Argo Frontier EFI 6x6 Base Model...or Upgrade to 'S' Model?

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Thread: Argo Frontier EFI 6x6 Base Model...or Upgrade to 'S' Model?

  1. #1
    denhabr's Avatar
    denhabr is offline Registered Rider denhabr is on a distinguished road
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    Question Argo Frontier EFI 6x6 Base Model...or Upgrade to 'S' Model?

    "Brand newbie" here to the world of 6x6 AATVs (...however I did pilot my first 6x6 in 1969...a yellow and white Scrambler with 7 h.p. and the steering wheel...out in the desert of SoCal...at the ripe old age of 9!)

    I've been looking at new 2017 Argo Frontier EFI 6x6 models, and I've been looking at both the base model with the 19 h.p. Kohler and the 'S' model with the upgraded 23 h.p, Kohler, bearing extensions, brake cooling ducting, standard transmission, skid plate, bilge pump, and entry step. The 'S' model is an additional $2,500 more over the base model (locally offered at $8,999.) So there is my dilemma...which model and why?

    So who and why would a new 6x6 enthusiast upgrade to the 'S' model with those additional features?

    Is 4 more h.p., ducting for a future brake cooling fan, skid plate, bilge pump, side step, and bearing extensions on the four corner axles for $2,500...worth it?

    My intended use here in Utah is general trail riding/exploring (4,200' to 10,000' ASL) and ham radio event support in both the desert and up in the Wasatch/Uinta mountain ranges...including winter trails...with my wife and our two dogs. No real plans to take it on the water. Yet since I've been told the Frontier steers by braking, the cooling fan/ducting seems like it makes sense for longevity. That, along with a skid plate, and a roll bar all make good safety sense to me. Other suggested enhancements, mods, options, or accessories? High altitude clutch tuning?

    Appreciate your feedback! Thanks in advance,


    Brad (denhabr)
    KF6PSL
    Sandy, Utah
    1996 Ford Bronco XL 5.0/E4OD Pre-runner/Chase Truck
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    Mike's Avatar
    Mike is offline Administrator Mike will become famous soon enough
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    Hi Brad, welcome to the forum. I think you will need some additional HP if you are planning on operation in elevations up to 10k feet. At rough estimation of 3% HP loss per 1000 ft. that would put you at a 5.7HP loss on your 19HP motor at 10k bringing it down to 13.3HP. On a 23HP motor, the loss would be 6.9HP at 10k bringing it down to 16.1HP.

    As far as whether or not the $2,500 price adder is worth it? I would be tempted to get the base model, modify/upgrade the engine myself and then add the other accessories that I wanted. The only thing you would need to do is add up the costs of the accessories you want and make sure you're not going to exceed the $2,500 price. If you are close to that, just pay for the "S" and call it a day.

  3. #3
    dirtdobber is offline Master Mudder dirtdobber is on a distinguished road
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    Aren't the bearing extensions basically a must if one is going to run tracks? I don't know if you plan to encounter snow on your winter rides but if so you may appreciate a set of tracks....thus giving value to the bearing extensions.

    It looks like the extension housings alone are about $140 each....or $560 for the 4 corners...not counting any labor value or other needed parts. This, plus knowing how expensive horsepower is, I might opt for the upgrades.
    Last edited by dirtdobber; 05-17-2017 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Added cost info.

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    denhabr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Hi Brad, welcome to the forum. I think you will need some additional HP if you are planning on operation in elevations up to 10k feet. At rough estimation of 3% HP loss per 1000 ft. that would put you at a 5.7HP loss on your 19HP motor at 10k bringing it down to 13.3HP. On a 23HP motor, the loss would be 6.9HP at 10k bringing it down to 16.1HP.

    As far as whether or not the $2,500 price adder is worth it? I would be tempted to get the base model, modify/upgrade the engine myself and then add the other accessories that I wanted. The only thing you would need to do is add up the costs of the accessories you want and make sure you're not going to exceed the $2,500 price. If you are close to that, just pay for the "S" and call it a day.
    Mike...thanks for the welcome and the feedback. Fully understand the power loss calculations at altitude. I too thought that the additional h.p. would come in handy at the local altitudes that we experience here in Utah. Additionally, my local Argo dealer is offering a plug-n-play turbo kit for the Kohler engines that may make up the difference, and which sounds like a great upgrade for high altitude operations (already owned a few turbocharged vehicles, including my current Mazdaspeed 6...so the add-on is palpable.) But I'm not sure I want to go that route until at least the factory Argo/Kohler warranty is up.

    Agreed on the price calculations for the base vs. the S model. They're selling the base models to a lot of folks and maybe I should start out with the basics, and upgrade from there. After all, the original Scrambler I drove in '69 when I was 9 only had 7 h.p. and was a blast with two other 9-year-olds hanging on for dear life in the back seats!

    Thanks again for the feedback and guidance.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdobber View Post
    Aren't the bearing extensions basically a must if one is going to run tracks? I don't know if you plan to encounter snow on your winter rides but if so you may appreciate a set of tracks....thus giving value to the bearing extensions.

    It looks like the extension housings alone are about $140 each....or $560 for the 4 corners...not counting any labor value or other needed parts. This, plus knowing how expensive horsepower is, I might opt for the upgrades.
    Dirtdobber...that is what I thought too...that the bearing extensions helped support the axle shafts when the additional weight and lever arm of the tracks were added to the Argo. Actually, I really didn't consider tracks, as I don't have a lot of shop space to put them on/take them off. Would the Argo not perform well in semi-pack snow trails with just the tires?

    Again, appreciate the feedback as well! Will take this all under consideration in the coming weeks!


    Brad (denhabr)
    KF6PSL
    Sandy, Utah
    1996 Ford Bronco XL 5.0/E4OD Pre-runner/Chase Truck
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  5. #5
    dirtdobber is offline Master Mudder dirtdobber is on a distinguished road
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    Would the Argo not perform well in semi-pack snow trails with just the tires?
    I don't know. If we get snow it's only an inch or two, so I have no experience there. BUT....if you are on packed snow I imagine it's close to driving on ice which means little to no traction. I have read on this forum that some tracks are fitted with ice cleats.

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    denhabr's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdobber View Post
    I don't know. If we get snow it's only an inch or two, so I have no experience there. BUT....if you are on packed snow I imagine it's close to driving on ice which means little to no traction. I have read on this forum that some tracks are fitted with ice cleats.
    Thanks dirtdobber. I was thinking groomed snowmobile trails...and with the higher floatation tires on the 6x6, hopefully it would 'float' on top...but then there is the traction component. Wonder if the 'paddles' (chevrons) on the Frontier's OEM tires would be adequate? They seem to propel the ATV through the water well enough.

    Here's an 8x8 plowing snow w/o tracks...seems to do pretty well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNAAJgne6AM





    Brad (denhabr)
    KF6PSL
    Sandy, Utah
    1996 Ford Bronco XL 5.0/E4OD Pre-runner/Chase Truck
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  7. #7
    beagle man is offline Master Mudder beagle man is on a distinguished road
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    Hey denhbr, I have tried just tires and also with Adair pro series tracks without the snow kit. Tires alone will spin out even on a packed trail and you will forever ( it seems) get sucked off the side of the trail, side note some places do not permit wheeled machines on groomed trails. The tracks where better but didn't really have a descent bite on the snow and would have done much better with the snow kit.

  8. #8
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    Glad to see a fellow Utahan on here. I have run Argos here for 28 years and trust me when I say that if you can afford it get the upgrades. You will love the extra power up high and you will need to run at minimum the Argo standard track even on groomed trails. With just tires you can go in about 12" of loose snow. The EFI engines will help with the high altitude use for sure.

    If you ever plan on wanting to get into serious snow travel you will also want to get the low 3.3 ratio transmission to pull bigger tracks. If you are mostly wanting to run on tires on dirt trails/sand then you want the standard ratio as the low will limit your speed to about 16 mph.

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    denhabr's Avatar
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    Reply to Tracks and Turbos...

    Quote Originally Posted by beagle man View Post
    Hey denhbr, I have tried just tires and also with Adair pro series tracks without the snow kit. Tires alone will spin out even on a packed trail and you will forever ( it seems) get sucked off the side of the trail, side note some places do not permit wheeled machines on groomed trails. The tracks where better but didn't really have a descent bite on the snow and would have done much better with the snow kit.
    Thanks beagleman...understood, completely. I thought that the stock chevron 'paddles' on the Argo tires would be sufficient, but it makes sense. Like six billiard balls sliding on a hockey rink.

    Quote Originally Posted by thorn View Post
    Glad to see a fellow Utahan on here. I have run Argos here for 28 years and trust me when I say that if you can afford it get the upgrades. You will love the extra power up high and you will need to run at minimum the Argo standard track even on groomed trails. With just tires you can go in about 12" of loose snow. The EFI engines will help with the high altitude use for sure.

    If you ever plan on wanting to get into serious snow travel you will also want to get the low 3.3 ratio transmission to pull bigger tracks. If you are mostly wanting to run on tires on dirt trails/sand then you want the standard ratio as the low will limit your speed to about 16 mph.
    Hey thorn, thanks! OK, you are thinking what I am thinking...if you can afford the upgrades, do it now...and the tracks.

    Also, do you know anything about the turbo kit that Western Skies Argo in Ogden is offering? It's made by OB Design based here in Utah, and supposedly provides a kit for the Vanguard motors that offers up to 10 lbs. of boost. At out Utah altitudes, that seems like the way to go!

    OK on the transmission options...but I'm probably not going to venture off the beaten path anytime soon with ATV, so packed trails are going to be it for me. Are putting tracks on an Argo a real PITA? A few hours to complete the task, or is more like :30 minutes?

    Thanks to all, and have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!
    Brad (denhabr)
    KF6PSL
    Sandy, Utah
    1996 Ford Bronco XL 5.0/E4OD Pre-runner/Chase Truck
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  10. #10
    Castro is offline Banned Castro is on a distinguished road
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    I would get the "S" in a second. Its like the bigfoots equivalent current day

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