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Koehler courage 23 turning over

last month

Stopped and parked the mower a couple of years ago. Tried to restart the next mowing and nothing. Wouldn’t turn over at all and thats with a new battery. Found the problem, my in-line fuse was no where to be found, only two bare brass connecters. Installed a new in-line fuse holder with new 20 amp fuse and it tried to turn over but sounded like the starter would engage them just stop. Thinking my starter may be the problem I bought a new one. Just tried starting and same thing, starter sounds like it engages then it just stops. removed spark plugs and it turns over easily. Reinstall plugs and again the starter engages and just stops. Any ideas?