I also was amazed at how well brake cleaner works. I tried carb cleaner on one old engine and it wasn't making any progress on the carbon. I happened to have some brake cleaner handy so I tried it. It was amazing how it took the carbon off the top of the valve and head, just spray and started seeing bare metal in some areas then wipe up what you can. Happened to have a fine brass brush for welding on hand so combined the two and it came up clean, including the valve seat without disassembling. I've found round ones for a dremel tool at Home Depot, and a larger one at Fleet Farm to use in a drill.Hey HCBPH I may try to pull the head this weekend to take a look at the valves. Never heard of using brake cleaner on valves. Don't they make something to clean them? I hope maybe a new gasket and valve cleaning is all it takes to get it going.
+1 on that. I had to grind the valve stems on 3 5hp tec's this year to get the proper valve lash.I have seen quite a few posts on various forums about 5HP Tecumseh engines on snowblowers loosing compression. The fix is almost always the exhaust valve needs to be ground down and lapped.