Last Updated: August 15th, 2023

How To Tell ATV Jumped Time?

How To Tell Atv Jumped Time?

ATV jumping time scenario is uncommon, but you must attend to it urgently and carefully if it happens. Experts suggest that when you suspect that your ATV has jumped time, it is best not to run the motor.

A proper check on all the symptoms you notice in your ATV is very important. Many times, riders have mistaken a valve problem for a jump time.

The crankshaft remains balanced with the camshaft per rotation due to the presence and functioning of the timing chain. This connection maintains the timing of the valves during their opening and closing turns.

If the timing is not accurate and jumping occurs, the camshaft and vehicle starting will not happen in a correct sequence. The four cycles of the combustion stroke are the ideal ones.

The timing doesn’t jump suddenly, nor does the timing chain break down abruptly.

There will be several signs and symptoms that you need to read while riding the all-terrain vehicle. Most of the symptoms will be related to the engine’s starting up and the all-terrain vehicle’s performance.

Off-road vehicles need precise timing because of the rough terrain and quick adjustments. All of the components of the vehicle need to work in synchronization for smooth rides on difficult trails. The crankshaft of the ATV engine stays in coordination with the valve set.

This indirectly works on controlling the chains, sockets, and tension balancers. The timing chain can happen when the chains and valve trains require adjustments or proper maintenance of routine checks.

How to check ATV jumping time

Atv Crankshaft Area With Sprockets And Teeth Placements.

Your ATV can jump time even if it’s one of the best features and performance.

So, there is nothing to be dreadful about in this situation, as it can happen to any ATV. The right way is to first make sure if the vehicle has jumped time or not.

You need access inside the vehicle to access the different components that must be analyzed for jumping time. The procedure is as follows:

The spark plug needs to be removed to have better access and simplify checking over the motor. Then, you need to remove the camshaft cover, and you will be able to see the sprockets and timing chain.

Then, you need to remove the cap, which provides access to the flywheel bolt and inspection cover of the timing flywheel marking.

The flywheel is the component that would require some adjustments. The flywheel must be rotated in the opposite direction, clockwise, very gently and slowly.

The tools which you would need are the right ratchet and socket. An inspection window will be present that will show the timing mark as ‘T.’ The meaning of this will be the top dead center.

The top dead center is the correct setting for checking the other aspects. You need to then check on the sprockets, which have cam timing. The general sprocket identification will be two marks for every sprocket.

One of the marks points upwards at a ninety-degree angle, and the other aligns with the flat plain of the horizon. 

After checking the cam sprocket marks, if you conclude that the marks don’t align, you need to turn the flywheel again in the anti-clockwise direction in a full turn. The top dead center must be set in the checking window again.

The alignment should then be on the plain horizon of the head on the cylinder. The extra cam sprocket mark should be upward at the same angle. Then the engine will be fixed to the top dead center on the stroke compression.

Even after this, if the timing marks on the cam sprockets do not align, you need to know the timing is out and will need resetting.

Atv Timing Chain Present Which Is Important In Off-Road Vehicles

The timing chain is present, which is important in off-road vehicles.

The less technical process for checking if the ATV jumped the time

A less complicated process is there by which you can be sure if your all-terrain vehicle jumped time or not. The steps from the very beginning are mentioned here:

You must first stand the vehicle in a proper shade and pull the emergency brake. Check the battery to see if it has a proper charge or not.

The battery needs to be in perfect form for this testing. Then try to start the vehicle slowly, note when it starts properly, and check if it’s the same as other times.

If the ATV is jumping time, then the starting of the vehicle would be dragged and much slower. Due to the jumping of teeth by the chain, this occurs.

Check for strange and uncommon noises around the timing chain cover when the engine is idle. If the chain had jumped teeth, there would be rattling noises when the engine is idle or having a dry start.

There might also be slight noises of scraping and hissing. The chains portions stripped off get struck in the cover of the chain and create such noises.

When the ATV would jump time, there would be many instances of backfire. You must slowly drive the ATV and change the speed at a restricted pace. By this, you would be able to detect the backfiring.

The worn sprockets or worn-out chain guide rails can be why these backfires. The sheared flywheel key can also make the ATV jump time with backfiring symptoms.

When the vehicle stands idle, you also need to identify the timing marks on the ride.

These marks can be found on the crankshaft. The marks are also in the metal holding above the crankshaft, which remains connected to the engine block.

Often, with time, a lot of dirt, oil, or sand will get deposited on these markings, which you need to clean up properly. Then, it would be best to mark it on the pulley and the block scale.

After this, the engine needs to be started by the timing light being hooked to the number one cylinder.

If the timing marks do not reach close to the alignment or balance properly, you can finally know that the ATV has jumped time. Many times, there won’t be any alignments noticeable at all.


What is the significance of the timing chain in an ATV?

The timing chain in an ATV ensures that the crankshaft remains balanced with the camshaft per rotation. This connection maintains the accurate timing of the valves during their opening and closing turns. Proper timing ensures that the camshaft and vehicle start in the correct sequence.

How can one determine if their ATV has jumped time?

Symptoms of an ATV jumping time include difficulty in starting the engine, unusual noises around the timing chain cover when the engine is idle, instances of backfire, and misalignment of timing marks on the crankshaft. If these symptoms are present, the ATV has likely jumped time.

What is the procedure to check if an ATV has jumped time?

To check if an ATV has jumped time, one should remove the spark plug, and camshaft cover and access the flywheel bolt and timing flywheel marking. The flywheel should be rotated slowly and clockwise in the opposite direction. Using the right tools, check the alignment of the sprocket marks. If they don’t align, the timing is likely out and needs resetting.

What are some less technical ways to determine if an ATV has jumped time?

Some less technical methods include observing if the ATV starts slower than usual, listening for rattling noises when the engine is idle, detecting instances of backfire, and checking for alignment of timing marks on the crankshaft. If these signs were present, the ATV might have jumped time.

What should one do if they confirm that their ATV has jumped time?

If it’s confirmed that the ATV has jumped time, it’s essential to address the issue promptly. The components should be retimed to ensure that every essential part of the vehicle runs in synchronization. It’s also advisable not to run the motor if you suspect that the ATV has jumped time.


First, be sure if your ATV is jumping time or not. It is going to be difficult if you don’t know the ways.

After being sure that the ATV has jumped, you need to retire the components so that every essential part of the vehicle can run in full synchronization.

Running more than one check to ensure time jumping is required so that you don’t have a small valve problem with a much bigger one. Do not ignore the indications that the vehicle would give out when the ATV will jump time.

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