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Random thoughts on the DV-800 and other V8's


Sask466

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We used to have a 4586 on our farm when I was a young boy, and I remember it being rebuilt at pretty crazy costs. I am don't want to start a "was the V800 good or not?" debate, but suffice to say it wasnt a longevity monster (but not a disaster either). I still remember dad coming down the lane in that tractor, road gear at 2600rpm - you'd swear it was a freight train coming, not a tractor! It sure sounded awesome.

We ran into head problems, which uncovered bottem end problems with ours, forcing a complete rebuild. Was there a main weakness with the v800? We sort of had all kinds of badness with ours, but after the rebuild it was a solid runner. It would out-start anything in our yard in the cold fall mornings.

One thing I have always pondered is how it seems like everyone including Cat, Cummins and IH all did the V8 thing in the 70's and although not all were failures, none of them strood the test of time as the I6's have (I think of 855 cummins, 3306/3406 Cat, IH466, etc).

I asked an old diesel mechanic about this, and his thought was that since the crankshaft is about 2/3 as long in a V8 configuration vs an I6, there just isnt the opportunity to get the as much bearing and bottem-end under those 8 cylinders. That seems to make sense, but it also doesn't explain the success of motors like:

Cat 3408 v motor - A force to be reckoned with in 70s trucks and I think this still comes in the D9 as wells as stationary applications.

Detroit 2 Stroke V's - I don't think the V71's were any better or worse that the inlines.

Macks big V8 - it was around 1000cubes and a good runner.

I am sure I am also missing a bunch of others too (the v903 comes to mind)

I am curious what everyone's thoughts are about 1. Why these motors didn't stay around like the big six's did and 2. Why V8's were tried as much as they were in the 70's.

Also, and I am just dreaming here, imagine if IH had built an 800 cu in inline six? Think of a double sized dt466?

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Rpm's was the killer of the 800's. TD-20E's used that engine but it was only 2100rpms and they held up well.

V-8's were never a strong suit in comparison to the inline 6's. I can't think of any heavy duty truck V-8 that was a "success story", otherwise wouldn't they been a better choice?

IH did have the DT-817 series inline 6 from 235 to 420hp and they were/are an excellent engine.

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I didn't know about that big DT motor! I will have to do some research on those.

Funny you mention the RPM thing. I recall half the guy's that ran or worked on them would say "high RPM's kill them, slow them down" and the other half would say "spin them fast, lugging them is the killer".

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Diesels are made to lug.

817's were built from about 1959 to 1985ish. Started in TD-25's and Pay loaders, Pay haulers ect.

Cat makes a 3616 V-16 around 18,000 cu.in. @ 7500hp.

About the only way you can get huge hp out of limited space is to go to a "V" configuration.

......another "V-8 dud" to add to the list of many is d**r*'s 955.

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The 3600 series Cat you mention, I have seen. It's a monster. I work for a natural gas transmisson company, and almost all those big stationary engines are V configurations like you mention - that's part of what got me thinking about this.

The V motors are more compact, but IH could have just added a foot to the snout of a 4586 and used that DT-817. In the big 4wd tractor world, space and weight isn't really an issue?

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Over the years we had a MF 1800 with the cat V8, MF 1150 with the Perkins V8, Versatile 950 with the 903, and a JD 8850. The 1800 never gave us any engine problems the 7 years we had it. We pulled the snot out of it too. So much that when we went to trade it in, the salesman thought the clutch was shot just looking at the plow we were pulling. I have neighbor that also bought a 1800 new and he lost the engine twice before getting to the field the first time. He ran it one year then traded it for a Versatile 700 which worked good for him. The 1150 we had for about 5 years, bought used, and ever let us down. The 950 Versatile was probably the best tractor we ever owned. That 903 would out lug and pull any 855 we ever had. We had that for about 8 years before going to a 976 Designation 6 series and that was the worst tractor we had. Later on we added a used 8850. We did lose the engine in that but the tach was on its 2nd go around. The tractor was a "southern" special and came out of Arizona. I chalked that one up to just a pile of hrs. My cousins who farm 1/2 mile from us have two 8850s. One has just over 9,000 hrs and the other has over 5,000 hrs and neither engine hasn't been touched. There are still Versatiles with 903s and JD 8850s going around in my area. I guess my point is we generally had good luck with the V8s. I might add there were a ton of the Versatile 145s sold around here and you almost couldn't throw a rock without hitting one. Although they used V8 470 the tractor overall has a good reputation.

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worked for a white dealer for several years, 3208 cats failed miserably if not run at wide open throttle, had many with 8 or 9 thousand hours on them but those owners serviced regularly and rolled bearings in every 3500 hrs.

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Big Bud Guy - those v903's run fast too, don't they? I have a friend that used to have a 4800 series Massey with that motor and said it was a good one.

Sort of. They were rated at 2,400 rpms which is faster then the 855 and 3406 but no faster then the IH straight sixes at the time. We ran ours around a little bit slower then that. Also the JD V8 was rated I think at 2,100 rpms. So they were a slow turner. The Versatile 145s on the other hand were screamers. The 470 was rated at 3,000 rpms. Also, I forgot about the Massey 4000s. There were a few them around too and I have always liked the looks of those tractors.

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This is sort of my point - what did all these manufacturers seem to want to use V8's in the 70's. I can see how weight and dimensions are an issue in over the road trucks (and 70s cabovers) but not a problem in the big 4wds. I wasnt around in the 70's, so I am just trying to get a feel for how the V8's were perceived back then. Maybe it was a product of the late 60's v8 muscle car craze.

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Well call me crazy I love that Moter. We run 2 4586 tractors for ten or 15 years and have only done the bottom end on them. The one has 9600 hours and the other has 6800 . Moter wise we always keep valve adjustment in spek because they were known for cam failure too. We run them at 2200 to 2300rpm they seem to stay together that way . The only big thing I have done is a new clutch in the main one. They are not bad on fuel on a 40ft drill they burn less than 7 gal an hour. But I will add parts are expensive and hard to find for these old girls . So over the past 10 year I have been buying up spare moters and parts if I do have too work on one . This year they will not be my main tractor we moved up to a low hr 9270 like all things you have to move up some time I guess. But I will always have a soft spot for them and never get rid of my old 4586.

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The 3600 series Cat you mention, I have seen. It's a monster. I work for a natural gas transmisson company, and almost all those big stationary engines are V configurations like you mention - that's part of what got me thinking about this.

The V motors are more compact, but IH could have just added a foot to the snout of a 4586 and used that DT-817. In the big 4wd tractor world, space and weight isn't really an issue?

It seems like Cat made a 24 cly. version of the 3600 series, but I'm not 100%.

I often said it's too bad IH at least didn't offer the 817 as an option in the big 4wd's. I suppose they were too expensive in comparison too the v-800. Another thing is IH had huge hopes for the 800 in trucks, I believe that's what it was originally designed for, but it ended up being a HUGE flop in those. I'm thinking IH seen an "outlet" for them in the 4wd tractor market and some construction equipment & recouped their financial investment in 800.

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Well call me crazy I love that Moter. We run 2 4586 tractors for ten or 15 years and have only done the bottom end on them. The one has 9600 hours and the other has 6800 . Moter wise we always keep valve adjustment in spek because they were known for cam failure too. We run them at 2200 to 2300rpm they seem to stay together that way . The only big thing I have done is a new clutch in the main one. They are not bad on fuel on a 40ft drill they burn less than 7 gal an hour. But I will add parts are expensive and hard to find for these old girls . So over the past 10 year I have been buying up spare moters and parts if I do have too work on one . This year they will not be my main tractor we moved up to a low hr 9270 like all things you have to move up some time I guess. But I will always have a soft spot for them and never get rid of my old 4586.

Low rpm's must be the key. I've heard it more than once that in dozer applications, ect where they aren't ran at ridiculously high rpm's they seem to be a good engine. In the TD-20E dozers they might push hard, but the rpms are varying constantly and are run momentarily at high idle unlike trucks and farm tractors that often do for hours on end.

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Everybody (well, ALMOST everybody) tried to make a V-8 diesel work in the 1970s. Cummins tried a small block(470/504/555) and big-block(903) V-8. Same with IH, they tried a small-block(DV-550) and big block(DV-573, DV-800). Cat had numerous V-8s in different applications. Perkins too. Deere had their 955 in the 1980s. I know a lot of people that did have good luck with V-8 diesels, but I also know many that did not. Unfortunately, bad news travels fast. Not enough main bearings, lack of torque rise, narrow power bands were just some of the reasons people did not like V-8 diesels. One other reason, the GM350 diesel in the late 1970s that was a disaster. Good, bad, or otherwise, all this made V-8 diesels a short time "fad" that the public seemed to lose interest(and faith) in. Yes, some later models were produced and had good luck, but the V-8 diesel's reputation has been fighting an uphill battle ever since.

When did IH quit making the DT-817? It is interesting that IH never offered this engine in a 4wd after the 4300 built in the early 1960s.

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The 817 was made at the Melrose Park Factory. IH made it for Dresser after the sale of the Payline Group in 1981. I believe they made until mid to late 80's. Dresser offered it until the TD-25G came out when they went to the 1150 Cummins.

I suppose the 817 wouldn't fit in the frame of the 45 or 4786's without lengthening it. I'm sure Steiger could've offered a longer frame since they were putting 855's & 3406's in their tractors(the 817 was very similar in dem's, but is heavier). I'm thinking it was politics at IH that was keeping the V-800 as the "engine of choice".....too bad.

Another "fleet of disastrous V's" was the Detroit Diesel line.

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Yes, it seems like chances are any diesel over 700hp to 900hp is going to be a v-motor. Also, the Europeans use v-motors in their trucks almost exclusivly, but they are cabovers, so that makes sense.

The 4994 CaseIH used a Scania v8, and I think it was good. I had a neighbor with this rare beast, and it was a beast.

Maybe it that I6's are just inherently good, and it's just sort of a 150 to 600hp diesel "sweet spot".

I also wanted to add that the 4586 is in my opinion the best looking 4wd ever.

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I also wanted to add that the 4586 is in my opinion the best looking 4wd ever.

I agree they were a cool looking tractor.

SDman brought up the DVT-573, that was the fore runner of the V-800. What's strange is that was another engine IH built for the heavy truck market and it was also a HUGE flop. But in the Payline equipment it was actually very good. You'd thought they'd learn from that mistake and not built the V-800 and instead make a 700-900 cube I6 truck engine. It's not like they didn't have a huge market for it. It seems like they were in love with those big block V-8's whether gas or diesel.

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Dad bought one when I was about 7 years old. I remember standing beside it, and dad wound it up to governed speed when they were checking it out on the lot. It left an impression. I ran that tractor around age 11 to 14 (seems crazy to think about it now), and I had it wheel hop on me. Scared me pretty good. Something told me to grab the throttle and pull it down. There are two diesels I will never forget the feel and sound of - that v800 (WOT) and our old 3406b IH 9370 Eagle grain truck (idle).

You mentioned a 9270 - that was our 4586 replacement. Great tractor, can't go wrong.

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YA I have a very same memory of a 4786. I was 15 years old and for my birthday I was dreaming of a 4786 at hodgins auctions . So for my b day I got to go and see it sell and miss school. Well it was November and about minus 15 below and nothing was pluged in . They went to start that beast with a little to much eather . Well to the operators surprise the throttle cable was broken and the pump was wide open . Well you should have seen the people running when she rored up to 2800rpm . Will never forget the operators face when he was trying to find the fuel shut off. I walked by a half hour later and they had a rope holding back the pump at idle . People must have been Leary of it cause that tractor sold for $9500 that day. Lol

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I had several IH 6x4's in the 70's.....most had the Cummins 555 but one had the DV550.......none of which would do wheel stands of course, but the triple nickel as the US operators called them, went just fine...the three and four axle trailers coming onto the scene back then certainly showed up the lack of power overall....might have been fine crossing the Nullabor Plain....(Australia..the country of origin for these trucks...)...but New Zealand's slow , hill infested roads really were to much.

the DV550 was used in tipper application only......in a forestry logging situation....never had any real issues with it whilst I owned it......they either had 13 speed R/R boxes...or Allison auto's..

..now, with the advent of the big Mack V8.....that made the old IHC's look rather timid.....some went well...others didn't...lot depends on the driver.....one private operator called his 500HP V8 Mack...."The Pus Bucket "...not a very complimentary term......but it didn't treat him to well on log cartage duties.....his driver was a total wanker.....

Mike

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