Introduction: How to Use a Stihl Chainsaw Bar on a Husqvarna Saw
In this Instructable I'll show you the basics of using a Stihl bar and chain on a Husqvarna chainsaw. Sometimes chainsaw bars are referred to as arms, blades or swords, but I'll simply stick to using the official term which is chainsaw bar.
Note: this applies to bar sizes for large Stihl and Husqvarna saws - Stihl 3003 bar to Husqvarna D009 mount chainsaw. The opposite doesn't apply, at least not without significant modification to the bar, so we won't discuss that here. Also, this is NOT the only way to make this modification, but this mod allows you to buy standard length chains available on the shelf without needing to have special length chains made.
So, why use a Stihl on a Husqvarna chainsaw? In my case, Stihl chains are easier to acquire and I already have a large quantity on hand, so I save money by not buying more chains. Also, in the case you have both manufacturer's saws, it allows you to interchange the bars and chains. Stihl's new bars are superior to other manufacturer's these days. The quality of their chains is also very high, so they are desirable to use in home and professional settings.
Why not just use Stihl chain on a Husqvarna bar? Husqvarna uses as a standard driver width .058 and Stihl uses .063, so the Stihl chain won't fit into the Husqvarna bar groove. There are other options and driver sizes, but again we won't discuss that here for the purpose of keeping this instructable simple and not confusing.
First, let me explain the differences in the two bar mounts that the different manufacturer's use. Stihl uses larger shoulders on the mount bolts, therefore, the bar opening is much larger than Husqvarna's. Husqvarna mount bolts are further apart in spacing, so the slot for the bar is longer than Stihl's. So, I'll show you how to overcome those differences to easily mount a Stihl bar on a Husqvarna saw.
Stihl bar and chain of your chosen length
Scrench to loosen and remove bar nuts
Drill with 6.5mm drill bit
T20 and flat tip screwdriver
Step 1: Obtain an Adapter.
An adapter is needed to prevent the Stihl bar from flopping around on the smaller Husqvarna mount bolts. Measurements in the pic notes...
Step 2: Layout and Mod Prep
After obtaining an adapter, take the Stihl bar and place it on a flat surface such as a workbench. Lay the Husqvarna bar directly on top of the Stihl bar. Make sure the the chain adjuster holes from both bars are aligned (see 3rd pic above), then using a marker or pencil, mark the part of the Stihl bar that will be removed later.
Note: this modification is being done to accommodate chain adjustment spacing. There is some space toward the rear (tail of the bar) that is also longer on the Husqvarna bar, but it's not necessary to modify that portion of the Stihl bar.
Mark where the marker tip in the 1st photo shows.
Step 3: Grinding, Drilling or Both
In this step, you'll be removing the material marked out during the previous step. I used a die grinder. You can use a drill, drill press, end mill or any combination of these to open the bar slot enough to accommodate the adapter.
Note: the bar steel is really tough so go slowly and use cutting oil liberally if drilling or milling.
After you are done elongating the slot, make sure the adapter slides freely in the slot from front to back without binding.
Step 4: The Tensioner Holes
The adjuster holes for the Husqvarna are larger than the Stihl bar. This is because the adjuster pin on the Husqvarna saw is larger. You'll need to open these holes to around 6.5mm to accommodate the Husqvarna chain tensioner pin. A Dremel with a diamond bit can also be used.
Note: again, if drilling remove material slowly and use cutting fluid. Also, if drilling be careful not to destroy the outer edges of your drill bit if it binds when attempting to drill the tensioner holes.
Check the pic above: before - lower and after - above.
Step 5: Install and Test Fit.
Install the adapter, the bar and the chain. Mount the clutch cover and tension your chain as normal. Make sure the chain is properly tensioned and the brake released. Rotate the chain using a screwdriver or gloved hand. Check to make sure the chain rotates freely without binding or resistance. If everything checks good, you should be ready to cut wood with your new Stihl bar mounted on a Husqy saw.