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Carb Question

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I have a '91 Sovereign with 18 HP Kohler Command Model CH18S. Problem is it will not idle, runs rough and backfires, spits and sputters at mid to lower range RPM and exhaust smells like about half gasoline to the point it will make your eyes burn from 10 or 15 feet away. I have had the carb apart and cleaned it and have replaced plugs. If I remember correctly this has a plastic float. Do those have the same problem as the brass floats when it comes to taking on gas?? Also, am I correct in thinking the plastic float has a pre set position where the needle valve attaches. At full throttle with a load {48" mower or snow blower} it acts the way it should and has plenty of power. Same results just driving with no load. Ideas please.. Also I have tried to get the float to rattle when shaken but no noise.

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