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V8 tractors


Big Bud guy
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Didn’t want to hijack the 1468 thread.  Anybody farm with V8s as much as we did?  MF 1800, MF 1150, Versatile 950, and JD 8850 from 1971 to 1997.  Cat, Perkins, Cummins, and JD.  Have two neighbors that bought used Challneger 4x4s that use V12s too.  

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There were a few Massey 1150’s around here. It’s difficult to think of a tractor that has a worse reputation than that one. But hey, it’s a Massey, of course it’s got a bad reputation. A few 903 Cummins tractors and some 555’s. Most of those 4wds disappeared around here when no till caught on strong in the early 90’s. Farms here still weren’t that big and if you weren’t working the ground guys just didn’t need the power. 

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I farmed with a 1468 for a year in 2003. After a year of being disappointed with the low torque of the engine, I sold it and bought a 1066. Liked the 10 way better for farming. Now, I will say I wish I had the 1468 back as I sold it for only $6750. I currently have a Challenger with a straight 7 cylinder at 430hp, and run a v12 in a Challenger, although I do not own that one.  V12 has good power and torque as it is rated at 600hp. I got soured on the V8’s after being around the 3208’s and the 903’s in trucks. Haven’t heard one good thing about the triple nickel 555’s either. Now they all seem like they’re collectors items. 

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17 minutes ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

There were a few Massey 1150’s around here. It’s difficult to think of a tractor that has a worse reputation than that one.

2745 Massey had a far worse reputation but it was well deserved. Not only was I selling parts for those but we owned one as well. Huge piece of ****.  Son bought an 1155 last spring so far no heavy work just baler duty but it will wind up in front of a Flex King plowing disk to help with some waterway and terrace work. We will have to tie it down to the ground for that load.

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I don't farm, but I'm fascinated by the big 4wd tractors. I've always read opinions that the V8's weren't as good as the I-6's. I'd be curious to know, technically, why people feel this way. Is there something about the V configuration in the engine that makes them different?

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1 hour ago, acem said:

I've always avoided v8 diesels. Dad told me the best diesels were inline 6. Cummins and IH. Thx-Ace 

I have always said if something works it will become mainstream if not, it falls by the way.

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1 hour ago, KWRB said:

I don't farm, but I'm fascinated by the big 4wd tractors. I've always read opinions that the V8's weren't as good as the I-6's. I'd be curious to know, technically, why people feel this way. Is there something about the V configuration in the engine that makes them different?

More cylinders, without a huge step up in displacement means less cubes per cylinder.  This, combined with the physical limitations of a V configuration means less stroke, which equates to less torque. Most V8's Rev way up in comparison to an inline 6, that's how they make power with less torque. Most 6 cylinders have big stroke numbers when compared to V8's. Stroke makes torque,  RPM's make power. 

I'd bet if the 550 could have been stroked to 5" like the 436, making it a 580 it might have held on better.

550 was 4.312 bore x 4.50 stroke.

436 was 4.30 bore x 5.0 stroke.

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2 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

There were a few Massey 1150’s around here. It’s difficult to think of a tractor that has a worse reputation than that one. 

You sure about that??  Not that I want to defend Massey but our 1150 never gave us any problems.  It filled the shoes of our JD 5020 when it was traded off for the 1800.  I know the 2000 series were supposedly junk.  

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1 hour ago, brahamfireman said:

More cylinders, without a huge step up in displacement means less cubes per cylinder.  This, combined with the physical limitations of a V configuration means less stroke, which equates to less torque. Most V8's Rev way up in comparison to an inline 6, that's how they make power with less torque. Most 6 cylinders have big stroke numbers when compared to V8's. Stroke makes torque,  RPM's make power. 

I'd bet if the 550 could have been stroked to 5" like the 436, making it a 580 it might have held on better.

550 was 4.312 bore x 4.50 stroke.

436 was 4.30 bore x 5.0 stroke.

Not all V8s were created equal.  The 903 in our Versatile 950 pulled like a locomotive and was much better then the 855 that replaced it. 

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2 hours ago, KWRB said:

I don't farm, but I'm fascinated by the big 4wd tractors. I've always read opinions that the V8's weren't as good as the I-6's. I'd be curious to know, technically, why people feel this way. Is there something about the V configuration in the engine that makes them different?

Most of the bad rap comes from the small block V8s such as the Cat 3208 series and the Cummins 470 through 555.  Generally they didn't have long life but a lot of it was how they were operated in my opinion.  Guys weren't familiar with V8s and thought running them full throttle at 2,800-3,000 rpms was hard on them.  No way an engine could spin that fast and not self destruct they thought. So they would throttle back yet still pull a max load and lug them.  Guys didn't understand the relationship between short stroke, piston speed, and rpms of a V8 and the fact not running them full throttle was hard on the engine.  I'm just basing all of this on our own farm experience.  

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47 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

Not all V8s were created equal.  The 903 in our Versatile 950 pulled like a locomotive and was much better then the 855 that replaced it. 

A huge 5.5" bore will make huge torque too, most v8 engines are under square, bore is less than stroke. The 903 is over square, no where near same class as a 550.

Fully agree on the throttle back mentality,  heck I fight it with Dad on our older I6 motors.  Drives me nuts lugging them around at 3/4 throttle just because they maybe can do it while pulling a disc or chisel plow.

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1 hour ago, Big Bud guy said:

You sure about that??  Not that I want to defend Massey but our 1150 never gave us any problems.  It filled the shoes of our JD 5020 when it was traded off for the 1800.  I know the 2000 series were supposedly junk.  

There were a very few around here. Nobody kept them. The main complaints that I heard were about oil consumption and poor engine service life. There was an older farmer that had one that never worked it too hard and it lasted ok, but guys that used them hard here didn’t have good luck with them. Around here if you had any Massey and needed work done you might as well forget it. The original owner of the Massey dealer died and his sons ran the business into the ground.There weren’t many dealers and the one here was terrible. It’s even worse now. 

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32 minutes ago, junkandcattle said:

Would that be H.H &Sons

That would be correct. The building is now occupied by a John Deere dealer and I was glad to see it because it had been a long time since anyone had run that place that knew what they were doing. At least now you can get a hydraulic hose made. They threw away more business than most ever had. 

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6 minutes ago, junkandcattle said:

They sold a lot of the off red back in the day. Do you recall a black 860 combine near the airport

Yes, I believe that was my neighbor, Mr Edwards. I remember going there for one of my neighbors to get an oil filter for a 1086 and they didn’t have it. They had to order one. They had absolutely no parts stock whatsoever. The Kansas City warehouse was still open back then and you could get IH parts in the afternoon if you ordered them in the morning. They were a Hesston dealer and they didn’t even keep sickle sections in stock. 

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with Massey on Fairfax and IH on sunshine rd they didn't keep much. We were a hundred miles away and we had parts KC didn't have. Nobody wanted to wait for parts from Wisconsin

The reason i asked about the black combine is that we sold that unit. I couldn't remember the customer name.

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We had a 4586 that had the international motor in it. Kind of a junk motor. After having it rebuilt a third time at a hefty price tag dad said no more and replaced it with a 903. Ran so much better and pulled the 490 disk and 10 bottom 800 plow like it wasn’t back there. Could actually run without having the throttle all the way open. Made a heck of a difference. Ran great all the way up until we sold it. Would love to find that tractor again. Be easy to spot as the air cleaner on the side sticks out like a sore thumb. 

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2 minutes ago, junkandcattle said:

with Massey on Fairfax and IH on sunshine rd they didn't keep much. We were a hundred miles away and we had parts KC didn't have. Nobody wanted to wait for parts from Wisconsin

The reason i asked about the black combine is that we sold that unit. I couldn't remember the customer name.

I remember the story about why he bought that combine from over there. He went to H.H dealership to see about trading. They told him what they would allow him. He said no way was he going to do that. They said no one would make a better deal than them. He said he called the dealership that had the combine you are referencing. I believe he had a 750 to trade and when he told them what H.H. offered him he said they asked him what was wrong with it. He said they asked if it had fire damage on it or something. They made him an offer and he went back to the dealer and told them if they didn’t match it he was trading somewhere else. They said they would never actually make that deal, they were wrong and lost the sale. He ran that machine until he retired in the 90’s sometime. Just one of the many stories around here of them lowballing people. The worst horror stories came out of that shop. Charging people ridiculous amounts for repairs that took months other dealers could do in a few days. It got to where no one would let them work on their machinery.

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Lots of massey 2805’s and 2775’s around here, that 2805 with a 640 cubic inch Perkins and in-line injection pump was a horse, it’s downfall wasn’t in the engine but in the 24 speed transmission. Personally not a fan of any V8 diesel but they’ve earned their homes in this area. The 1155’s and 1150’s tho are sadly on their way out as you can rarely acquire engine parts anymore. Rod bearings are non existent for them 

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The only V configuration diesels I ever ran were Detroits and they were in Euclid haulage trucks and Terex loaders .The Eucs had 12v91 naturally aspirated and the 72 81 Terexs had 12v91 twin turbo charged monsters in them.

They seemed to last even with the constant abrasive dust,had plenty of power in the trucks for non turbo and always started. I drove the same size truck ,model with a Cummins and it didn't seem to have as much power but they were way quieter too 

The Terex's with the 12v91 twin turbos were just plain powerful, sounded great,whistled, no smoke and just dug.

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