Area51 Project Argo - 2020 Update & Repairs:

In April after an amazing winter with record snow falls and a lot of hours logged on our Argos it was time for some much needed maintenance. First up was greasing the drive chains which I try to do about every 10 hours as it's cheap easy insurance against drive chain wear. I simply jack up one side at a time and spray Castrol chain lube with one hand and turn the track or tire with the other hand.



On my 6x6 I can reach three sets of chains from the engine compartment. Idler chain from transmission to idler shaft, idler shaft to front wheel, and idler shaft to middle wheel. The rear chains are accessed by removing the rear floor pan.



Also completed today was greasing of wheel bearings and an engine oil change. I have put 28 hours on the machine since purchasing it this time last year!



Earlier this winter I replaced a lot of snap fasteners on the convertible top using a kit from Canadian Tire which turned out to be of very low quality as most of them broke. Today I replaced those fasteners with quality stainless steel pieces purchased in a kit at Blue Water Marine.



With snow all but melted and temperatures on the rise, it was time to covert the machine from winter back to summer mode.




The tracks are easy to remove by first finding the half segment which had brand new rods, collars & set screws installed earlier this year. Since they were coated in anti-seize they came apart with ease. After removing the set screw, a round punch and hammer gets the pin moving.










Tracks are easier to move and store if they are bound tight with ratchet straps.




In May I decided to finally paint my mix of 3 old rims which were still bright orange inside, and the 3 new black wheels to have a matching set.




I still had 3 old tires on 3 old rims, I popped one of the other spares on an old rim Dad had in Bay Roberts so the machine could still be moved around.




I cleaned up the rims, removed all loose paint from the old rims and gave them a light sanding before wiping down with brake parts cleaner. The outside of each wheel was panted with dark grey Tremclad brush on enamel paint.




I painted the inside of the 3 old rims with gloss black Tremclad brush on paint to cover up the god awful neon orange.




Drying and curing.




In May the manual windshield wiper I ordered on EBay in January finally arrived! At $6 it was worth the wait.




The Argo windshield had a factory drilled hole for a windshield wiper which had to be enlarged slightly for this aftermarket unit.







The wiper installed with ease and will be a welcome addition this winter!




In September it was time to get the Argo ready for Moose Hunting. With no known issues I completed a couple easy tasks such as finally re-installing the OEM engine cooling air intake which directs fresh cold air to the engine cooling fan.




I had to custom cut two 10x32 machine screws to a custom length. They attach the intake to the engine compartment steel frame via two threaded holes, but the wiring harness is directly behind so I trimmed the screws quite short.




Next up was installing my gun boot which will keep my rifle clean and secure while travelling in the trail this fall. Last year I  installed it sideways in the rear compartment, but on tight trails it got knocked around quite a bit. This installation will still keep it out of the way and is a better location for riding tight wooded trails.




After opening day of Moose hunting I had French drop my machine back to the house for a necessary repair. The 30 year old rubber coupler on the fuel filler neck finally gave out and was leaking fuel as it sloshed around on rough trails.




To replace it I had to drain and drop the tank which is held in place by the same bolts that attach the front seat.




As all this hardware was new it came apart with ease, thankfully I had the foresight to install a weather pack connector on the wire for the fuel gauge which made this job easier.




Full of pin holes, simply due to age!




While the seat and tank were out I decided to replace the last axel seal on the machine that was no longer water tight. Not a necessary repair for hunting but it was a smart time to complete the job.




The previous owner let water sit in this machine for quite awhile so that meant the bearings were seized to the axel shaft. I managed to save some time by not having to uninstall the drive chains, I simply popped out the drive cog shear pins and once the bearings were cut off the axel the unit slid out with relative ease. Normally all I would have to do it drive out the 2 sheer pins, loosen the lock collars on the inner & outer bearings, remove the bearing retainer bolts and slide the axel out. Not having to remove the drive chains sure saves a lot of time.










To get the bearing race off  the axel I cut it with a Dremel Tool and popped it open with a hammer and punch.







Good as new with new inner and outer bearings, axel seal, fresh grease and a shot of Fluid Film preservative for good measure.




Amazingly our local dealer had the replacement fuel filler rubber coupler in stock. While the filler neck was out of the machine also took the time to replace the 1/8" vent line that runs from up near the fuel filler cap, around the inside of the machine to a through-hull on rear of the machine. This will allow the gas tank to safely vent even with the convertible top installed.








Job done!




In October I began having trouble starting the machine due to the battery going dead. I found that the voltage regulator had gone bad and was intermittently not charging/overcharging the electrical system.




Again our local dealer Melvin's in Tors Cove had a genuine replacement part in stock!




This repair was a breeze, the regulator is right on top of the engine and is held in place with 2 bolts. I did have to cut the connectors off the new unit and solder/heat shrink the connectors from the old one to match the machine.




I also had to install new longer bolts as the new regulator is thicker due to having cooling fins. This repair completely fixed the issue and the electrical system is now charging properly. The Argo now starts well even after sitting in the cold for a couple weeks.




In November I was shopping at Honda One and came across these awesome old school gun mounts which would work perfect on the Argo!




I decided to mount them on the handrail behind the driver seat for easy access while having the firearm in a safe location from getting knocked about or dirty.




These all metal mounts are coated in thick rubber and have nice rubber straps to secure your firearm.







I made a half dozen trips looking for a Moose with Mark and found they work extremely well for both a rifle and shotgun. Argo's are fairly clean and don't spray much mud inside when on tires (much dirtier if you run tracks in mud).



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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith