Briggs engine help

I have a generator powered by an 8 HP Briggs (190400 series), about 13 years old. As it's only for power outages it has very low hours. I used to test run it every so often but probably not in a year or so now. When I do test it I use the fuel shutoff and let it run out of gas to minimize deposit buildup. Some years back the carb was leaky and I got a carb kit for it and also Permatex'ed (or similar) the fuel bowl. (I'm not an expert but I do have some level of familiarity there, having disassembled, cleaned, and replaced carbs on small engines since I was a kid.)
The other day the power went out so I gassed up the generator and fired it up. After not running for about a year or more the engine was basically a basket case with what I presume was a carb related problem. The engine would start, I'd kick off the choke and after a few seconds it would sputter and start to die. I'd throw the choke back in and "save" it and then I'd back off and again it would start to die. Too little gas, right? So I'd play with the mixture screw, even running it in and out in case of dirt. I also tried forcing the throttle to the idle stop (against the governor) and used the idle screw to get decent low speed operation. (The engine never idles but it would have to pass through the idle speed range on start up.) Nothing was really behaving like it should in terms of adjusting mixture to zero in on the best setting with choke off (not that it should not have been already correct.) I did eventually get it running steady at a governed 3600 RPM but clearly something wasn't right. Gas was fresh, not stale.
I suppose this was just a matter of dirt and disassembling and cleaning the carb will take care of it but just wondering if there's anything else that comes to mind that I should be checking on. Is there anything this carb or engine as a whole is notorious for?
I've already torn the carb apart and don't see anything but that's not unusual; I've taken many apart for cleaning that were acting up and put them back together and never do see the actual dirt. Float checks out; it didnt' spring a leak. Guess I will get another carb kit.
In my experience the diaphragm-type carbs with primer start seemed a bit more reliable and made for easier starting engines. Wish this was one of those.
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Steve Kraus wrote:

Experts now say this is not a good thing to do. It leaves a gas film in the carb which turns to varnish pretty quickly. Best thing to do is use gas with a fuel stabilizer added and leave fuel in the carb.
Bob S.
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Bob S. wrote:

Thanks for that tip. I've been doing the "run the bowl dry" thing for many years now, but I'll try it the "new way" when I put my lawn equipment into hibernation in a week or so. I always put stabilizer in the gas left in the tank anyway.
But I'll still close the shutoff for safety.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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What "experts" say to leave gas in. And "they" know more than the manufacturers of all the equipment I have, which I have read the manuals to. I will go with what is proven to work and is recommended , not some new BS by Stabil salesman.
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On Sun, 23 Oct 2005 15:06:41 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

If you close the shutoff anyway, won't all the gas in the carb evaporate over the winter, and not be continuously diluted by fresher, stabilized fuel from the tank, providing the worst of both methods?
Seems to me like it's one or the other - close the valve and run out the fuel in the float bowl, hoping the little that is left won't make too much gum, or leave the valve open and hope the stabilizer works.
Or is stabilizer bigger magic than I think it is?
Loren
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Dissemble carb, and spray clean it with carb cleaner with toluene? Works on a lot of things.
Oh, oven cleaner spray with sodium hydroxide works nicely for cleaning carb parts. Rinse well, and then dry.
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Christopher A. Young
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I've been running the fuel outta my various engine carbs for over thirty years before putting the engine to bed. 'Experts' are wrong, I suspect, cause I've NEVER had a carb fouled up from old fuel yet... I have seen quite a few that DID foul when fuel was left in them (even with stabilizer)
Andy
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Check the fuel pickup screen, this is a very fine mesh screen at the bottom of the fuel tank and can get gummed up easy. it will starve the motor for fuel. I'm sure if you read your genset guide lines it will say that you should run it under load for a period of time each month. The reason for this is to prevent the windings in the generator from corrosion. There are also commutator rings and voltage regulators that like to act up with generators. Tom
On Sun, 23 Oct 2005 00:35:27 GMT, Steve Kraus

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Steve,
Pull out the main jet in the carb and I think you'll find it's clogged.
Q
Steve Kraus wrote:

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Probably just a piece of dirt some where maybe from your fuel , do you a filter on the unit It amases me how many expensive small motors have no filter from the factory. On another issue unless your gen has an exciter circuit and my 1300$ generac does not have one, 1 year inbetween running is to long, the gen can loose resisual magnatism and not generate any power needing "Flashing" to restore its "field magnatism". Dont go over 6 months. Running dry is best as you do, but after it stops wait a few minutes and restart it you will vaporise any left over gas and get it all out. sometimes this procedure can take 1/2 hr , of many 3 second runs, but all fuel will be removed. Leaving fuel in the carb has greater dangers as gas and stabil will still evaporate slowly . The other day I fired up my unit and it did not work right I checked the filter and found rodent shit in it, Now I put mothballs under the unit, put them in a box , I seen ridents move mothballs outside because they do not like them. Also dont keep in bad dirty oil, it will etch bearings.
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My 1.5 yr old Toro mower had same problem. Warranteed to start in two pulls, "right". Fine print gives them the out they needed. Anyway, I was told by a dealer that it is almost always dirty gas in carb, tank and can. Well he was dead on. I poured the fuel back into the gas can. Then ran the gas through a old white t-shirt and funnel into a empty clear plastic bottle. I couldn't believe what showed up in the t-shirt. I removed the gas tank and shook it with a little gas in it and back to the t-shirt. Man, it was loaded with flakes of something. The tank has a filter so I blew air through the fuel line outlet and cleaned again. Cleaned the jet and bowl. Squirted er with carb cleaner and she's running fine. The primer doesn't seem to do anything so I may pull the carb this winter and do a complete cleaning.
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Flakes in the gas used to be a common problem in the days when metal gas tanks were used. It's surprising to hear about flakes, because most tanks and cans are plastic these days. Have you ever filled it from a metal container. If so, time to discard that container (along with the t-shirt 8>) ) The flakes are easier to get rid of than gum because a mechanical wipe with a cloth can remove them, whereas gum requires a solvent.

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Steve Kraus wrote:

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wrote:

Definitely not - a dirty air filter acts like a choke, and the OP needed choke to keep it running.,
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When you have to part choke an engine to keep it running, it's running lean. Might be a missing air filter, or some problem with the fuel supply.
The only thing that comes to mind is to install a new gasket between the carb and the engine. Give it a light coat of Permatex II Non Hardening (black stuff). Sometimes a missing carb to engine gasket will cause this type of problem.
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Christopher A. Young
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My experience with leaving the carb dry of gas will cause the rubber diaphgram to crack or get too stiff, that's why I leave the gas in the tank. Besides, you're supposed to test the generator monthly. And I would use gas stabiziler also, it works fine in boat engines for the winter, but to leave them dry---not me. Usually means a new carb kit the next year or two.
J
Steve Kraus wrote:

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