Tractor Novice purchasing IH 3444 and IH 3616

Discussion in 'Tractor Tech' started by Heliarc, Jul 19, 2020.


  1. Heliarc

    Heliarc Farmall Cub

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    My biggest tractor to date is a 1969 AC(Simplicity) B-112 with Vari-Drive(working mostly correctly!) and hydraulics. The thing had me pulling my hair out sometimes especially finding hydraulic hoses. That's not why I'm here though. I made my first move up from lawn tractors. I'm looking at a pair of mid sized(?) tractors. Not huge, not small, but to me, pretty dang big and I think I'm so lost I don't know exactly what I want to ask so I hope someone can make sense of this... One is an IH 3444, hydrostatic drive, tractor-loader-backhoe with a gasoline engine. Issues: Loader bucket will dump if over center if you let go of the tilt/roll control lever. Engine is smoking, likely burning oil, fuel tank is full of rust and other junk, and of course it looks like a pile of crap because of the paint. Figure your normal wear and tear of about 3200 hours on it as well. Apparently it runs and can be worked if you check the oil and keep up with the loader bucket. I think for the bucket, it would be a spool valve. Hopefully that shouldn't be too tricky to rebuild. The current owner doesn't like a hydro drive(Hydra shuttle?) and is in desperate need of cash. This one is priced at $2500. I think that's fine. I think the issues and his need to pay the mortgage are why it seems like a deal. I can imagine I'm going to be getting in to another boatload of money with it but if it is what he says it'll beat a shovel.

    The 3616, hopefully, will be a parts rig. The owner says they are similar machines and is implying that many parts will interchange. This one is a tractor-loader-backhoe as well with a diesel engine and manual transmission. The engine is apparently shot but the rest of it is pretty much all there. This one is $800 which I also think is a decent price if many of the parts can be used. I was also thinking if the Hydro breaks down to a point where I can't reasonably repair it, Hopefully I can swap the engine from the 3444 to the 3616 or swap the drive train from the 3616 to the 3444. I mean, repower the tractor with the bad engine, or put a manual transmission and rear end in place of the hydrostatic.

    It so happens, I have a 152 CI engine from a 1967 IH Scout 800 as well as a 60 HP VW 1.6 Diesel engine. It's one of the Old diesels too. No computer, indestructible. All you need is 12VDC to the fuel cutoff solenoid to run fuel and I'm sure that could even be made to be a mechanical shutoff. I'm wondering on that 3616, is the engine a stressed component like many other tractors, or does it have a frame where I could mount a different type of engine. I could potentially have two pile of garbage machines running at the same time.

    I don't know if I'm very clear on what I need to know...I guess, will parts from one work on the other? Is a hydrostatic drive on a 3444 likely to be completely shot? I Know I'm getting in over my head but that's the only way I learn new stuff. $3300 for two machines, one pretty much operable, and one potentially for parts or even to repair, that sounds OK to me. I know the owner too. He's a very blunt type of guy. Many times so blunt to the point of being an jerk but he's honest and has a very strong work ethic. He's very particular about jobs he does for people. If you hire him, you pay $60 hourly whatever he's doing but if he takes it on you won't find anyone better. To me, it seems like a good deal considering the situation. If I didn't know the guy and what he's got going on I'd think it was too good of a deal. I'm used to seeing $5K-ish for an equivalent machine in any kind of operable condition. I don't know anything about actual tractors though. He says 3200 hours is kind of high but not extreme. I know as is, where is, no refunds, don't call him to complain if it throws a rod or something catastrophic five minutes after I fire it up. He uses it to load mulch. I figure it's a safe bet.

    Thanks for even reading this and sorry I'm unclear.
     
  2. kevingweq

    kevingweq Y-Block King

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    Might I suggest joining the redpower forums , (or just do some searching over there) There is some great tractor folks here
    but redpower is where you will find an abundance of tractor guys , Good Luck !! please feel welcome to share your adventures here we all
    love IH stuff !!!
     
  3. kdsmit

    kdsmit Binder Driver

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    I second the Red-power forums and/or Yesterdays tractor forms. I do know that most of those (four digit) tractors are industrial tractors and some of the parts are interchangeable with the ag tractors and some are not. And, some of the not, are quite expensive. The 3444 is based on the 444 and I am not sure on the 3616. Also, some of those tractors that are the same model are very different between the gas and the diesel models. 3200 hours is not that many, if it has ever been serviced. It could smoke for a variety of reasons. The bucket dump, as you suggested is probably in the valve and the looks can be addressed with a steam cleaner and paint. Or, it is a loader/back-hoe and is going to be in the dirt and you won't be afraid to use it. The best thing to do with the fuel tank is to pull it and have it cleaned and lined, it will solve MANY issues, now and in the future.
    I am not sure that either of those came as a hydro tractor. I think most had a "shuttle shift". That is a lever on the dash, that you can use to go from forward to reverse (or vise versa) without clutching or shifting. You just idle down and move the lever to go in the opposite direction. They are quite durable and handy for loading and or moving stuff with the bucket. It is kind of like a hydro, but it's not.
    One of the most important things to check is how many hydraulic hoses are bad. Loader back-hoes have lots of hydraulic hoses! If you have to replace all or most of the hoses, you will be approaching the cost of the machines! Find a good hydraulic hose shop. In the long run, the custom made hoses are a little higher quality and work better than cobbing together the generic TSC hoses.
    Also, if you need to re-power, check the price of an engine kit, they are cheaper than you think. The 1.6 VW is a great engine, but it will probably not have enough umph to run the hydraulic pump. A fifty horse tractor has ALOT more power than a 60 horse car and most importantly much more torque.
    Good luck.
     

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