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K-TRON

O&R Powered Comet C-SAW - Recoil Problems

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This is my first post here, I was a member back on the O&R Forum in 2013 before it moved here. I recently picked up a nice original Comet C-SAW powered by an Ohlsson & Rice ~3/4hp engine. The serial number is 005495. It is a pretty early O&R, at least from the ones I have seen. It has the red teardrop recoil housing and the early carburetor that does not have a primer. I have around a dozen O&R's in my collection of antique engines and machinery. This saw has been sitting for probably 30 years before I bought it. I pulled it apart to lubricate the piston rings and make sure everything was right before running it. The engine was in really nice shape and might have only had five hours of total runtime on it. After I put it all back together it ran great. I really enjoyed using it. Yesterday the recoil quit working. My saw usually starts on the third pull, and on the second pull the recoil jammed up and would not retract. I carefully disassembled the recoil, finding the spring to be bent in a figure 8 on the inside loop. I am looking through an O&R Type 176 manual I found online and the PDF's show a "Starter Reel Retaining Ring". My engine does not have one of these. I do not know what type number my engine is. The only number I saw when disassembling and reassembling it was the serial number that I posted above. Can someone please post some good pictures of what the recoil spring is supposed to look like, and perhaps a picture of what it looks like installed. I am unsure whether or not the end of my recoil spring is broken off or not. I spent an hour trying to put the recoil back together without success. Something is clearly off.  Also one of the starter dogs on my engine has been welded back together. The little brass spring does not do much on that side. Would anyone have the parts that I need to fix my recoil.

 



This is a short video of the saw in action
 



Thanks
Chris

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15 hours ago, K-TRON said:

This is my first post here, I was a member back on the O&R Forum in 2013 before it moved here. I recently picked up a nice original Comet C-SAW powered by an Ohlsson & Rice ~3/4hp engine.

 

Welcome to the new forum Chris.

 

Unfortunately the old forum had a major problem with uploaded pictures, which all disappeared overnight, so we ended up starting again at our new home on here (some of the old forum can be found on the internet archive, without pictures).

 

Well you've got one of the first batch of O&R engines (approx 6072 were made before the first design changes) and even better it's still on the original tool. Most early ones seem to end up on their own, I've got a few in my collection like that and just one that is still attached to the original pump.

 

I scanned and uploaded the correct diagram for your engine here a couple of years ago;

The starter cord & spring are shorter on these early engines, the little clip in your picture is the spring retainer for these (the reel retainer ring is used in much later engines), one end of your spring appears to be broken off and the middle section has become bent in the opposite way.

This is how the spring should look;

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You may be able to repair the spring using a blowtorch to heat the ends up, which will allow you to bend it back into the correct shape without it snapping. Or fit a new one, if you can find a replacement spring, they changed to a longer type eventually (with a longer cord too).

 

The bad news is the starter dogs used in these early engines are a different size too, they are very hard to find and they tend to fall out & become lost by previous owners (later engines use a retaining ring on the flywheel). I've had this problem twice now, the solution was to use a later flywheel (which required machining a custom sized flywheel key to suit), I kept the original flywheel in case I ever find the correct starter dogs.

 

David

 

P.S. I have scanned a service bulletin that covers rebuilding the earlier starter mechanisms, when I get time I will edit it & create a PDF for the forum.

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Glad you found us again Chris. :WMOM:

The good news is your spring does not appear twisted as in it will still sit flat. Use a torch to heat the ends and re-shape them to look like the pic David posted. Only heat the area you need to bend as heating it removes the spring in the spring steel. Use a set of needle nose pliers. You have absolutely nothing to loose since the spring is worthless and can't be used like it is now anyway. Repairing recoils can be frustrating but once you get that spring to hook on the places they go again, you're half way there. JUST make sure you have the spring and the rope coiled the correct direction or it's start all over. Did that a couple of times.

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David, Thank you very much for the links and the pictures. I was able to repair the recoil spring with some help from my acetylene torch. After heating and bending I quenched the end of the spring steel in oil. I have done this before on several other recoil springs that I have repaired over the years with good success. I was worried that my spring was from a different application as when I test wound it I was counting 9 turns, not 11. I simply did not have the spring coiled tight enough. It took several tries to get the recoil spring in place, but I managed thanks to your pictures. Now that it is assembled, my recoil spring is only about a sixth of a turn shorter than yours. I have never had to repair the recoils on any of my other O&Rs. I had simply just lubricated them and they worked. I did not realize how early of an engine that this is until I found nothing like it in the O&R pdfs I found online. I did not think they made hundreds of thousands of them. You certainly do not see them very often at engine shows. Does anyone have a spec on how long the recoil rope should be? I am measuring 37-1/4" end to end on the rope I have. Also can anyone verify if I installed the spring retainer properly. It seems a little loose, as in it can move around a little bit.

 

Thanks
Chris

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Chris, 

  Good to have you on the forum!  Great C-saw and nice work fixing the recoil spring.  I’m still fairly new to these engines and this will be great info to know if I ever run into a similar problem.  I’ve repaired a couple coils so far but never had a spring in the condition you had to deal with.

 

David and John are awesome, their knowledge on these engines is incredible and their willingness to help educate those of us that are newer to this is amazing!  I’ve benefitted greatly from their expertise and advice along the way.  

 

Clint

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On 2/28/2019 at 2:49 AM, K-TRON said:

David, Thank you very much for the links and the pictures. I was able to repair the recoil spring with some help from my acetylene torch. After heating and bending I quenched the end of the spring steel in oil.

 

I did my first spring repair last year (it was broken at both ends), it was a little trickier due to the shape used in the later square recoil housings, if the spring ends aren't bent to the correct shape they don't fit.

My very first O&R needed the starter rebuilding due to a snapped cord, I only had the diagram that came with it at the time (before I found the forum), it took a few attempts before I got it back together & working, I remember the spring escaping too.

 

On 2/28/2019 at 2:49 AM, K-TRON said:

I did not realize how early of an engine that this is until I found nothing like it in the O&R pdfs I found online. I did not think they made hundreds of thousands of them. You certainly do not see them very often at engine shows.

 

I added those PDF's in 2017, I'm surprised they weren't found easily in your search (maybe because they are PDF's rather than pictures), Also they did make hundreds of thousands of them, until June 1967 the serial numbers were sequential & the latest one from then I have found was approx SN #140,000, we will probably never know how many more where made till the end of production in 1978.

 

Mine certainly attract plenty of interest at shows in the UK, I've also met several other collectors too (but they aren't on the forum as far as I know).

 

On 2/28/2019 at 2:49 AM, K-TRON said:

Does anyone have a spec on how long the recoil rope should be? I am measuring 37-1/4" end to end on the rope I have. Also can anyone verify if I installed the spring retainer properly. It seems a little loose, as in it can move around a little bit. 

 

The length of the starter cord (part # 137-1) for engines up to SN #099151 is 44" according to the service bulletin (I will add it to the manuals thread when I've turned it into a PDF), as the spring is now a little bit shorter the cord will also need to be shorter, be careful not to pull the cord too far when it's back together, it would be very annoying to have it fail again.

Edit: spring is part no #21-13 not the starter cord as I previously stated.

 

I will check the spring retainer position on one of my early engines and add a picture later.

 

David

Edited by factory
Erorr

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The retainer has two little prongs/tabs bent over on the inside of the housing (this is also mentioned in the service bulletin), you may need to anneal the retainer to avoid those prongs snapping off (guess how I know that :(), they are often missing too.

 

Here is the spring retainer as fitted to SN #015990 from my collection, which has never been apart.

 

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Is the pulley on this engine anything like the one used on your C-Saw? I suspect this engine may have been a NOS spare for one of those saws or something similar but can't confirm this.

 

Edit: I've probably answered my question, my engine doesn't have the notch cut into the crankcase flange shown in post #1.

 

k4a.jpg.4f77cda713fe9eaff101383a91b61aec.jpg

 

David

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18 hours ago, Wallfish said:

JUST make sure you have the spring and the rope coiled the correct direction or it's start all over. Did that a couple of times.

 

It doesn't help that the service manual shows (in figure 11) the centre of the spring coiling out the opposite way to how it should be (figure 8 is correct), this is one reason I never uploaded the manual.

But I did upload a UK version of the starter rebuild instructions which has the correct drawing, this came with a Turbair sprayer and is the later type of starter than we have been discussing in this thread.

 

I do intend to add modified version of the service manual here eventually.

 

David

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David, those retaining clips are a nightmare and I never did figure out how to install them. I have literally spent hours on them. Call me stupid, but they suck. The later retaining spring is a much better design and I have actually cut grooves in older recoil housings with a Dremel to accept the later style.

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Hey Joe!!!  How the hec have you been?

 

 

32 minutes ago, Webhead said:

I have literally spent hours on them. Call me stupid, but they suck.

Great to have your insight and experience here on this one! :yankchain: :poke::lol:

Just couldn't help it, had to mess with ya.

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Webhead,

Good to see you.  I haven’t run into these little clips yet on any of my engines, guessing they’ve probably been removed or lost along the way.  They do look like they would be a pain to install.

 

Clint

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Posted (edited)

I was going to order some Stens 146-027 #4 recoil rope, but decided that the rope I have should be good enough for several more years of use. I left it at the 37-1/4" length. I had a hell of a time getting the recoil pulley back onto the arbor. I cleaned up the burrs with a needle file, and of course the recoil spring jumped out. I was able to get it all back together and tested again before installing the recoil back on the engine. The pulley was grabbing and binding unevenly until I lubricated the shaft, then all was good. I took this opportunity to replace the five 6-32 machine screws which secure the recoil to the engine with some new stainless steel wire lockable 6-32 machine screws. Previously everytime I ran the engine the recoil screws would loosen up, so this should stop that from happening. I have to say this was by far the most painstaking recoil repair I have ever had to perform. I own over 300 air cooled engines, albeit most do not have recoils, but I can rebuild Briggs, Tecumseh, F-M, Kohler or Schnacke recoils in just a few minutes. This O&R was about seven hours of work start to finish. At least when it was all done, the engine started up and ran good. I am pretty happy with it. I will have to order or make a new diaphragm for the carburetor at some point. Spraying it with oil to make it plyable is only a temporary fix. As per the output shaft on the C-SAW, it uses a 1-1/16" o.d. steel pulley similar to the picture you posted in post #7. Thanks again for all of your help. Next time around, things should go much quicker.

 

Chris 

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Edited by K-TRON

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Just can't imagine being a service tech for these engines back in the day and dealing with them everyday. It can get frustrating at times but it's different when it's for the enjoyment or for yourself and you can walk away and get back to it if needed.

Is this saw the only O&R tool you have ?

Send me a PM with your address for a diaphragm or two

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Nice touch with the bare wood pull starter knob. Is that original to the saw or did you sand off the black paint that is typical and oil it, looks nice all natural!

 

Clnt

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2 hours ago, Wallfish said:

Just can't imagine being a service tech for these engines back in the day and dealing with them everyday. It can get frustrating at times but it's different when it's for the enjoyment or for yourself and you can walk away and get back to it if needed.

Is this saw the only O&R tool you have ?

 

I don't think it would have been economic to repair all the damaged parts as a service tech in the past, they would have just changed the parts & presumably billed the customer for them & the labour time. Can't help but think they would have just replaced the engine completely with a newer one, as I can't imagine all parts used for the first 6000 engines were available for long, certainly the piston rings are one part they discontinued quickly for this early engine.

 

In the first post he mentions having around a dozen O&R's is his collection.

 

1 hour ago, CNew said:

Is that original to the saw or did you sand off the black paint that is typical and oil it, looks nice all natural!

 

That's another feature of the first batch of O&R's, along with the starter housing screws being in the back, which would usually require removing the engine from the tool to service the starter mech.

 

David

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Clint, as best I can tell is that the recoil handle was never painted. Davids response parallels that. It does look nice now that the saw is cleaned up and in functional shape. The saw looked like hell when I bought it in Anchorage Alaska. I had found it on craigslist for $100 4500 miles away. It was used, abused and put away wet. It was a great buy even with shipping. It cost me next to nothing to fix it if you dismiss the amount of time it took to pull it all apart and go through everything. I really like gasoline powered hand tools. I wish Homelite had the same array of their cordless power tools just to display them nicely side by side. I had joined the O&R group in 2013 when I stumbled across a Drillgine with the later 1hp engine. It was a fine tool complete with the yellow carry box. Later I picked up an amp-champ, several tiny tigers, a polaris power pole, a military O&R, several parts engines, and of course this Comet C-SAW. This early O&R is the best runner of the bunch. Now that I know what to look for, I will keep an eye out for more of the early engines. I was watching that strikemaster ice auger on ebay, turns out my same friend in Alaska has one and bought it new for ice fishing.

 

Chris

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Chris,

  Sounds like we’re on a similar journey with these O&Rs and you’ve got a nice collection going. I’ve been collecting since about December of 2018 and slowly adding to it as often as I can. It’s addicting!  I haven’t been able to get my hands on a Tiny Tiger or Amp Champ yet.  I’d also like to find the little outboard some day.  John turned me on to the Homelite saws as well. I haven’t been able to add one to my collection yet but those are pretty cool too!  

 

You did a really nice job cleaning up and fixing the Comet C-saw. It looks to be in really good shape given the hard life it had. They’re fun to work on.  

 

Clint

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 1:58 AM, K-TRON said:

I had a hell of a time getting the recoil pulley back onto the arbor. I cleaned up the burrs with a needle file, and of course the recoil spring jumped out. I was able to get it all back together and tested again before installing the recoil back on the engine. 

 

As per the output shaft on the C-SAW, it uses a 1-1/16" o.d. steel pulley similar to the picture you posted in post #7. Thanks again for all of your help. Next time around, things should go much quicker.

 

Chris 

 

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My first recoil did the same, the spring went boing too.

These engines do have a bad habit of rattling out any loose screws.

 

Thank you for measuring the pulley, mine is the same size and type of pulley, maybe it was a spare engine after all.

 

On 2/27/2019 at 5:51 AM, K-TRON said:

Also one of the starter dogs on my engine has been welded back together.

 

Here is what one of my early starter pawls looks like, did you adjust the little spring before putting it back together? Edit: from SN #006403.

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David

Edited by factory
Added serial number

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A little bit late for this one, but I have now edited & posted the service bulletin for repairing these early starter mechanisms in the Manuals thread;

 

Hope it's useful to you in the future.

 

David

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Thank you for posting that information David!  I was bidding on the O&R master service manual that ended on ebay Friday night. I was hoping to get the service manual cheap, but there was more interest than expected. I am glad you are able and willing to post alot of good O&R information, as that information is priceless when work needs to be done. I bent the brass starter dog spring as best that I could, but sadly it will need to be replaced sooner than later. I will probably make a new one out of a brass feeler gauge of the appropriate thickness shim stock. The starter dogs you posted have a larger counterweight on them than mine do, unless mine were modified at some point in time.

 

Chris

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Chris,

    I was watching that manual as well but decided I had to pass on it and that was way before it jumped in price. It would have been a really neat book to have. David’s willingness to post various tool documents and part diagrams has been amazing!

 

Clint

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I thought the service manual would have made more myself, as you don't see them very often and there are probably only a small number of surviving manuals out there compared with engines.

Annoyingly it had the Ford stuff that is missing from my master service manual (note they are identical to the Orline versions apart from the decal). Also every manual seems to have the odd extra item added for tools that the dealers requested information for.

 

And of course I'm happy to help with requests from my service manual, assuming it's in there.

 

17 hours ago, K-TRON said:

The starter dogs you posted have a larger counterweight on them than mine do, unless mine were modified at some point in time. 

 

If they don't look to have been modified then it's possible that O&R never documented the change, they certainly altered some parts several times during the first year or two of production and I've come across modified parts that never got an updated part number as well.

 

Here are a couple more flywheels from early engines in my collection (that got photo-ed in the past), I noticed the extra pins seem to vary in size and are sometimes not there at all. They have the same starter dogs as SN #006403 from post #18.

 

Early engine with no serial number, two small pins.

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Early engine SN #003683, two sets of different sized pins.

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Here are the early & later starter dogs that I posted in a older thread, yours would go in between if they are indeed unmodified.

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David

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