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Gremlins keep sneaking up on our 700.

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Yesterday, after lots of adjusting and "tweaking", the old 700 was running like it just came from dealer. I drove around the yard, up and down the street on many test runs, it idled great, and I was beaming! After a couple of ice cold beverages, I tore myself away from the tractor and called it a night. Sometime between 10 pm last night, and 6 am, the gremlins hit! It wouldn't start, when I finally got it started, it poped, smoked, ran rough, wouldn't idle, no power under a load, killed, poped again, started hard, spitted and sputtered.....it's like I'm back to square one! I put the charger on it, took these pics, and decided to go to the computer and talk to the real experts here in the forum. Now I question everything, is it timing? is it valves?, is it rings? I found junk in the fuel line, cleaned it out, took the carb apart once again, checked and cleaned everything, added an in-line filter, have tried numerous plugs from the J8 to the little no-name plugs that come with the hardware store lawn mower tune-up kit, still runs like CRAP! I'm thinking all hopes of driving it over to a cousin's house for festivities this week end are lost. I was going to pull the wagon with all the coolers, etc. Now if only the Briggs superman would show up with an ice cold 12er, sit me down, and show me whats wrong. By the way, it charges great when it's running, I put the charger on to make up what I used trying to start it for the 8th time today.

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Well, the first thing is check to see it you have strong spark. Pull the plug wire and it should snap a good 1/4 inch gap between it and the top of the plug. If not, check the points and condenser. Many times a condenser will fail in a similar way you described. Also, a piece of carbon on the points can cause all sorts of issues. If you have spark, is their fuel leaking out of the carb... If there is, your flooding, if not take the top of the air cleaner off, and try spraying carb cleaner in as u crank it. If it runs you know you have a carb issue. There is a number of other diagnostic steps, but these are the basics that can be done in the first 2 minutes and usually will lead you in the correct direction. Dan

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