How to Remove a Chainsaw Flywheel in 9 Easy Steps

Patrick McMann

Knowledge Based

Are you facing trouble with your chainsaw flywheel? Is it stuck? If yes, stop there, as mishandling it can cause serious trouble for your engine, or worse, it can injure you. This is why it’s important to learn the proper techniques for removing the stuck flywheel safely. Luckily, I’ve got a solution.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to extract a chainsaw flywheel safely. I’ll also cover everything from the tools you’ll need to the techniques required to remove it, like using a chainsaw flywheel removal tool or flywheel puller. Follow the guide below, and you’ll have that flywheel off in no time without a hassle. Let’s get started!

removing a chainsaw flywheel

How to Remove a Chainsaw Flywheel?

To remove a chainsaw flywheel, first, you’ll need to disconnect the spark plug, take off the starter cover and loosen the flywheel center bolt. Then, use a flywheel removal tool to extract the flywheel. Remember to handle the flywheel with care and use protective gear to prevent injury.

But before I mention the steps for removing a chainsaw flywheel stuck in the engine’s crankshaft, let’s first discuss what a flywheel is. And what common reasons may cause it to get stuck? So you can avoid the flywheel from getting stuck in the future.

A chainsaw flywheel is a component of the tool’s engine system that maintains its momentum and keeps it running smoothly. The flywheel counterbalances the reciprocating motion of the engine’s piston, reducing vibrations as a result.

This is what makes it easier and more comfortable for you to operate your cutting machine. But sometimes, the flywheel can get stuck due to the following reasons:

  1. Rust, debris, dirt, or sawdust accumulation.
  2. The chainsaw flywheel key may be worn out or damaged.
  3. A tightened flywheel nut.
  4. The chainsaw flywheel magnets are damaged.
  5. The starter rope mechanism might be misaligned.
  6. The crankshaft bearings are worn out.
  7. Overheating of the engine.

Flywheel Removal Techniques

Alright, let’s move on to the reliable techniques for removing it. There are many options to remove the flywheel. But the most effective ones are a Husqvarna flywheel removal tool (you can use any brand’s 3-Jaw removal tool) or a 2-Bolt flywheel puller.

  • 3-Jaw Flywheel Removal Tool

A flywheel removal tool uses three jaws to grip the flywheel’s rim and a center bolt to push against the crankshaft. While holding the flywheel in place, the tool lets you loosen the center bolt and remove the flywheel easily.

  • 2-Bolts Flywheel Puller

A flywheel puller works by threading onto the flywheel’s shaft. It has two outer bolts and a center bolt to apply force and extract the flywheel from the crankshaft.

Using a 3-Jaw Flywheel Removal Tool

Here’s a step-by-step guide to pulling your cutting tool flywheel with a removal tool:

Step 1: Ensure the Engine is Cool

Only start the flywheel removal process when you are sure the engine is cool.

Step 2: Disconnect the Spark Plug

Disconnect the lead ignition and HT lead wires, and lift them out. Next, disconnect the spark plug by using a wrench so there is no risk of accidental engine ignition. Also, place a piston stop tool into the open plug neck.

Step 3: Remove the Ignition Module

Remove the two bolts holding the ignition module in place on the engine. Then carefully remove the module from the engine. Next, remove the two starter pawls from the flywheel.

Step 4: Position the Cutting Machine

Hold the cutting machine upside down so the flywheel is positioned upwards.

Step 5: Attach the Removal Tool

Now it’s time to attach the removal tool to the flywheel’s rim. Insert the tool’s jaws in the flywheel’s fin and grip its rim with the jaws.

Step 6: Thread the Center Bolt

Thread the center bolt of the 3-jaw removal tool onto the crankshaft to hold it securely in place.

Step 7: Tighten the Center Bolt

Next, pick up the wrench and tighten the center bolt of the 3-jaw tool on the crankshaft by moving the wrench clockwise. Increase the pressure gradually until the flywheel starts to loosen.

Step 8: Remove the Flywheel

Once you’ve loosened the flywheel, remove it carefully by pulling it away from the crankshaft by hand. If it’s still difficult to remove, tap it gently with a rubber mallet.

Step 9: Reassemble the Chainsaw

After you’ve removed the flywheel, perform any necessary repairs or maintenance before reassembling the cutting machine.

Using a 2-Bolt Flywheel Puller

Other than the 3-jaw removal tool, the 2-bolt flywheel puller also works well to pull off the flywheel. To know how to use a Stihl flywheel puller (you can use any brand’s puller), follow the above steps from 1 to 4. Then proceed with the following steps:

Step 5: Loosen the Flywheel’s Center Bolt

Use a wrench to loosen the flywheel’s center bolt till the bottom edge is aligned with the flywheel. But do not remove it altogether; you’ll need it only loose enough to hold the puller in place.

Step 6: Attach the Flywheel Puller

Attach the flywheel puller by aligning its center bolt with the flywheel’s center and thread its two outer bolts through the holes on the flywheel.

Step 7: Tighten the Outer Bolts

Use a wrench to tighten the puller’s two outer bolts, ensuring they are holding the flywheel securely.

Step 8: Tighten the Puller’s Center Bolt

Also, tighten the puller’s center bolt with the wrench in a clockwise motion until the flywheel is loosened from the crankshaft.

Step 9: Remove the Flywheel

Once you’ve loosened the flywheel, remove it carefully by pulling it away from the crankshaft by hand. If it’s still difficult to remove, tap it gently with a rubber mallet.

Step 10: Reassemble the Chainsaw

After you’ve removed the flywheel, perform any necessary repairs or maintenance on the flywheel before reassembling the cutting machine.

Precautions Before Removing a Chainsaw Flywheel

Now you know the reasons behind a Stihl chainsaw flywheel stuck in the crankshaft (or any other brand’s chainsaw flywheel), consider taking some safety precautions:

  1. Switch off your cutting machine and disconnect its spark plug to prevent accidental starting.
  2. Wear protective gear such as gloves and eye protection.
  3. Remember the position of the flywheel and its components before removal so you can reassemble them properly.
  4. Use appropriate tools for removal and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid damaging the flywheel of the gas chainsaw.
  5. Take note of any additional precautions for your specific chainsaw model in the user manual.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove a chainsaw flywheel without a puller?

There are many methods to remove a cutting tool flywheel other than a puller. You can use a hammer and a wooden block to tap the flywheel and loosen it from the crankshaft. But this can be potentially dangerous for the tool.

Another method is using a 3-jaw puller to remove the flywheel. But remember to use a proper flywheel puller according to your chainsaw engine and flywheel specifications for a safe removal process.

What is the best way to remove a flywheel?

The best way to remove a flywheel is to use a puller designed specifically for extracting the flywheel. This ensures a safe and effective removal without damaging the flywheel or the crankshaft.

How do you remove a flywheel from a Stihl saw?

To remove the flywheel from a Stihl saw, first, remove the starter cover and disconnect the spark plug. Next, insert a piston stop tool into the cylinder and loosen the flywheel’s center bolt. Lastly, use a flywheel puller to remove the flywheel.

How do you remove a clutch from a chainsaw without a tool?

Without using any tool, you can remove the clutch from a chainsaw. One option is to use a hammer and flathead screwdriver to tap the clutch counterclockwise until it loosens. Another option is to use a rubber strap wrench to grip the clutch and turn it counterclockwise to remove it.

What tool is used to remove flywheels?

A flywheel puller is used to remove flywheels from chainsaw engines. It is a tool designed specifically for safely removing flywheels.

How does a flywheel come off?

A flywheel is attached to the crankshaft of an engine with a center bolt. To remove a flywheel, you’ll need to loosen the bolt until you can pull off the flywheel. In that regard, you can use a flywheel puller to safely and effectively remove the flywheel.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the answer to your query, “How to remove a chainsaw flywheel.” It may seem daunting initially, but it’s a doable task with the right tools and safety precautions. Just remember to wear protective gear and follow the steps mentioned in the above guide.

Whether you choose a 3-Jaw removal tool or a 2-bolt puller, make sure you know your cutting machine’s engine specifications and flywheel size. And don’t hesitate to consult your chainsaw manufacturer’s instructions.

Patrick McMann