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Discussion Starter #1
The old girl just won't quit. We bought this tractor back in the Hodgins auction days for cheap. It was our main tractor for yrs and yrs. It has been looked after mechanically by me since we owned it. I have adjusted injector and valve lash and replaced O-rings on injectors just because I figured it was worth it at the time 25 some odd yrs ago. We had to replace the clutch at time of purchase which was I did and changed 2 wheel seals and bearings over the many years. Upon removing the planetary covers I saw a sun gear had hairline cracks and wear. I don't think the previous owner was regular with gear oil changes. Anyway I replaced all 4 sun gears to be preventative at the time and they were ridiculous cheap back then $140 if I remember correctly. I swapped planetaries to the other side to run on fresh side of gears. I sent an engine oil sample away at the time and it came back in good health. Many thousand hrs later I notice the old girl when running at operating temp, if you cut the throttle back it will trip the murphy switch low oil pressure. Bearings are likely in need. Western diesel just called and they are in. Under $400 with a pan gasket as well. Cheap maintenance. In all these yrs the only other work done was a new hydraulic pump for $1100, a new exhaust for $1200 and a water pump. A couple 3 solenoids and odd light wiring things. Replaced centre pin bushings once as well. This was far from a new tractor when we got it and just keeps going everytime you ask it too. Never touched the tranny or the diffs or rads etc. These things were built to withstand the test of time. We use this tractor on heavy harrows and 33' sunflower disc. On the scraper as well. Will pull like crazy down low and can run cheap. It will work in the field on a tank of fuel longer than I can. Put a FM 750 in it yrs ago and a Gleaner combine seat and its a comfy tractor to operate. Not the best a cab quietness but not terrible either considering it's a 1981!!
 

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Sounds like a similar story as our 1981 895 Versy. Dad bought it around 1990 for I think around the 40-45,000 mark. Has never missed a day since. Was our only tractor for a lot of those years, so covered all our ground at least twice a year, sometime 3 or 4.Have done much of the same maintenance as you have, only thing we haven't touched is the planetaries, and I know I should, maybe do it this summer. God only knows how many hours are on this thing. Had around 4500 on it when we got it, and it has never worked, so put in a new one a few years ago, and it's around 2100 on it. Keep thinking we should trade it off, then see the price of a replacement, and rethink it all over again. It's one of those few pieces of equipment a guy comes across in their lifetime that you just honestly can't part with. Even when we do upgrade, we will likely just keep it because it has been so loyal, it was dad's, and we have all spent sooo many hours in it. I would likely tear up if I had to watch it go down the road. Sadly, I don't think there will be a more reliable tractor ever built like those Versy's.
 

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Just a warning, I believe it is an extension of Murphy's law, But anytime you start spending money on something reliable that wasn't really broken, They start breaking down left right and center after that and become a Money pit.

Does yours have the hyd pump mounted behind the engine oil pump? That is how my Steiger is set up, and a cavitating hyd pump had damaged the oil pump and caused low oil pressure issues just like you described. Not hard to inspect the oil pump while you are at it, not terribly expensive either.
 

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Just a warning, I believe it is an extension of Murphy's law, But anytime you start spending money on something reliable that wasn't really broken, They start breaking down left right and center after that and become a Money pit.

Does yours have the hyd pump mounted behind the engine oil pump? That is how my Steiger is set up, and a cavitating hyd pump had damaged the oil pump and caused low oil pressure issues just like you described. Not hard to inspect the oil pump while you are at it, not terribly expensive either.
I would do an oil analysis right away. If its got over 7000 hours it’s do for an bearing roll. I know you have had good luck with the v8 but historically they haven’t been that good. People I know that had good luck didn’t work them hard or run them at full throttle
 

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I would do an oil analysis right away. If its got over 7000 hours it’s do for an bearing roll. I know you have had good luck with the v8 but historically they haven’t been that good. People I know that had good luck didn’t work them hard or run them at full throttle
Correction, I just realized we are discussing a 935(with a 903), not 835( with an 855). And I don't remember even where the pump is mounted on those, is it internal or external?

I did a complete inframe when my pump failed, so bearings are good now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hydraulic pump is external mounted on the rear of the motor up high I believe. 903 has proven to be bullet proof for me. 1800 rpm is all it ever sees because it really has all its power down low so why scream the engine. Gear up and throttle down has been the scenario with this engine. Yes the line for 540 pto rpm is at 2400 but I don't have a pto lol and never a need to rev the crap out of it anyway. Just a waste of fuel, and torque is likely most at 1300 anyway. It ran the our 40' morris air drill with ease for many yrs. It is geared very low in the diffs and I heavy harrow in road gear. 11 mph to the next field is slow as heck but that's all it does at 1800 rpm. Things I like about the 903 setup is the hood is super short as compared to our 946 with the inline 6. The rumble of the intake on a 8 cylinder 15 L engine is like no other. Kind of like comparing the V8 in a car vs a 6 cylinder. It actually sounds like it is just above idle at 1800 rpm. Neighbors hired hand runs their 875 and 936 at redline all the time and I am not sure why, but not my tractor. Seems like a waste of fuel to me. Our 946 I run at 1800 as well. The 903 has way more bottom end grunt on take off though. My dad puts our 33' sunflower disc in the ground and when I come talk to him he stops and takes off with it in the ground at idle. This motor is crazy powerful down low. My buddy worked for Air Drilling Services overseas for yrs and said they used the 903 engine as compressors for pumping air. At 15L displacement it would move a lot of air. I attribute my success of trouble free operation because of maintenance with this engine. Yearly antifreeze filter changes and replacement of antifreeze every 5 yrs. Regular oil changes at 150 hrs and clean air filters. Anyone who owns a 903 knows that they don't warm up idling so it gets 2-3 min at idle, and then 14-1500 for 2-3 min in gear driving with next to no load and then to work. It will smoke all day if you don't work it, and the gauge would take forever to move. Once rolling it gets to 185 but stop it and have lunch and it will creep back down. It is not a thermostat problem either. Been there 25 yrs ago changing both I believe. This tractor has rarely had the hood open so my memory of what it has is not good lol. It has literally been turn the key and go. I only had to stop work once for the water pump leaking. I freaked when I called Cummins and they said there was none in North America. $1200 and my core if they did. Neighbor said call Western Diesel and sure enough they had 2 on the shelf in Saskatoon. $340 and my core. Guess who gets my business now for all things diesel!!!!
 
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