Well, that hose was as new and the one on top of the canister, but the preformed hose that goes to the vacuum manifold mounted along side the blower, was loose/swollen-----. I imagine getting that hose is a PITA, so I clamped it, will see if any improvement is seen.
There was a small amount of oil on that hose/fitting, likely what caused the swelling, I'll have to look later to see where it could come from.
Oh, it ran OK when new, for a 231. I can't even tell you what I was expecting after a life of BBC'* and stout SBC'*! I remember being more upset on it having a top end cutoff at 125 and having Z rated tires, lots of electrical gremlins I need to pursue as well-----for another forum I suppose.
Gentlemen, thanks again. TT