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  Primer bulb won't stay hard (i.e., fuel line problem)

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Author Topic:   Primer bulb won't stay hard (i.e., fuel line problem)
David Jenkins posted 06-11-2003 08:29 PM ET (US)   Profile for David Jenkins   Send Email to David Jenkins  
Yesterday, while working on the boat in the driveway, I noticed that the primer bulb was not hard so I squeezed it a few times to fill it with fuel. Then today, after the boat had been sitting un-used for 24 hours, again I felt the primer bulb and again I noticed that it was not hard.

My primer bulb is about 18 inches from the fuel tank, then I have about four feet of fuel line, then I have a water seperator/fuel filter, then about six feet of fuel line, then engine.

Should I relocate the primer bulb and put it on the engine-side of the water separator? Does this mean that I have an air leak in the fuel line?

kgregg posted 06-11-2003 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for kgregg  Send Email to kgregg     
How old is primer bulb? The one way valves do wear out. I changed my 11 yr old bulb last fall. New one works great. Kevin
Duckin Whalers posted 06-11-2003 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
I'm not sure why this is a concern. If you were just working on your boat in your front yard there is not need to have fuel sitting in the lines or maintaining bulb pressure. If you were out on the water and the bulb was getting flat while you are running this is a concern. I run my fuel lines dry every time I take my boat out of the water. This does two things, it removes any fuel that may sit in the carb and tarnish/foul, empties the majority of the fuel in the lines that breaks down rubber fuel lines over time and allows the engine to purge any water that may be in the heads and cooling system. Important if you use your boat year round and live in a climate that has hard freezes. It is also important that you do not run your engine for any prolonged period out of water because you will ruin your your water pump and possibly overheat your engine. But, it is absolutly neccessary in cold climates. I know most winterize and give up boating when its cold but, I'm a duck hunter,,,,the colder the better....I also run a 30 year old Merc. never had any problems except a low end replacement. My dad bought the boat in 1980 and it is now mine. Same Merc. I'm now 28.....
John O posted 06-11-2003 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
My bulb is BETWEEN the engine and fuel seperator "pulling" the fuel through the seperator. The Merc mechanic installed it this way last month and it is always filled.

Hope this helps.

kingfish posted 06-11-2003 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Bulb should be the last thing in line before the engine, no more than two feet from it if possible, and *vertically* (inflow down, outflow up) oriented if at all possible.
David Jenkins posted 06-11-2003 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Thanks. I'll make the necessary changes.
jimh posted 06-12-2003 12:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There was a good discussion on the topic of primer bulbs last spring, but it is hard to beat kingfish's concise summary of the final outcome of that thread.

If you are interested, see:

Duckin Whalers posted 06-12-2003 03:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
that is most definately of highest importance Kingfish.
astro posted 06-12-2003 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for astro  Send Email to astro     
make sure the bulb is horizontal not vertical, the check valve works better that way.
kingfish posted 06-12-2003 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Actually Astro, I believe you are incorrect; it is my understanding and experience that the check valve works better when the bulb is oriented vertically as I described in my post above. It might be of interest to you to visit the linked thread jimh referenced two posts above yours.
whalerdude posted 06-16-2003 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
I would put 4 viagra in the tank and wait 20 minutes.

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