The next day I went to start the mower and about 5-6 oz of gas came out the exhaust pipe. So I must have some needle and seat problems. I agree with having the muffler on. Usually when I put something back together I will start it just to be sure it runs then complete the exhaust install. I bought this mower used with 160 hours and it now has 450 hours but there was some really bad looking gunk in the gas tanks. When the old gas settled it looked like a 1" layer of old coffee in bottom of the jug. I have always been told to fill the gas tank in the fall, put in stabilizer and gas should be good till spring. Maybe I should do the opposite now.
I called my dealer and no needle and seat sold separately. $70 for a carb kit but the dealer didn't know what came in the kit. I have been using the mower I turn the gas lever off and let it begin to run out of gas before shutting it off. It runs much better with the fresh gas.