how to clean a lawnmower's engine (stalling problems)

I've been having problems with my Murray lawnmower. It idles very low and stalls frequently.
This problem started when the wheel broke on my lawnmower, so I had to tilt the mower back to add a new bolt on it. Since i did that, all kinds of fluids are inside parts that aren't supposed to have fluids.
I took off the part above the gas tank (sorry, I'm a computer geek, not a lawnmower handy man, so I don't know the names of these parts) and noticed that the greenish colored filter was soaked with a liquid that smelled like gas and looked like oil. I squeezed it dry as much as I could with a large rag and replaced it. Then I removed the spark plug and noticed that there was oil in the threads and the top of the plug was very black and looked burnt. I wiped it clean as much as I could and replaced it.
Then I added new gas since I heard that last season's gas might be the cause of the low idle problem. I still have the problem of low idle and frequent stalls.
So basically my question is this: what else can I try and how do I clean all the parts that're full of fluids that aren't supposed to be?
Thanks in advance!
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The foam filter element should have some oil in it to help the filtering action. I clean mine and oil it at the start of every mowing season. I over oiled it once and the engine ran badly. It wasn't getting air so I squeezed out the excess and it ran perfect. You may have also have gotten gas in the oil. That happened to me when I tilted the mower over.

The gas could have gone stale as they call it. I always dump left over gas into the car in the Fall and start with new gas in the spring.

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did it leak gas in the oil, is the level high, change it.
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fantabular wrote:

Just raise your idle speed with the adjustment screw. Your air filter is supposed to be oiled. Reoil it. Stop fixating on the fluids and replace your spark plug if you are looking for something to do.
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fantabular wrote:

Oil in the filter (green foam thing)? I beg to disagree. There shouldn't be any there. Clean it by pouring gas through it or buy some carburetor cleaner at a car parts place. Spray it into the foam and squeeze it out. Do it a few times until the foam is clean. Let it air dry. Then replace. If it is choked up with oil, it can't breathe. And the engine won't run correctly.
Sure, old gas can cause problems. But have you been running it all spring or was this the first time you ran it? If the former, then you don't have a gas problem. If the latter, it's still iffy. I think this stale gas thing is overhyped. I've never experienced it myself. But it couldn't hurt to replace with fresh gas either.
Oil and grunge on the plug. PROBABLY the culprit. The spark plug is one of the more important things to have clean and fresh on a lawmower. Followed closely by a clean air filter (green foam thing). Personally, I advise buying a new spark plug at your local dealer or home improvement store very spring. Wiping it clean won't do. Brushing with a wire brush will often extend the life, but for all of two or three bucks, just get a new one. You'll be amazed at how better a lawnmower will run with just a plug change.
Just my two cents...
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Sixeye wrote:

Hi, Doesn't foam filter need a thin coat of oil to be effective? Tony
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Sixeye, You had better look at this link: http://www.briggsandstratton.com/display/router.asp?DocIDd059
IRONDOG www.snowmobileswapmeet.com www.dirtbikeswapmeet.com
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IRONDOG wrote:

DOHHH! Sorry for the bad info!
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Sixeye,
Many lawn mower air filters are oiled. The OP should check his owners manual for proper maintenance.
Dave M.
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On 26 May 2004 15:36:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (fantabular) wrote:

Would it not be cost effective to pay for a lawnmower firm to service it?
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On 26 May 2004 15:36:33 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (fantabular) wrote:

Replace the spark plug, the air filter, and remove the gas line and dispose of that old gas and add fresh gas. To that gas, add about a 1/4 cup of carb cleaner per gallon. (Carb cleaner is NOT what people use when they are trying to lower their carbs, but it might shut them up).
That should fix ya !!!
PS. A foam oil filter should be soaked in CLEAN oil.
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