Alrighty. So i drilled out the rivets with 3/16'th bit. Going to get some rivets tomorrow to put it back together. I removed the packing and yup was definitely bad. I'm guessing this would make the backfires more pronounced.
So i got looking at the midpipe, looking for the gasket condition etc. and i saw this. And it completely baffled my mind. Best way to describe it, it's metal, and it's spiraled, almost like the shavings from a drill bit but obviously a lot thicker. I tried lightly pulling on it, but it didn't come out. Absolutely no idea what it is. Anyone know? It's really got me freaked out.
So then looking at midpipe, i noticed a drop of fuel coming out a little port at the bottom of my carb. Gas was shut off since last night. Seems to accumulate enough to have a single drop of fuel drip once every two minutes or so. I dont know what that little port or whatever is at bottom of carb, but i'm assuming this is the result of a stuck float?