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I have an old Craftsman I bought new in 1998. It started doing that.
Your looks in better shape then mine did, I fixed it. Mine was three times the crack you show. You don't need any welding done as it is not going to stress there. You just need to cover the hole.
Clean it all up, Apply a tube of JB weld on it. I fixed mine then formed a piece of sheet metal over it and riveted it on. My damage/rot was worse then yours. I added some paint afterwards.
Been 5 years and still holding up good. I hope to get another 20 years out of it. :)
I just put 2 power wheels on the front, I only had them for 2 years waiting for the others to wear out more.
The 6.75 Hp motor has served me well. I only change the oil once a year and only had to replace the ignition coil once.
And this was right after I tossed a parts machine I had, Ed's world, pack rat then as soon as I toss something I need it. :(

Never had the carb off in all those years, so I must be doing something right concerning the gas and storing.
Added a few new plugs even though the old ones looked good.
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