Originally Posted by Nutsedge
I don't have much experence here but at the moment I have a Stihl MS021 my father in law gave me. He bought it New Years ago and it got ver light occasional use. Then about a year or two it became very hard to start. He bought the bigger model Stihl and the 021 just sat in its case. I got it running the first day he gave it to me but its still hard to start whether cold or after running for sometime. I think I'll buy a new carb and hope for the best. Sorry for the lack of info.
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The new carb is a very good idea. Putting in new fuel lines, and fuel and air filters, would also be a good idea. Ethanol does funny things to fuel systems, especially older ones not designed to run on it. Once you freshen up the fuel system it would be highly advisable, if possible, to always use non-ethanol gas in the future. Look at this website (www.puregas.org
) to find a non-ethanol fuel station. I also put stabilizer (I use Stabil) in the gas when I buy it. For equipment that only gets occasional/seasonal use, these things will go a long way to keep it running well.
Finally, check to see if the spark arrestor screen in your muffler is clogged with carbon. If it is, take it out by removing the screw in the plate that holds it in, then burn the carbon off with a torch and reinstall it.
There is a very good chance it will start and run well after you do these things. That older Stihl is a better constructed saw than the 170/180 models.