Many people do not know that Stihl 029 chainsaws first appeared in 1993. For around 30 years, they have been in business. Nevertheless, more and more complaints are coming in for the 029 saw in recent months.
If you are one of the users of this product, I’ve got good news for you. You can turn this classic saw into a powerful 039 model with a little conversion work.
For conversion, you must replace the Stihl 029’s piston and cylinder with those from the Stihl 039.
In the article, I discuss the differences between these chainsaws and why people convert them. I will also describe each step in detail to ensure a successful conversion.
Let’s get going!
Differences Between the Stihl 029 and 039
Before I get into conversion, let me explain the differences between 029 and 039.
The biggest difference I found was in horsepower. The 029 produces 2.9 hp, while the 039 delivers 6.4 hp.
So it is no secret which chainsaw is considerably more powerful. The 039 is capable of handling larger trees and tougher jobs with ease.
Stihl 029 and 039 saws have different levels of sound pressure. The 029 unit emits 110 decibels, which is pretty loud.
As for the 039, its noise output is only 103 decibels. It means that this would be a much better option for people who are sensitive to loud sounds.
Finally, I discovered an area where vintage 029 excels. It weighs about 10.8 pounds, compared to 11.5 pounds for the 039.
I can’t really blame the 039 since it gained its remarkable performance at the expense of weight.
Having said that, even a slight weight difference can be crucial when using a saw regularly or for extended periods of time.
Reasons for Converting a Stihl 029 to a 039
Despite the challenges involved in conversion, chainsaw enthusiasts seem to love it. This is because, after conversion, the 029 will reap some great benefits. Let’s see them below.
- More Power
Stihl 039 has a higher horsepower rating than 029, as I mentioned earlier. You can also harness such power if you succeed in converting it.
Remember that you have a chance of boosting horsepower by over 50%. It is not something to be missed, is it?
- Larger Bar
Unlike the 029, a 039 has the ability to accommodate taller guide bars. You can even attach 20-inch bars to the latter. This way, thicker trees, and logs can be easily cut.
A longer bar also demands more power and torque, and the 039 provides both.
- Parts Availability
Due to its recent release, parts, and accessories for the 039 may be easier to find than those for the 029.
And this matters a lot because stock chainsaws are never adequate. There is always a need for new parts and accessories for different tasks and repairs.
Hence, by correctly converting your 029 to 039, you will have a much easier time locating parts for it.
Steps to Convert a Stihl 029 to a 039
Here comes the article’s most interesting segment. I compiled a list of easy steps to convert your Stihl 029 to 039. Let’s check them out.
STEP – 1: Prepare your materials
You will need a piston and cylinder kit designed for the 029 chainsaw. The piston should be 49 mm in diameter. Be sure to have wrist pins and piston rings on hand.
STEP – 2: Take out the existing piston and cylinder
Take off the cylinder cover, spark plug, and air filter cover. The next step is to remove the cylinder and piston from the saw by loosening the bolts.
STEP – 3: Attach the new piston
First, replace the wrist pin and rings on the new 039 piston. Next, place it in the cylinder.
Ensure that the arrow on the piston corresponds to the exhaust port on the cylinder.
STEP – 4: Install the cylinder
It is time to mount the new cylinder to the engine block. It is important that the piston ring gaps match the cylinder locating pins.
Tighten the bolts evenly to the torque specified in your chainsaw’s manual.
STEP – 5: Reassemble the saw
Reinstall the items in the same manner as you detached them. If any parts contain dirt or debris, they should be cleaned first.
STEP – 6: Adjust the carburetor
Upon conversion, the saw may need to have its carburetor adjusted for optimal performance. In particular, make sure that the mixture of air and fuel is correct.
STEP – 7: Test the chainsaw
Start the saw and let it idle for a few minutes before using it. Afterward, put it to the test by cutting a piece of wood to see if it has enough power.
And there you have it; the conversion is complete!
Tips for More Effective Conversion of Stihl 029
Here are a few tips to help ensure everything goes smoothly during and after the conversion.
- Check Compatibility
Before you start converting, check whether the piston and cylinder fit together correctly.
Some other parts may need to be modified for proper installation. In that case, you should consult a professional.
- Proper Maintenance
I have seen many people who do not care about their saws once they have converted them. In reality, the period following conversion is the most critical for the machine’s long-term performance.
Thus, make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s (039’s) instructions for fuel mix and oil, as well as regularly clean the saw.
- Follow Safety Precautions
Converting a chainsaw improperly can lead to serious injuries. Therefore, precautions should be taken. Here are a few safety gears I recommend wearing:
- Protective eyewear
- Hearing Protection
- Hand Gloves
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a chainsaw conversion, and why would someone want to do it?
The chainsaw conversion involves making it more powerful and efficient through modification. This is usually done by upgrading the engine, replacing the chain, and making other modifications.
Will convert my Stihl 029 to a 039 void the manufacturer’s warranty?
Yes, converting your Stihl 029 to a 039 invalidates the warranty. Do not forget that conversion alters the design and functionality of the machine, and the warranty does not cover any alterations the original design may have undergone.
Can I convert the Stihl 029 to a 039 myself, or should I hire a professional or expert?
Yes, you can upgrade a Stihl 029 to a 039 by yourself. However, I recommend hiring a professional or expert to complete the conversion, as it may require specific tools and knowledge.
Also Read: All Stihl Chainsaw Models By Year
To Sum Up
The Stihl 029 is undoubtedly a legendary chainsaw that set the bar high when it was introduced. However, people must accept that it is no longer as good as it used to be.
Thankfully, if you convert it to a 039 saw, it will still provide excellent performance and efficiency. And by following the steps in the article, the conversion would be a breeze.