Originally Posted by claydbal
a quick check i would always do was to hold a can of wd-40 near the carb throat. when it started to wheez or die, give short burstsof wd40 to kep it running. this confirms its a fuel starvation thang.
Yes, I agree. A can of starting fluid will work well too. This will also tell you if you have any gaskets leaking which would indicate a loss of vacuum.
Take a compression check.
I had a landscape biz for twenty years and, during that time, operated literally dozens of small engines. The very FIRST thing that we always did was simply change the spark plugs. Often the the problem was not with the plug/s but just as often it WAS. Spark plugs for small engines are notoriously poor quality but cheap to replace.
I also agree that, with no electronics, the problem would simply not be that difficult to trace.
Check to see what sort of fuel pump this engine has. Many, many small engines use a vacuum fuel pump that can develop a less than optimum diaphragm if allowed to sit for an extended time. This could also be the problem.