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It's model is MS1250LZA. I have no idea if its belt or direct drive--my screen name is very, very appropriate to me--we built a new house-rather my contractor built it, until we ran out of $$, so I have been doing the finish work--by trial and error, mostly error .
It felt like something broke inside the body of the saw.....
I have NO idea it is belt or direct drive. My screen name is NOT a joke .
I have been forced to do the finish work in our new home due to $$ constraints, so I have been learning as I go, thru trial and error, well, mostly error , so any answer has to be in layman's terms so I can understand it.
Ok, thats the direct drive model which means the motor spindle is geared directly onto the blade arbor. Reason I ask is because if it was a belt driven model it was possible for the belt to just be damaged or slipping which should have been easy to fix. Unfortunately it seems like your saw must have ground out some gears if you say it makes strange noises and barely spins.
As best as I can tell this is a gear drive model. Without being able to hear it I'm only taking a guess, but one or more of the gears my have teeth broken off. Does it make a nasty Z Z Z Z Z grinding type sound? What about when you let go of the trigger?
Check and see if the blade is properly seated on the arbor. It's possible that it has loosened up a bit. If the blade is secured to the arbor with a bolt, like on the Craftsman I own, remember that the threads are left handed, i.e. righty loosee, lefty tighty.
~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.