Nirvana Rodeo Engine Maintenance

The Rodeo engine (made by Nirvana) had it’s first maintenance issue this past Friday.  It was just bad enough to ground me though a relatively easy fix.  I say relatively because I have to take the entire trike apart to make the repair.  The problem was my primer bulb.  When I tried to prime the engine this past Friday I pulled back a very smelly and wet finger.

*Pauses to let laughter subside*

When I looked at my primer bulb it had developed a pinhole leak.  If I tried to start the engine without priming a very fine stream of gasoline would come out of the bulb when the engine was turning.  Not a good thing.  So I grounded the machine until it could be repaired.  And for those who don’t know what a primer bulb is… it’s a small pump basically.  You press it with your thumb and it squirts fuel directly into the carb which helps the engine to start.

I said earlier that the repair is ‘relatively’ easy  because the repair is a simple matter of replacing a $2.00 primer bulb.  It snaps out and back in.  The ‘relatively’ part comes into play when you’re trying to gain access to the primer bulb.  To get it out you basically have to take the entire machine apart.

First I had to remove the propeller, the propeller cage, and the seat and harness.

Then I had to remove the engine from the trike and dump the fuel back into the gas can.  Most of it made it back into the can.  After I had the engine up on the workbench I had to carefully remove the fuel tank.  This is kind of difficult with one person but can be done with patience.   Note that the gas cap was removed when I removed the tank, I put it back on to keep contaminents out of th tank.


With the tank removed I could then get at the back side of the primer bulb.  I removed the fuel lines from the primer and labeled them so the would go back on in the correct positions.  On the carb end I labeld them L and R for left and right.  On the primer end I labeled them S and L for short and long which correspond to the fittings the fuel line was removed from.  One is short, one is long.

After that it was a simple matter of squeezing the locking pins together and popping the bulb out.

Once I had the bulb out I could see that the pinhole had quickly become a bigger hole just with vibration and a little bit of manhandling which it got when I removed it.  It’s hard to see but the entire middle of the bulb is about to come off.


Apparently this is a fairly common part on chainsaws and similar small engine equipment.  I found a box of 5 on Amazon for about $6.00 and it will arrive on Tuesday.  I’ll post an update when I put it all back together.




5 thoughts on “Nirvana Rodeo Engine Maintenance

  1. Robert Laugherty

    Thanks for this valuable info. I am learning on this same equipment right now. Just ordered nemo xx wing to be delivered soon. Bought the rodeo and trike second hand and have found little about how to maintain it or fix it so every little bit helps.

  2. Kelly

    Hey, just wondering what is required to remove the fuel tank? Is it just the three screws, and a bit of muscle, or is there more too it? Mine seems stuck

  3. Chris

    I’ve fixed mine, twice now, simply by popping out the primer bulb and being careful not to let the disconnected hoses fall back in the hole. The bulkb just press-fits into the hole – buy a new one first* from a lawnmower place, and look at how it clips in, to help work out how to clip it out (basically – just pull) My hose has now cracked though, so it’s time to replace them with silicone. thanks HEAPS for the detailed photos of how to get that pesky tank out!

    * You can buy whole bulbs, or just the replacement diaphragm by the way.

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