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Got a Deere 325 mower Kawasaki engine.

To cold start I must push lever to choke, then while cranking the engine shove the lever all the way down.
The engine will start and run at very low idle, after a minute or so I can start to move the lever up slowly a notch at a time. (anything more and the engine will die)
Until after a couple minutes it is at full throttle.
After this the mower runs fine and will mow all day.

This only happens on cold start after sitting overnight.
Fuel filter and air filters are brand new. I added another fuel filter between the pump and the carb to see that it was getting gas, and it is.

Choke is working, I can choke it out when running.
This stated last season and would only happen now and again. Until now it is every cold start.

Of interest: I have found that I can give the engine a shot of starter fluid and it will cold start normal and at full throttle.
I have cleaned the carb with spray cleaner, and ran cleaner in the gas.
I have yet to remove the carb and clear it.

Any ideas?
I assume because the starter fluid works it must be a fuel delivery issue? That's why I added the see thru filter after the pump, thinking gas might be draining back after sitting. But it shows gas. I thought about the floats, but unless I have a gas leak (don't see or smell one) there should be enough gas in the bowl to start even if they are sticking closed?

Unless someone comes up with a better plan, my next move will be to take the float bowl off and clean it out.
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