It had a gas leak around the gas intake hose and the fuel bowl gasket. I fixed both. The TORO has to be the most frustrating machine I have ever worked on - you have to fairly well dismantle the housing to get at any of the innards.
Anyway, now the thing will not start at all. I have tried squirting a little starting fluid into the intake, but the engine will not 'fire'. I changed to a new spark plug - it still will not 'fire'. I removed the new spark plug and connected it back so I could observe whether it 'sparked' when I pulled on the starter rope. It did. I squirted a little starter fluid into the combustion chamber itself, and re-installed the spark plug. It still not 'fire'.
BTW - the key is on.
Anyway, I am wondering. Since the spark plug seems to be 'sparking' okay, why on earth doesn't the starter fluid I squirted into the combustion chamber at least 'fire' the engine, even if only once? Also, would all this happen even if the key is off? IOW, could my problem be that the key-switch is no working? It looks to act to complete a ground circuit. I'm confused.