How to Troubleshoot a Yamaha Timberwolf ATV

Written by brianna byrne
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How to Troubleshoot a Yamaha Timberwolf ATV
If there is something wrong with the battery, the Timberwolf may not work or run correctly. (12 volt relais, relay image by Sascha Zlatkov from Fotolia.com)

A utility quad that debuted in 1989, the Yamaha Timberwolf is a small ATV that was in production for over a decade. Not as powerful as many of Yamaha's other utility quads, it features a 230cc engine while still holding its own on the trails. The Timberwolf was generally well-received in its later years and was particularly noted for its reliability. In 2000, the make's final year, Yamaha outlined troubleshooting instructions in its owner's manual.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Unleaded gasoline
  • Shop rag
  • Compression gauge
  • Spark plug wrench
  • NGK D7EA or DENSO X22ES-U spark plug
  • 12-volt, 12 ampere-hour battery

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Check the level of gas in the fuel tank if the Timberwolf will not run or start.

  2. 2

    Refill the tank with unleaded gasoline if there is no fuel in it. Restart the engine.

  3. 3

    Turn the fuel cock to "RES" and try to restart the engine if there is a small amount of fuel in the tank.

  4. 4

    Turn the fuel cock off if there is an adequate amount of fuel in the tank.

  5. 5

    Remove the fuel pipe and check for fuel flow.

  6. 6

    Clean the fuel cock if there is no fuel or if fuel is mixed with water or debris as this is a sign that the fuel cock may be clogged. Restart the engine.

  1. 1

    Operate the electric starter.

  2. 2

    Test for compression by removing the spark plug then turning off the ignition coil.

  3. 3

    Insert a standard compression gauge into the spark plug hole in the single cylinder and crank the engine. Compression levels should be between 63.5 and 72.6 Kilogram.

  4. 4

    Take the Timberwolf to a Yamaha dealer or authorised service centre if there is no or little compression and have them inspect the system.

  1. 1

    Remove the spark plug and check the electrode.

  2. 2

    Dry with a clean cloth if the electrode is wet.

  3. 3

    Attach the plug gap and ground to the chassis.

  4. 4

    Operate the starter.

  5. 5

    Move onto next section and the battery check if the spark is good.

  6. 6

    Check the condition of the spark plug if there is no spark or the spark is weak. Replace with an NGK D7EA or DENSO X22ES-U spark plug if the original appears damaged or otherwise defective.

  7. 7

    Set the spark plug gap between .024- and .028-inch.

  8. 8

    Operate the electric starter again. Take the ATV to a certified mechanic if the spark is still weak or nonexistent.

  1. 1

    Use the starter and listen to the engine.

  2. 2

    Take the quad in for a general inspection if the engine turns over quickly as this indicates that the battery is working properly and something else is the problem.

  3. 3

    Tighten the battery connections and charge to it 12 volts if the engine turnover is slow.

  4. 4

    Replace the battery with a 12-volt, 12 ampere-hour type if the battery appears damaged.

  5. 5

    Restart the engine. If it still fails, take the Timberwolf to a Yamaha dealer for repairs.

Tips and warnings

  • Never smoke, while working on the fuel system or with quad batteries, as this can cause explosive fumes to ignite. Keep open flames far away from both systems.
  • Wear eye goggles and gloves when handling batteries to avoid burns.
  • Don't attempt more serious repairs without the proper training, tools and Yamaha-certified parts. Yamaha recommends that owners take the Timberwolf to an accredited dealer if troubleshooting fails.

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