How to Take Apart a Poulan Woodshark Chainsaw


With adequate lubrication and the correct gasoline/oil fuel mixture, the 14-inch Poulan Woodshark chainsaw will work for extended periods with little maintenance. Apart from replacing the cutting chain every so often, one of the most vulnerable parts on this model is the drive sprocket attached to the clutch drum. This part is continuously bombarded with abrasive debris thrown back from the cutting chain, and once it becomes worn beyond a certain point, it must be replaced. To access this component, most of the chainsaw’s driving mechanism must be disassembled.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch socket wrench
  • 3/8-inch nut driver
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Wooden dowel
  • Nylon starter rope
  • Poulan clutch removal tool
  • 3/4-inch ring wrench
  • 1/2-inch paintbrush
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Rags
  • Biodegradable solvent
  • Poulan clutch drum/sprocket assembly
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Brass-bristle brush
  • Feeler gauge
  • Undo the two flanged nuts on the cover on the left side of the chainsaw with a 1/2-inch socket wrench. Remove the chain brake cover and push the front end of the chain bar sideways toward the cover to loosen the chain. Remove the chain by lifting it out of the slot in the chain bar and off the sprocket. Slide the chain bar off the two studs protruding from the left side of the machine.

  • Remove the four corner nuts on the black plastic cover below the chainsaw handle with a 3/8-inch nut driver. Slip the cover off to reveal the cylinder head and spark plug. Pull the rubber plug lead cover off the spark plug and unscrew the plug with a plug wrench.

  • Push a wooden dowel into the plug hole until it rests against the top of the piston. Keep pressure on the dowel and rotate the clutch drum until the piston reaches its lowest point. Feed a length of nylon starter rope into the plug hole until you can’t get any more in; this will jam the top of the piston against the rope and prevent the engine from turning while you undo the centrifugal clutch.

  • Lay the saw on its side with the clutch facing upward. Insert the two metal posts on one side of the Poulan clutch removal tool (part no. 31112) into the slots on either side of the clutch drum hub.

  • Place a 3/4-inch ring wrench over the hex nut on the clutch drum removal tool with the handle pointing to the right. Brace the chainsaw with your left hand and pull the wrench firmly toward your body with your right hand; this will turn the clutch removal tool clockwise and loosen the left-hand thread holding the clutch to the engine drive shaft.

  • Remove the centrifugal spring-loaded clutch by spinning it off the drive shaft in a clockwise direction. Lift the large washer out of the clutch drum and pull the drum and attached sprocket off the drive shaft. Remove the thick washer separating the clutch drum bearing from the motor housing.

  • Brush all the compressed sawdust off the side of the engine casing and from inside the chain brake cover with a dry 1/2-inch paintbrush. Loosen the chain bar tensioner screw a full turn with a flat screwdriver. The tensioner is fitted to the inside of the chain brake cover. Wipe all surfaces clean with a rag dampened with biodegradable solvent.

  • Clean all the packing grease from the inside of the replacement Poulan clutch drum/sprocket assembly with a clean dry rag. Replace the thick washer over the drive shaft, insert the large flat washer into the drum and slide the centrifugal clutch over the drive shaft with the directional arrow stamped on one side facing upward. Spin the clutch all the way onto the drive shaft in a counterclockwise direction but do not tighten it.

  • Turn the saw over so that the starter recoil assembly is uppermost. Remove the recoil assembly by undoing the four mounting screws on each corner with a Phillips screwdriver; removing the starter will prevent damage to the centrifugal lugs inside the starter when you tighten the clutch.

  • Invert the saw and fit the two posts on the clutch removal tool into the recesses on either side of the centrifugal clutch hub. Brace the chainsaw firmly and tighten the tool by turning the 3/4-inch ring wrench counterclockwise as far as possible; the engine will tighten the clutch further while running in a clockwise direction. Pull the rope out of the spark plug hole to allow the engine to rotate freely.

  • Flip the chainsaw over, replace the starter recoil assembly and tighten the four Phillips screws firmly. Clean the spark plug electrodes with a brass-bristle brush and adjust the gap with the help of the correct size of feeler gauge as directed in the owner’s manual.

  • Thread the plug back into the cylinder head, tighten it with the plug wrench and replace the plug lead cover. Replace the black plastic cylinder head cover and tighten the four attaching screws securely with the nut driver.

  • Wash all debris from the chain slot on either side of the chain bar with a 1/2-inch paintbrush and biodegradable solvent. Dry the slot with a rag and lubricate it with a few drops of oil. Slide the elongated slot on the end of the chain bar over the two studs securing the chain brake cover to the side of the chainsaw.

  • Feed the cutting chain over the clutch drum sprocket and into the slots in the chain bar. Replace the chain brake cover while inserting the lug on the chain bar tensioner into the hole below the elongated slot on the chain bar. Thread the two 1/2-inch flanged nuts onto the chain brake cover studs and snug them down with your fingers.

  • Insert a flat screwdriver into the recess below the chain bar and onto the head of the chain tension adjusting screw. Adjust the tension as directed in the owner’s manual. Slide the chain back and forth to ensure that it’s not binding in the chain bar slots. Tighten the two flanged nuts securely with a 1/2-inch socket wrench to complete your chainsaw maintenance.

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