Rather being uncomfortable standing with our heads down along the ground, we took the suction pipe with all its pieces up to the house where we could use a table to disassemble and reassemble the myriad of parts. It may have taken quite a bit longer to do it this way but we were able to get the seals better fitted and a spot in the pipe that had a small hole forming got a solid seal from a form-fitting sleeve.
We didn’t quite get to the end result of having the irrigation up and running. We still have to tear apart the primer unit that sits on top of the motor. The rubber gasket that allows one hand-pumping the water to the well (think of an old pitcher pump like you would see on Gunsmoke or The Waltons) still needs to be replaced before the irrigation can be used to fill the stock tanks on the house side of the river.