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Argo XTV Drive Belt Maintenance

Argo’s transmissions are part CVT and part geared transmission, getting the most out of the engine while offering a low range without a transfer case. While unique, it still has a belt like any other CVT, and that belt can wear or break, cutting the connection between the engine and the wheels. Here’s how you can inspect and replace your Argo’s transmission belt so you can keep your XTV moving.

How the CVT Side of the Transmission Works

Argo uses a belt-based CVT, similar to those found on scooters, UTVs and ATVs. The drive clutch is connected to the engine crankshaft, while the driven clutch connects to the chain drive to the wheels.

The clutches have a pair of sheaves that are held in place by springs. As centrifugal force acts on sheaves, they move in and out, letting the belt slide in between them. This effectively changes the gear ratio: as the belt moves outward on the drive clutch and inward on the driven clutch, the wheels will spin more times with each revolution of the engine.

The driven clutch has a gear drive built into its center. When the transmission is in gear, this drive is locked to send power to the rest of the transmission. The Hi and Low gears are inside the housing next to the clutches.

When to Replace the Belt

Check the belt every 25 hours of operation, or when there’s a noticeable difference in clutch engagement.

The belt will need replacement if you find any of the following:

– The top width of the belt is 1 1/16 inches (27 mm) or less.
– The belt is fraying or has cracks.
– The belt has come in contact with oil or other fluids.

Removing the Firewall

The firewall needs to be removed to access the belt.

1. Unthread the fastener at the back of the floor pan. Lift the pan out of the vehicle.
2. Turn the release catches at the top of the firewall ¼ turn counter-clockwise.
3. Pull the bottom of the firewall rearward and push the rubber shift boot toward the engine compartment. The firewall should slide over the base of the boot.
4. Lift the firewall out of the vehicle.

Removing the Belt

The driven clutch face has a hole for a 6mm x 1.0 threaded bolt next to the center seal. Screwing a bolt into this hole will push the sheaves apart, making it easier to slide the belt off of the pulleys. This bolt needs to be at least two inches long to push the sheaves out of the way.

Installing the Belt

If the procedure below is not followed, the edge of the fixed face can cut into the drive belt during installation.

1. Slide the belt over the drive clutch.
2. Slide the belt over the edge of the driven clutch, turning the inside of the clutch face clockwise. This will pull the belt onto the sheaves.
The belt should sit on the top of the sheaves or stick out 1/10th of an inch above the sheave edges.

Belt Adjustment

1. Remove the driven clutch from the vehicle.

2. Loosen the two jam nuts located on the fixed face of the clutch next to the center seal.

3. Use an Allen wrench to turn the adjustment set screws. Make adjustments one half of a turn at a time and turn both screws an equal amount to keep the clutch faces parallel. Screwing them in lowers the belt, and screwing them out raises the belt.

4. Place a belt between the sheaves to check the belt level. It should sit flush with the top of the sheaves or sit up to 1/10th of an inch above the sheave edges.

5. Tighten the jam nuts, torquing them to 60-75 in-lbs. (7.5 Nm.)

Getting Parts and Service For Your Argo’s Transmission

Shank’s Argo is one of the largest Argo dealers in the East, and we have over 30 years of experience with outdoor equipment. When you need your XTV serviced or you need to pick up some parts to do it yourself, you know we’ll be able to help Visit us at our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-80, take Exit 10 to Marion, or on the web at

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