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EquipmentJunkie

Educate Me on IH Utility Tractors...

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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we have a 784 and we use it for all kinds of stuff. mowing hay, raking hay, spraying, grading, auger operation and the list goes on and on. we had the whole thing up in flames one night. it was something electrical. it was fixed and we had a new clutch put in it and it still runs and operates great. it has a 2250 loader on it and we use it for moving big round bales as well.

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...brought a 584 new.....been awhile now I guess....very satisfactory tractor, used in light agricultural work, although it performed above expectations when coupled to large offset discs...(large for that era...)...these discs and the chisel plow were normally being used behind Doncaster built BD264/ BD281 powered tractors...and the smaller Neuss engined 584 really surprised with those implements.

Never had any bother mechanically with it...and there are still dozens of tractors from the British IH stable..from that era still full on on New Zealand farms....certainly, now most in a secondary role to the 'green tin ' that seems to have spread like a plague across the countries farms...

Mike

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Hmm, Massey, Deere and Ford units with knee knocking straddle shifters or right hand console on the owl guard manheims, versus IH's clean operator platform with left hand shifters with an inline F/R. Massey and Ford 8F/2R trans with reverse gears that are too slow or too fast for loader work.

The parking brake was improved on later tractors, but regardless, the operator drives with the brake on and it somehow is the tractor's fault.

Dry clutch not an issue, as rjpont said, ride it, you wear it, we've put one clutch in our 2200 equipped 495, and it is the 11", not the 12" that was optional on the smaller tractors.

I'm not aware of any Deere, MF or Ford utility tractors in the 84/85 series era with a wet clutch.

Regular front axle fine, as mentioned a cast axle was available if looking for a 2wd.

Those Doncaster tractors were certainly a **** of a lot better than anything IH had elsewhere, no US built utility tractors, and the last Louisville ones were skids from Doncaster! That UK factory specialized in that family of tractor and had a great product.

McCormick still lists the C series for sale, so 1973 to current you can get that family of tractor....

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Thought of something more today, the Fords of the era you are looking at had a problem with engine blocks becoming porous. They have a sleeveless motor and require a replacement block or boring and a sleeve installed to repair the problem. There is a fellow in England who offers the service of relining(?) the blocks right in the tractor. It's a big enough problem that he runs a constant ad in one of the British tractor magazine.

What ever make you consider there will be problems.

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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....

I have a 584 and think it is a great tractor. Is is a 1981 with the inline shift. I have 16.9-30's that are loaded and the D206. I don't think it is underpowered but I don't have a loader on it either and it is not fwa.

My parking brake works too!

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Thought of something more today, the Fords of the era you are looking at had a problem with engine blocks becoming porous. They have a sleeveless motor and require a replacement block or boring and a sleeve installed to repair the problem. There is a fellow in England who offers the service of relining(?) the blocks right in the tractor. It's a big enough problem that he runs a constant ad in one of the British tractor magazine.

What ever make you consider there will be problems.

Hmmm, having owned 8 Fords from a '65 5000 to a '89 5610, 4600 to a 7700 to a TW 25, looks like I should have run into this problem before...... I've certainly heard people lambasting the Ford engines being porous, but I've never actually met anybody who has suffered with it.

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Thought of something more today, the Fords of the era you are looking at had a problem with engine blocks becoming porous. They have a sleeveless motor and require a replacement block or boring and a sleeve installed to repair the problem. There is a fellow in England who offers the service of relining(?) the blocks right in the tractor. It's a big enough problem that he runs a constant ad in one of the British tractor magazine.

What ever make you consider there will be problems.

Hmmm, having owned 8 Fords from a '65 5000 to a '89 5610, 4600 to a 7700 to a TW 25, looks like I should have run into this problem before...... I've certainly heard people lambasting the Ford engines being porous, but I've never actually met anybody who has suffered with it.

I could introduce you to a few. Although it may have had as much to do with maintaining the antifreeze as the block issue in some cases but it is an issue just like what has been brought up about the IH's .

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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....

I have a 584 and think it is a great tractor. Is is a 1981 with the inline shift. I have 16.9-30's that are loaded and the D206. I don't think it is underpowered but I don't have a loader on it either and it is not fwa.

My parking brake works too!

The "5"s are still a great tractor, and I would still buy one, they can be had slightly cheaper than the "6"s as 10 less HP. The D155 and D206 are a shorter stroke engine, versus longer stroke for D179 and D239. I've been told the longer stroke is the reason for the difference, again my opinion only.

Local guy had bought a 584 new, complained to IH it was gutless, they took it in, dyno'd it, and it was actually making MORE pto hp than stock....go figure. I've run some 585's, all fwa & 2255 loaders, the XL cab one required dropping to H2 going up a moderate highway grade EMPTY that was approached WOT in H4. Another hill a ROPS 585 fwa w/2255 was lugging down in H3, Same hill in a D239 powered 4210 fwa & 2255 hardly lost any revs in H4.

I think the base tractor is fine, but by the time you add all the extra weight it isn't happy.

VanOostrums has one I like, a D206 powered 3230 XL, would make a NICE non-loader tractor for my needs:

3230

A/C, 16F/8R trans (all right hand shifters on these ones) The door is just a faded red sticker.

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I had an 895 FWA for a couple years, put a couple thousand hours on it in that time. It was a great tractor. The inline forward reverse is the next best thing to a hydraulic shuttle. I've run the Fords and Deere's, not all that excited by them. I HATE the control layout on the Fords. The worst thing about the 895 was that it was HOT to run in the summertime mowing hay. I had it and the 1256 at the same time, and, quite often, it was the mower tractor. Just about had a heat stroke one August day running the disc mower and it had to go. FWIW, the JD 2640 that I used to run certainly wasn't any better in this regard. Got the 5140. I don't know that I would lock myself into the 585, etc, I don't think that the 885-95's are all that much larger, and I seem to always find a way to use any "extra" HP.

Chad.

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IMO, IH had one of the better utility tractors out there..............Other than the weaker front end and dry clutch, and the parking brake that isn't all that reliable, they are awesome machines on a loader. Ran a 574 gas, and now a 884 with 2250 and although the 574 was ok, the 884 is a heck of a nice machine for loader work. Like MoChad said, they do get hot in the summer if you run them for hours on end, but so does any other utility tractor I ever been around as you are pretty much setting on the transmission. The engineers overseas should have schools the americans on how to built the shifting for the 86's, because those little buggers shift like a dream and are very reliable. I'd also look into the larger models, they really aren't all that much bigger and the power is nice to have.

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Forgot to mention, you couldn't give me a Massey for a loader tractor!

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I have owned a 1981 684 since August 1996. I do mainly PTO work. I use a Bush Hok HD cutter on CRP and deer trails. I have chewed up four inch diameter trees and Marsh and Red Willow. The only trouble I have had was a large popple tree that was blown in 2006. The D-239, IMO, is the most underrated engine I have ever run. I hope it keeps running for at least another ten years. By that time, I could just possibably become tired. RAY

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I really appreciate all of the replies. I am not in a hurry and I enjoy being a patient, educated customer. I am tending to zero in on a few models...probably a bit newer than I had originally planned since a direction reverser would be really nice. That feature tends to favor a 595, 3230, or C60. I am also thinking about a Ford 4630 (I'm partial to a turbo), New Holland TN65/Case IH JX1060-C, or a Deere 2155.

Finding nice examples of each can be hard. Herr & Leaman has a few nice-looking Doncaster models. I'm going to take a closer look at them this afternoon.

Once again, thanks a bunch everybody!

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I really appreciate all of the replies. I am not in a hurry and I enjoy being a patient, educated customer. I am tending to zero in on a few models...probably a bit newer than I had originally planned since a direction reverser would be really nice. That feature tends to favor a 595, 3230, or C60. I am also thinking about a Ford 4630 (I'm partial to a turbo), New Holland TN65/Case IH JX1060-C, or a Deere 2155.

Finding nice examples of each can be hard. Herr & Leaman has a few nice-looking Doncaster models. I'm going to take a closer look at them this afternoon.

Once again, thanks a bunch everybody!

I have run a New Holland 5030 (one of the ones with FORD in small letters on the hood side) ROPS FWA 8x8 & 7310 loader. Lots of power, column LH shuttle seemed strong, didn't like the straddle shift range & speed levers, but they are a BASIC tractor, but 100% usable.

I would buy whatever is in nice shape and good price, they all should do the job, I'd take a 695 over a 5030.... but I'd take a mint 5030 over a beat up 695....

In wouldn't get hung up on the 8X8 on a doncaster, still a dry clutch, and there are only two advantages to the 8X8 over the 8x4,

1) you can do a slightly rolling shift F/R versus complete stop on the 8x4 (gear clash otherwise), you still have to clutch to a stop before changing direction on either box.

2) you get H1 reverse which is handy for jobs where you are running in high range 1st and want to go backwards at a decent rate without touching the speed lever. The only loader work I'd do in high range would be picking round bales in the field, not dirt or manure work. I knew of a C60 fwa with 8x8 that ate the clutch in less than 1000 hours as high range was used to do everything.....

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I really appreciate all of the replies. I am not in a hurry and I enjoy being a patient, educated customer. I am tending to zero in on a few models...probably a bit newer than I had originally planned since a direction reverser would be really nice. That feature tends to favor a 595, 3230, or C60. I am also thinking about a Ford 4630 (I'm partial to a turbo), New Holland TN65/Case IH JX1060-C, or a Deere 2155.

Finding nice examples of each can be hard. Herr & Leaman has a few nice-looking Doncaster models. I'm going to take a closer look at them this afternoon.

Once again, thanks a bunch everybody!

Im not much for the 4630 fords. Dad bought one new in 94(it was before the introduction of the turbo, I believe the turbo model came out in 95 or 96). Dads had a shuttle shift on it, and it was a joke, as a matter of fact the whole tractor was a joke. When dad bought it, it had a 2yr 200 hr warrenty, the injector pump went out at 200.5 hours and Ford would not cover it at first, but they slowly came around ;) Compared to the other 50hp tractors we ran, the ford was considered some what gutless, but was quite the fuel miser. The hydraulics were terribly slow. When we bought it, it supposedly had a 14gpm pump, but what they didnt say was that only 9gpm went to the remotes. As far as the shuttle, it wasnt a hyd shuttle, so there for you couldnt shift it on the fly. Im not sure if the turbo models had a hyd shuttle or not, but thats something you may want to look into.

When dad bought it he gave 17k for it, and sold it 2 years later with 214hrs on it for 11k I believe. Ever since that little miss understanding about the pump and just the tractor in general it has put a bad taste in my mouth for our blue cousins ever since.

As sad as it is the 2155 Deere is a pretty good tractor, there is alot of dairy farms around here that have 2040's up to 2155's with 175 loaders, and havent had many problems out of them. They will also hold there re-sell value better then most of the others.

If it was me, I think I would lean toward the C60...but thats just me.

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