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thinking about a 5088 or 5288 whats the good bad and ugly


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I would like to get a good later model IH tractor with a good cab for my small farm operation.  I would like to to be able to do tillage and planting operations.  Small Glencoe chisel plow in the fall and 12 row planter in the spring.  I know that the 88 series have had issues with a sentry module located under the steering wheel console.  I know the engines are rock solid but the transmission rear end worry me.  What should I be on the look out for on these tractors.  Seems like the cabs on the 88 series hold up a little better than the 86 series cabs.      

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12 row planter? Better go with a 5288 with duals, depending how heavily your  tractor or planter will be loaded with liquid tanks. 

Don’t ignore perhaps a CASE IH 7120 or 7220 MAGNUM either.

The IH engines are great and legendary, but they and all other components are only as rock solid as to how well the previous owner(s) took care of them. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BobinIL said:

I would like to get a good later model IH tractor with a good cab for my small farm operation.  I would like to to be able to do tillage and planting operations.  Small Glencoe chisel plow in the fall and 12 row planter in the spring.  I know that the 88 series have had issues with a sentry module located under the steering wheel console.  I know the engines are rock solid but the transmission rear end worry me.  What should I be on the look out for on these tractors.  Seems like the cabs on the 88 series hold up a little better than the 86 series cabs.      

Better question is what price range are you considering  those tractors in field ready condition are few and far between and if you happen to run accross a nice one you'll pay dearly for it

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The 5x88 series tractors came out during an exceptionally poor farming economy. Production was low. Sales were low. There are relatively few of them out there. They had their problems. They're 35 years old. Some parts cannot be found anywhere at any price.

My personal opinion and advice is to skip right over them unless you're looking for a collector tractor, and go for a 71XX, 72XX or even 89XX series Magnum. They are the spiritual and physical successors to the 5x88 series IH. Things were a lot better for farmers in '87. Tons of Magnums out there, rock solid tractors with almost no weak points aside from eventual wear and tear, and finding one with 10,000+ hours on it and still reliably earning its keep is common.

 

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Either should pull a 12 row planter. Depends a little on where you are in IL for terrain and soils.  My uncle pulled a 12 row Kinzie for years with a dualed 1086 in SE Illinois on slightly rolling clay ground.  The 5088 would have been the successor to that 1086 sized machine.  The 5288 would be slightly larger with a 466 engine vs the 436 in the 5088. I believe the rear ends were larger on the 52 also.

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Most of the 5088's I've seen are whipped from people thinking they're 52's or 54's.

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The 5288 would be better if turning a lot with load has a stronger diff, in regard of sentry module had problem when purchased but rectified problem and works fine. One issue is a these tractor are getting a bit of age, I am a bit lucky mine has 5650 hours on it.

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Other than a lot of people bad mouthing a tractor they really know nothing about they are fine. Every tractor has issues. I would not give up my 5288 for a newer one. Mine has almost 11,000 hours and is very dependable. Either tractor would probably suit you, but I would lean on a 2 or 4.

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9 hours ago, INTERNATIONAL 1466 said:

Every tractor has issues.

This says it all and they're getting older like everything else so keep that in mind also. If i was doing what your doing i'd skip the 50 and go for a 52 or 54 not saying the 50 won't do it just like said before 52 and 54 have the bigger axles and the 466 and really if your buying a decent one the price difference aint bad we have all 3 and what little bit of heavy work we do the 50 holds it own on the hills better than the deeres we had before but the 52 and 54 you can't even tell your pulling anything uphill downhill flat ground its all the same. For a mid 80's tractor down i wouldn't own anything else. Keep a sentry in it and keep the filters/fluid changed like anything else and it will treat you right

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My big regret was not buying a 5288 MFD that was on the lot right next to my 2wd one for only a few grand more.................Knowing what I know now I should have bought them both.  Can't touch a 2wd one now for what they wanted for that MFD.  But, I probably still would have been dumb and sold it and bought a Magnum anyhow and still ended up Pi$$ed off I sold it for a Magnum:lol:   I have to say, of all the ones sitting here, the 5288 would be the last to go, it is my favorite.  

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My uncle had 2 - 5088s and was the best tractors he ever had only problem he had with the shift solenoid's under the drivers platform but they had alot of updates for them and it got corrected over the years ...   IH saved the best tractors for last !!!! 

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I love my 5088, plenty big enough for what I do and a pretty massive upgrade from the 856. If you keep an eye on auction sales and remain patient they can be found for a decent price. 

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58 minutes ago, DaveinSD said:

I love my 5088, plenty big enough for what I do and a pretty massive upgrade from the 856. If you keep an eye on auction sales and remain patient they can be found for a decent price. 

I just saw a 54 up your way getting ready to sale on auction 

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I bought a 50 two years ago to do pretty much anything on a small cattle/grain operation.  Coming from a background of 06s through 86s it initially seemed big and kind of clumsy but I got used to it.  On 18.4x38s it sits a little low- not quite enough clearance for a big double windrow of hay, and road gear is terribly slow- you really have to have the boot in it to make 18 mph.  I may go to 42s when replacement time comes.   The hood design makes some relatively simple maintenance jobs kind of a pain in the butt

 

they really are a heck of a tractor though- lots of pulling ability, the hydraulics are leaps and bounds ahead of the older IH tractors,  and personally I like the ability to jump several gears at once with the STS transmission- for instance I can come off my gravel road by clutching, using the brakes to slow down while shifting the range from High to Medium  and then releasing the clutch and go down the driveway in Medium 6th.   I also prefer the "u-turn" shift from medium to reverse.   I spent a fair amount of time in my neighbor's early 7120 without the "easy shift" valve and decided it would get old really quickly clunking through 6 or 7 gears and coming through neutral and back up to reverse, and vice versa, all day long while making round bales.   I'm also one of the 12 people in the  world who find a right hand door useful.   This is not to put down the Magnum whatsoever- they are beasts, overall better than the 50 series.   These are just some personal preference things you might find helpful.  Whatever you do, take your time, keep your eyes open, and a good machine- whether a 50 series or a Magnum- will come along for the right price.  Took me three years or so to find this one:

DSC04042 (4).JPG

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