McCullough chain keeps coming off help!!


New Member
Feb 16, 2013
Hi, I have a McCullough mac 444 and the auto tensioner has recently gone on it so I swapped it with a manual tensioner from a similar model ( all the casings and fittings are the same). Anyway since then (last week) the chain has come off 3 times even thought it initially runs fine. It tightens up fine but even when it's tight it still comes off.
Could this be the gear on the back of the clutch which the chain runs on?
Can anyone help?

jacob j.

When I let my hair down, my friends call me Dick C
Jan 9, 2012
I've never even seen a Mac 444?


New Member
Feb 16, 2013
Thanks for the replies guys I forgot to mention the I live in France so maybe it's a French market model. I think it's 46cc with a 16"bar
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~Ice Gangsta~
Jan 10, 2012
Parts Unknown
Check the drive links that ride in the bar if the chain comes off they
will develop a bur and won't stay in the bar.

Clean up the bur, and you should be fine.


Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2012
Just taking a guess here-----------Most chain tensioners have 3 components: The screw, the pawl that fits the hole in the bar, and some kind of nut or washer that keeps the entire assembly from moving back and forth in the saw. I'd say take a look and make sure that the tensioner is secure in the saw.


Hand Rubbed Pork
Jan 9, 2012
What you have there is a Poulan of sorts and the bar tensioners are notoriously weak, along with the plastic support in the side cover. I'd be looking for a deformity or a partially stripped screw/nut. It's only a couple bucks to replace the tensioner, and a couple more to replace the entire side cover. I've got one here in purple that would look great on that saw ;)
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Staff member
Jan 8, 2012
Upstate NY - Southern Tier
Any chance that thing is a Poulan...??

That dawg, muffler, and handle in front of the clutch cover looks awfully "Poulanish".

Could be wrong I guess - just kinda looks like one...

That sprocket looks chewed. Maybe the tensioner screw is stripped too....??


Hand Rubbed Pork
Jan 9, 2012
Clutch sprocket, time to go. 530047061 can be had for about $10 if it's the same one. Take a pic of both sides of the clutch cover where the tensioner is if you will. A lot of times what happens with these is the nuts get tightened down prematurely when the bar adjuster isn't in the hole in the bar. This bulges out the section where the tensioner is. That will allow you to put tension on the bar but then as you use it it slips out of place. Technically the bar nut pressure should hold the proper tension, but these setups are terribly efficient and will allow it to slip. The bar adjuster pin is mostly to hold the tension on the bar while you tighten the nuts down - which is similar to the molded flywheel keys, those just hold the correct timing position while you tighten the flywheel nut. The taper fit holds the flywheel in the proper place, not the key.
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