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Well lo and behold! It started like a champ and kept on humming like a hungry dog on a bone.

Many thanks to those of you who offered helpful suggestions (too many to mention and you know who you are anyways :smile2:) to get my machine (10HP MTD Tecumseh circa 1999) up and running again. This site is a godsend to people like me.

It all started (no pun intended) when the electric start broke off its casing. It was cold as -------- and the pull start didn't cut it. Then the rope shredded up to bits. Then I when I dropped the carb I found the fuel line was cracked and leaking just after the stop valve. Another thing needing fixing...

Fixed the pull rope first. Then the fuel line. Tried to start.. No go. Ether? Tried various ways (in the cylinder then through the intake). Got a sign of life when I tried that but it died in about a second. So onto the carb. Took the bowl off again and did a quicky clean (main jet, intake, primer hole and various nooks and cranies) while the carb was still on the machine. Tried again. Fired up but gas leaking all over the place. RATS! Okay, keep calm... Looked up leaky carb on this site and it reminded me to be careful the needle valve is sitting in the hole properly. Unassembled and reassembled the carb keeping that in mind and ta-da! The carb doesn't leak and it starts on first pull and hums along beautifully.

It starts so good now I probably won't even need to fix the electric start after all - although I am currently McGivering a bracket so I can mount it back on again. It has a broken ear (tab) where one of the bolts go into the side of the engine. That is a bad design by the way...

Thanks to everybody for your 2 cents worth. They were priceless. :bowing:
 

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Lots of very helpful and patient members here. Happy you found your answers and got your machine running.
 

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Excellent. I don't know who had something to do with it, but I know I didn't. Lots of good information here and people willing to help. :D
 
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