FINAL WAS: Briggs & Stratton Engine Problem

At least I hope this is it because it's the only tangible problem I've found so far. I received my replacement leakdown tester and the B&S "L" head engine was the first test to see if it was working properly.
I had tried a crude compression test a while back that showed no symptoms, but with the tester, I located a lot of leakage at the exhaust valve (I could hear a lot of hissing at the muffler).
The symptom was hard to start and keep running, but once the engine was warmed up, it would keep running at 1/2 choke eventually running at 80% power with the choke full OFF.
I can only guess the valve and valve seat expanded as the engine warmed up to where there was enough compression to keep the engine running once it got hot. I can't do the valves for several weeks, but once I do the valves and true the head, the engine should be running a lot better.
My thanks to everyone for their help, tips, and suggestions. I leaned a lot.
Manjo
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When you do the valves...you're in the club! Good Luck, p_z
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On May 20, 6:40 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thanks. My wife and I took a Small Engine Repair class at the local HS 2 years ago. I took good notes and I have the engine manual. I'm looking forward to giving it a shot.
Manjo "L" head B&S 5 hp engineds
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The biggest challenge I ever had was when the boss's friend brought in a Lawn-Boy in a bushel basket (he took it apart-totally). This was an old one with real points and all. I'm not a fan of LawnBoy but I enjoyed getting it running.
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On Wed, 21 May 2008 16:00:49 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've set a few sets of points, using a match book cover. Gets them running for a fine tune later.
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The old Brig's rule was 10.20.30 .010" coil gap, .020" point gap, . 030" spark plug gap.
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On May 23, 5:42 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I remember my dad using a paper match for plug gap...some 50 or so yrs ago!
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