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Daihatsu no start

Discussion in 'Daihatsu Hi jet' started by Keat, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Alright, hoping you guys can help out with a no start condition I have right now. I just bought a 1996 Daihatsu Hijet truck and I can’t get it started. I can tow it behind my truck and bump start it and it runs. But using the starter it just turns over, and won’t start. Looks like I have good spark(plug pulled and grounded, nice blue strong spark).

    Here’s what I’ve done so far;

    1) New battery-optima red top
    2) New OEM starter
    3) New OEM plugs
    4) New OEM cap and rotor
    5) New plug wires
    6) pulled and cleaned carb
    7) blew out fuel lines to tank
    8) when carb was pulled checked fuel pump flow... seemed ok
    9) New air filter
    10) pulled and cleaned battery cable terminals.
    11) pulled and cleaned ground from battery to frame and transmission
    12) replaced vacuum lines

    I think this weekend I’ll drop the fuel tank and make sure the pickup isn’t clogged and fuel is good. I just don't understand why I can bump start but not start with starter?!?!? New starter and battery turns over WAY faster than the old starter. Any ideas?
  2. bobjonah

    bobjonah Active Member

    I had the same problem with my S83P. The main power cable from the battery goes direct to the starter solenoid. The power feed for the rest of the harness connects here as well. This connection was corroded on mine. I had lots of power going to the starter, but very little making it into the harness - hencc weak ignition, poor charging etc. When I fixed this, all was right in my little world again.

    Good Luck
    Keat likes this.
  3. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Thanks! I’ll double check that as well! All dash lights, and head lights come on bright if that makes a difference?
  4. bobjonah

    bobjonah Active Member

    It does make a difference, look at your lights when cranking the starter. If they are dimmer, it could be your problem. Easy enough to check and fix.

    Keat likes this.
  5. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Oh great idea with the dimming. I’ll check and report back this weekend.

  6. Roadster

    Roadster Active Member

    Perhaps check to see if the fuel filter actually has fuel in it - I bought a new one, and it wouldn't fill up with fuel. I changed it out to a tapered one mounted vertically and it runs fine now, however I'm keeping an eye on the fuel level in the filter. I suspect the fuel pump may have a small air leak in it and this air eventually works its way down to the filter. - just a thought... You seem to have covered all the other bases! I'm not sure there is a pickup filter in the tank on the carbureted models...

    Maybe bump starting turns the engine over a lot faster than the starter and forces enough gas through to get it started. Mine would run on two cylinders when it started. I would rev it up on startup to about 1900rpm for a couple of minutes and then it would run on all three cylinders and run fine at all speeds after that. perhaps it was not getting enough gas into the filter to run properly? Changing out the filter and mounting vertically fixed that. It could also be a choke issue I guess, but I don't think so. I'm going to take the intake plenum off and check that the choke butterfly valve is set correctly when closed.

    Keat likes this.
  7. Keat

    Keat New Member

    So the fuel filter housing is clear plastic, horizontal, and currently and does have an air bubble in it! I’ll try the vertical mount and double check fuel line terminations. Also plan on dropping the fuel tank Sunday to inspect.

    Choke butterfly valve looks correctly set. And once it starts it high idles like a son of a gun and runs away. But in an attempt to start adjusting the cold idle screw it warmed up and idled down.
  8. Roadster

    Roadster Active Member

    I set the cold idle about ~500 rpm above warm idle (I turned in SLIGHTLY the screw beside the throttle cable attachment to bring the cold idle down instead of adjusting the cold idle screw) I realise this screw seems to be setting when the choke ramps down until the engine doesn't need choke, however it worked for me... There is a line on the eccentric plate below said throttle cable attachment that the pin matches up with when the engine is cold, and moves as it warms up, so the pin needs to stay in line with the pin before you start it, I think. In turn, the metal plate turns the nylon gear and the choke butterfly via a couple of very low tension springs around the choke shaft...

    I probably need to fiddle with the cold idle screw a bit, however one post pictured that screw as a compensator for holding RPM loads at idle for air conditioner, alternator loading etc. I don't have A/C like yourself, but I've noticed the warm idle RPM is affected by the heater fan and to a much smaller extent, brake lights. So I'm not sure which is accurate at this point - I suspect it's cold idle just because I've not seen any evidence of a governor anywhere...

    I installed at one point a small digital tach mounted on the dash and it has been very useful for fiddling with the settings and when the truck is running. It was only about $30 Can. from Amazon and picks up an inductive signal from 5 wraps around the high tension lead from the coil to the distributor, so easy to install.

    Keat likes this.
  9. Roadster

    Roadster Active Member

    Well, now I notice after some tweaking, the pin riding on the eccentric plate below the throttle cable end actually travels from below the line on the eccentric when cold (5* C) to the very top of the eccentric as the engine warms up fully. This seems to adjust the choke via the nylon gear on the butterfly shaft... The cold idle and when the choke is closed and finally is completely open is affected by the screw adjustment at the throttle cable...?
  10. Mini_hijet

    Mini_hijet Member

    Is it smoking at all??
    Keat likes this.
  11. Keat

    Keat New Member

    No smoke.
  12. Mini_hijet

    Mini_hijet Member

    I’d check compression numbers.
  13. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Will do, on my list of things to check this coming week. What pressure am I looking for on this motor? I heard they were higher compression?

    It did have a bit of smoke on start up when I was purchasing it and went away when warmed up. No smoke the last few bump starts.
  14. Mini_hijet

    Mini_hijet Member

    If you want, you can give me a call and I’ll tell you what’s going on with mine, and what I’m doing and all that. Mine is a 99 EFI deck van. But very similar issue. 3166861593
    Keat likes this.
  15. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Thanks! I’ll be working on the truck in the next few days. After I’ve done a few more diagnostics items I might take you up on that!
  16. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Update: took the bed off today to better access everything.

    Replaced fuel filter, and old soft fuel lines.

    Found out a ground wire from frame to exhaust manifold was broken. Also another small ground where they all connect to frame drivers side. Pulled all grounds, cleaned, and secured. Replaced broken ground wires.

    My oil warning lamp is no longer illuminated while turning over to start... bad ground fixed maybe? (Yes it has oil in it).

    Going to run compression test tomorrow.
  17. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Checked fuel pickup and tank, clean and clear.

    Pulled plugs, wet. Fuel is not issue this far.

    Ran compression check on all three cylinders....
    Pumps up to 30psi with every compression stroke... no more...then bleeds off to zero.

    Going to try to find something to squirt a little oil in the cylinders... maybe rings are bone dry?!?

    What can cause zero compression? With bleed off on all three cylinders?

    1) shot rings?
    2) blown head gasket?
    3) all valves crunched and open? ( going to check timing belt) however it runs when pull started.
  18. Keat

    Keat New Member


    1)oil squirted into cylinders... no change
    2)confirmed cam is spinning, and driving distributor
    3) apparently the motor is a remanufactured, found a sticker On the timing belt cover.

    Pretty sure it’s a head gasket issue.

    now to decide how vested in this little truck I want to be.
  19. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Little more info

    Timing belt looks great, timing marks all line up. Confirmed no oil in coolant, or coolant in oil.
  20. bobjonah

    bobjonah Active Member

    Before you write it off, check the valve tappet clearances. It sounds like the valves may not be completely closing. As a quick check hold the throttle open and turn the engine by hand ( wrench on front pully ) and listen for air escaping into the intake as each piston comes up on compression. If so, remove the valve cover and check all tappet clearances. They should be @ .012" on exhaust and .010" on intakes. These engines like lots of clearance here, so a bit of tappet noise is better than dead quiet.
    Keat likes this.
  21. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Thanks for info. As I debated rolling it off the cliff last night, I thought about the valves all being open as well. I scoped the cylinders and they look good. Can’t see if valves are seating of course, but at least valves and piston are intact. Going to measure valve clearance today. (Because I couldn’t locate my feeler gauge last night). It seems like everyone recommends different clearances, trying to track down the specific engine specs.

    I’ll let you guys know how it goes!
  22. Keat

    Keat New Member


    went to check and set valve clearances.... found I could only set the exhaust valves(which were very close to perfect). The intake valves however I was not able to set. When I went to check clearance the valve stems were still touching the screw in the rocker. So I backed the screw out seeing the intake valves were way to tight and most likely being held open.

    Well once I back the screws off the valve spring hats hit the rocker arms... no gap!!! So the valve stem sits slightly inside the rocker arm.

    so the rocker arms are holding my intake valves open I believe? Unless I’m overlooking something.... which is totally possible. Any one have any ideas? Or similar experiences?
  23. bobjonah

    bobjonah Active Member

    OK, sounds like you are on the right track. I cannot imagine the engine running with the valves not properly locked into the spring hats, but anything is possible. Can you see if both collets are secure in the valve grooves ? Or, anything else that does not seem right ? You mention a recent rebuild - Do you know if it ever ran right after that ?
    Keat likes this.
  24. Keat

    Keat New Member

    It’ll bump start with me pulling it behind another truck down the road as is. I removed the rocker arm shaft and all valve spring retainers and clips are secured properly. So perplexing lol
  25. Jigs-n-fixtures

    Jigs-n-fixtures Well-Known Member

    If you have an air compressor, look into getting a cylinder bleed down tester. It will let you determine exactly what is wrong with the engine.

    A timing belt out of phase would cause low compression across the board.
    Keat likes this.
  26. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Thanks for the info!
    So to address those items
    1) time of belt pulleys are in correct phase, has not skipped. belt is tight and looks to be in good shape. All timing marks line up correctly.

    2)I have a leak down tester, but my cylinders immediately bleed off. Not holding any compression. Which lead me to check the valves. The intake valves won’t completely slack out because the spring retainers hit the rocker arms... so I believe they are still cracked open a tiny bit because the rockers never come off them, even with the screws backed completely off.
    I’m going to pull the head in the next few days to look at the valves and inside the cylinders. Attached are two photos, one of a intake valve and one an exhaust. If you look closely you can see the exhaust rocker screw retracts completely off the valve stem, however the intake valves(all three) push all the way up and rest on the rocker arm, not allowing the valve to fully seat.

    I removed the rocker arm shaft, letting the valves complete close, no change... I bet I’ll find burnt or destroyed intake valves when I pull it apart.... who knows tho. One things for sure, we’ll all know shortly.

    Attached Files:

  27. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Forgot to mention, leak down was 100% on all three cylinders. Just had an idea, I’m gonna use my compressed air and a through hose to see if I can hear a leak into the intake or exhaust or crank case.
  28. Keat

    Keat New Member

    UPDATE: may have made a silly mistake... I was thinking more about complete loss of compression across all cylinders and and decided to check the compression on my lawnmower to confirm my gauge was working correctly.... well guess what... the valve stem in my compression gauge was broken.

    lawn mower runs great, brand new, great compression, definitely the gauge.

    Good thing I checked. So back to square one, going to go buy a new compression check gauge and leak down tester(mine are pretty well used). And test engine again before I tear down.

    Fingers crossed it’s not as doom and gloom as I previously thought.
  29. Keat

    Keat New Member

    Compression check with a new gauge...
    1) 30psi
    2) 60psi
    3) 35psi

    Makes since it would only bump start with that low of compression. So now to decide if I want to rebuild and hope everything else is ok, or just buy a rebuilt long block and swap in... hmmm
  30. bobjonah

    bobjonah Active Member

    There is something really Fishy about those intake valves - please let us know what you find

    Good Luck
    Keat likes this.

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