The clutch on a Poulan chainsaw engages the bar and chain and allows you to cut with your saw. The clutch is a crucial component in the cutting process. If the clutch assembly is damaged in any way you will either notice severe cutting problems or won't be able to cut at all. Keeping the clutch properly cleaned and lubricated will prevent damage, but at some point your Poulan chainsaw might need a new clutch. Removing and installing a new clutch can be tricky if you're not familiar with the parts of the saw.
Things You'll Need
Leather working gloves
Allen wrench or star wrench
Piston stop tool
Clutch removal tool
Turn off the Poulan chainsaw and release the chain brake by pulling back on the chain brake lever. With a gloved hand, spin the chain to make sure the chain brake is off.
Use the wrench and screwdriver to remove the clutch cover, the clutch cover's bolts and the bar and chain. Set all of them aside in a safe place where they won't get lost.
Use the screwdriver to remove the cylinder cover on top of the Poulan's body. Pull off the rubber boot from the spark plug.
Insert the piston stop tool into the spark plug hole. This blocks the crankshaft from moving and will allow you to take off the clutch.
Use the Allen wrench or star wrench, depending on the Poulan chainsaw model, to remove the bolt that holds the clutch assembly to the crankshaft.
Pull off the clutch plate. Underneath you will see the clutch. It looks like a metal circle with a spring in the middle. Depending on the model, you may also need to remove the clutch drum and sprocket drum if they are above the clutch. On some models these parts are below the clutch so you may not have to.
Use the clutch removal tool designed for Poulan chainsaws to remove the clutch. Turn the clutch's bolt clockwise to loosen it. If you can't afford the clutch removal tool, you can try a mallet and a small chisel to try and pound the clutch loose.
Pull off the clutch from the crankshaft. Clean or replace the old clutch and put it back on by using these directions in reverse order. Remember to tighten the clutch's bolt counterclockwise to secure it to the engine.
Do not use an impact gun to try and release the clutch’s bolt. This can damage your flywheel. Do not pound hard on the clutch with the mallet or you will damage the clutch assembly and need to replace it. Buy the piston stop tool. They are not expensive and will not damage your engine.
It is recommended not to use the saw’s starter cord to block the piston. If the piston is in the wrong place, this cord can come out the exhaust port, get sheared off by the piston and ruin your engine.