Craftsman Lawn Mower Problems

I have a Craftsman Eager series self propelled mower that my son used in the neighborhood to make a few bucks mowing lawns until it suddenly developed a problem and I can't tell if it's a gas problem or a timing problem which leads to the following questions...
Do lawn mowers have a proper 'timing' adjustment? The reason I ask is because when it ran, it seemed to be having a timing issue - misfiring and such as it barely ran following the problem surfacing.
How does a person determine if the coil is creating the problem? I assume that with an ohm-meter, one can tell if the primary is OK but how about the secondary part of the ignition? I held the spark plug cable and gently pulled the start cord but couldn't feel much 'zap' but notably, some was there.
I think this might be down to the ignition system side or perhaps even the carb (filthy air cleaner I pulled off that may have allowed dust through) and really don't want to just keep throwing money into it if the money would be better spent on another mower but obviously, would like to save it if I can.
Does the magneto (or coil) have a surface that can be cleaned (air gap with the flywheel) to help the spark issue ???
Would appreciate any pointers from any lawn mower mechanics to help me decide again, if I should just dump it and buy another one... It's a 7hp motor on approx a 3 year old walk behind, self propelled mower. TIA for any feedback...
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No, it's set on the flywheel.
The reason I ask is

OK, if you have spark, that means it is probably not an ignition problem. A quick way of checking this to spray carb cleaner in the intake while it's running, and see if it runs any smoother.

You can sand the magnetic surface on the flywheel and the coil, but the problem is most likely in the carb. The jets could be clogged. If you do not feel comfortable rebuilding the carb yourself (it is not really cost-effective to have a shop do it) , replace the mower. Money dumped into a three-year-old mower that has seen hard use would be better spent buying a newer mower, especially if you can make the money back by mowing other peopl e's lawns.

That is one big push-mower!
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Lynn Coffelt wrote:

alt.test would be the appropriate place.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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On 2005-07-07 20:30:05 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com said:

Mine is 12 years old and still going.

Chris: "Dad, what's a blowhole for?" Peter: "I'll tell you what it's NOT for and then you'll know why I can never go back to Sea World."
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com expounded:

You're reading this via a web interface, so everything looks hunky-dory to you, but most read with a newsreader and depend on an attributed quote to follow the conversation. You failed to provide that in your previous post.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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expounded:

I read with a newsreader set to properly thread the posts, and had no problem following the discussion.
Better no quote than 3 pages of quote with a "me too" at the bottom.
Bob
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