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Author Topic:   Primer Bulb Problem
Bertramp posted 06-30-2003 08:35 AM ET (US)   Profile for Bertramp   Send Email to Bertramp  
I installed a canister type fuel filter in my 15-Center Console. Once completed, I could not get the fuel primer bulb hard, so I primed (filled) the canister and I was able to get the ball harder, but not as it once was. I've put 8+ hours on the engine since the filter installation and the boat is running fine, but the ball is never hard, as it was before the installation of the filter.
It aint broke, don't fix it , or is there a potential problem here?
Sal DiMercurio posted 06-30-2003 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Try running some liquid viagra through the system.
All kidding aside.
The only time the bulb should be hard is when you squeeze it to prime the engine, it gets hard because the system is full & your trying to push more through it.
Once the engine is primed & running, the fuel isn't being forced forward from the tank anymore, it's being sucked from the engine & can no longer be hard as it's flowing as needed, not being pushed.
The bulb gets hard only when being pushed from the tank, not when being pulled.
Bertramp posted 06-30-2003 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bertramp  Send Email to Bertramp     
But when I first go to start the engine, the ball doesn't get hard either. I tefloned and tightened everything .... and as I said, it's running fine. Anyone else have this phenomenon ?
prm1177 posted 06-30-2003 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Sounds like the check valve in the primer bulb might be leaking back into the tank. If you're getting sufficient pressure to start the engine, I wouldn't worry. If you're the paranoid type, you can replace the primer bulb.
Bertramp posted 06-30-2003 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bertramp  Send Email to Bertramp     
thanks folks ... the leaking valve on the ball sounds like the item.
Montauk posted 07-01-2003 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Montauk  Send Email to Montauk     
This is a little off topic from your question but I noticed you used teflon on the fuel lines. Teflon is not reccomended on fuel lines as gasoline quickly degrades it into the fuel delivery system. If you do use teflon tape make sure it is not overhangin the end of the threads on the fitting.
Bertramp posted 07-01-2003 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bertramp  Send Email to Bertramp     
thanks ....
Stellario posted 07-01-2003 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Stellario  Send Email to Stellario     
I have the same problem with my 17' Montauk with an OMC canister type fuel filter/water separator (looks like an oil filter).

The ball never gets hard like my old boat, but it does prime, and everything works fine. I doesn't make sense that it should have anything to do with the filter though.

If you replace the primer ball, please let us know if it works.

jimh posted 07-02-2003 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
See informative discussion in this article:

"A Primer on Primer Bulbs"

kingfish posted 07-03-2003 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Bertramp and Montauk, re: teflon-

There is a "teflon" tape, that I use on fuel connections, that is designated for use in an environment of petroleum products. It is a little heavier (thicker), and is sort of tannish in color. My helpful Ace Hardware man sells it to me...


SMLWhaler posted 07-03-2003 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for SMLWhaler  Send Email to SMLWhaler     
Its always been my understanding that the primer bulb is just that, a primer bulb. Once you have primed the carbs and start the motor the bulb will become soft as the motor starts to pull fuel through the line. I have a 150 Mariner on a 23ft deck boat and I never have to squeeze the primer bulb. I use the boat at least once a week so maybe thats why. When I first got this boat I used to squeeze the bulb before the first start of the day. By the process of elimination I discovered this made the motor more difficult to start. It seemed as if the engine became flooded when I used the primer bulb so I stopped doing this and the motor starts first time every time.

I know leaving fuel in the carbs is not a good idea but since I use the boat frequently I don't feel like this is a problem. I also have a 5hp Mariner and I use this same process. I have not used the primer bulb on the 5hp in 3 years and have yet to experience varnishing in the carb. Who knows, maybe I'm due to start having problems soon.

Jarhead posted 07-03-2003 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
A mechanic once told me that one of the advantages to TCW-3 was an added cleaner that virtually eliminates the need to run your carbs dry during the boating season.

I don't run a 2 smoke so can't offer first hand knowledge.


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