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One for the tractor folk amongst us.

Any views on International 674's good or bad?

The ones I've had anything to do with seemed good as any tractor. I look around and if there seems to be a lot of them around still they must have stood the test of time   with any make

I did my time for an IH dealer. They are virtually bomb proof tractors; My first year was the year the 74 series were discontinued and replaced with the 84 series.

A few pointers:

Make sure that the hydraulic system has been filled with Hytran oil. This is a dark brown in colour and has a distinctive acidic smell about it. The oil level dips stick is either in the cab in the foot well, or if a later build of this model, is near the 3 point linkage at the rear. If it is not hytran oil in the back end .... walk away!

The hydrostatic power steering should be light and responsive, and the steering wheel will creep around a little when held on hard lock.

Make sure the brakes including the park brake work. These are oil immersed wet discs for the wheels and a wet band brake for the park brake. If Hytran oil hasn't been used in the back end all the brakes will be wrecked

Ensure that you can turn all 3 of the brass fuel taps from opened to closed and open again, these are located on either side of the fuel tank at the rear of the cab.

Make sure the PTO works; it is hydraulically engaged and driven so put an implement on it and make certain it drives at all speeds and torque.

Make sure all of the auto hitch and drawbar is with it, and get the seller to show you how it works, and how to change over from auto pick-up hitch to drawbar without tools. The auto hitch is for towing trailers, the drawbar for towing impliments!

Make sure all the bits of the 3 point linkage and check chains are there, and working, including the levelling box.

Make sure the draft and position control system works on the hydraulics. This is a top link sensing draft control system, so if possible use a tyre lever to pry the the mounting point of the top link .... you should be just able to pry this enough to lift the arms about 1 inch or so when the engine is running.

There will be 1 and maybe 2 auxiliary hydraulic levers in the cab on the right hand side; make sure when you pull the first one back (single acting tipper service) that it can be heard to either drag the engine down a few revs or make the main hydraulic relief valve squeal a little when the lever is pulled back. Same for the second lever if it is fitted but when it is both pushed and pulled: this one is normally a double acting hydraulic service.

Ensure all the gears and ranges engage, and especially the (optional) Torque Amplifier if it is fitted (lever on the left of the steering wheel). Also stall test the clutch in 1st and 2nd high and low, the clutch pedal should have 1 inches to about 1 inches free play at the top of the pedal stroke, and the spring should return the pedal to this position. There are two gear ranges: High and Low, and then Reverse. All four gears will work in both ranges and reverse. The gears are synchromesh, so changing up & down the gears on the go will be just like driving a car. The ranges are constant mesh and the tractor needs to be standing still before you change between high, low and reverse.

If possible jack up the front axle and check for wear around all the pivot and king pins, and check the front axle width set out bolts for wear.

Personally: tough and reliable as the old IH tractors are, unless this tractor is virtually complete and in very good condition walk away from it, as it may be expensive to repair. For a tractor of about 70HP you would do far better to buy an old Ford 5000-5610, etc. or a Fiat 580, 680, 780, 60-90, 70-90, 80-90 etc. Old Leyland/Marshall tractors ain't bad either. Having said all that the IH 674 as a front end loader yard tractor will give you better lifting and breakout force than the other makes, and faster duty cycle times about the yard especially if you are using it with an Alo-Quickie (Lawrence Edwards) loader.


Could you give me any pointers i need to adjust (make work) my handbrake on my 1974 IH 475   The handle is located near the hydraulic dip level on the left hand side, the handle itself is like a lump of cast iron if that helps identify the type  any pointers would be apreciated


Yes. I have replaced my fair share of IH handbrake bands over the years.

Let's keep it simple to start with:
Firstly give the tractor a damn good pressure washing under the cab. Start at the back of the tractor in the gap between the fuel tank and gearbox top, and then from the cab steps cleaning the sides of the gear box..... the cleaner the better as the adjustment linkage is under the left side of the cab

Does the handbrake lever move at all?

If so please try adjusting the handbrake linkage. Slacken the lock nut on the linkage, remove the cotter pin, and clevis pin, and wind the clevis down the rod. refit the clevis pin and check how many clicks the park brake takes to pull up. The ideal adjustment is 3 clicks of pull on the lever to engage the park brake. Tighten the locknut back against the clevis and fit the cotter pin.

If this does not work, it means fitting a new handbrake band, and this is a rather involved job. Come back to me and I'll then give you the full details.

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