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Farmall504#20

Whats the worst IH tractor ever built ? In your opinion

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Of the many older IH built tractors I ever had a chance to use, the F-12 was the most under powered, difficult handling, short of transmission gear speeds and just plain crude for it's time of all the popular tractors of it's time. Virtually all of it's competitors were better tractors. In contrast the models H and M were wonderfully designed machines, their only shortcomings were that they could have been a lot better with a 6 speed transmission and about 4 more horsepower. They were very reliable, handled very nicely, attractive looking, and had a slew of nicely matched implements made for them. I had a Super M for many years and just loved that tractor. In later years it seemed that while most of the IH built tractors were decent there were always some models with bad weaknesses (like the old F-12's and F-14's) that seriously hurt the overall reputation of International Harvester Company built tractors....and eventually contributed to the demise of that once huge manufacturer of farm machinery.

You should take a real close look at an M,H, or even a 450 . Stand behind one and look at the rear end casting, huh... looks like a F12 rearend. The "Farmall" reg. was the start of the rowcrop revolution but the F12 is the basis for every IH rowcrop tractor built after 1939. Gone were the regulars full frame rails and final drive gearboxes, replaced with adjustable tread rear axles and frame rails bolted to the trans case. Full pressure lube in the engines. The F12/14 was the testbed that set the design for IH to truley become the giant it was. IH sold over 150,000 F12/14's that did their job replacing a team of horses. A Farmall M IS a beefed up F12 design from front to rear.

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I never had understood the operator's platform though - who the **** thought it was a good idea to have a t/a lever on one side and the IPTO lever on the other side of the seat?

Many times I have come real close to falling off trying to climb through that tangled mess in the middle of winter with the tractor covered with snow and ice.

HEY DOC.... I bet your 560 had Fast Hitch didn't it?

Dad put a Koehn "Tractor Cab" on our 450 for 2-3 of the 4 yrs we had it. You had a two foot wide "door" to get in from the back left side. The thing was a glorified heat-houser with a fiberglass roof and slide up Plexiglas windows, and white vinyl fabric bottom sides and engine enclosures. It was nice for chopping corn stalks late in the fall, and discing stalks early in the spring, but by planting time the windows were slid up into the roof and the canvas all came off! It did provide some shade for cultivating. But stepping up on the F/H, then onto the platform and trying to not get tangled up on the PTO lever was something best left to a flexible 14 yr old, so I spent a L-O-T of time running it. At least there was room inside for the Automatic tractor radio.

Ergonomics weren't the best on those vintage tractors, but still beat most other brands best efforts.

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After having a 88 series then getting the Magnums I soon realized how clumsy and pain in the neck the FAF cooling system was. Then throw the sentry sytem headaches and the cost to update the trans I was happy to see the 54 leave and a 7140 take its place.

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I liked them all. Especially the ones built in the US. Ken Ryan

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Of the many older IH built tractors I ever had a chance to use, the F-12 was the most under powered, difficult handling, short of transmission gear speeds and just plain crude for it's time of all the popular tractors of it's time. Virtually all of it's competitors were better tractors. In contrast the models H and M were wonderfully designed machines, their only shortcomings were that they could have been a lot better with a 6 speed transmission and about 4 more horsepower. They were very reliable, handled very nicely, attractive looking, and had a slew of nicely matched implements made for them. I had a Super M for many years and just loved that tractor. In later years it seemed that while most of the IH built tractors were decent there were always some models with bad weaknesses (like the old F-12's and F-14's) that seriously hurt the overall reputation of International Harvester Company built tractors....and eventually contributed to the demise of that once huge manufacturer of farm machinery.

You should take a real close look at an M,H, or even a 450 . Stand behind one and look at the rear end casting, huh... looks like a F12 rearend. The "Farmall" reg. was the start of the rowcrop revolution but the F12 is the basis for every IH rowcrop tractor built after 1939. Gone were the regulars full frame rails and final drive gearboxes, replaced with adjustable tread rear axles and frame rails bolted to the trans case. Full pressure lube in the engines. The F12/14 was the testbed that set the design for IH to truley become the giant it was. IH sold over 150,000 F12/14's that did their job replacing a team of horses. A Farmall M IS a beefed up F12 design from front to rear.

As I said it was from my personal experiences operating IH built tractors that I berated the F-12 as I do/did........it may have been the "seed stock" of future bigger and much better row crop models, but in my estimation it was as I said, a poor handling, underpowered, awkward little tractor with an exceedingly poor seating position. It's design was innovative I guess, for International at least, Sorry I didn't appreciate the F-12 as much as I maybe should have...forgive me......

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Of the many older IH built tractors I ever had a chance to use, the F-12 was the most under powered, difficult handling, short of transmission gear speeds and just plain crude for it's time of all the popular tractors of it's time. Virtually all of it's competitors were better tractors. In contrast the models H and M were wonderfully designed machines, their only shortcomings were that they could have been a lot better with a 6 speed transmission and about 4 more horsepower. They were very reliable, handled very nicely, attractive looking, and had a slew of nicely matched implements made for them. I had a Super M for many years and just loved that tractor. In later years it seemed that while most of the IH built tractors were decent there were always some models with bad weaknesses (like the old F-12's and F-14's) that seriously hurt the overall reputation of International Harvester Company built tractors....and eventually contributed to the demise of that once huge manufacturer of farm machinery.

You should take a real close look at an M,H, or even a 450 . Stand behind one and look at the rear end casting, huh... looks like a F12 rearend. The "Farmall" reg. was the start of the rowcrop revolution but the F12 is the basis for every IH rowcrop tractor built after 1939. Gone were the regulars full frame rails and final drive gearboxes, replaced with adjustable tread rear axles and frame rails bolted to the trans case. Full pressure lube in the engines. The F12/14 was the testbed that set the design for IH to truley become the giant it was. IH sold over 150,000 F12/14's that did their job replacing a team of horses. A Farmall M IS a beefed up F12 design from front to rear.

As I said it was from my personal experiences operating IH built tractors that I berated the F-12 as I do/did........it may have been the "seed stock" of future bigger and much better row crop models, but in my estimation it was as I said, a poor handling, underpowered, awkward little tractor with an exceedingly poor seating position. It's design was innovative I guess, for International at least, Sorry I didn't appreciate the F-12 as much as I maybe should have...forgive me......

Nothing to forgive, many people hold a low opinion of the F12. I think because they compare them to the tractors the F series led to like the H and M instead of what they were built for, which was so small farmers could enter power farming and replace their team of horses. They were poor handling compared to an M but not to Bud and Bess. They had enough power to pull a one bottom plow all day long without stopping to rest and "horse chores" became a trip to the fuel barrel and topping off of the fluids. They often pulled converted horse drawn implements so the trans speeds were exactly what were needed. No road gears necessary because they never left the farm. Hay ground (horse fuel) was turned into production crops for sale. The F12 changed the lives of the farmers who bought them as much as the bigger farmers who bought the F20 and the BTO's who bought those monster overpowered F30's. One old timer I have talked to summed it up the best when talking about the 12 "It was sure better than staring at a horses A$$ all day.

I have a 34 GP in the shed, JD's attempt at a rowcrop..... now there is a awkward, underpowered, poor handling, cant see nothing, bad idea. Once they copied the design of the 12 and built the A/B they had a rowcrop. even built a 12 HP model(H) long after IH stopped building the F14

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IMO I'd have to say the 2+2's because the 30's series wasn't built heavy enough, such as the front axle, and same 4 speed transmissions from all the way back to the 06's. Maybe if the Super 70's were the first and the 30 and 60 series never were thought of the 2+2's would have done better. But on the flip side no 30 series, no Super 70's either. Just saying they should of had that new style transmission sooner and been sitting in the 200hp range. But its history. What's bad is I'm saying the worst tractor is something I own lol. 3588

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Park a 560 D next to a 4010, walk around them both and it's easy to see when Deere got a leg up and why.

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Park a 560 D next to a 4010, walk around them both and it's easy to see when Deere got a leg up and why.

But park a 560 D beside a JD 730, the tractor that Deere made during the production of the 560, and the opposite is true.

I'd take the 560 every time.

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Any of the hydrostatic tractors. They had no pull power and if the transmission oil and filter weren't changed every year would soon need transmission jobs. I have seen several hydros parted out because the hydro was shot. They all had good engines still . For me that was fortunate because I have over the years bought a lot of good parts from them (like hydraulic valves, hydraulic couplers, fenders, front axle parts, etc.

I have to respectfully completely disagree with that statement...

We have used a 706 on our loader ever since we traded off the old 871 Ford SOS. A neighbor of ours asked me for some help haying, etc a couple of summers ago. He has a pair of 656 hydro's. I fell in love with the little rascals. For loader work and baling hay, they have no equal. So much easier to shift than the 706. The neighbor also said that for running a forage chopper or ear corn picker they were a dream. I am negociating to add one to my herd right now!

No bad tractors, just poor ideas. Grandpa traded the old M off on a 400. Liked the TA and live PTO, but the brakes left much to be desired. He was always complaining about them, and my dad got the twice a year chore of cleaning and repairing them so that they would continue to work. He always felt that the old M pulled just as good anyway. When the 400 was traded off on the 706, Grandpa was in heaven. Kept the 706 until he died.

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Any of the hydrostatic tractors. They had no pull power and if the transmission oil and filter weren't changed every year would soon need transmission jobs. I have seen several hydros parted out because the hydro was shot. They all had good engines still . For me that was fortunate because I have over the years bought a lot of good parts from them (like hydraulic valves, hydraulic couplers, fenders, front axle parts, etc.

I have to respectfully completely disagree with that statement...

We have used a 706 on our loader ever since we traded off the old 871 Ford SOS. A neighbor of ours asked me for some help haying, etc a couple of summers ago. He has a pair of 656 hydro's. I fell in love with the little rascals. For loader work and baling hay, they have no equal. So much easier to shift than the 706. The neighbor also said that for running a forage chopper or ear corn picker they were a dream. I am negociating to add one to my herd right now!

Cetianly the 656 hydro is a good loader tractor, we also used it for cutting hay, but running a forage chopper,wait till you have a loaded wagon, you will quickly put the 706 on it. 656 hydro just does not have the guts, In my honest opinion, the hydro transmission robbed hp. Our 544 row crop with a ta is a better pulling tractor.

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Any of the hydrostatic tractors. They had no pull power and if the transmission oil and filter weren't changed every year would soon need transmission jobs. I have seen several hydros parted out because the hydro was shot. They all had good engines still . For me that was fortunate because I have over the years bought a lot of good parts from them (like hydraulic valves, hydraulic couplers, fenders, front axle parts, etc.

I have to respectfully completely disagree with that statement...

We have used a 706 on our loader ever since we traded off the old 871 Ford SOS. A neighbor of ours asked me for some help haying, etc a couple of summers ago. He has a pair of 656 hydro's. I fell in love with the little rascals. For loader work and baling hay, they have no equal. So much easier to shift than the 706. The neighbor also said that for running a forage chopper or ear corn picker they were a dream. I am negociating to add one to my herd right now!

Cetianly the 656 hydro is a good loader tractor, we also used it for cutting hay, but running a forage chopper,wait till you have a loaded wagon, you will quickly put the 706 on it. 656 hydro just does not have the guts, In my honest opinion, the hydro transmission robbed hp. Our 544 row crop with a ta is a better pulling tractor.

I would agree with you on the chopper. I would use the 856,1206 or 1486 first. No substitution for weight when braking a load. The neighbor had a little #8 McCormick chopper and the 656 was enough on his level ground. I have hills that the square baler and a heavy loaded rack would be squirrely on a 656!

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The man I bought my 1026 off of bought it new and it had done custom chopping nearly it's whole life.

He wanted a few more PTO ponies so he added a custom inner-cooler and an M&W oilpan before turning the smoke screw... ^_^

BTW - both rears were loaded with fluid and it had 2 sets of rear WW's.

-FT

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The man I bought my 1026 off of bought it new and it had done custom chopping nearly it's whole life.

He wanted a few more PTO ponies so he added a custom inner-cooler and an M&W oilpan before turning the smoke screw... ^_^

BTW - both rears were loaded with fluid and it had 2 sets of rear WW's.

-FT

Sounds like an unstoppable machine! Would love to see a pic of how he did the aftercooler!!!!!

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I don't agree either with the 656 even close to being the worst, it wasn't in the top 10 for being the best either.....people must've liked these tractors because the production numbers were almost 40,000 units built from '65-'72.

Now the 14 & 1568's-combined less than 3500 units built? Now that's a disaster. That DV-550 was no good either in trucks! Seems like this formula works more than not: V-8's + diesel = no torque. :P

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Sounds like an unstoppable machine! Would love to see a pic of how he did the aftercooler!!!!!

Sorry to hi-jack the thread. I certainly don't mean to...

SSPX1019.jpg

SSPX1020.jpg

SSPX1021.jpg

-FT

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I own two of the tractors that have been suggested to be lemons (1468,3588). One of my 3588's has well over 20,000 hours on it and only thing major done to that tractor has been the motor rebuilt, other than that it has been one of the most dependable tractors I own. When my dad owned it for a while it did every thing on their farm from spreading, to running the mixer and was always dependable. One of the tractors that made me want another, the 14 on the other hand maybe not so much. Its a fun tractor to drive, but the motor has been a issue since I've owned it. Doesn't help someone left water in it through a winter, cracked a cylinder and then a botched repair, then I get it. The tractor has a lot of snot when it's wide open but lug it a little and it falls on it's face. I agree that a V-8 shouldn't be in a tractor and most pickup's as a diesel. It does look really cool though when it's running good, nothing quite the same as two streams of black smoke coming out of one tractor. Always makes me turn around and look when I'm working it and it doesn't seem to get old! :wub: It's one my friends son favorit tractors, calls it the 2 piper. :)

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I don't think the 300,330 or 350 utility was the worse tractor perhaps the worse steering but IMHO it is was the uglist

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Hey Tom, did they build that? Do you have any pictures of the other side? That sure would be sweet to have one of those. I like the fact it fits under the stock hood.

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Hey Tom, did they build that? Do you have any pictures of the other side? That sure would be sweet to have one of those. I like the fact it fits under the stock hood.

I don't have any pics of the other side atm but I could probably get some.

It isn't on the 1026 anymore. It now resides on the 1456 I am working on... ;)

-FT

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Any of the hydrostatic tractors. They had no pull power and if the transmission oil and filter weren't changed every year would soon need transmission jobs. I have seen several hydros parted out because the hydro was shot. They all had good engines still . For me that was fortunate because I have over the years bought a lot of good parts from them (like hydraulic valves, hydraulic couplers, fenders, front axle parts, etc.

I have to respectfully completely disagree with that statement...

We have used a 706 on our loader ever since we traded off the old 871 Ford SOS. A neighbor of ours asked me for some help haying, etc a couple of summers ago. He has a pair of 656 hydro's. I fell in love with the little rascals. For loader work and baling hay, they have no equal. So much easier to shift than the 706. The neighbor also said that for running a forage chopper or ear corn picker they were a dream. I am negociating to add one to my herd right now!

Cetianly the 656 hydro is a good loader tractor, we also used it for cutting hay, but running a forage chopper,wait till you have a loaded wagon, you will quickly put the 706 on it. 656 hydro just does not have the guts, In my honest opinion, the hydro transmission robbed hp. Our 544 row crop with a ta is a better pulling tractor.

IH made no secret of that when they Hydros were new.

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all hydrostatic transmissions rob power even in you lil lawn tractor. Doesn't matter who makes it

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300 Utility = worst

Rick G.

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IH 706 Gas, gas guzzling, point burning, cold blooded poppin' and sputterin' piece of sh-t!

my vote!

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I’ve been reading this thread and the other re: the best IH’s.

I’ve been giving this some thought, and both questions are actually hard to answer, because there are a ton of variables to each question. There was a topic on here about a year ago called “Top 10 IH Tractors” and spoke of the top 10 “important” tractors – good or bad. That was a good topic and has great insight.

I’m going to put out a philosophical answer to this question of the WORST IH tractor ever made:

The last one - the 5488 of May 1985, because that tractor marked the end of IH as we knew it to be……food for thought……..

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