Jump to content

Hydros - School Me On Them...


Recommended Posts

I’ve been busy looking, asking questions about 66 and 86 series gear drive tractors, but know nothing about the hydro versions of them - 1066 hydro, 100 hydro, 186 hydro or even the 3488 hydro.

Haying, not tillage the primary chore and I’ve read these hydro tractors are very good haying tractors due to their infinite speed.

So is a large frame IH hydro something to consider?  Parts available?  Anyone out there who can still service and repair?

The tractor - what’s different?  Same engine, I assume same rear end - I assume the hydro displaces the gear tranny space.  No TA, no hi-low range.

Is the hydro unit reliable?  What kind of service life do they have?  When you compare a hydro unit repair vs a clutch and TA, I assume both require a split - how is cost compared?

I’ve read the hydros are hp hogs and therefore not great tillage tractors as compared to their gear driven counterparts - I should think pulling a baler or Discbine would leave much more hp available for the PTO.

I’ve got hydro garden tractors - on flat ground, they seem to hold their ground speed pretty consistent.  On a rolly/ hilly yard, you’re constantly having to keep your hand on the hydro lever to maintain a steady ground speed going up and down - are these IH hydro tractors operation similar or is the power difference so great, you set the hydro lever and you’ve got cruse control like a gear drive?

How safe are these hydros?  When I’ve got a loaded kicker wagon behind coming down a hill, is it going to push the tractor faster or will the hydro hold the load back?  Being pushed, nothing to come out of gear?  Are hydros a flat land tractor or can they safely be used on hills?  I assume these tractors have brakes - do they kick the hydro lever to Neutral when used?  How is the park brake applied - same as gear drive tractors?

Is there any clutching of any sort?  Do they have an inching pedal like a JD powershift?  I’m thinking about inch movement while trying to back up to an implement.  Do you loose steering brakes due to the nature of the hydro?

On a 186 hydro, do the left hand floor shifters go away making the often discussed cab entry easier?  Does the cab on a 186 complicate the hydro servicing/repair vs a gear drive or make it worse?

Are hydros good tractors or when you hear the word “hydro”, you automatically say, “Run Forest run!!!!”

Any sage advice/info on a hydro 1066, 100, 186 and 3488 are much appreciated.

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 59
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

For what it's worth, we've had a hydro of some sort around here since dad bought a Hydro 70 new in June of 1975. They've been alot more reliable and cheaper in regards to repairs than the gear drives.

There's been a many of hydro junked because people don't  take the time to troubleshoot the tractor.

I bought my first Hydro 186 back in 2008,  it had a little over 8000 hours on it when I got it and in 2012 I put the 2350 loader on it, it has 9600 hours on it now. In the summer I use it mostly for l

Posted Images

On the 186 and 3488 hydro the high and low range lever is on the left hand side. The hydro lever is on the dash. They do have a high and low range. The hydro will hold the load back on a hill or slowing down on the road. My 1026 hydro is rated at 112 pto hp but it will not pull as good in tillage as my 826 gear drive rated at 91 pto hp.  The park lock is the same as the gear drives, the range transmission has to be in neutral. They do have a "foot and inch" pedal like JD's powershift and it does NOT return the hydro to neutral every time you push it in and you don't loose steering or brakes. The hydros are great for haying and other pto loads where you need the pto to run at a set speed but constantly have to vary your ground speed. I have 5 hydros so I'm a little biased.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a smaller hydro tractor for years (hydro 84) its mainly a utility type tractor therefore does lighter work I love the no gear grinding any speed you want type of transmission I've never had any issues with it it does have a braking a sense going down hills so its not  a run-away I would not want to do any heavy tiliage with it they do require a more intensive service such as Hytran change and filters (two) one for the transmission one for the hydraulic system sometimes I wished mine had three ranges of transmission gears low range seems to low and high range seems to fast but for baling, raking hay, mowing, loaders , jobs that may require frequent speed or direction changes they are great if you've ever ran a combine with a Hydro they are very similar

Link to post
Share on other sites

For what your going to be doing they are perfect , these hydro's are very dependable if they are taken care of . Use case IH Hy Tran only and it needs to be serviced every two years and if your in an area where you don't get cold whether you can go up to 2000 hrs . These where never intended for pulling heavy tillage equipment , they where designed to do just what you want to used it for . Medium/light duty applications , yard tractor , feed grinding , cutting hay , spraying , chopping , baling , hauling hay , cultivating ,TMR tractor  etc . 

Now , I will tell you that IH took the turbo off the tractors after the 1066 Hydro because you know what people did on the fuel screw !! But I will tell you I would buy a 186 Hydro or 3488 Hydro and because of the nicer cab and put a turbo on it . For PTO work they could use more power and if you operate the hydro properly and don't ever slip it it will run for many years . 

For parts and service , there is not a problem with hydro repairs , they run about 5000.00 to repair plus labor to remove and installation . The park lock is same as a gear drive , the hydro housing replaces the TA/speed transmission on a gear drive . The hitch pump is the same between the two and the steering , lube and brakes all come out of the hydro housing . I I ever had a use for a hydro tractor , I would buy one in a min . There are a lot of these around the world that are original and have never been touched and you can't say that about a lot of tractors . 

Hope this helps, if you have test drive questions on a hydro tractor let me know .

Danny 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydros are the perfect loader tractors. I have 2 1026 hydros now and use to own a 656 hydro. Hated the 656 not because of the hydro but because of the D282 engine. The hydro transmission does soak up HP and puts out alot of heat. Hydros have very large oil coolers though. Hydros were popular in North East Texas in the 70s and 80s to pull peanut combined but off the sandy land they were unheard of. Everyone around here was scared of hydros until I brought a 1026 w/2350 loader in. Now they all say they want a hydro for hay production and keep trying to buy mine. A good friend tried to buy my 1st 1026 w/loader and i turned down big $ for it. Well he went up to KS and bought a super nice 1026 hydro w/3300hrs. He grew up on IH and started out farming with IHs. He wishes he would have bought a hydro back then knowing now what they are capable of. Too many things they are good for. They are by no means a tillage tractor. Maintenance is NOT to be over looked. Hy-Tran only and good filters. Herrs Hydro Repair is top notch with repair, parts and knowledge if Hydros. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The IH hydro is a great tractor to drive. Bring the engine just above idle and use S/R lever (hydro lever) to start, stop, go forward, reverse. No clutch needed and adjust the Ground speed as you go. Very enjoyable to cruise the farm! Pallet forks on the 3 point work great. You can zoom up to something then creep to make sure you don't stab whatever is on the pallet. I have a 3 point trenching attachment. Hydro will creep slow enough to trench. I installed 40 acres of solid set pvc irrigation with a 656 hydro.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a 186 dad bought in 1980ish, 800 hrs, tach rolled over in 90s and quit working about 2000.  Engine OH in late 80s and have yet to touch anything on back.  Excelent  hay tractor if you make hay the slow way.  In the modern  way we make hay, high speed, the hydros won't go fast enough and are grossly under powered. Ask Bitty if the 1066 hydro they had would be able to handle a discbine the way we move now days. The way we bale and mow, even rake, would require high range usage and would not work well with our hills. On a sickle type mower and small baler your fine, low range work. Planted 1000s of acres pulling an 800 6RN and is excellent, 12 row not so much. On repeat cycle loader work I could stay with any tractor loader combo when the hydro is "crisp" . Mine is showing it's age and won't spin wheels on directional change any more, acts like a modulated reverser. Not saying we spun the wheels on a typical direction change, but it used to would do it when it was "crisp"  when there was a case of operator error. Still use it for loader work regularly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stupid question time- I’ve only ever driven gear drive IH’s- On the Hydros, Do you have to depress the foot ‘n inch pedal to shift between the Hi and Low range? What is the proper procedure for going from Hi to Low range? I’m assuming you don’t want to move the Hi /Low range lever on a Hydro when the tractor is in motion, such as you can when using a TA? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Rick G. said:

Stupid question time- I’ve only ever driven gear drive IH’s- On the Hydros, Do you have to depress the foot ‘n inch pedal to shift between the Hi and Low range? What is the proper procedure for going from Hi to Low range? I’m assuming you don’t want to move the Hi /Low range lever on a Hydro when the tractor is in motion, such as you can when using a TA? 

Move the SR { hydro } lever to neutral position, no need to step on pedal, shift range lever to desired range. Now that said there are times when a slight movement will help with gear release or gear tooth engagement just like on a gear drive tractor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So with a hydro, if you’re using a loader and stacking bales, can you use the inching pedal to ease closer to the stack?  Will using the inching pedal like a clutch in situations like this cause damage?

1066 hydro - D414 w/ turbo?  Same rear end as a gear drive 1066?

Hydro 100 - D414 with turbo also?  Same rear end as a 1066?

How steady is the speed on these hydros?  Set it and forget it - like cruise control or do you constantly have to have your hand on the hydro lever to maintain a constant speed?

Sounds like a Hydro 186 would be the cat’s meow for haying, infinite speed, decent cab w/AC.

Thanks for the replies!

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, leeave96 said:

So with a hydro, if you’re using a loader and stacking bales, can you use the inching pedal to ease closer to the stack?  Will using the inching pedal like a clutch in situations like this cause damage?

1066 hydro - D414 w/ turbo?  Same rear end as a gear drive 1066?

Hydro 100 - D414 with turbo also?  Same rear end as a 1066?

How steady is the speed on these hydros?  Set it and forget it - like cruise control or do you constantly have to have your hand on the hydro lever to maintain a constant speed?

Sounds like a Hydro 186 would be the cat’s meow for haying, infinite speed, decent cab w/AC.

Thanks for the replies!

Using the inching pedal as a clutch is hard on any hydro. That is what the old guys used say. It dumps the pilot operated relief valves. 5000 + psi to nothing on a flash then back on again when released. Most other brands didn’t use any clutch like device. Ihc stayed with it a long time and they had their points. On a hydro the foot an inch was considered emergency stop if needed. Use the lever for all control is better. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, 1480x3 said:

Have a 186 dad bought in 1980ish, 800 hrs, tach rolled over in 90s and quit working about 2000.  Engine OH in late 80s and have yet to touch anything on back.  Excelent  hay tractor if you make hay the slow way.  In the modern  way we make hay, high speed, the hydros won't go fast enough and are grossly under powered. Ask Bitty if the 1066 hydro they had would be able to handle a discbine the way we move now days. The way we bale and mow, even rake, would require high range usage and would not work well with our hills. On a sickle type mower and small baler your fine, low range work. Planted 1000s of acres pulling an 800 6RN and is excellent, 12 row not so much. On repeat cycle loader work I could stay with any tractor loader combo when the hydro is "crisp" . Mine is showing it's age and won't spin wheels on directional change any more, acts like a modulated reverser. Not saying we spun the wheels on a typical direction change, but it used to would do it when it was "crisp"  when there was a case of operator error. Still use it for loader work regularly.

I have mowed with the 15' hesston disk mower on the 1066 hydro. I was in high range. The problem I had was I need a set of 10 bolt hubs and duals to keep from being pushed all around on the corners . 

Hydro=perfect haying tractor and for loader work. Nice on a pull type chopper to some extent. 1066 was the only one that had a turbo from the factory. Turbo adds better response as the engine holds RPM better and used slightly less fuel . 

Herrs machine in Kansas is the expert on these Hydros

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bitty said:

I have mowed with the 15' hesston disk mower on the 1066 hydro. I was in high range. The problem I had was I need a set of 10 bolt hubs and duals to keep from being pushed all around on the corners . 

Hydro=perfect haying tractor and for loader work. Nice on a pull type chopper to some extent. 1066 was the only one that had a turbo from the factory. Turbo adds better response as the engine holds RPM better and used slightly less fuel . 

Herrs machine in Kansas is the expert on these Hydros

1026 Hydro/Turbo ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Rainman said:

1026 Hydro/Turbo ?

 

2 minutes ago, Long Farms said:

1026 had 3LD-279 Turbo from the Factory. 

I forgotten about the 1026 being turboed 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 1970s the area I live in now was all cattle country; nothing was farmed. There were more IH hydro tractors around here than people, especially 544s and 656s. One of the truck drivers for our dealership tells many a story about working for a ranch around here that was huge at the time. They had a dozen or better 1026 Hydro tractors that did all the work at the ranch....put up hay, chop silage, and keep all them cattle fed in the winter time. He always talks about the worst job at the ranch at that time was getting all those tractors started on a cold morning. This was before the days of heated shops....most of these tractor were located in places that didn't even have access to electricity.  Getting those old hydro tractors started with all that stiff oil in them was quite a challenge. He said the best thing they did was change all the battery setups over on those machines from the original two 6volt batteries to two 12volt batteries; and make sure you had some ether with you.

One old boy south of town had just about every model of IH Hydro tractor with the exception of the 3488. Had several 544s and 656s; had every model of 66 series Hydro(666 Hydro, 966 Hydro, 1066 Hydro); had a 70 & 100 Hydro, 3 186 Hydros(2 white sides, 1 tri-stripe), and a Hydro 86. I guess I don't remember him having either an 826 or 1026 Hydro, but he probably had them in the past and traded up through the years. He sure was not the most meticulous on maintenance, and those Hydros treated him pretty well over the years. He died a few years ago; and his Hydro fleet got split up between his kids.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bitty said:

I have mowed with the 15' hesston disk mower on the 1066 hydro. I was in high range. The problem I had was I need a set of 10 bolt hubs and duals to keep from being pushed all around on the corners . 

Hydro=perfect haying tractor and for loader work. Nice on a pull type chopper to some extent. 1066 was the only one that had a turbo from the factory. Turbo adds better response as the engine holds RPM better and used slightly less fuel . 

Herrs machine in Kansas is the expert on these Hydros

Thiers a 1066 hydro over in morris if youd like another! Haha Was down through thier a few weeks back! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Gleaner k2 said:

Thiers a 1066 hydro over in morris if youd like another! Haha Was down through thier a few weeks back! 

I would like to have it. It's a friend of the family who used to have an old IH dealership in Liberty

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, leeave96 said:

So with a hydro, if you’re using a loader and stacking bales, can you use the inching pedal to ease closer to the stack?  Will using the inching pedal like a clutch in situations like this cause damage?

1066 hydro - D414 w/ turbo?  Same rear end as a gear drive 1066?

Hydro 100 - D414 with turbo also?  Same rear end as a 1066?

How steady is the speed on these hydros?  Set it and forget it - like cruise control or do you constantly have to have your hand on the hydro lever to maintain a constant speed?

Sounds like a Hydro 186 would be the cat’s meow for haying, infinite speed, decent cab w/AC.

Thanks for the replies!

Hydro 100 and 186 have a D-436  3488 has a D-466

Link to post
Share on other sites

lotta hours on IH hydros and gears,JD powershifts,syncro,quad range,Massy muitpower,Fords dual power.all have their good and bad.In my opinion the hydros are a pleasure, easiest and less fatiguing  to drive,i have hills that are very steep and my hydros will walk all over them.Plenty of power for pto work that i do,i  would not be afraid to do heavy tillage with mine and have in a pinch.You just have to have  common sense.i have gear drives to do that.i would rather run my 1026 before any other tractor that i own plus many of the others.i also have a H70 with a big Woods Du-all loader on it.i am not stupid though and a nice AC or Heated cab in a new tractor is always a plus.One question way back was the clutch pedeal.It is just a safety mechanism  by design installed by the engineers at IH .It was added so if someone had  to stop in a emergency, panic attack,something that requires instant reaction the older farmers or ones new to the hydros ,their first instinct is to push down on a clutch.It is not a clutch just a dump valve.I NEVER use it ,to me it doesn't exist.it is so much nicer ,easier and simpler to use the hand speed control lever.you can control the tractor so much better and easier.The other thing they said in the sales brochures  for the hydro is the efficiently ,they said that you set the throttle and leave it there.Well in all the sales pitches of everything ever sold this has to be on of the truest things ever said.The people that own these  know that is what makes these tractors so special. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong ,I would love to have one. I think it would be the ultimate tractor to pull combine cut low ,slow and birdsfoot ,sweet 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, 560Dennis said:

I may be wrong ,I would love to have one. I think it would be the ultimate tractor to pull combine cut low ,slow and birdsfoot ,sweet 

Someday I'd like to hook our Hydro 100 to the 914 combine. That would be a sweet setup. Of coarse it's too small for us now, but would be fun to do.

I love our Hydro 100 for baling. I dont want to use anything else now lol. Would be nice to put a turbo on it for the hills though, just for a little more power. But I can still hold 7-8 mph baling no problem

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, db1486 said:

Someday I'd like to hook our Hydro 100 to the 914 combine. That would be a sweet setup. Of coarse it's too small for us now, but would be fun to do.

I love our Hydro 100 for baling. I dont want to use anything else now lol. Would be nice to put a turbo on it for the hills though, just for a little more power. But I can still hold 7-8 mph baling no problem

Few guys around here used 100s on 914s & was pretty decent. Dad & Grampa used a 1066 Hydro on various 914s thru 70s & early 80s, it was a good match. In the hills, sometimes the hopper had to be emptied,but with duals on did good. This was where the hydros really shined.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, D1206 said:

Few guys around here used 100s on 914s & was pretty decent. Dad & Grampa used a 1066 Hydro on various 914s thru 70s & early 80s, it was a good match. In the hills, sometimes the hopper had to be emptied,but with duals on did good. This was where the hydros really shined.

I figured it should work alright. I've run the 914 with the 766, so I know all about dumping the hopper often in hills lol. Maybe someday when theres actually time to play around during harvest I'll get all our pull types hooked up and in the field

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...