In the manual I was using, that "center pedestal" is the name given to the vertical tube which holds the main fuel needle.
I'm curious, what carburetor is on that engine?
See here (http://tinyurl.com/y4p8jy6z
Looking at the Kohler manual and recalling carb's I have worked on, I don't see anything like you're describing except maybe a main needle on some of them.
The mechanic with whom I was working yesterday was not entirely correct. Happily I was able to figure out the issue and correct it.
He kept telling me that I needed to clear that "main fuel needle." I didn't disagree, but he was telling me that to do that I had to remove the "center pedestal"; that is to say, the tube inside the "center pedestal," through which the "main fuel needle" drew fuel upward. This is why I had to have a notched screwdriver...for the bowl-end of that tube.
As it turns out, as you no doubt know, all I had to do was simply unscrew the "main fuel needle" in order to clear it, presuming that was the problem.
Once I figured that out (I didn't understand the inner workings and so didn't make the connection in my head until after
I removed the tube and inspected it), I used a brush to remove contaminates/build-up on the exterior of it, and then blew compressed air through every orifice I could find (and there were...what?...8?).
In getting ready to clean it I did happen to notice that something was blocking
one of the holes.
Anyway, I cleared and cleaned as best I could, reinstalled the carburetor and she started right up.
Now, with that fixed and the previous (actually, original) issue rectified, I was able to tear through the yard today. And she hardly whimpered. WOOOHOOO!
Once again, I learned something and saved both time and money in the process.
Thanks again ZTT42 for all the help.