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I was wondering if I need a carburetor replacement. I t starts up ok but then it will back fire when I engage the mower belt or shift into second to go forward. It sputters and back fires and usually stops. I then wait a min or less and try to restart it and eventually it will start (5 min) maybe some more back firing and repeat the restart and slowly increase the RPM and then it might work for 30 min or more. Sometimes it backfires under load of tall grass and then I try to restart it. I have dumped the old fuel, replaced the fuel filter, spark plug, cleaned the air filter and put fresh gas into it. I use 100LL Aviation Fuel (no alcohol). I took it to Tractor Service and he cleaned out the fuel line and removed a couple black pieces of dirt in the carburetor. He charged me 2 hrs labor. I have changed the fuel filter, spark plug and cleaned the air filter. Do I need a new carburetor? The fuel filter is never more than 1/4 full. Could it be the fuel pump? It is a 1998 model 773348. It has 275 hrs on the engine. I would like to get it fixed so that the mower works reliably like it did last year. Thanks for your advise. Rodger