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Help! No Start Unless with Ether - then dies out. Fuel Problem? Or ?

Discussion in 'Vantage International' started by golfcartjohn, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. golfcartjohn

    golfcartjohn New Member

    Hey guys,

    Well, I have this Vantage Micro Truck, (Also Badged Metro Micro Truck as well, by the way), its an Ex -D.O.D. Surplus, and bought it about 2 months ago, locally - not running. 7000 miles on her. Kia A1000 engine (I believe) Left hand, american side, drive.

    So, got her home, and went through most of it. Found broken distributor cap button, and replaced cap and rotor. Plugs are fine as well. Ordered Cap and Rotor and replaced. And to this day, numerous hours later, she will not start and run normally. I have also replaced the ignition switch (electrical portion) same switch as in a Hyundai and Kia Small vehicle. Pulled from elantra - I believe, and spliced wires as plug end was not right. I have replaced fuel filter as well. And verified fuel pump operation - low pressure (Not exactly sure of psi, but she flows well). Tank was empty when I got her, and I put about a gallon in, and let it run out through the new filter into a catch pan. (then ran it in my mower).- so I am sure there is no clog or debris in line to carb.

    She will start, and idle as long as ether is applied, or fuel dripped in, will not idle or start (every now and again, a sputtering start, followed by rough idle, then nothing), on her own.

    I have fuel to the carb top hose (bolts on). And initially did not have any fuel coming out of the lower bolt hose (return I believe). I took that off this evening, and had fuel pour out.

    I am wondering which way I should go next? Got many, many hours into her at this point, and I am frustrated, and exhausted to say the least.

    Was going to pull carb off, and clean, so , I removed the bed, (for easier access as this one is right under the back bottom corner of the cab, and there is 1 top bolt very hard to reach. (Of the 2 that hold the carb on.) So, just pulled carb off part way, got intimidated by the 17 or more (at least it seems like) vacuum hoses, (I marked them one by one and drew a diagram - stopped at 6.) and sprayed most of the carb I could get to.

    There is what must be a solenoid, bolted to the top left (if looking from passenger side of vehicle), with 2 wires going to it - screws in about a half an inch or so, 12 mm, and twisted wires slowly while removing. Had holes on the sides of tip, a possibly broken o ring on the tip, and when I jumper wired to 12v battery, I definitely get movement. (Cannot really see anything however). Sprayed carb cleaner down that hole as well.

    Forgot to mention, I have tried to hot wire the pump directly, (in case its the fuel pump relay, which I hear come on, and off, and I do hear a 3 click "priming", I believe under the passenger side seat.), so I guess the relay works.???
    Hoping its not that, or I will have to source something off a Kia Vehicle, as locally (we have a dealer), they want over $275 for the fuel pump relay! ( I asked if it was full of Gold, and didn't get a laugh.. Oh well - Pricey. (Wondering if that can be swapped with a similar relay (as long as it has the same post, number and purpose - and if anyone knows what to swap with , please advise)

    So, enough of my rambling, but I am not exactly sure which way to go? (I think it must be carb related, but, I would think I would get something, sputtering, bad idle, something. I must have cranked her over 2 hours total (off and on of course), over the past few weeks.

    Any suggestions? (Other than scrap her, or jump off a bridge....)

    Thank you all in advance, and I will duly post my results so others may benefit.

    Be Well.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  2. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    I don't know anything about the Chinese minis but that O ring on the solenoid is important on the Daihatsu trucks.I got one from a Harbor Freight kit.On the Japanese trucks the myriad of vacuum lines are all important and any leakage will cause it to run poorly. Good luck.I really hope you can figure it out because there are several Chinese trucks on the market in my area but I've always been afraid of them because I've never heard anything good about them.
  3. golfcartjohn

    golfcartjohn New Member

    Jim Nelson,
    Thanks for the response. I will try to find an O ring today and see what that does. I still think I need to clean the carb, but like I mentioned earlier, would have thought it would at least run, albeit badly, if it were a dirty carb.....

    Maybe it is my fuel pump, coming on when starting, and shutting off, when running. - Could I run a toggled line (fused of course) from 12v to the pump, and if so, would it bypass the relay?
  4. Jim Nelson

    Jim Nelson Active Member

    You're probably right about cleaning the carb.,a lot of us have had pretty good luck with Seafoam if they aren't too bad.That way you don't have to worry about crossing vac. lines.The direct 12V wire should work at least to assure you are getting power to the pump. On most of the Japanese trucks the pumps are low pressure so if you end up replacing it get the lowest pressure pump you can find.
  5. Lumlo

    Lumlo New Member

    HI guys, purchased a 2002 "Kia" Vantage 2 wd, 5 speed with 3,600 miles, two weeks ago in a semi non-running condition, would idle but not run out. Small engines mean small orifices, used to work on Fiat 850's they were always plugging their carbs with the tiniest amounts of dirt. I went through the entire fuel system boiled out the tank (caked), opened up the vent to fuel tank, put an external 4# fuel pump on, replaced fuel lines with copper (plugged with corn gas), disassembled and ultrasoniced the carb, made my own gaskets (gunked up). Adjusted the valves (loose and noisy) changed the oil and filter, new air filter. Replaced tail light, all locks and front blinker assembly. It now looks great, idles and runs like a top, will do 107 kph flat out. Once I get done hot rodding it around for a while, I will check the fuel economy, hoping for 40+. This is a true Kia, glass, engine, and identification plate all state Kia, With the exception of the seat material (poor) I think the fit and finish is good. Replaced the Vantage sticker with a Kia badge, as Vantage had nothing to do with the manufacture, just the import. I received all my parts from Greg over at GLB http://www.glbfe.com/ good prices, fast delivery, very helpful attitude. Bottom line, happy camper!

    Attached Files:

  6. Tuvoca

    Tuvoca New Member

    I have a similar problem. I am going to read the posts. I noticed a few things on mine that might help.

    Originally, my buddy noticed the engine was running rich. That means too much fuel was going in. If you have low pump pressure, you get more (not less) fuel through your injectors and instead of a fine spray, you get a stream I think. Basically, too high or too low pressure and it doesn't work right (runs rich or lean) or the injectors themselves might not open at all. I pulled the fuel rail and reseated it to see if tht was the problem. It was a tight fit and I noticed my buddy kinda tugged at some wires while we fished it through. Then it wouldn't start. It turned over, but no combustion happened.

    I changed the fuel filter recently, so I tried taking the filter off and found gas, but no pressure.

    There was also no noise from the fuel pump.

    I didn't know it if was a weak pumpp um a lack of power. If my pump is weak it would explain why it ran rich, had no combustion, and a few other things. IIalso remember it was one of the things a guy on a forum replaced onoa similarly aged Vango. I didn't want to drop the tank because the bolts were uncooperative and I snapped one off previously when I changed the fuel filter. To avoid a repeat and make things easy in the future, I bought and external pump with a regulator. I didn't know the OEM flow rate and pressure for the pump, hence the regulator. Having a pump that is more powerful than I need is an energy drain, but I was getting impatient.

    I bypassed the normal power source just to avoid the relay, wiring, etc so I could get it moving. 100 bucks later, no fuel in the line, despite the pump pumping fine. My guess was that the line was closed downstream. It was either blocked somewhere or the injection valves were probably not opening.

    My buddy had a theory about an anti-theft (start disabler) being triggered when we pulled the fuel rail. I think we might have tugged a little too hard on some wires when we tried to get the fuel rail free and that might be the real problem. I don't have a decent level of detail on the schematic s, so I have to start from what I can see when I get back to it. On the diagram I have, the injectors all go directly to the ECU (computer) with their own wires but the anti-theft system claims it has an anti theft box of some sort between the injectors and the ECU.

    I put an old ECU back in just to rule it out and that didn't fix it either, so that probably rules that out as the source of the problem. Looks like I have to start tracing wires and testing voltages to see if it is the anti-theft system or a short out in the wires or some loose harbess, etc. My issue is likely an electrical problem which may or may not include the anti-theft system.
  7. Tuvoca

    Tuvoca New Member

    MG cars have low pressure pumps and aren't super rare if that's what your after. I think they get down to 18gph (gallons per hour).

    OEM pump pressure and flow rate are all you need to know to find your next pump.

    I don't know these numbers for the Vantage, but if you don't care about the wasted energy from having too much power for a pump, you can always put a regulator (one you can manually adjust) downstream from the pump to restrict how much gets through. They usually recommend this for "external" "aftermarket" pumps anyway.

    Low amp draw is a plus if the other numbers fit, since it's less of a power drain not to have an over powered pump running and then have to restrict how much gas gets through.
  8. PCB

    PCB New Member

    I had the same issues with my Tiger Star Mini 08. Fuel injected. The first thing I found wrong was the fuel pump relay was intermittent. Cleared that up then replaced the pump. Took care of cranking issues and low end performance.

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