1978 IH 584 UTILITY
NNo matter how hot the horsepower race got with big tractors, a good deal of any tractor company’s business were the smaller utility tractors. Solid products in this category always made for a healthier company. As the ’80s approached, International Harvester realized it was time to update its 64 and 74 Series small tractors and for 1977 and 1978, the 84 Series tractors debuted.
The 84 lineup comprised seven basic models with a range of configurations for each. Power outputs ranged from 36 to 73 hp. The smallest was the 384 with a 154ci, 36hp diesel four. The 484 made 42 hp from a 179ci 3-cylinder diesel. The 584 had 52 hp
from a 206ci diesel four. A 684 model had a 239ci, 63hp diesel. The 784 had a 246ci diesel that made 67 PTO hp. The Big Dog was the 884, which didn’t come to the line until 1980 with a 268ci, 73hp four. There was also a Hydro 84, which used a 246ci four coupled to a version of IH’S hydrostatic drive, and it cranked out 59 PTO hp. There was a small 284 too, but it was more a lawn and garden tractor and not really a mainstream ag tractor, although it’s sometimes listed as such.
Many of the 84 Series were available in Utility or Rowcrop configurations. The 584, 684, 784, 884 and Hydro 84 came both ways but the others came only as Utilities. The main difference was adjustable wheel track. The 84 line was built in the IH Doncaster, England, factory and most of the engines used came from the IH Neuss engine factory in Germany.
The 584 was the middle sibling in the 84 line and popular all over the world. It was powered by a Neuss D206, 206ci fourcylinder, direct-injected, wet-sleeved diesel. Neuss rated it at 57-65 flywheel horsepower (depending on rpm) and it cranked out 52.54 PTO horsepower in a 1979 Nebraska Tractor Test. It was a five-main engine with the general architecture of the Neuss D310 sixes also use in larger IH tractors of the recent past.
The 584 used an 8-speed gearbox, four speeds in the main box with a 2-speed range box. It didn’t have a TA (Torque Amplifier, aka “Torque”). It came as a fixed-track Utility or as a Rowcrop with an adjustable track. A 540rpm live PTO was common on the Rowcrops as was a 3-point lift. It came standard with power steering, a diff-lock and ROPS (Rollover Protection System). A canopy was available but no cabs on the 584. Cabs were offered for the larger 84 Series, and in the early ’80s, the 84 line could be ordered with Front-wheel Assist (FWA).
Most of the 84 Series tractors lasted to 1984 and were sold into 1985, when the merger with Case took place. It could be said that these were the last small tractors built by International Harvester and they have been called among their best.
This tractor is owned by Gavin Knisely, a well-known Southern Ohio head-porting pro. It’s a show tractor that works, or a work tractor that shows. Either way, it’s handy for him at his rural shop. The difference between a Utility and Rowcrop was getting pretty blurry when this ’78 rolled off the line. Less and less was mechanical row cultivation done, which required the wheel track to match the crop row widths. Adjustable-tread tractors were not needed as cultivation began to be done chemically more than mechanically. A Utility could have all the other features of the Rowcrop, including PRO, 3-point, and even the weight bracket. A few years after this tractor was built, IH introduced a 584 with FWA, as well as a low-profile tractor for orchard work, turf use, or use as an industrial.
Well-equipped, with a 540 RPM PTO and a three-point lift. One of the design features of the 84 Series placed the fuel tank in the rear, where the extra weight of the 20 gallons gave added traction. Because the 584 was a “world” tractor, it had features like rear lights, which were not required in the United States.
The Neuss D206 was essentially a D310 six with two cylinders lopped off. Or you could say the D310 was a D206 with two jugs added. Both these engines shared a lot with the D239 four and D258 six, which had the same bore but a longer stroke (5.06 vs. 4.375 inches). The D206 and D310 were earlier designs. There were a lot of parts interchanges within this engine family. The D206 saw use in a few other IH industrial applications but we couldn’t find any road applications for it. It did have a higher power rating than seen in tractors, 65 hp at 2,500 rpm. Torque was the same as the tractors 148 lb-ft at 1,600-2,200. The Neuss D358 six had a road rating that spun it up to 3,000 rpm. There is no record of a turbo version of this engine but a turbocharged DT239 was built. The D206 was produced into the mid ’90s.
The D206 was economical, a Neuss trait, and reliable. It also shared another general Neuss trait... cold bloodedness. They were not great cold starters due to their exceptionally low 15.3:1 compression ratio. A fully warmed-up Neuss barely even sounds like a diesel. Replacement piston and liner kits usually bump that ratio up to about 16:1, which helps on the cold starts. In tractors, these engines were rated at 2,300 rpm and about 60 flywheel horsepower. Bosch pumps were used, a VA4-100H in this case, and Bosch DLLA injectors. The block heater is a vital necessity in cold climates.
An impressive “rack.” Doubtful this 584 needs 800 lbs of weight up front but perhaps it’s just a place to store the 100-lb suitcase weights. The 584 Utility models could be distinguished mainly by their swept-back front axles, non-adjustable wheel track and exhaust system that exited low rather than up.