Many people don’t know that go-karts actually have fuel pumps. Go-karts are fairly simplistic in their mechanical design when compared to cars, so it’s understandable to think that they do not have fuel pumps on their engines. It’s easy to install a go-kart fuel pump if you need to replace yours.
The 6 steps to install a go-kart fuel pump are:
- Remove the carburetor
- Connect the fuel pump
- Attach the fuel filter
- Attach the fuel lines
- Connect the solenoid and exhaust valve
- Tie down any loose lines
Due to the location of the fuel tank and its distance from the engine, go karts need to use a fuel pump. The fuel pump is small and simplistic in design to keep costs low and maintenance as simple as possible. Let’s take a closer look at go-kart fuel pumps and discuss how to replace them.
What Happens If You Have A Faulty Fuel Pump?
Over time, the fuel pump on a go-kart can begin to give you problems. It’s a mechanical component, and just like any other moving part, it can fail. It will also cause you problems if the fuel is contaminated or if the fuel mixture is wrong.
A faulty fuel pump could be the root cause of several performance and reliability related problems. Faulty fuel pumps can give you a massive headache, and many symptoms are similar to other problems you might experience in a kart, so it’s not necessarily easy to spot either.
Not Enough Fuel
The first problem you may experience with a faulty fuel pump is a lack of fuel getting into the engine. This will cause the engine to sputter and struggle to run. However, this can also be caused by several other problems in the engine.
Another problem you may face is a ‘lazy’ engine. The engine might not be backfiring or sputtering, but it might struggle to get up to speed. This will be most noticeable in slower corners that require a lot of acceleration.
A faulty fuel pump could also cause excessive engine temperatures. In most cases you won’t notice this unless you have a Mychron device that can measure the temperature of the engine. If you keep driving with an overheated engine it could explode or become permanently damaged.
In extreme circumstances you will also find that the engine won’t start or idle. This can be related to the fuel pump, or it could also be related to some other engine problems. It’s important to note that some karts can’t idle anyway depending on the engine settings. How often should you change a kart’s fuel pump to avoid these problems?
How Often Should You Change A Kart’s Fuel Pump?
The fuel pump is a relatively durable part of a kart, so it does not need to be changed often. However, it only costs around $65 for a new fuel pump, so in the long run a new fuel pump could be a great investment.
It’s recommended you replace the fuel pump when you do your end of season service. When you remove your kart from storage, try to replace the fuel pump before you get started on the new season.
This will prevent you from running with an old and possibly faulty fuel pump on your kart. Running your engine with a faulty fuel pump could damage the engine. If you wait until the fuel pump fails before replacing it, it could happen at an inconvenient time, such as during a race weekend.
Do You Need An Expert To Change The Fuel Pump For You?
While you might not be completely confident in working on the engine of your kart, installing a fuel pump is a relatively easy job. It doesn’t take too long either. If you have everything you need on hand you could get it done within half an hour.
Hiring an expert might become expensive, especially if you add up the labor costs and the costs for the parts. However, it could be a good option for you if you don’t have the required tools to get the job done.
Installing a new fuel pump is a relatively easy job, and it can be done quickly. Removing the engine from the chassis makes this job somewhat easier. Aftermarket fuel pumps can be significantly cheaper if you’re on a budget too. Always make sure you get all the parts you need and not just the fuel pump unit.
Tools You Need To Replace Your Fuel Pump
Here are some tools that you will need to replace your go kart’s fuel pump:
- Torque wrench
- 5 mm Allen Key
- Point nose pliers
- Fuel filter
- Fuel pump with bracket
- Additional fuel lines
6 Steps To Install A Go-Kart Fuel Pump
1. Remove The Carburetor
The first step is to remove the carburetor. You can remove it from the engine completely and set it aside. If you’re replacing all the fuel lines as well, you can remove them from the kart too.
2. Connect The Fuel Pump
When you have your new fuel pump ready, set your torque wrench to 6 Nm and tighten the screws found on the bracket to the engine. The screws can’t be too tight because they will break under the pressure and stress put through them.
3. Attach The Fuel Filter
The next step is to attach the fuel filter to the fuel line. You will notice that there is an arrow on the fuel filter. The arrow should point towards the fuel pump, in other words towards the engine, and not toward the fuel tank. Using the point nose pliers to stretch the fuel lines open will make them much easier to attach.
4. Attach The Fuel Lines
Next, we need to attach the three fuel lines to the pump. The shortest line attaches directly to the fuel pump. The black line attaches to the solenoid valve. Finally, the longer clear line attaches to the crankcase.
The long, clear line which attaches to the crankcase is the most important. This line is what powers the solenoid. The solenoid is what charges up the fuel pump. If the crankcase line is not connected properly, the engine will not start. Always make sure that it is connected properly.
5. Connect The Solenoid And Exhaust Valve
The final step is to connect the separate black line from the solenoid valve to the exhaust valve. This allows the solenoid to electronically open the exhaust valve at a specific RPM.
6. Tie Down Any Loose Lines
When everything is done and properly connected, make sure that you attach all the loose lines with cable ties. This will ensure that the lines are not hanging loosely off the engine in a way that they might get caught or dislodge. However, if you pull the cable ties too tight you might block them, so just make sure they’re tight enough to be secure.
Installing a new fuel pump on your kart is a fairly easy job, and you don’t need too much mechanical experience to get the job done. Just take care with each step, and make sure everything is neat and tidy when you’re finished to prevent any unwanted damage. Doing this each year during the off season will ensure your kart is always running at maximum performance.
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