Re: pushing the tickler....
The 'tickler' is not a pump or a primer. It is simply a little pin which pushes down on the float, sinking it to allow more fuel to fill the bowl above the normal float setting. This will give you a rich condition that at times will allow easier starting particularly when the engine is cold. Pressing the tickler 50 to 70 times really isn't doing anything but flooding the engine. Press it once, hold it down for 5 to 10 seconds.
Like MBR said, try using the choke, lever up, or half way up when starting a cold engine.
I never use the tickler either.
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