screws on a Poulan chainsaw is essential for fine-tuning the engine’s performance. Before starting the chainsaw, ensure that it is turned off and cooled down. The adjustment screws are typically found on the side of the chainsaw’s engine, near the air filter. There should be three main screws marked as L (Low speed), H (High speed), and T (Idle speed).

Each screw serves a different purpose: the L screw regulates the fuel mixture when the engine is running at low speed, the H screw controls the mixture during high-speed operation, and the T screw adjusts the engine’s idle speed. Tweaking these screws will affect the chainsaw’s performance, so it’s critical to make adjustments carefully and methodically.

Initial Carburetor Settings

Adjusting the Poulan chainsaw carburetor requires precision and care. Proper knowledge of the initial settings for the L (Low speed) and H (High speed) screws ensures a good starting point for fine-tuning the chainsaw’s performance. Typically, the L screw is adjusted to allow the engine to run smoothly when idling, while the H screw manages the maximum engine RPMs.

For optimal performance, the L screw should be turned clockwise until it seats gently, followed by a counter-clockwise adjustment of 1-1/4 turns. Similarly, the H screw should be seated gently by turning it clockwise, then backed out 1 turn counter-clockwise as a preliminary setting.

ScrewClockwise (Tighten)Counter-Clockwise (Loosen)
L (Low speed)Gently seat1-1/4 turns
H (High speed)Gently seat1 turn

Adjusting the idle speed (T) plays a critical role in ensuring a stable operation. To fine-tune the idle speed, the T screw should be adjusted until the chainsaw’s chain comes to a rest while the engine continues to run smoothly. Careful alterations can prevent the chain from turning while idling, which is crucial for safety and machinery health.

How to Adjust Idle Speed Screw (t)

To adjust the idle speed screw on a Poulan chainsaw, start by warming the chainsaw. Allow it to run for a few minutes, ensuring the engine reaches its operating temperature. Locate the idle speed screw, typically marked with a ‘T’ or labeled ‘Idle’. Begin by turning the screw clockwise to increase the engine’s idle speed or counterclockwise to decrease it.

Adjust the screw in small increments, and after each adjustment, observe the engine’s behavior. The goal is to reach a point where the engine runs smoothly without the chain moving on the bar. If the chain rotates while the engine idles, the idle speed is too high and needs to be reduced slightly. Continuous fine-tuning may be necessary until the engine idles smoothly without chain movement. This meticulous process ensures optimal performance and longevity of your Poulan chainsaw.

Fine-tuning The Low-speed Screw (l)

To properly adjust the L screw on a Poulan chainsaw carburetor, ensure the chainsaw is stable and secure. Begin by warming up the engine, allowing it to run for a few minutes. Use a precision screwdriver to turn the L screw clockwise until the screw is lightly seated. Next, carefully back out the screw by turning it counter-clockwise about one and a quarter turns as a baseline setting.

Perform a throttle test to assess acceleration. Gently increase the throttle and observe the chainsaw’s response. If the saw struggles to accelerate or stalls, fine-tune by turning the L screw counter-clockwise in small increments, testing after each adjustment. Continue this process until the saw accelerates smoothly without hesitation. Avoid over-loosening the L screw, as this might lead to poor engine performance and potential damage.

Adjusting High-speed Screw (h)

To ensure engine safety while making high-speed adjustments to the Poulan chainsaw’s carburetor, it’s crucial to work in a well-ventilated area and have the chainsaw securely placed. Start by warming up the engine to the operating temperature; this is a key step to achieve the most accurate tuning. With the engine running, turn the H screw clockwise until you reach a point where the engine starts to slow down or sounds rough. This indicates a lean mixture.

Next, turn the screw counterclockwise to enrich the fuel mixture. Carefully listen for the engine to smooth out and for the high pitched whine to diminish. Aim for a setting that offers a broad range of smooth operation at high speeds. The goal is to hit that sweet spot where the chainsaw operates efficiently without losing power or running too lean, which could potentially cause damage. Always perform the adjustments sparingly, as a mere fraction of a turn can make a significant difference.

Post-adjustment Checks

After adjusting your Poulan chainsaw carburetor, it’s crucial to perform post-adjustment checks to ensure the chainsaw operates smoothly. Begin by starting the chainsaw and observing its idle. Verify that it’s running steadily and doesn’t stall, indicating a successful adjustment. During operation, listen for a smooth transition as you increase the throttle. An uneven or sputtering sound may suggest further fine-tuning is required.

For long-term maintenance, regularly clean the air filter and inspect the fuel lines. This prevents debris from clogging the carburetor, thus maintaining consistent performance. Use fresh fuel and a carburetor cleaner periodically to remove any buildup of residues, ensuring optimal functionality.

Should you encounter persistent issues with the chainsaw’s performance despite thorough adjustments and maintenance, it might be time to seek professional help. Trained technicians can diagnose and resolve complex carburetor problems, thereby preventing further damage to your chainsaw.

FAQs For How To Adjust Poulan Chainsaw Carburetor

What Tools Are Needed For Poulan Carburetor Adjustment?

To adjust a Poulan chainsaw carburetor, you’ll need a small engine tuning screwdriver, commonly known as a ‘Pac-man’ or ‘Splined’ carburetor adjustment tool. Ensure the chainsaw is cool before making any adjustments for safety reasons.

How Do I Locate The Carburetor On My Poulan Chainsaw?

The carburetor on a Poulan chainsaw is typically located under the air filter cover. This is near the engine’s side or underneath the chainsaw’s housing. Remove the cover to access the carburetor’s adjustment screws.

Can I Adjust A Poulan Chainsaw Carburetor Myself?

Yes, with the right tools and a basic understanding of small engine mechanics, you can adjust your Poulan chainsaw carburetor. It is important to follow proper safety guidelines and the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damages.

What Are The Signs My Poulan Chainsaw Carburetor Needs Adjustment?

Indications that your Poulan chainsaw carburetor needs adjustment include difficult starting, irregular idling, stalling, lack of power, or excessive fuel usage. Improper carburetor settings can affect overall performance.


Adjusting your Poulan chainsaw’s carburetor can rejuvenate its performance. Remember, patience and precision are key. Consult the manual and use the right tools for optimal tuning. Regular maintenance ensures longevity and efficiency. Tackle the job confidently with the steps provided, and enjoy a smoother, safer chainsaw experience.