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Is the IH 86 series that bad?


Farming Enthusiast

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My uncle, who is a 06-56-66 series fan-boy, used to HATE, HATE, HATE the 86 series. Until, he spent a winter feeding silage with a 1086!! he figured out that being able to shift with his left hand while running the hydraulics with his right was just pretty handy.

13 hours ago, jdetig1 said:

I put a lot of time in a 1086 and I never knew the gear shift or doors were a problem until I read it on the internet. My 80 year old grandfather got in and out of a 1086 every single day doing cattle chores and never said anything about the gear shift or doors being a problem, even in the winter with big yellow boots and coveralls on. Just blows my mind at the people that complain about the doors and shift levers.

Agree. I have run very few 86's but never seemed to experience the problems that people complain about??

Also learned on the internet that it is hard to get on a WD 45! I never knew. That same uncle says I make it look easy, I say it is.

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Interesting  topic......especially the gripe  about the gear shift  on the left side ...for...obviously ..the left hand

Down under we had tobacco  ...a lot of it ...and we used Farmall A /     Super A ,  then the 140...there were Cubs and  Farmall C  tractors ......

Did you blokes who whine about the left hand gear change ever  see any of those tractors in the U S of A ????:rolleyes:

just wonderin'

Mike

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16 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

Didn't they redesign the levers to make entering/exiting easier????

Don't understand this comment. Yes they did. I'm sure deere redesigned some things also as has every other manufacturer. It's called progress. Maybe IH was a little backwards on some things but deere was never perfect either. I'm sure the SG was changed some from the 30 series to the 55 series. I would hope so. Without little steps we would all still be running F-20s and D's.

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5 minutes ago, KY2674 said:

Don't understand this comment. Yes they did. I'm sure deere redesigned some things also as has every other manufacturer. It's called progress. Maybe IH was a little backwards on some things but deere was never perfect either. I'm sure the SG was changed some from the 30 series to the 55 series. I would hope so. Without little steps we would all still be running F-20s and D's.

Deere changed their cabs steadily from inception to their radical overhaul starting in 1993. The addition of insulation, upgraded seat, hydraulic controls, and electronic dash all come to mind. Somehow the PTO lever stayed right in the way until the totally new cab arrived.

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7 hours ago, maxxum 140 said:

we have 2 186 hydros so we really don't have any issues with the shifters at all.  The biggest change I personally think they could have done was make the tilt steering standard instead of an option, we have tilt in our 6788 and it seems to just give a person alot more room.  Everyone complains about the shifters why not just use the right hand door to enter and exit if the left was so difficult?

You primarily get on and off the left side of every other tractor, so it's habit. You're not going to remember, oh, I have to treat this one tractor special. You will find yourself with the left door open and halfway up the steps before you catch yourself, so rather than climb back down and walk around to the other side, you just climb in over the shifter.

Going to the right side doesn't solve the awkward door operation. It just makes it so you're trying to deal with it using an arm that isn't used to it, no muscle memory. Like a right handed person trying to write with their left hand.

If you've ever run a pull type corn picker, forage chopper or small square baler, you NEVER get on and off the right side. Not only is it a safety issue of getting sucked into the machine if you didn't shut it off or wait for it to stop completely (it happens), it's just that much farther to walk to hitch/unhitch the wagon.

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Just did a deep dive on my 86 Series literature and the range lever always had a bend from the start but it was changed further when the plastic knobs arrived, or at least that's the only information I can find via successive editions of propaganda. The speed lever was changed quickly into production and many were modified retroactively with a rosebud tip on a torch and a pipe after the Hinsdale sanctioned measure and mark session. Later versions in the literature show the speed and range levers in close profile with the range in park and speed in 4th gear.

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36 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

You primarily get on and off the left side of every other tractor, so it's habit. You're not going to remember, oh, I have to treat this one tractor special. You will find yourself with the left door open and halfway up the steps before you catch yourself, so rather than climb back down and walk around to the other side, you just climb in over the shifter.

Going to the right side doesn't solve the awkward door operation. It just makes it so you're trying to deal with it using an arm that isn't used to it, no muscle memory. Like a right handed person trying to write with their left hand.

If you've ever run a pull type corn picker, forage chopper or small square baler, you NEVER get on and off the right side. Not only is it a safety issue of getting sucked into the machine if you didn't shut it off or wait for it to stop completely (it happens), it's just that much farther to walk to hitch/unhitch the wagon.

Our Steiger has two doors.  Maybe have only used the right one half a dozen times and have owned the tractor for 20 years.  

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3 hours ago, mike newman said:

Interesting  topic......especially the gripe  about the gear shift  on the left side ...for...obviously ..the left hand

Down under we had tobacco  ...a lot of it ...and we used Farmall A /     Super A ,  then the 140...there were Cubs and  Farmall C  tractors ......

Did you blokes who whine about the left hand gear change ever  see any of those tractors in the U S of A ????:rolleyes:

just wonderin'

Mike

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!! And how did they drive a Ferguson? All the way up to the modern Masseys with Throttle on the right and shifters between your knees. Or their beloved Farty-Twenty green and yellow ones with the hydraulics and PTO on the left. 

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If I had a Magnum, I'd change the door around to open properly like '86 and '88 series just to pi$$ everyone off! HaHaHa! 

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9 hours ago, Farming Enthusiast said:

I've heard that there is a cable linkage in the 86 series TA that can get corroded and not allow the TA to release fully resulting in premature TA wear. Has anybody else heard of this, and what is done to fix it? 

That was mentioned many times at the dealership. The mechanical over center throw of the 06-66 was defiantly better. What should have been factory in addition to the tilt wheel was the solenoid controlled T/A like the 34/3688. Those cables got stiff shortly after new. With new isolated cab mechanical linkage would have not held its adjustment with cab movement and cab mount wear.

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Just thinking about those levers. I used to sell a lever kit from K & M. Must be 30 years ago. They were round chrome and had a way different bend than factory. Wonder if anyone has a set in their tractor.

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1 hour ago, cedar farm said:

Just thinking about those levers. I used to sell a lever kit from K & M. Must be 30 years ago. They were round chrome and had a way different bend than factory. Wonder if anyone has a set in their tractor.

Had a set in a 1086 for me worked worse. I’m 6’9 with stock set I can just step over them the chrome ones were a little taller and gave some painfull  experiences until I learned not to do that in that tractor but they looked cool as heck .

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1 hour ago, Farmall Doctor said:

If I had a Magnum, I'd change the door around to open properly like '86 and '88 series just to pi$$ everyone off! HaHaHa! 

Lol. We can give each other work. I want to make a kit for reversing the door on my 86's to like our Magnums. Then you can convert them back 

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2 hours ago, Farmall Doctor said:

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!! And how did they drive a Ferguson? All the way up to the modern Masseys with Throttle on the right and shifters between your knees. Or their beloved Farty-Twenty green and yellow ones with the hydraulics and PTO on the left. 

Y'all are missing the real weakness of the 86 shifters and where they got their bad reputation: After they got a little wear on them they got hard to shift and nobody knew why. There was no Internet, no redpowermagazine forum to tell you what was wrong, no youtube video to show you how to fix it. You weren't going to get any help from the dealer, unless you brought the tractor in and let them work on it. So, many farmers just suffered with the bad shifting and shared their frustration with anyone who would listen.

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On 2/17/2023 at 3:56 PM, Matt Kirsch said:

You primarily get on and off the left side of every other tractor, so it's habit. You're not going to remember, oh, I have to treat this one tractor special. You will find yourself with the left door open and halfway up the steps before you catch yourself, so rather than climb back down and walk around to the other side, you just climb in over the shifter.

Going to the right side doesn't solve the awkward door operation. It just makes it so you're trying to deal with it using an arm that isn't used to it, no muscle memory. Like a right handed person trying to write with their left hand.

If you've ever run a pull type corn picker, forage chopper or small square baler, you NEVER get on and off the right side. Not only is it a safety issue of getting sucked into the machine if you didn't shut it off or wait for it to stop completely (it happens), it's just that much farther to walk to hitch/unhitch the wagon.

I guess i'm the odd man, I probly use the right side of my 06, 56, 66, 86, 88, & 4020s more than the left. Don't really know why, but put 1000s of hrs on them before getting my 1st left side only tractor, my 7250, in 09. So i was 50 yrs old before i had a one door tractor. 

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22 hours ago, SaskM said:

The shift levers were shortened and had more of a swept back bend added in early 1978 I think.  I was 17 when we got a new 1086 in 1977.  Later we traded that on a tri-stripe 1486.  I never minded the door or the shifters.  In fact they stood out so much to me at that age that I bought this 1086 about 5 years ago just to re live those days.20221021_105111.thumb.jpg.2c5ba725fbae5f2e1bbd428f41c01a7f.jpg

I think i would want a little bigger blade !        🙂

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11 hours ago, mike newman said:

Interesting  topic......especially the gripe  about the gear shift  on the left side ...for...obviously ..the left hand

Down under we had tobacco  ...a lot of it ...and we used Farmall A /     Super A ,  then the 140...there were Cubs and  Farmall C  tractors ......

Did you blokes who whine about the left hand gear change ever  see any of those tractors in the U S of A ????:rolleyes:

just wonderin'

Mike

And we should not forget the H, M, 300, 350, 400, 450, 460, 560, as well as the 74, 84, and 85 series tractors that all had left hand shifters and seemed OK.
However, a right hand drive truck with a left hand shifter would just be unnatural to me…go figure.  Brian 

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On 2/16/2023 at 11:15 PM, Steve C. said:

I think my biggest beef with Dad's 886 was the TA lever.  A little hard to operate, but maybe that was by design to keep the operator from using it too much?

 

22 hours ago, Farmall Doctor said:

Did anyone ever bother to lubricate it? I see it all the time. A couple of shots of lube under the dash, and they move freely. There are lube points above the  MCV as well.

Lube helped but wasn't the answer on the early ones. (see my later comment below)

21 hours ago, Farming Enthusiast said:

I've heard that there is a cable linkage in the 86 series TA that can get corroded and not allow the TA to release fully resulting in premature TA wear. Has anybody else heard of this, and what is done to fix it? 

The worse problems were the phillips head screws that held the TA cable clamps would loosen, Those were replaced with a socket head bolt. 
The other, and best solution was the electric/ hydraulic TA  kit that eliminated the cable.

20 hours ago, snoshoe said:

If you are talking about the handle not wanting to come out of direct drive. That was the detent roller dropping to far in the notch. My solution was to grind back of notch at angle un till corner was below center of roller. Grind to far and it would not keep spool depressed in direct drive but there was a wide margin.

Yes the ell at the top of the cable would rust into the lever. Resulting in the ell snapping off. This would leave the spool somewhere between DD and TA. Operating this way ended the TA in short order.

Early TA detents had a steel roller that was replaced with a needle bearing and different lever that worked much better.
Before that change I reground several of those detent notches. Didn't take much material removed to ease the effort to move the lever out of high.

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9 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Y'all are missing the real weakness of the 86 shifters and where they got their bad reputation: After they got a little wear on them they got hard to shift and nobody knew why. There was no Internet, no redpowermagazine forum to tell you what was wrong, no youtube video to show you how to fix it. You weren't going to get any help from the dealer, unless you brought the tractor in and let them work on it. So, many farmers just suffered with the bad shifting and shared their frustration with anyone who would listen.

I preached at customers for years to at least once, but better twice a year, or more, to lubricate every moving part on the gear and TA shift mechanisms. Really smoothed them out. 

My goal was to not have to go pull a range cover in a dimly lit barn or the middle of a field with a rain storm coming and it's getting dark.

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