The weather is warming up, parks are opening and hunting passes are going on sale. That can mean only one thing: It’s finally time to get your Argo out of storage and back on the trails. This guide will take you step-by-step through getting your amphibious ATV out of storage and making sure it’s ready to use.
How Your Argo Should Be Stored
If you followed Argo’s storage directions, you would have done the following last fall:
– Put the vehicle up on blocks with the wheels off of the ground.
– Clean your amphibious ATV and remove the drain plugs.
– If you have a gas engine, drain the fuel tank and run stabilized fuel through the engine.
– Lubricate the cylinders by pouring a little oil into the spark plug holes.
– Remove and clean the battery, then recharge it one per month during storage.
– Coat the electrical connections in dielectric grease or a water displacer.
Of course, things happen. Maybe you thought you would go on one last ride, or you forgot to hook up the battery charger. We’ll address the common problems you may have if you stored your vehicle improperly.
Getting Your Argo Back On the Ground
Before lowering your Argo, go around and check the pressure in the tires. Each tire should have a pressure of at least 2.5 PSI. Lowering or moving your vehicle with a flat can cause the tire to roll off the rim.
Lift the vehicle and remove the blocks. When lifting your Argo, make sure the jack is pushing up on a frame member. Use an ATV jack, or place a wood block between your XTV and your floor jack to protect the hull.
Preparing the Engine
Take a look at the bottom of the hull around the engine and transmission. If you see fluid, trace it back to the area that’s leaking.
Check the oil level. Add more oil as needed.
Open up the air box and inspect the filter. Filter elements are a common target for mice and other rodents. If they tore up the filter, carefully remove any debris in the air box and the carburetor or intake runners. Install a new filter.
If you have a liquid-cooled engine, check the coolant level. The fluid level should be between the “Full and “Add” marks on the radiator overflow tank.
Inspect the fuel tank. If you have a diesel engine, make sure the fuel is clear. Algae can grow in water-contaminated diesel and clog the injectors. Drain the tank and clean it thoroughly if the fuel is dark or there are dark spots on the bottom of the tank.
On gas-powered XTVs, you will want to add fresh, recently purchased gasoline to your fuel tank. If you use your Argo infrequently, consider adding a stabilizer. Gasoline left in the tank over the winter must be drained and replaced with fresh fuel to prevent starting problems. Even stabilized gas goes stale after three months of storage.
Battery and Electrical
Check the fuse box and wiring connections for signs of corrosion. The main fuse box is mounted just above the firewall in the engine compartment. If you have a winch, be sure to check the connector for the remote.
Look over your battery. If you see the case is bulging or cracked, or one of the terminals is loose, replace it.
If you have an open cell battery, remove the cell covers and check the electrolyte level. Add distilled water to each cell until the electrolyte reaches the “full” mark on the side of the case. If the electrolyte is brown or dark, the lead plates in that cell have sulfated, and the battery is bad.
Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. A fully-charged battery will read between 12.5-13.2 volts. A battery that reads 12 volts or lower needs to be charged.
Clean any corrosion on the battery terminals, and reinstall the battery.
Starting Your Argo
Fuel injection engines need to be primed before starting. When you turn the key on, you should hear the fuel pump. Cycle the key on and off until you no longer hear the pump switch on. This means the fuel system is up to pressure. Other engines need to crank to pull fuel into the carburetor floats.
If you lubricated the cylinders before storage, expect some smoke on startup. This is just the oil burning off.
Have a Problem? Ready to Upgrade? Talk to the Argo Experts
Shank’s Argo is one of the largest Argo dealers in the East, and we have decades of experience selling and repairing all types of outdoor equipment. If you’re having trouble with your XTV, or you’re looking to add some accessories, come see us. Our shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also see our current stock of vehicles and order parts and accessories at our website, www.shanksargo.com. We ship parts across the United States and Canada.