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Italian steel

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  • Italian steel

    Hi guys
    I've got two Italian Same tractors and what steel isn't rusty is as soft as butter.The oldest one is a 1997 model,60hp explorer and the panels are rusting from the inside out at the joints you can see the paint bubbling, this tractor has been washed down every time it has been near fertiliser so I can't blame that.The other tractor is a 2000 model Silver 100 with a Sigma front end loader the loader frame steel is like butter I think the must have poured a tub of lead in with the steel, one of the ram mounting clevises broke off the frame the other day and the other one got bent when the ram moved, I took the loader off the tractor gave the bent clevis one hit with a 7lb hammer and it was back in place.I have noticed over the years that all the steel on these tractor appears soft.You may not be familiar with the brand name but the company produces Same,Lamborghini,Hurlimann and Deutz tractors in air and liquid cooled versions.Has anyone else had or heard of these problems?

  • #2

    I recently bought a tractor, and I first went to look at a dealer selling secondhand Same tractors (including an Explorer). I've never seen such a miserable pile of rust in my life. He kept telling me that the tractors were "mechanically sound" but the cosmetics needed attention. Ha.

    Seems that they suffer from the same afflictions that Italian cars did in the 1970's; rust, and lousy electrics.

    I bought a Case 1490 instead...

    All of the gear, no idea...


    • #3
      I had a couple ducati motorcycles and they were kinda crappy too. Sell the junk and but a nice older tractor made in the USA.


      • #4
        I dont think there is anything about Italian steel that is bad- I think the tractors just were built to meet a certain price point, and that meant not spending more money to buy better steel for certain parts.

        The italians certainly can make just as high quality steel as anyone else- I havent ever heard any complaints about the steel in their high end handguns or shotguns, for example.

        I have an italian made 4 foot tiller for my tractor, and it is as well made as any american one I have ever seen- 6 years or so in the rainy pacific northwest, and not any rust on the sheetmetal, the paint still looks good, nothing bent or broken.

        I also have an Italian 3 roll power angle roll, and it is a great machine tool, with all of the tool steel parts made well, machined accurately, and tough as nails.

        So the Italians can build stuff as good as they want- its just your tractor wasnt built as well as some others, and it was probably priced accordingly when new.


        • #5
          I am seeing a lot more new tractor parts of all makes failing very early,particularly transmisson cases and gears.
          The lates was a 60hp Kubota,1st gear pinion was stripped of all it's teeth,it's mate was missing about half and the input shaft was twisted about 15*.Guy said he was using it to bushog road right of ways,he came up out of a ditch in 2nd gear low in knee high grass and all the sudden she locked up and stalled out.Tractor was less than 2 years old,Gears and shaft cost him $2800,bearings hadn't came in yet.
          From what I saw of the gears the steel had a very coarse grain structure almost like cold rolled,piss poor material choice,if not material.
          I have used and abussed tractors far worse than he did for much longer periods of time and never dropped a gear,but that was on 20-40 year old American iron.
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            This situation is a lot like the opinions many people have about new imported chinese lathes versus old american lathes.

            Big american tractors are built a whole lot better than cheap imported tractors, whether they are japanese, chinese, italian, or russian.

            This is because the big old american tractors cost a whole lot more, in todays dollars. If you compare what an inflation adjusted 50 year old John Deere or Case would cost today, they would be 2 or 3 times the cost of a new kubota or italian tractor. For that money, they damn well better have the best steel, great machining, and long life.
            Nowadays we want it all- we want low cost, improved materials, durability, and energy efficiency.
            But all that stuff costs money, and we dont wanna pay it.

            Hell yeah, an old JD has better steel. And if you could buy the exact tractor new, it would cost a fortune. Cant blame the imports for having to make their tractors in the present, rather than the past.


            • #7
              Ries,I agree,but the cheaper argument only goes so far,how much does a little more chromnium and carbon in steel cost?

              I think it still goes back to planned failure.The older tractors didn't wearout,so not as many people bought new ones.The mfgs have caught on to this and they are making them as cheap as they can,but good enough to outlive the warranty.Once they begin to break they price the parts out of fesibility.
              I just need one more tool,just one!


              • #8
                I dont know- lots of tool steels can cost from 2 or 3 times as much as mild to up to 10 times as much.
                Then you have the additional tooling and foundry and maching costs- just for example, you have to drop 2 to 4 gages in capacity when you use stainless steel in sheet metal applications. When you are talking the difference between an 18 ga press brake, and a 14 ga press brake, the dollars can add up fast.
                Welding techniques vary, some materials cant be welded, or must be done differently.
                Carbide, or sometimes even diamond tooling must be used sometimes.
                Heat treating processes that are totally ineffective for A36, but needed for higher carbon steels.

                Every time you add a little bit of cost at the bottom, it gets multiplied all the way up- every middleman, dealer, and shipper takes a cut, taxes are higher, and on and on.

                Its amazing how little difference there is in a $5000 chinese lathe, and a $25,000 european lathe sold as an "American" brand.
                But every little bit of difference, every few cents in materials, adds thousands at the cash register.

                You really think a cadillac Escalade costs that much more to build than a Nissan Sentra? Just a few more cents in chromium and carbon....

                I am not trying to defend cheaply made crap. I am just stating that there are high quality tractors out there, and they cost real money, no matter where they are made.
                And the Italians, just like the americans, can make stuff as good as you want to pay for.
                Around here, the gold standard for tractors has become Kubota- they last forever, hold their resale value like crazy, and everybody wants one. I dont know if they are really as good as everybody thinks, as I am unwilling to pay the big bucks for one. But for what they do, there is no made in America competition- small, diesel, 4wd- they are all imported in that size range, even if they say Ford or Deere on the front.
                My neighbors all pay hundreds of grand for 400hp John Deere 8 wheelers, and big rubber tracked Cats- no imports seem to be in that market segment.


                • #9
                  Where's Cecil when we need him?


                  • #10
                    Kubota's rock!

                    I rented one 3 times in the past year, first time I dug a 250' trench 5' deep for a new weeping tile, next time I dug 120' to bury drain line for my eavestrough, last time I used it to level my back yard where it was low.

                    First time I ever used a tractor, and now I want one BAD. But too much $$ just to play once in awhile. The model I used mas a B21 which is the smallest industrial/commerical (so I was told). Had a loader and a backhoe with a 16" bucket.

                    Kubota's are like the "Swiss Army Knife" of tractors....


                    • #11
                      "Kubota's are like the "Swiss Army Knife" of tractors..."

                      Yup,and they have Swiss prices on parts too,new cam shaft for the little 2 cylinder diesel,about as big around as your thumb and 8 or so inches long$900

                      About the best tractors on the market that are still built to the old standard are the 30-65hp Massey Furgesons,they are made in Brazil,but still use the Perkins low speed engines.Straight,simple tractor and not a price killer like Kubota.

                      In many ways tractors are like trucks,meaning they aren't being made anymore.
                      In that way I think they are in the same situation where you can buy an older one,rebuild it from the ground up and have a better tractor than whats on the market today for 1/2 the cost.

                      [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 08-12-2005).]
                      I just need one more tool,just one!