Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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This sounds like the carburetor may be over fueling which would cause the machine to be extremely hard to pull after the first pull. It will cause excess compression due to the excess fuel in the cylinder. Have you pulled the plug and checked for excess fuel when the engine is cranking over hard? If you remove the plug when it is doing this and crank the engine once watch for fuel to blow out of the plug hole this is a good indication that the carburetor is over fueling. The most likely problem would be a stiff or cracked diaphragm inside the carburetor that would either hold the inlet needle open too long or allow fuel to pass through it when it shouldn't be.