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I am looking to buy a large articulated tractor to pull a big scraper and ripper. I also want to put a front mounted blade on it. What are John Deere 8440s like? I have heard about the older Deere 4wds having engine trouble. Will a front mounted blade have a effect on twisting the chassis, that is what causes the engine trouble if I understand correctly? Would the older Case 4494 be a better choice? Thanks
 

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If your planning on pulling a large scraper and ripper I would probably go with a higher HP tractor than a 8440 or 4494. Those are the smallest articulating 4wd's made by John Deere and CaseIH (in those series of course). I would probably recommend something like a Steiger Panther III or CaseIH 9170 or similar.
 

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Yep those are both costly to repair tractors. 40 and 50 deeres don't like blades, the engine is part of the frame. Heavy blade work will distort the block. A 4494 isn't articulated, it's 4 wheel steer and doubt putting a blade on it would be a good idea. You should look into a Steiger, Versatile, or 60 seiries Deere.
 

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The standard JD Setup in the 30,40+50 series articulated will be a nightmare it will never stand up to the blade or the scrapper. the engine problems will surface right away when you start working it hard, the 8440 will not provide enough power to pull the scrapper efficiently and again it will be tough to keep them together those motors can't hold a head gasket because in the articulated tractors there is no frame the engine is the frame a poor design and they flex they will blow head gaskets and ware out liners because even though they are torqued down they constantly move. You put those motors in any other 2 wd style tractor and they will run forever. I am a Deere guy and have 2 articulated, but they have been repowered by Kinze, problems were solved, it was best money I ever spent but they no longer do them.
 

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Funny, we had a 4690 Case and we put about 5000hrs on it. We bought it with a blade and used it for heavy tillage and pulled scrapers with it also and never had front axle or even powertrain issues. It was nice for pushing silage and dozer work because reverse is the same speed as third in the power shift and you go straight back and forth with the shift lever. Also you could angle the dozer by crab steering the whole tractor. You need to be mechanically inclined to own just about any tractor that vintage but I wouldn't be scared of it. It also rode nice and had a nice cab.
There is a frame built around the Deere engines but I think the center hinge was integrated with the transmissions on them. I don't like the Deere four wheel drives mainly because the transmissions had a funny shift pattern and you could burn out the top shaft if you backed them up too far. Also we had an 8630 and it was really gutless for it's weight. The front axle articulates on them which is not a big problem except when you go through ruts and holes the front is nice and smooth, you just relax and you bang your head against the side windows when the rear axle goes through, never did get used to that.
Not sure why everyone is saying they will be undersized, you size your equipment accordingly if you tie a 4494 onto a 24 yard scraper or seven shank Kellow built scraper yes you will be under powered, a six yard scraper and smaller mounted ripper you will be just fine. Personally I would look for a 4694, they were the same frame but the power matched the tractor nicer in my opinion.
It is better to buy something you can get parts and service for then something that will sit while you wait for parts.
 

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My vote would be for the Case too. They are a good tractor on a blade short and the axels and frame seem to take the stress without a problem.
The recommendation of a Versatile for a blade is not a good one if that was an option for you, as there front axel tubes have a tendency to crack under heavy blade use.
 

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Yeah I also agree that the 90 series case 4wd tractors work nice on a blade..cause of using the crab steer to really angle the blade when needed and cause of that ease of switching to forward and reverse. We have a blade on a 4890 and love it. The 4494 might be undersized for what you want to use it for cause its only 175 hp. But like the previous post said...depends on the size of your equipment.
 
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