How To:   Install Argo XTV Tracks

Important Note: Please use this article as a general guide. Google Search a free copy of the Argo track installation manual for your machine, directions vary for different years & models and different track types.



When installing tracks you need to fully support your machine. We find that an ATV/Motorcycle jack under the engine and a standard automotive jack under the trailer hitch works well. This keeps the machine stable and you have nothing in the way of installing the tracks.



The first thing you have to do is remove all wheels and tires from the machine. Then you carefully inflate all tires to precisely 5psi and measure the circumference around the centre tread recording the information on each tire with a sharpie.



On French's 2016 Avenger 8x8 with rubber tracks the tires are installed as follows: Front axels - Smallest diameter tires. 2nd axels - Largest diameter tires. 3rd axels - Second Largest tires. Rear axels - Second Smallest tires. Marks machine has offset bead lock wheels so you have to make sure they are installed in the extended out position. Standard wheels will require wheel spacers to be installed to accommodate all 18" tracks. Tire direction should be standard Front & Rear with the Centre 4 tires reversed if possible. Tire diameter location as listed above takes priority.

On my 1989 6x6 with 13" plastic tracks the tires are installed as follows: Front axels - Smallest tires. Middle axels - next largest tires. Rear Axels - Largest tires. 

It's extremely important to follow these steps as well as the upcoming tire inflation guide, if not chain wind up can occur as the tires wont slip or spin inside the tracks. This can lead to broken chains or damaged axels.



When properly installed with offset rims or wheel spacers the tires stick out quite a ways!



Next you lay out the tracks and drive the machine up on them. With the plastic tracks you can leave the machine jacked up and slide them under the tires as they slide on a hard surface pretty easy.







On French's machine we let the air out of all tires by removing the valve cores. We installed a piece of 1/4" rope to pull the track ends together and install the final hinge pin. Marks pins have one end welded and the other with a removable clip. The pin should be installed with the welded end facing outside so that if the removable clip ever falls out the rod will work it way out -outside and not into the body of the Argo.



On my 6x6 with 13" plastic tracks I also let out all the air and used a pry bar to align the track ends and install the final hinge pin. My hinge pins are slightly different and have a locking collar and set screw in the middle of the pin. Blue Locktite should be applied to the set screw to prevent it form working loose.





On the Avenger 8x8 with Rubber tracks you need to jack up the machine to check track deflection as you air up your tires. When correct there should be 2-3" of sag between the bottom of the 2nd or 3rd tire and the inside surface of the track. If you have side entry steps you want to be closer to 2". Tire pressure ratios between the tires also need to be followed according to the chart in the installation manual. Tire pressure front to rear should be 3,5,5,4 or 4,6,6,5 or 5,7,7,6. If the tacks is still too loose on this highest setting you may have to remove the hinge pin extension if installed.





On my 6x6 tire pressures were recommended Front to Rear at 5,5,6 psi and that seemed to work well with my plastic tracks and Duro 243 aftermarket tires. There is no official deflection measurement for this installation but they seemed to have lots of slack and the tires have not slipped inside the tracks. If tracks are too tight on any Argo axel, axel bearing and even frame damage can easily occur.



These machines work absolutely amazing on tracks. I've done a lot of snowmobiling, and it had been a long time since I last drove an Argo on tracks and I forgot how forgiving they are in terms of getting stuck when exploring trails in deep snow. They are a lot of fun for taking a crowd or a bunch of cook-up and ice fishing gear in the woods for the day.

Cheers, Mike

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith