Arrived home today for the summer. Immediately set to work opening the clone engine. Now for the bad news:
The gas tank had a few dents on it in various places, as did a bit of the shroud. I tried pulling the recoil, but the shroud was dented enough that the recoil wasn't quite lined up, and the shroud was pressing on the flywheel fins.
I don't feel like shipping the engine back for a replacement. If the engine itself is fine, I will just fix the shroud and remove the gas tank (I wasn't going to use it anyway). But I tried turning the engine over by hand, and it works well for several revolutions, and then gets difficult to turn over. Not sure if this is the normal compression portion of the starting process, or if something is wrong. Are these hard to start with the recoil starters?