Lawn mower with bad rubber bulb

I found in the trash a beautiful, almost new, though cheap I guess (a Murray) lawn mower. I put some gas in it and when I went to push on the rubber primer bulb, it was collapsed. I pushed anyhow, and it was like a little round sheet of tar, squished even more by my finger, and not about to spring back even a little bit, and the black gunk came off on my finger.
I guess?? this means that they used something other than gasoline somehow???
Anything special I should do or look for when I replace the primer bulb??
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On 8/14/2005 11:18 PM US(ET), meirman took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

That the black gunk didn't get into the gas line and carburetor?

--
Bill


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wrote:

Just remove the air cleaner and pour a little gas (teaspoon full) into the carb and see if it starts. If it does, you are all set and only need to go to a mower repair shop and get a new bulb for around $5 or less. If it still dont start, you may need to rebuild the carb and clean out the fuel tank an lines. I never hurts to pour a little carb cleaner in the gas tank either.
By the way, Murray is one of the cheaper brands, but in my opinion, one of the better of the cheap brands. I have been fairly happy with them.
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In alt.home.repair on Mon, 15 Aug 2005 02:36:34 -0500 snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com posted:

$4.99 plus tax. ;)

The first place didn't have the bulb, but I asked why it "rotted" and he said the gasoline. I thought that strange since it is meant to work with gasoline.
The second place had it, and I asked, and he said the gasoline additives did it. Especially MTBE. He said if I bought my gasoline in Pa. I wouldn't have this problem. -- I'm in NW suburban Baltimore, and Pa. is about 25 miles away. :)

WRT the mower I'm using now, I posted about last summer. Every 30 to 60 seconds I have to push down on the handlebars to keep it from stalling. I cleaned the carburetor again. Didn't help. Then this summer the tank started leaking a bit, so whatever is left in the tank drips away after a day. I think this new mower will replace it. :)
It will be 3 or 4 days or more before I can finish the mower, and this thread will probably be long gone by then. :)
So thanks to all three of you for your help.
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Meirman,
Sounds as if the primer bulb is bad, not sure why that would happen in an "almost new" mower. I think you should test this mower before you spend much money on fixing it. Remove the spark plug, ground it, and get someone to pull the starter. If you have spark then reinstall the plug and spray starter fluid into the carb throat. If it starts then replace the primer bulb and see if it will run.
Good luck, Dave M.
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In alt.home.repair on Mon, 15 Aug 2005 12:55:27 GMT "David Martel"

The paint has no rust, no fading, and only a little dirt. The tires have even tread, and while some tread has mud or dirt in it, more than half is clean. The chrome handle (all of it is chrome) has a couple blemishes and a tad rust around one hole, the rest is as pretty as the chrome on a new '56 Buick.
Further investigation showed a repair tag dangling from a string on the handle that was dated 6/23/90. And the mower itself had a sticker or plate with "Date of Manufacture 0578" Could it really have been made in 1978? Did they use stall-bars in 1978, the wire that you have to hold next to the handle to start the engine, and if you let go it will stop? This one has one.
The 9 in 90 in the date had a bowl-like curl to the right and might even have been part of an 8 for 1980, not a 9..
This is the second lawnmower** this summer I have found in the trash of the apartment building next to my n'hood. The building was built about 1978.
My best guess is that the owner moved into the building around July of 1990 or 1980, so she didn't get the mower fixed after all. She stored it in the basement locker for 15 or 25 years, and she just moved out, to out of town or another apartment, and left it.
**The first was pretty old, but self-propelled and had a mulch bag. I think it needs an electronic magneto coil, or whatever it is called if there are no points or condensor I don't know who mows the yard for the apartment building. The yard is not that big.

Good suggestion. I skipped straight to this step and the mower started on the first pull. I sprayed some more and again on the first pull. And it pulls really easy.

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wrote:

Then you know for sure the problem is the carburetor (or something from the gas tank to the carb. Did you take the hose off the carb to be sure gas runs out of it? If it does, then all that is left is the carb. Throw a rebuild kit in the carb and you should be ok. They are around $10 or a little less. I personally keep a few bowl gaskets on hand and always pop off the carb bowl before doing a complete rebuild. Most of the time the float is sticking or there is crud and/or water in the bowl. Get a bowl gasket if you want to try this. Take off the bowl (one bolt in the center). clean out the bowl with spray carb cleaner and spray the float. Work the float up and down with your finger, spray carb cleaner in all the holes you see, etc. If this fixes it, you spent $1 for the gasket plus a can of carb cleaner.
PS. Clamp the hose from the gas tank with a vice grips before taking off the bowl or you will get a gas bath.
PS2. DO NOT overdo it with that starting fluid or you can damage the engine. Pour a little gas in the carb bowl instead.
One other thing. You might only need to adjust the carb bowl screw or mixture screw (or both). Try this BEFORE tearing anything apart. However, turn them clockwise until they come to a stop, and be sure to count the turns and partial turns so you know what the settings were. Normal settings for both of those screws can vary, but 1 to 1.5 turns is common for the initial setting.
I tend to question that date of 1978. I do not thing they had the hand release shut off levers, OR primer bulbs back then. I could be wrong, but I have puttered with mowers for years and do not recall any of that stuff back then. 1990 sounds more like it !!!
Good luck Let us know when you get it going and what was wrong.
Mark
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On 8/15/2005 11:30 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

My Craftsman, bought in 1984, has a primer bulb and deadman lever on the handle.

--
Bill


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