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86 series poor reputation?


1086-7130

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Seems a lot of people seem to have such a dislike for the 86 series. Were there reliabilty issues with these tractors when they first came out. I've had pretty good luck with mine, but wow it just seems some have a very harsh opinion of these rigs. Just wondering out loud if the bad press is deerved???

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1644881074371682676390221779466.thumb.jpg.9b7b899c87da6170b5e77edf95239344.jpg1644881074371682676390221779466.thumb.jpg.9b7b899c87da6170b5e77edf95239344.jpgMostly, people hate on the 86 series because of its lack of ride quality and innovation from the 66 series, we've had a 1086 for 10 years and have had no break downs

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26 minutes ago, 1086-7130 said:

Seems a lot of people seem to have such a dislike for the 86 series. Were there reliabilty issues with these tractors when they first came out. I've had pretty good luck with mine, but wow it just seems some have a very harsh opinion of these rigs. Just wondering out loud if the bad press is deerved???

  A lot of guys did not like the left handed shifters and the difficulty in entering in part due to those shifters.  Never bothered me.  It probably bothers me more that the 3pt lever and the remote levers are not all in one column.  Not so much an issue now that plowing with a semi-mount plow is seldom if ever at this point in time.  Regardless of tractor I always seem to adapt well where some guys just cannot go from one design to another.  

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No issues with engines or power , but T/A's and rear differentials , Hydraulics were way short Actually probably same as the 66 series only with a better cab Also having Deere sporting the all new 40 series iron horses to go up against IH back then was a big thnig

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I find it interesting that I've read several times that the ride wasn't that great. Seem to recall that was one of the selling points IH had made with the seat position moved forward.

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People complain about the doors shifter or just the cab in general me personally I've rode a lot of hours on them and would gladly do it again they're worse things out there and you can provide facts but you can't convince some people like that old saying goes you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink

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18 minutes ago, John Rowehl said:

I find it interesting that I've read several times that the ride wasn't that great. Seem to recall that was one of the selling points IH had made with the seat position moved forward.

I like the 86 series better than the 66 . With duals on the 1586 we put 20k hours on it . The direct linkage to the 88 and the boxcar Magnum.  Magnum door shell leaned on the side of my 186 . Door is about 1 1/2" taller on the Magnum but almost fits in the opening otherwise

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No reason that the 86's were and are bashed. Most people who bad mouth them have never owned or run one. All the rear end guts are basically the same as a 66. Don't hear everyone talking problems with those. It is simply a lot of talk that really holds no basis at all. Do they break? Sure, so do any of them. The boys and I have a 1486 that my Dad bought new. It has had 20.8's it's entire life and was the main tillage tractor for years. It has roughly 16,000 hours on it. We have never touched the rear end. Has had two clutches and TA's. Oh, and it isn't set stock at all, I turned it up to around 225 in '98 when we bought a new 28 foot 4800 field cultivator. Since it has had a 466 installed that is over 335 on the dyno. I'd say they are tougher than a pine knot! Remember some people can bust a ball bearing with a toothpick. In my opinion there is no basis for the bad mouthing. The 86's are good and reliable tractors.

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I bale with my 1486 in the summer and feed with it in the winter. 

I think it is a step up (or two) from my 966

Things that people complain about don't bother me in the least.

I don't let others negative opinions get in my way. 

I feel fortunate to be able to get my work done with it. 

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We’ve got over 9000 hours on this one we bought new in 1980. Motors never been touched and ta is strong. A lot of people complain about them because of the shifters and the cab but it’s always been fine with me. Like other IH tractors the TA is a concern if it has never been redone. Personally I’ve never had an issue with the 86 series tractors and have put plenty of hours on them and don’t mind them. I always thought ours had a decent ride. 

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I like the 86's. We got 66's, and don't get me wrong, I like them, but I'd rather spend my day in the 86 series cabs. I guess I'm kind of biased because I grew up behind the seat in the 3788, so that cab is sort of like a home to me. I like our 1486 so much that we bought a project one to fix up. And a parts one. So I guess we got 3 now lol. If I had unlimited money I'd buy every 86 I saw for sale lol

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I'm no expert on IH development from one series to another, but I will say it seems every manufacturer went to shifting the drivers forward of the rear axle more so than prior versions. I am to assume reasoning for such was just as the ads said, better ride. I could be all wrong in my theory.  As for new ideas, designs, shifter relocation, I do find it a bit tight getting on and off my 14. To be honest, my Massey 1085 is way more roomy and ergonomic. Now with everyone using electric shift, those growing pains are gone. Just like all those "big shifters" sticking up through the floor of all our 4 wheel drive trucks. We accepted it, but now.?, No way would that fly 😂😂😂

My dad always said , "there's always gonna be some one that  complains about being hung with a new rope". 

Mark

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I had a 1086 and the only complaint I had it was hard to see out the back and down over the drawbar.It seemed to me when doing work mowing hay,chopping corn if you were used to watch the head run right across the top of the ground you were blinded.In my operation and others, rock outcroppings, hedgerows,hillsides it wasn't a option to do so,a necessity.With syclebar mowing machines it was a must to do so,disbines not so much.In western cash grain operation with the need not to have to be precise right behind the rear wheel and pulling disks, plows,drills or planters that are further back it wouldn't stand out or be a issue.That is only complaint I heard about them other than the lighter shifting linkage that crisscross under the platform. 

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IMO, the biggest amount of complaining is done by people who never owned one. And this started in 1976 and just keeps going on from generation to generation, because the young hear the older people complain who have never personally had one, but yet still complain about them. A 86 series tractor appeared on our farm the fall of 1976, and from that time on, up to 2018 there was atleast one or more here. If they were so awful I can guarantee that wouldn't have happened. They made us money for many years, reliably. It's not because their junk I don't have one anymore, it's my body needs a change. 42 years in one is a long time. I sold the last one in 2018 for a 8920. I'm going to enjoy my (golden) year's in a little more style is all.

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Fueling one was always fun too having the cab filter over the top of the fuel tank neck and all that dust and dirt settleing on there And if you had anything mounted on three point you had to be an acrobat gymnast just to get to it I always hated that with a passion too

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I have a late model 1486 and have had no major issues with the tractor. It has around 8000 hrs on it. The TA has been out for quite sometime on it but I don’t need it for what I use the tractor for anyhow. I have replaced the pto in it twice but it gets used on a bale processor and a tube grinder so they are hard on pto’s to begin with. Easy on fuel and always starts when needed. My complaint is when I put bigger tires on it and you come out of a sloppy cow yard you sometimes rub your coveralls on the tires getting in and out.  Pretty simple tractor to work on. Replaced the hydraulic seat with an air ride and that helped smooth out the ride some. It was our tillage tractor for many years and then planting and now misc. work. We got it with 1500hrs and we’re warned about the rear ends going out but had no issues. No plans on replacing a reliable tractor. Keep them maintained and they will keep going.

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10 hours ago, bitty said:

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Some people have this "How dare you point out any clear flaws/shortcomings in my FAVORITE tractor!?!?!" attitude. They view any criticism as a personal attack, which is their prerogative I guess...

Rough ride is caused by the seating position being forward of the rear axle. Every time the front end hits something you go up-down vs. the 66 series where you sit directly over the rear axle and it becomes a gentle rocking motion. If the ride was so great then why did IH lengthen the wheelbase on the 88 series?

The above picture is a perfect example of one of the main problems with forward swinging doors (HINT: MUDDY TIRES!). With forward swinging doors you're put between the door and the muddy tire, and unless you're a skinny mini you end up with mud on your clothes. Especially if you're running 20.8x38s. A rearward swinging door protects you from the muddy tire and gives you something to brace yourself away from the muddy tire as you climb in. Unless the limit strap is broken a forward swinging door gives you no choice but to try and avoid getting "kissed." If the forward swinging door was so great then why did IH switch to a rearward swinging door on the experimental tractors that eventually became the Magnum?

I'm sure the idea of the left handed shifter was to allow the operator to change gears and operate an implement, specifically a loader, simultaneously. From the 560 back, you shifted with your left hand and didn't say boo. I'm sure a lot of folks complained about having to switch to their right hand to shift the 06 series! The flaws are the shifter is mounted too low and too far forward, the PARK position should be to the rear and not so the lever is right in the doorway, and the linkages are completely intolerant of slop and wear. If the left handed shifter was so great then why did IH switch to the right on the 88 series?

Finally, the 86 series was where the limit of the bull gear final drive design was reached. Dealers and farmers turned the wicks up on their 1086s and 1486s and used them hard, and more than a normal number failed. Did they all fail? No. If you split the power between the wheels and the PTO, they held up fine, so I don't want to hear how your 210HP 1486 has been running fine since you bought it new in 1978. Enough of them failed to tarnish their reputation to a degree. Was it the farmers' and dealers' fault! COMPLETELY! Didn't stop them from blaming anyone but themselves. Nobody took personal responsibility for breaking their tractors. They blamed IH and accused them of designing junk. That said, if the bull gear was so great then why did IH switch to planetaries on the 88 series and limit the bull gear tractors to 115HP?

Can all of these issues be addressed? Sure, with easily available aftermarket parts. At least at one time you could get a plate to move the front end out a bit to smooth the ride. You can, or could, get aftermarket shift levers that reposition them, and you can fix the slop in the shifter to make it work better pretty easily. You can get a kit that lets the door swing further forward giving you more room to climb in, OR you can take it upon yourself to convert it to a rear swinging door with some work. The rear end can be fixed, and you can not be so hard on it.

HOWEVER, there are MANY who say you should not have to do all that to a new tractor. It should have come from the factory with these issues addressed.

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Funny thing about the seat position in an 86 and the ride. Today it is a bad idea, so some say, John Deere comes out with the 7800 and it is revolutionary. A 7800 is really a green 1086 when you think about it. Was the 86 perfect? No, did they hold up well? If cared for yes. Were there more failures on the 86's than the 66's, probably, because more was demanded of them. Saying that all the 86's had issues is an invalid statement. And, if you don't like them, fine. Then sell it and go get something else. If you have never had one you may be impressed with one. 

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I've put several thousand hours in a 986 and 1086 tractors I liked how short they turned The controls could have been nicer and better positioned I actually extended the remote levers and that really helped alot from having to reach down a lot lower to use them levers For the guys with a sharp eye for details you can see those levers are from a Deere tractor too Our nearest IH dealer was 40 miles away and our Deere dealer was down the road a few miles I intergrated a lot of John Deere parts onto our IH machines and worked out very well 

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  There is a mental aspect to this for some.  My guess would be is the introduction of the 86 series was during a highly inflationary period in American history which was the mid 1970's.  When most farmers went from a M at 1,700 dollars during the late 1940's to a 450 at 3,100 dollars during 1957 they said "OK, we can handle this.  Then these farmers said we can handle an 806 at 6,700 dollars in 1964.  Then in 1972 they said we can handle a 966 at 11,600 dollars plus we get a factory cab to boot.  Then 1977 hits then that 1086 is over 24,000 dollars.  At that point a lot of guys said W**?!  Then they had to rationalize reasons as to why they were not buyers.  As far as getting dirty goes most of them were getting dirty off of tractors a whole lot older than a 1086.  Nobody ever drove a 400 back from spreading manure 1 1/2 miles down the road from the barn in 2nd to avoid mud and manure thrown off of the rear tires.  Around the time the 86 series hit every dealer was scrambling to find an import to sell due to American inflation.  SAME, Deutz, etc. could be found at IH, JD, Case, and White dealerships around here.  No tractor is perfect but the 86 series were never that far off of the mark.

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1 hour ago, 766 Man said:

As far as getting dirty goes most of them were getting dirty off of tractors a whole lot older than a 1086.  Nobody ever drove a 400 back from spreading manure 1 1/2 miles down the road from the barn in 2nd to avoid mud and manure thrown off of the rear tires.

The whole point of the cab was so you didn't have to come home from the field covered in mud and manure.

Intentionally dragging mud and manure into the cab is why so many of them are in bad shape today...

I get you on the cost though. The way my Dad put it, you could sell a cow or two and buy a new H or M. Easy enough to recover from, the springing heifer would take the old cow's place, and you weren't in debt. Unfortunately cows weren't worth any more in 1977 than they were worth in 1947. You had to sell half the herd to buy a 1086.

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12 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

The whole point of the cab was so you didn't have to come home from the field covered in mud and manure.

Intentionally dragging mud and manure into the cab is why so many of them are in bad shape today...

I get you on the cost though. The way my Dad put it, you could sell a cow or two and buy a new H or M. Easy enough to recover from, the springing heifer would take the old cow's place, and you weren't in debt. Unfortunately cows weren't worth any more in 1977 than they were worth in 1947. You had to sell half the herd to buy a 1086.

  Plenty of tough looking 86, 88, boxcar Magnum, JD SGB, Case 70 series cabs around here on crop farms.  What hurts late IH and JD cabs is high humidity coupled with batteries under the cab venting acid based gases.  Storing tractors in a dry building is a big help but here in the NE as you probably have seen we are generally deficient in terms of storage space.  Also, it is out of most farmers maintenance programs (me too, unfortunately) to extensively wash the cab both inside and outside.  

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The K&M steps and the door strut assembly to eliminate the door stop rod make entrance/exit easier.  "Flatlander" farmers have told me that they left them in gear to get in and out. (These same operators never used the 06-66 park lock either!) I never had that option!  My 1486 cab is so tight and dust free that I enjoy driving it.  Often open back window to see drawbar easier while hitching up.  The short wheelbase makes for tight turns too.

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