Welp...looks like it was not a sticking float or anything like that; unless maybe that was the problem at first and that caused a hydrolock and messed up this rod. I suppose that's possible.
Anyways, I took it all apart (head off and split the cases) and found a blown rod that was stuck into the side of the block.
Punched a neat little hold under the starter where I'd never see it...right under the foam insulation under there.
Must've been running on 3 cylinders for quite a while ha.