I’ve already done a search and read about all the horror stories about the John Deere 8850 and its engines. For comparison, I wonder what anyone who has experience with the 8850 and how it compares to a Cummins 903 V-8. I have had a lot of experience with the 903 and I love that engine.
I have brought this up in another thread on 8970/8960 JD tractors ……… what I am looking for is a 4WD tractor with PTO that would be primarily doing limited tillage work (pulling a heavy harrow over ~ 3,000 acres in the fall, and low ground disking / chisel plow), pull grain barrow, and have enough power to pull a 40-50 foot. Air seeder in a pinch if something happens to our main tractor during planting season.
I’ve heard the issues with the 8850 regarding water and engine temperature (basically the same issue the 903 had), and that an overhaul will cost around $ 30,000. The last time we called Cummins to check a 903, two years ago, they gave us a budget of over $ 20,000. My problem is that I can and have reviewed a 903 myself for $ 2,500 for the kit below, so the 903 has never freaked me out. But I can’t find a overhaul kit for a 955 JD engine. The beauty of an 8970/8960 is that with the 855 Cummins, in case you go to hell, an overhaul kit only costs about $ 1,200.
Currently, I drive the grain cart with a JD 8640 that has 8,000 hours on it that I paid $ 18,000 for two years ago. It’s okay in the car, but I’d be SOLD if my air seeder fell off, and the 8640’s pants are filled with some of the tillage we do. There are currently several 8,850 in the area with similar hours w / PTO that could pick up for ~ 25,000. The 8970/8960 are above $ 70,000-80,000 with PTO in the area.
I guess if the engine breaks down in my 8640, I would spend about $ 15,000 to get it running again. So my question is: for a secondary tractor whose main function is to pull a grain wagon (but I wish it had enough HP to put the crop with it, worst case), would it be better to buy cheap HP w / PTO on an 8850, or spend more money for a back-up tractor than I spent on the tractor that I rely on to put in most of my crop?
We have had 8850s for several years and will always have a soft spot for these tractors and they are cheap horsepower. From what you describe the 8850 would do everything you need, until 2 years ago they were our main tractors since 1996, we have pulled a 62 ‘chisel plow with a coil baler, a 57’ flexi-coil hoe in No-till stubble with 345 bushel carts and right now we have one on a 61 ‘JD 1820 with a 430 bushel cart and they have a lot of power to do everything we’ve tried to do with them.
We also used one in a Kinze 1050 car for several years and we really liked it, we had a repowered Kinze 8850 and we liked the v-8 better although the cummins performed better in the car due to the low rpm torque. I don’t think the 8850 is anything to fear, they are like a lot of other equipment, if they are well maintained and cared for it will be good for you, I hope this helps.
1. The overhaul kit for the 8850 would be over $ 10,000.
2. The labor would be much more complicated on the 8850, remove the front end, roll the front axle out, and so on, not as simple as the Versatile (what tractor is it?)
That said, the 8850 versus the 950 is like comparing a Mercedes to a Chevrolet, the 8850 will have more power, better cabin, better hydraulics, and unmatched handling.
While I personally think the 8850 will outperform the 8960/8970, you have to really want the 8850 (for its ride and power), if you had one to “drop” you could easily get to the price of the 8960/8970 in no time. If you are diligent in your search for 8960/8970 you can find 8960 for $ 45k (one in ND’s role right now for that price) and you can add PT0 for $ 11k max, and less if you find an accessory from the power take-off used. (The main components of the PTO are the same from the 8960 to the 9620)
So would you spend $ 55k (probably the cheapest you can get) for the 8960 and have peace of mind or $ 25k for the 8850? You have 30k to play with if you buy the 8850, the engine may never have a problem. The “New York” conversion for the 8850 (Kinze kit spinoff) is $ 12-15k, find a used 855 and check it out for $ 5-6, you still have less on the 8850.
The 8960 I mean it’s near Fessenden, Just knowing the guy, I’d say it’s clean.
The 8850 has been good for us, you will be interested in the route you take …