lawnmower won't start

I have a mower that I let sit for about two years while I had a gardener. Now I'm trying to use it again and it won't start. I drained and changed the gas, cleaned the plug, checked the air filter. I sprayed the inside of the cylinder and the carburetor with gumout. When I pull the starter, the engine ignites the gumout and runs for a few seconds, then dies again. So I'm guessing that means it is getting a spark so it's a fuel clog issue?
Anyone have any advice? This is a Craftsman (Briggs & Stratton) standup mower that has really only been used a couple of dozen times over the years--it's just been sitting in the garage for awhile. I live in Los Angeles so it's fairly dry here, but it has sat through some very hot temperatures in the summer.
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You may need to change the carb unless you can take it apart and clean it very VERY well. If you change it (about 22.00) it only requires that you remove the tank then two bolts holding the carb to the tank body. Depending on what tye carb you have, either way its an easy and quick process.
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I would agree that fuel appears to be the source of your problems. As one who used to repair this stuff, I can tell you that this is very common for motors which have not been used for a period. These motors have a diaphragm type fuel pump in the carb. When a motor is not in use the diaphragms dry out and don't work. There are very few parts in a 3.5 B&S, so carb. replacement may not be warranted. The cost of carb. replacement may also not be a wise investment as that may be more than the mower is worth. 3.5 HP B&S are very reasonably priced these days. In any case, most repair shops will give you a quote on repairs. You can compare this to mower replacement cost.

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On Sat, 25 Mar 2006 02:10:02 GMT, HamNCheese

Common problem. The carb is all varnished up. Drain all the gas out of the tank and fuel bowl. Buy a can of the cheapest carburetor/ fuel injector cleaner and pour about half of it into the tank. Remove the spark plug wire and pull on the starter cord a few times to get the cleaner into the carb. Let it sit for a couple of hours. Clean or replace the spark plug. Fill the tank with fresh gas, reconnect the plug and try to start. I'll bet it starts by the third pull. BTDT
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That sounds like a good plan, however you may not find a fuel bowl, as some of the smaller B&S motors, such as 3.5 HP, had none. Just a dip tube, directly from the carb. into the tank. Engine vacuum on a diaphragm, sucked the gas up into the carb. Whatever type of carb. it does have, cleaning it makes a lot more sence than replacing it.
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This was the easiest option so I tried it first. Thanks but no go.
Thanks for all the ideas... I will likely try opening and cleaning/repairing the carb or just having a shop do it. Can't imagine they'd charge more than $50.
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Common problem with B&S Engines when they are not used for some time. Take the carb apart and clean all areas you can with carb cleaner but don't disturb the jet/needle settings. You will be looking for a flat rubber diaphram with two small flaps on one side. This little gizmo is the fuel pump and when it becomes brittle it hardens and no longer functions. They are less than $2 at the parts store. Put it back together and I believe your problem will be solved.
J
HamNCheese wrote:

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