Still not sure what I "fixed" to get it going but there were definitely a bunch of bugs in the chrome breather end. So cleaning
that, tightening all connections for no sucking air, new fuel pump
(but old one proved okay on the work bench) and ultimately pulling hose off right at the carburetor and getting fuel
pumping there, seems to have everything okay. Long harbor motor
and many starts later, all well. Added a new fuel filter
ahead of pump as well but kept the post with glass sight glass.