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Are there some simple things I can check myself before taking it into the shop? .............................................................

It takes THREE things to start, Air, Spark and fuel.

What kind of shape is the distributor cap and the rotor in ? If You think the plugs/wires are OK, maybe the cap is getting a bit damp in the "cold ?", and causing no/or bad spark?
If you have spark, CONFIRM that you have fuel available when cold. If there is no fuel when cold, then you need to find out why not. If there is fuel, is it TOO much?

Let us know how you make out?


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