Ok not there yet. I pulled the cord 2 times in a choke mode, with the 2nd time sounded like it almost turned over. Then the pull cord became very hard to pull. I took off the plate for the pull cord. The cord itself pulls fine and retracts normally. When I manually turn the motor, it is resistant and at one point in my turn becomes very difficult to turn.
Normally a single cylinder gets hard to turn by hand when the piston is on the compression stroke. If it's really hard to turn or stops, something is wrong. The test for this is to remove the spark plug and turn the engine. If it turns easily then it was just on the compression stroke and its fine. Make sure nothing falls into the hole and be careful when putting the plug back in that you don't cross thread or over tighten it.
I gave it about 2 hours and then went back to it with the same result.
Not sure if the small adjustment I made or my handling of the carb caused this.
Looking for ideas again, lol!
On most of these small industrial engines there is an automatic compression release that cracks the exhaust valve open slightly to make it easier to start the engine. Its normally internal to the engine. Here's a video explaining it and showing the parts: