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Maintaining Your Argo XTV’s Service Brakes

Maintaining Your Argo XTV's Service Brakes
While traditional vehicles have brakes behind every wheel, Argo’s XTVs use a pair of inboard service brakes. Placed between the transmission and driveline, these brakes both stop the vehicle and slow down the inner wheels to make turns. This makes maintenance critical to the performance of your vehicle. Here’s how you can be sure they’re ready for your next excursion.

Brake Fluid

The brake fluid level should be checked every 50 hours of operation. Clean off the area around the master cylinder, then remove the screws holding on the cap to see the fluid inside. Only use silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid. Using other fluids like glycol-based DOT 3 can damage the braking system.

The master cylinder is mounted at an angle. When topping up the fluid, it should come within a half inch of the rear of the reservoir.

DOT 5 fluid is far less water absorbent than other formulations, so it shouldn’t need frequent changes. However, if there are particles in the fluid, the system should be flushed, and the master cylinder and brake calipers should be overhauled to stop corrosion. This job is best left to a dealer mechanic.

Firewall Removal

The firewall needs to be removed to access the brakes.

If you have an older HDi or HD, first remove the floor pan. Next, turn the release catches at the top of the firewall counter-clockwise one-quarter turn. Pull back on the top of the firewall, moving the throttle cable out of the way. Push the gear shift boot down into the engine compartment, then lift the firewall out of the vehicle.

Service Brake Pad Inspection

Inspect the brake pads after every 25 hours of operation.

Once the firewall is out of the way, both hydraulic brake calipers will be visible. The pads should be replaced if you find any of the following:

– The brake lining is 0.10 inches thick or less.
– The pads are glazed and the brakes aren’t performing well.
– The pads have come in contact with a lubricant and the brakes aren’t performing well.

Service Brake Pad Replacement

To remove the pads, take out the two cotter pins holding them in the brake system, then slide them straight out from the hole in the top of the caliper.

To install new pads, first push in the caliper piston. Slide in the new pads and secure them by installing a new set of cotter pins. Move the steering handle back and forth a few times to push the caliper piston back out and position the pads.

Breaking in New Pads

Go to a flat area. Drive the vehicle, getting it up to a speed of 13 mph, then, while still applying the throttle, slow the vehicle to 8 mph. Repeat a total of 10 times. Avoid stopping the vehicle completely: new, hot pads can imprint material on the rotor, leaving a rough, slightly raised spot that will cause vibration and limit braking force.

Shut off the engine and give the brakes time to cool. Repeat the process, going from 13 to 8 mph another 10 times. During this process, the brakes will smell and there may be some smoke. This is normal.

Brake Cooling System

Some XTVs come with an air cooling system for the brakes, or it can be added later using an installation kit. The fan should be checked periodically to make sure it’s working; it will turn on when the ignition switch is in the “run” position even if the engine hasn’t been started. Keep the air intake and ducts clean of debris, and check the electrical connections and mount points.

Getting Parts and Service for Your XTV’s Braking System

Shank’s Argo has over 30 years of experience with outdoor equipment, and we’re one of the largest Argo dealers in the East. If you need new brake parts for your XTV or you need to have it professionally serviced, stop by our shop. We’re at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile east of I-81 from Exit 10 to Marion.

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