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Educate Me on IH Utility Tractors...

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#1 EquipmentJunkie


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Posted 29 October 2009 - 12:32 PM

I am in the prelimary stages of a tractor search. I need a low-hour diesel utility tractor with roughly 50 PTO hp. that is about 15-30 years old. The tractor would be used for light construction work like grading, landscaping, and loader work. Rear remote hydraulics will be used a lot. FWD would be a plus, but not essential.

My experience with tractors of this size has been primarily Ford/New Holland & Deere brands. I like both brands but would like to know more about IH utilities since I have a great Case IH dealer near me. Education on the IH utilities will help narrow my search. Are certain IH models better than others, and should certain models be avoided? What were the major advances as each new series was introduced? For example, did major advances come between the 84- and 85-series?
Nothing cranks me like compression ignition.

#2 495man


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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:07 PM

Great line of tractors! My favorite series.

Some basics for north american market off the top of my head..so hopefully these are right.

84 series

1978-1982 inline shift, outboard foot throttle, early tractors KIMCO fwa, later ZF
1982-1985 solid red, H shift pattern, in board foot throttle, F/R shuttle available (not common)

85 series

1985-1990 inline fwa (manual or electric engage), better parking brake, XL cab now available (factory CIH 1987 & later), electric shift TA, four letter word in front of IH.

95 series

1991-1994 better hyd standard (15.4 GPM min), cleaner look, new dash, revised wheel paint scheme.

3200/4200 series

1994-1997 HUGE hood and dash, monster exhaust pipe...

We had a 1985 IH 385, bought new, lacked power, I've been told that the D206 in the 585 lacks as well (same bore and stroke as the 3 cyl 385) I would not shy away from a 584/585/595 but would pick the 684/685/695 myself.

a 585XL fwa with loader and 18.4 tires can not get out of its own way....

The 8x8 hyd shuttle is great....if not used in high range to load as it's a lot harder on the dry clutch, the 8F/4R (and 16F/8R) work fine for loader work as the F/R shift is inline and similar speeds.

Watch for brakes and parking brake band....those tend to need work if abused or worn.

#3 98mxz583


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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:49 PM

We have a gas 574 for a loader tractor. I would say its been a good tractor but its not the handiest for loader work. Its got 6k+ on this tach and it was beat before we got it. It came off a dairy and they had an oversize bucket on it for feeding silage and a manure bucket so its seen its fair share of work. So far we have put a clutch in it and a couple of starters. If your going to much loader work keep and eye on your front axle. Ours has the swept back axle and it broke and a oem was $$$$$$. We had it straightened out and welded back up and its held up much better. We have also broken a spindle but that can be had much cheaper. My biggest issue is the shifting. If your doing a lot of loader work I would step up to an 85 series. One of our landlords has a 585 she lets us use to move round bales. Thats got a reverser and its much nicer to shift and it has a foot throttle. If I was going to buy another loader it would have a wet clutch but thats my opinion.
8N, 300, 2-450's, 574, 2-986's, 1086, 3588, parts of a 1370, 78 1440, 820 flex, 863 corn head, 5100 SS drill, Kinze 2000 6-30 planter, SBX 520 baler, #35 rake, 1375 Ghel baler, JD 1600 mo-co, 6 row 30" Rawson 28% applicator, Hagie 254 sprayer, 720 6-16" plow, 4500 vibra shank, 470 disk,float drags and such. I'm also a Precision Planting Rep PM me if you have any questions. Now providing custom chemical application services as well as Outback Guidance systems.

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#4 756man


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Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:39 PM

If you are used to Ford and John Deere utility tractors, you will not like a IH. just my opinion

#5 Eason


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 04:45 AM

I have both a 674 and a 784 and really like them. The shifting is much better than my 664 and doesn't hang up. Look around for a former state right of way mower tractor. These usually have the heavy cast front axle and would be great for loader work. Eason

IH stuff I own 4900 dta466,Hydro 100,Hydro 86,784,966,664,826D hydro,826D gear drive,856,656D hydro row-crop utility,2544D hydro utility,1026 gold demo, Farmall 504D, 340(junk) Farmall 100, 1980 Scout Terra diesel,1976 Scout II, 1975 race scout,67 Loadstar,1976 Sundance Loadstar cub cadets; Big Country4x2,2166,782, 682,1250,126, 125, 72,122, 100, original 76, spirit of 76 IH air conditioner, freezer, 2 refrigerators literature, toys and many parts scouts 1992 Ford F-250 7.3 4wd,1983 Ford F-250 4wd with IH 6.9 diesel Used to own a 656 row crop utility, 544D utility, and a 544D Farmall all 3 red and gold demo's and 7288 s/n 18

#6 EquipmentJunkie


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 05:35 AM

I appreciate the replys, guys.

I am curious why you say that, 756man? Is there something radically different about the IH tractors? I know the operator's platform and shift levers are a bit different than the blue or green. IH utilities are relatively popular around here but I haven't driven many. I don't know that I am used to Ford or Deere...rather, it is just what I happen to have driven the most for 10 minutes at a time in the past 30 years. I tend to adapt to new machines pretty quickly which was out of necessity.
Nothing cranks me like compression ignition.

#7 RickB


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 05:36 AM

If you are used to Ford and John Deere utility tractors, you will not like a IH. just my opinion

I think that's a pretty fair assessment. Doncaster tractors are notorious for weak clutches, leaky brakes and brake valving, weak "T/A" or reverser clutch packs, and light duty parking brakes that require a split to replace.

#8 rjpont


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:32 AM

Interesting comments on the Doncaster built tractors! Around this area up until when Case I H went to the 3200 4200 series tractors NOBODY sold more utility tractors than IH, Case IH.

Yes they are noted for brake problems ,especially the parking brake. Alex UK has told how to fix the parking brake without splitting the tractor.

Yes some have had problems with the service brakes .I have had 3 of these tractors, 574(had brakes replaced before we bought, had metal filings in system ,couldn't clean it up) and now have 2 884's ,so far so good on service brakes. Parking brakes on both mine are Not working but both have cabs and one is 4wd so Alex's plan of attack on the brake is a little more difficult .

TA's have a bad reputation with these tractors ,but are the other choices that much better? I don't know, most of the other utility tractors I have seen don't have the option installed. I know the Massey Multi power isn't given high praise. If it's a utility and loader tractor you need just stay away from any powershift.

The clutch is dry ,if you ride it ,it will wear out. My 884 2 wd is my main loader tractor ,loads all my round bales and feeds them out,300 to 400 a year ,loads 200 or more 250 bushel loads of manure a year ,pushes silage onto the pile , feeds it back out, grades gravel,scrapes yard including frozen crap in the winter ,pushes snow too.It has over 1000 hrs on the clutch I put in when I bought the tractor, it has the 11 inch ,really should have the 12 " clutch but it's holding so far. I have a neighbour with a 484 with a 2200 loader, it needed a clutch .The fellow who did the job split the tractor ,put in the clutch and had it running again in less than 6 hours.

Yes these tractors have there issues but like everything else there are good ones and bad. I know of one 585 4wd with a loader with the pump turned up and has close to 10,000 hours . That tractor has worked harder than anything I have and last I heard it still going strong.

On other thing to watch on these tractors id the wiring harness. There are a number of them in wrecking yards because the wiring system failed and the tractor burnt.

So what ever you buy go in with your eyes open ( as you are already attempting)and hopefully you will get a satisfactory tractor for your needs regardless of brand.

IH I own ,'45 A ,'48 M, '50 M ,'53 S C,'53 SW4,'54 SH,'54 SWD6TA,'55 F 400 gas,'56 F300,'57 F 450 Diesel,'65 F656 d,f656 g, 3414 g w/ bkho&ldr,'80 884 w/sekura cab and Alo 310 ldr,'80 384 w /1501 ldr,'83 884 4wd w/Sims cab,282&382 Cadets,123 Cub Cadet,315 combine ,37 and 435 sq balers, CIH 3450 round baler, 14 rake ,1190 m/c ,45 cultivator,numerous plows,510 drill, numerous sickle mowers,Fast hitch disc harrows ,etc. more stuff for spare parts.

Trucks ; '90 Dodge 250 cummins,'96 Dodge 2500 cummins,1988 I H 1954 dt466. 2003 dodge 2500 cummins 6spd.



Checkout the Ontario Chapter of the IH collectors club @ http//ihc20.ca or on facebook look for IH chapter 20

#9 lightninboy


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:42 AM

If you are used to Ford and John Deere utility tractors, you will not like a IH. just my opinion

I don't doubt some people have had good experience with Case IH utility tractors, but my experience with Case IH utility tractors leads me to think that their bread and butter product was not utility tractors and if you want a utility tractor, get a Ford New Holland or Massey Ferguson, as their bread and butter product was utility tractors, and don't expect any utility tractor to do very much. A utility tractor is basically a compromise tractor.

#10 Ernest


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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:59 AM

Here is one for you!
684 in southern Pa

It seems too cheap. Wish I knew how much they wanted for it when I bought my 686 from them. Probably still would have bought the 686 though!

My knowledge stops at the 574 which my grandfather had. Excellent loader tractor (for us anyhow going from a 460 and a 33 loader) had to weld the front end because they were weak. Sometimes pap wishes he kept it and the 2250 loader rather than the 544. Oh well! $10,000 tractor and loader back in 1988 at his farm sale.