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question 986 vs 966


pt756
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966 has a N/A 414.  The 986 has a N/A 436.  So, stands to reason a few more ponies.  Buy whichever you prefer, but consider this:  

If open station is what you desire, go with the 966.  It's a lot easier to work on.  The 86 series was a real PITA to work on anything rear of the fuel filters.  Batteries are buried, starter under the platform, all that linkage for the shifters.... not the best series.  66 was a lot easier to work on.  That said, I would never consider trading an 856 for a 966 or a 986.  The 56 series has got to be the best tractor series IH ever actually produced.  The diesel engine in any of those tractors, be it the German diesel, or the 407 rank high on the list of durable, long lasting engines.  Other than the ease of overhaul of a 400 series, I much prefer the 407 engine.  I would rebuild the 856 and keep running it if you want my opinion. 

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 An 856 in good repair would get my vote every day and twice on Sunday over a 966 or 986.

Or, alternatively, skip over the 966 / 986 idea and consider getting into a 1066.

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we have had our 856 since the late 70,s been overhauled 3 times, first overhauls were a sleeve problem, once the block was taken to a motor shop and  redid with new sleeves made its been ok I do really like it for the 2350 loader on it though,

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On Monday, March 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM, pt756 said:

we have had our 856 since the late 70,s been overhauled 3 times, first overhauls were a sleeve problem, once the block was taken to a motor shop and  redid with new sleeves made its been ok I do really like it for the 2350 loader on it though,

How many hours on the 856? It's getting harder to find good older 966 and 986s. If they are good guys keep em. But I'm sure you know that. 

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On 3/23/2020 at 4:49 AM, hanniedog said:

If the 986 has 34 inch tires pass on it. Instead of going about 20 mph you will be closer to 15

How fast do you need to go to farm? Or do you race these tractors?

Travis

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Back in the 70’s I asked a farmer acquaintance how he liked his 986. His first response was similar to the comment made by J Mech about the shifting being difficult because there was so much linkage. 

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On 3/26/2020 at 6:48 AM, 856 Custom said:

1586 is no speed demon either. Uncle had a 986 on 34s and when him and dad farmed together up till '85, no-one complained about roading the tractor. Everyone is getting spoiled with the available road speed's obtainable today

No modern tractor could match a Silver King built in the forties and fifties for road speed.

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6 minutes ago, 856 Custom said:

Wasn't there a old Minnie Mo that came with a factory cab that would scoot along pretty good?

Yes, the moline UDLX would go close to 40. The tractor engine would run 500 RPM's faster in high gear.

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The problem with all those speedsters....is its dangerous to go that fast in a tractor with large tires and no suspension.   Few realize how important suspension is to keeping the tires on the road and gripping.    That's why modern tractors still only go 20-30 mph, and one of the big pushes for front suspension.  IN EU, where they road a  lot more, its even more important...and a big selling factor for the FASTRAC - designed with suspension so it can travel safely up to 40.

The other factor is the big tires.  A car tire blowing out is bad enough...try having a 18.4-38 blow at 40 mph!   My neighbor had a rim split in two on a 1086 while traveling down the road at 20 mph....took the tractor off the road, thru the ditch, and down into a creek bed before he could stop.  He was lucky...10 seconds later it would have been on the bridge and he would have gone over the guardrail.

Apparently Race driver Barney Oldfield drove a specially modified tractor at over 100 mph to demonstrate rubber tires over steel back in the day.  Man was crazy.

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