Yes... I had four mowers going and two broke down. One was just a spindle and we have a spare deck. I had a guy quit on me too. It was to much for him.
when you ran it bone dry if there was any dirt at the bottom of your fuel tank, it would have ran into your carb and got stuck and gumed it up.
I thought it was a carb problem to because of running it out of gas but the no spark changed my mind on that. I did empty the bowl and spray carb cleaner over the top of it but thats all I could do with the tools I had.
try giving your mower a tune up, change that plug,
The plug was changed and had no spark with the new plug. It did end up running with that plug later. The following day it ran for about 8 hours total with just a lunch break and a 10 minute period where engaging the blades killed it.
Not sure if its signs the coil is going, a bad ground, trigger, safety switches, or old girl just being mad that there was so much wet grass to cut.
I tried to unplug the safeties, might of missed one. I dont know now when it will act up or if it was a one time thing. I seen the new triggers cheap but havent priced the coil yet.
you should be able to unplug the wiring harness and test the safetys that way. As for fuel related issues a motor that runs fine for a while then acts up would be fuel solenoid, fuel filter or gas cap. A carb problem will show up during starting all of the time or run bad just after starting. I think you were likely on the right track. Good luck and let me know if you need or want an engine breakdown.
I was talking in examples that engine does not have a fuel solenoid. as a reference if an engine has one it will most likely mounted to the carburetor. here is a breakdown of your engine. Unfortunately the part numbers are not correct on this breakdown but I can give you a part number for anything on the breakdown. As well as a price you will find it for.