tractorshark

Learning alot, but want more info

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I don't know about "official" dates but I believe the last International tractor rolled out of the Farmall plant on May 26, 1985, a hand built 5488 MFWD.

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it all started for my dad in 1968 when Grandpa bought a new IH 75 swather and the dealer didn't have a set up mechanic so the dealer made an agreement you set it up and i'll knock abit off your bill so ya ok my grandpa and dad who was about 10-11 at the time set up swathers and farm equipment then it turned into a summer job (washing tractors and setting them up for both grandpa and dad till dad could drive the 35kms to work then dad went to college after high school and then went on to be a certified IH and Steiger Tech and then became Service Tech then he worked at the dealer right up till the merger. but looking back dad almost has had his hands on atleast every 5x88 series and quite afew 86 series and many other we got to an auction or drive the dealer lot and he right way say "oh i rebuilt the motor in that one or OH i put a new clutch in that one" and is just full of stories about getting calls to do work and the crew he worked with i've been around for 18 yrs and i still hear new stories everytime.

only 1 of the mechanics dad hired when it was still IH is still working at the CaseIH dealer today

i'd like to see if he has a picture of the dealership i've never seen it since it was demolished after the merger but a freind owns a quanset they did mechanic work in and dad doesn't have one

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what were the murals in the old Rock Island plant, I know one was an 806? Is there pictures somewhere?

i was once told that there was the first tractor of each serise painted on the wall. not sure what tractors were on the wall tho.

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If you want to talk about a tractor lacking quality control we could talk about the 86 series IH and also the 50 series. I will say one thing the people on this website are true blue IH like the JD people are true blue JD. If any body wants to know why IH was on the verge of bankruptcy it was because of their antiquated tractor designs from the 1970's mainly the 66 and 86 series tractors. Those two series of tractors is what drove us to Case and it has been the best business decision we ever made.

What are the major QC problems with the 86 series? We have a 686 with an M&W Turbo that's been trouble free

except one broken gear in the rear end, about 20 years ago. The brakes are bit grabby in reverse but that's about it.

It's been repainted but never overhauled, it has 4400 and some hours on it.

Well it's been almost a year and still no answer.

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All right you got me on that one I do not know of any quality control issues with the 86 series just poor shifting and a back breaking ride. By the early 80's we switched to a different brand and never looked back. Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

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All right you got me on that one I do not know of any quality control issues with the 86 series just poor shifting and a back breaking ride. By the early 80's we switched to a different brand and never looked back. Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

I think to answer your question Keith,it's because alot of the people on this forum have grown up and been raised on red equipment.Some models of IH equipment had design and engineering problems but for the most part IH built quality tractors,trucks and construction equipment.If every piece of IH built equipment sold worldwide since the company became IH could be accounted for,it would probably take John Deere another 20 years to catch up.I mention JD because no other farm equipment manufacturer even comes close.Take a look at your farm classifieds and see how much IH equipment,30+ years later is still being bought and sold and used daily on the farm,even the hated 86 series,{which incidentally does not deserve the bad rep it gets IMO}Had a CEO of Alexander Legge's caliber been available in 1976,IH would still be in the farm equipment business.

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Hey Guys,

I have always been fascinated and interested in learning what went on at the time of IH's demise and what caused it, perhaps it is because I was so young (and impressionable) when it happened. Last night I was doing some searching on the web, here and otherplaces, and noticed that Archie McCardell past away this past year. I didn't see that there was much discussion about it on here.

Perhaps what facinated me the most, about what I found last night, is that everyone seems to have a different opinion on the mix of things that brought down the machinery giant. I am wondering how many of you worked at IH during the 70's and 80's or know someone who did, and what it was like for you/them? Was there alot of pride in the company? I have many ?'s but few answers, and it is always neat to get different points of view. thanks

mark

My Dad worked at the Hinsdale computer center from the late 70's or so and he stayed with Navistar after the split for a few years. I will ask him if he has any memories of the days. From what I remember him talking about things were crazy during the changeover with stuff being thrown out. Several saw the writing on the wall it seems and started to get out if I remember right. I grew up using old IH binders for everything. I still have a few with original contents, including one that is a corporate identity manual. If you have any specific questions I can ask him.

Tony

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... Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

I can't speak for everyone, just for myself. I did not grow up on a huge farm in the midwest - I grew up in hilly, rural Georgia where we used a Farmall A and H to work hay, cotton and perform various other tasks. By 1970, these tractors were already obsolete for all practial purposes, but like I said, we were small scale. I now own two M's, the same H, a Super A, a 706 gas, a International 504 gas and several IH mowers, rakes and a 430 square baler. I grew up around this stuff. There were no other dealers nearby to compete. It reminds me of a happy childhood and a happier time in America. Our neighbors used IH products, too - I still remember when a 706 or 806 was "new" - and a "big deal" to own.

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All right you got me on that one I do not know of any quality control issues with the 86 series just poor shifting and a back breaking ride. By the early 80's we switched to a different brand and never looked back. Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

Actually there are several reasons. One being that IH actually lead the way with inovations that it took other companies decades to adopt. More than 2 cylinder engines, Diesel powered farm tractors, row crop farming, shift on the go transmissions, hydrostatic transmissions, ceramic friction materials in clutches and etc. I can't verify that IH was first in all of these revolutions, but were responsible for many. And these only include tractors and do not include farm equipment designs.

Another reason can be found in the Nebraska test results showing time and time again how they out- preformed other similar hp sized models built during the same time period in torque rise and HP hr/gal figures.

As a mechanic that works on many brands of pre 1985 tractors, I can verify simplicity of designs with very few "Rube Goldberg" contraptions found in other "popular" brands. (Like the SCV, 24 volt split load electrical, pony motor starting and Permaclutch in JD).

The sheer numbers of IH tractors are still alive and well and farming around the world today in spite of the fact that the newest International tractors are now over a quarter of a century old, testify to their durabily and usablity.

Although I am an admittedly an IH fan, I will be the first to say that they and their products were not always THE best, but overall you would be hard pressed to (leaving opinons behind) honestly find another ag equipment producer that matched IH for innovation and contributions to designs and manufacturing proocesses that paved the road to our country being an agricultural giant that it is.

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My I.H. experience is in trucks and the Hough line.As far as trucks go,the K,L,and R-lines were a great solid truck for the period they were made.They sold a lot of Loadstars,but in hard city use,they were hot,noisy,the doors flew open when you hit potholes,climate control was poor,the cheap connectors on the wiring harnesses would give trouble and the truck would quit in the middle of the street.The hydraulic brake systems were a nightmare.The Cargostar was not even a contender against the Ford C series.The DV-550 engine was a total horror show.The S-series was the start of the greatest thing to happen to the truck line and the introduction of the DT466 in the later STAR series trucks was long overdue.After I.H. fixed the 1" lifter and camshaft problems and got rid of the rotary pump on the 466,It became the standard of the industry.The little 6.9 and 7.3 was a stroke of genius,even though they tended to be overworked to an early death.I blame salesmen for that one.The 9.0 liter was OK after they straightened out the fire-ring heads.As far as the equipment goes,the 580 CASE was the best loader/hoe in it's class,in that era.The 3616,had terrible controls,leaked,and never started when it was cold.The 3600a same deal,the hydro never seemed to live and cost owners a fortune.The Hough loaders were a great machine for the money,if you didn't mind the cab on the front half of the machine.I had a 60E for 11 years,other than a tired engine,never had a major failure on it. I can go on and on.Every company has it's problems,just seems to me I.H. had too many irons in the fire,and had,along with unions and management issues,had a hard time keeping any one iron hot.

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One thing my dealer spoke of was when IH came out with the 86 series tractor alot of the dealers complained at the corporate meeting ,,,said such things as ,,,,you have got to be kidding me John Deere is killing us with there full powershift tractors and you give us this ??? real tempers flew some dealers got fired shortly there after

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All right you got me on that one I do not know of any quality control issues with the 86 series just poor shifting and a back breaking ride. By the early 80's we switched to a different brand and never looked back. Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

Actually there are several reasons. One being that IH actually lead the way with inovations that it took other companies decades to adopt. More than 2 cylinder engines, Diesel powered farm tractors, row crop farming, shift on the go transmissions, hydrostatic transmissions, ceramic friction materials in clutches and etc. I can't verify that IH was first in all of these revolutions, but were responsible for many. And these only include tractors and do not include farm equipment designs.

Another reason can be found in the Nebraska test results showing time and time again how they out- preformed other similar hp sized models built during the same time period in torque rise and HP hr/gal figures.

As a mechanic that works on many brands of pre 1985 tractors, I can verify simplicity of designs with very few "Rube Goldberg" contraptions found in other "popular" brands. (Like the SCV, 24 volt split load electrical, pony motor starting and Permaclutch in JD).

The sheer numbers of IH tractors are still alive and well and farming around the world today in spite of the fact that the newest International tractors are now over a quarter of a century old, testify to their durabily and usablity.

Although I am an admittedly an IH fan, I will be the first to say that they and their products were not always THE best, but overall you would be hard pressed to (leaving opinons behind) honestly find another ag equipment producer that matched IH for innovation and contributions to designs and manufacturing proocesses that paved the road to our country being an agricultural giant that it is.

I don't have any particular brand allegiance. Does it do the task and is it reliable are my criteria. I see Tee shirts and decals that talk up Deere killers and the like but rarely any of the like announcing they're IH killers, perhaps because that's already been done.

Even Deere knew they had pushed the two cylinder too long but, although primitive, they were fuel efficient. The 720 had fuel figures better than anyone. As for pony starting, International had start on gas, run on diesel about the same period as Deere was using pony motors. Cat used a pony as well. I still have a 620 gas and although it's mostly retired, it will still start in any weather and put in a day's work.

I bought an 86 series, my first IH other than industrial, because it was a cheap and reliable power source, not because of any technology as they were well behind the power curve by then. Deere had a reliable power shift for years while IH was still flogging the TA. The 86 is an ill-shifting machine compared to the competition. I like it because it's simple and suited to the task I assign it. When it comes to maintaining old stuff, simple is good. It really cannot be compared the competition of the same period for technological advances. If it could, perhaps they, IH, would still be in business.

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Yes, the DT-429 has the same bore and stroke of 4,5'' x 4,5''.

Bore was smaller than that on all the other engines mentioned above:

361: 4,125'' x 4,5''

407: 4,321'' x 4,625''

312: 3,875'' x 4,41''

360: 3,875'' x 5,085''

414: 4,3'' x 4,75''

436: 4,3'' x 5''

466: 4,3'' x 5,35''

IH

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INTERNATIONAL stuck with it's old tractor designs far too long. A 40 series Deere and a 90 series Case were both much more advanced than a 86 series IH. Both had full or partial powershifts and were just as reliable as the IH models out at the same time.

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My I.H. experience is in trucks and the Hough line.As far as trucks go,the K,L,and R-lines were a great solid truck for the period they were made.They sold a lot of Loadstars,but in hard city use,they were hot,noisy,the doors flew open when you hit potholes,climate control was poor,the cheap connectors on the wiring harnesses would give trouble and the truck would quit in the middle of the street.The hydraulic brake systems were a nightmare.The Cargostar was not even a contender against the Ford C series.The DV-550 engine was a total horror show.The S-series was the start of the greatest thing to happen to the truck line and the introduction of the DT466 in the later STAR series trucks was long overdue.After I.H. fixed the 1" lifter and camshaft problems and got rid of the rotary pump on the 466,It became the standard of the industry.The little 6.9 and 7.3 was a stroke of genius,even though they tended to be overworked to an early death.I blame salesmen for that one.The 9.0 liter was OK after they straightened out the fire-ring heads.As far as the equipment goes,the 580 CASE was the best loader/hoe in it's class,in that era.The 3616,had terrible controls,leaked,and never started when it was cold.The 3600a same deal,the hydro never seemed to live and cost owners a fortune.The Hough loaders were a great machine for the money,if you didn't mind the cab on the front half of the machine.I had a 60E for 11 years,other than a tired engine,never had a major failure on it. I can go on and on.Every company has it's problems,just seems to me I.H. had too many irons in the fire,and had,along with unions and management issues,had a hard time keeping any one iron hot.

Here's a 3616 that's still going:

post-43731-0-33959200-1311639377_thumb.j

There's no question the Case 580 is a better loader/backhoe. This 3616 is gas, so it starts well in any weather. It's a shuttle shift. Every now and then I see an AD for a hydro; it usually reads "runs good, ............doesn't move".

Anyway, I have few complaints about the old girl. The hydraulics are strong and both the loader and 3141 hoe work well. I've resealed just about everything so it's pretty dry.

Anyone used to working a modern hoe probably wouldn't like the controls but most everyone doing serious work now is using an excavator.

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The 86 series and to some extent the 88 series tractors weren't what the public wanted. IH the inovator had lost this skill during the 86 series period. The sad part is IH had 3 point hitch designs dating back during the M and Super M days. Just look at a BM and Super BMD and see the three point hitch which they should have offered here. Also the 8 speed transmission on the British M's but not on the US M frames. Later on they had powershift transmissions in the crawlers by 1960. Why weren't these successful designs incorporated into the wheel tractors by 1965 - 1970 to match Deere. And their 86 series cab which was first designed in 1967. They had 9 years to get it right but messed it up and this cab was never right until modified to fit the Magnum. All of these events smell of complacency, arrogance, and general lack of competitiveness. It was all right when times were good but downright disaster when the ill fated grain export ban that Jimmy Carter imposed occurred.

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You must also look at a few other thing, the economy sucked in the early 80's and im sure as im sitting here that IH's money problems started long before the crash of the 80's. So were they limited on R&D during this time and also limited on what they turned out product wise???it always seem to me that IH was the Dodge of the tractor world, all ya hear is about the problems, ever think maybe its because there are more of them out there than the other brands and that is why you hear about the problem. not cause they are junk but cause there are just more out working

we run some of all colors and they all break. but ask a die hard JD guy about his stuff and he will tell ya they are great, just never said a word about it sitting in the shop for 3 weeks with the transmission out

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as someone said upthread, Harvester had too many irons in the fire to keep 'em all hot.

This wasn't helped by management's practice of being a soft touch not only for the unions, but the stockholders as well. As I understand it, Harvester management always believed in paying a big dividend, especially compared to Deere. So there wasn't as much money available for R & D as there should have been. For instance, it took Harvester 15 years in the 60s and 70s to get the Axial Flow combines right. During those same years, they kept warming over the 06 tractors, and getting by with them. Stands to reason the two things are related.

I have the feeling it was also a company where the management was told (or only heard) what it wanted to hear, and not what was really happening.

Edited by 234-IA

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The tractor side of the issue is a lot more complicated than folks think. One of the problems IH had is that it had very smart engineers who knew a better way than the traditional clutch style power shift. However, those better ways always ran into problems, and IH stuck with a transmission in the 06s, which itself was a quickey that resulted when a CVT wouldn't downshft correctly (The Schottler transmission.) Hydrostatics never took off, and IH couldn't get a hydromechanical to workfor decades (neither could anyone else until Steyer did it) Axial flow was not a major contributer to the delay in getting a powershift to market. And it took a lot longer than 15 years to get it right. If anything, long development programs that got major advances to market was an IH strength. Powershift was an area where IH started and stopped. Cotton picker took decades. Farmall was in development for about 15 years before hitting market fully in 1926. Even gas engines took about 15 years before getting into production in 1904.

IH management pretty much bought the union problems they had.

IH management was told about most of their problems.THe new management that came in during 1977 were especially idiots- they were warned that the industry was going to take a major turn downward about 1980. They were told that Louisville should be closed. They told the naysayers to shut up, and the company paid the price.

It was the anti-union side in the company that also screwed up in the 1950s by getting rid of Fowler McCormick and putting John McCaffrey in as CEO. McCaffrey lasted about three years before getting replaced as CEO, and a few laters he was retired from the board. The company really went down the tubes in the 1950s, as McCaffrey poured money into construction side, and shortchanged tractor R&D, shorted testing on everything, and generally screwed the dealer network. Even the Super MTA was a bit of a disappoiintment, as the dealership network thought they were getting an automatic transmissioned tractor.

as someone said upthread, Harvester had too many irons in the fire to keep 'em all hot.

This wasn't helped by management's practice of being a soft touch not only for the unions, but the stockholders as well. As I understand it, Harvester management always believed in paying a big dividend, especially compared to Deere. So there wasn't as much money available for R & D as there should have been. For instance, it took Harvester 15 years in the 60s and 70s to get the Axial Flow combines right. During those same years, they kept warming over the 06 tractors, and getting by with them. Stands to reason the two things are related.

I have the feeling it was also a company where the management was told (or only heard) what it wanted to hear, and not what was really happening.

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The tractor side of the issue is a lot more complicated than folks think. One of the problems IH had is that it had very smart engineers who knew a better way than the traditional clutch style power shift. However, those better ways always ran into problems, and IH stuck with a transmission in the 06s, which itself was a quickey that resulted when a CVT wouldn't downshft correctly (The Schottler transmission.) Hydrostatics never took off, and IH couldn't get a hydromechanical to workfor decades (neither could anyone else until Steyer did it) Axial flow was not a major contributer to the delay in getting a powershift to market. And it took a lot longer than 15 years to get it right. If anything, long development programs that got major advances to market was an IH strength. Powershift was an area where IH started and stopped. Cotton picker took decades. Farmall was in development for about 15 years before hitting market fully in 1926. Even gas engines took about 15 years before getting into production in 1904.

IH management pretty much bought the union problems they had.

IH management was told about most of their problems.THe new management that came in during 1977 were especially idiots- they were warned that the industry was going to take a major turn downward about 1980. They were told that Louisville should be closed. They told the naysayers to shut up, and the company paid the price.

It was the anti-union side in the company that also screwed up in the 1950s by getting rid of Fowler McCormick and putting John McCaffrey in as CEO. McCaffrey lasted about three years before getting replaced as CEO, and a few laters he was retired from the board. The company really went down the tubes in the 1950s, as McCaffrey poured money into construction side, and shortchanged tractor R&D, shorted testing on everything, and generally screwed the dealer network. Even the Super MTA was a bit of a disappoiintment, as the dealership network thought they were getting an automatic transmissioned tractor.

as someone said upthread, Harvester had too many irons in the fire to keep 'em all hot.

This wasn't helped by management's practice of being a soft touch not only for the unions, but the stockholders as well. As I understand it, Harvester management always believed in paying a big dividend, especially compared to Deere. So there wasn't as much money available for R & D as there should have been. For instance, it took Harvester 15 years in the 60s and 70s to get the Axial Flow combines right. During those same years, they kept warming over the 06 tractors, and getting by with them. Stands to reason the two things are related.

I have the feeling it was also a company where the management was told (or only heard) what it wanted to hear, and not what was really happening.

I'm new to this forum and find this info so interesting, thanks guys! I grew up on the farm with ih tractors and one thing I recall that was interesting was my uncle was one of the head engineers for the tillage department in the Hamilton Ontario plant. So we got to test out the vibershank, viberchisel, and chisel plow cultivators. The interesting thing was when the farmers used this equipment but made suggestions for upgrades or changes, the engineers really listened and did there best to upgrade the product.

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INTERNATIONAL stuck with it's old tractor designs far too long. A 40 series Deere and a 90 series Case were both much more advanced than a 86 series IH. Both had full or partial powershifts and were just as reliable as the IH models out at the same time.

Leave all three out in the winter in the middle of a field and go out at -20 degrees and see which one can start and drive home

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You must also look at a few other thing, the economy sucked in the early 80's and im sure as im sitting here that IH's money problems started long before the crash of the 80's. So were they limited on R&D during this time and also limited on what they turned out product wise???it always seem to me that IH was the Dodge of the tractor world, all ya hear is about the problems, ever think maybe its

because there are more of them out there than the other

brands and that is why you hear about the problem. not

cause they are junk but cause there are just more out

working

we run some of all colors and they all break. but ask a die hard JD guy about his stuff and he will tell ya they are

great, just never said a word about it sitting in the shop for

3 weeks with the transmission out

I know of a family that could of put ih farther in the hole but that story I'm not goin say

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There's an article coming in the next Red Power that will throw a new light on some stuff that was never public about the union negotiations and the efforts that IH made to stay alive in the early 1980s. Stuff that's not in A Corporate Tragedy at all.

Love the quotes.

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All right you got me on that one I do not know of any quality control issues with the 86 series just poor shifting and a back breaking ride. By the early 80's we switched to a different brand and never looked back. Just answer a question for me. Why do people on this website like IH tractors so well for? I have never understood why.

Actually there are several reasons. One being that IH actually lead the way with inovations that it took other companies decades to adopt. More than 2 cylinder engines, Diesel powered farm tractors, row crop farming, shift on the go transmissions, hydrostatic transmissions, ceramic friction materials in clutches and etc. I can't verify that IH was first in all of these revolutions, but were responsible for many. And these only include tractors and do not include farm equipment designs.

Another reason can be found in the Nebraska test results showing time and time again how they out- preformed other similar hp sized models built during the same time period in torque rise and HP hr/gal figures.

As a mechanic that works on many brands of pre 1985 tractors, I can verify simplicity of designs with very few "Rube Goldberg" contraptions found in other "popular" brands. (Like the SCV, 24 volt split load electrical, pony motor starting and Permaclutch in JD).

The sheer numbers of IH tractors are still alive and well and farming around the world today in spite of the fact that the newest International tractors are now over a quarter of a century old, testify to their durabily and usablity.

Although I am an admittedly an IH fan, I will be the first to say that they and their products were not always THE best, but overall you would be hard pressed to (leaving opinons behind) honestly find another ag equipment producer that matched IH for innovation and contributions to designs and manufacturing proocesses that paved the road to our country being an agricultural giant that it is.

I don't have a family history involved in IH but I do have some good memories of using IH equipment. I worked on a farm as a teenager. The owner had at least three IH tractors, 300, 460 and another small utility tractor. I worked summers using all of them. He inherited all of them from his father and I helped rebuild one of them. They were aged but did a lot of work. The owner later bought newer tractors, but they all gave us problems. The IH never did.

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great article hope you tell us more about the plant the good and the BAD

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