Bought it used, so unknown history. Was difficult to start first season, but worked.
Now, it's extremely difficult to start, but runs fine if you get it started. If I shoot it with starting fluid, it fires once or twice. Does backfire thru the carb a little, that's why I checked for the sheared key.
If I can get to the priming pump fast enough, I can sometimes get it to run. Runs fine afterward. Starts first pull when hot. Back to not starting when cold.
Symptoms point to not getting enough gas.
Has spark. New plug. Fresh gas. New air filter. I've rebuilt the series 8 carburetor twice. Yes, I put in the float valve seat the right way. Checked valve adjustment. Took off the flywheel nut to verify the key is not sheared.
I haven't checked compression...this is the first OHV lawnmower engine I've tried to fix. The compression release probably affects the compression measurement anyway???? I don't know what to expect.
I like this mower because it mulches the grass very well. I'd like to make it run.