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Are you sure that’s the right part number? JDparts.com shows it as a bearing for various planters.

I’m just spitballing, but it looks like what you’re missing is the rubber dust valve? The function of that part is to create a slight vacuum in the air cleaner, which both prevents air and dirt from entering and expels accumulated dust from inside the air cleaner. I short, it keeps your air filters cleaner, extending their life and improving the quality of the air that runs through your engine.

TL;DR = you should replace it, but can probably run without it for a short time. Just means your air filters will get more clogged with dust and may require more regular inspection and replacement.
 
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