In late '75 Dad unloaded his worn out JD 60 and bought a Farmall 460.  A farmer neighbor, with whom we did a lot of work, owned one, and we always thought that is was one nice tractor.  Turned out that we were right.  Sister Peggy did quite a bit of baling work for this neighbor, and she may have influenced Dad's decision somewhat to get one of his own.  The 460 was now our lead tractor doing the heavy lifting the H couldn't do.  We were now 100% IH.

Of all the tractors we own, this one is my favorite.  It really belongs to Mom, but I've assumed the role of its primary care giver.  I'm not as big of fan of the older stuff like Mike is: maybe it's because I grew up using tractors that had no power steering, no live PTO, and no neat stuff like tachometers.  The 460 represents something that seemed like everyone else had but us.  I like stuff that has a few more creature comforts.  Maybe that's why I'm such a fan of the 460.  Compared to what I grew up with, it handles like a Ferrari.  A few hours in the W-9's seat reinforces that opinion.


Niece, Maddie, and nephew, Sam on the 460 at the 2003 Hartford Fair.  The 460 is back in its assigned slot at the Land of Legend Antique Tractor Club display.  The 460 catches a break on this only sunny day at the Fair.  The tow strap and the mud-laden tires indicate the mud dauber work the 460 and other Club tractors did helping vehicles negotiate the endless muck caused by incessant rain. If the 460 wasn't doing pull-out, it was hooked up to a passenger shuttle.  Here's a Tech Tip:  don't use plastic water bottles as an exhaust rain cap as Joe has done in this pic.  At least wait until the stack has cooled--the plastic likes to weld itself to the hot metal generating copious curse words during removal.  Surprisingly, we have few stand-alone pics of the 460.                                                                                                                     


There a few tractors as good looking as the IH -60 series with a nice paint job.  Another endearing thing to me about the 460 is its sweet exhaust note from the smooth running six-cylinder engine.  While six-cylinder Olivers sound good, too, they don't have the deep note of the 460's thrum.  Been wonderin' what it sounds like fitted with a straight stack.  Funny how one's taste changes.  As a kid, I loved the sound of the two-cylinder JDs and bugged the Old Man to death until he got one.  I'd much rather listen to the 460 now.

Dad had the  motor completely rebuilt in 1996.  Bill and Dad repainted the 460 in 1998 and it stills looks great.  Currently, it suffers from that insidious but common IH disease known as T/A-itis.  The low side is soooo bad the 460 won't move an inch even in first gear.  Also the hydraulic pump is in terrible shape and needs replacement.  These two items are on the TO DO list for this winter/spring or when Bill's 400 gets done and is out of Mike's shop--whichever comes first.  I have scrounged a pair of clamshell fenders off a parted-out 560 and am currently refinishing them to show-quality standards.  I am not having much luck with these as my painting skills are not up to the task, but I'm getting there. 

The addition of fenders may help to correct the one thing that bothers me about the 460's look.  With the stock 13.6 x 38 rear rubber, the hoodline slopes toward the rear, giving the tractor a look of weakness.  Bill's Super M and 400 hoodlines are either pretty level or slope to the front, giving them an appearance of robustness.  The clamshells, whenever I get them done and installed, will fill in some of the empty-looking space around the operator's platform and perhaps mask the complaint I have.


Right:  Joe and the 460 gettin' jiggy with it at Plow Days 2004.  The Oliver 10' disk sings behind the 45 drawbar horsepower.  This rig is a far cry from the 35 horsepower offered by the JD 60 of Joe's teenage years.  Those clamshells do look sharp!

Update 2/10/04:  The fenders are done and are on the 460.  The finish quality rates an 8 on a 1~10 scale.  What's important is this:  as soon as the last mounting bolt was in place, Bill walked into the barn.  "Hey, the 460 looks bigger now," he said.  Just what I was after!

Update 3/28/2004:   Eureka!  The hydraulic woes that have plagued the 460 seemingly since day one have been sent to their grave!  A new pump, some head scratching , coffee and sheer determination have done the job.  Hydraulics down--T/A to go.

Update 7/24/2004:  Added another improvement to the 460.  Not mentioned before, but should have been as it was a constant source of irritation and a safety hazard, was the incorrect steering wheel installed on the 460.  The original had deteriorated, and Dad replaced it with a wheel of incorrect diameter and depth.  A recent inspection of a 340U at a local dealer revealed that the incorrect steering wheel was for the utility series.  This wheel does not work on the Farmall very well:  its smallish diameter and shallow depth allow the gear shift knob to rub on the wheel when the shift lever was in 3rd gear.  When turning left, this created a binding action, and it felt like the steering was locked up.  Sometimes your fingers would get pinched between the wheel and the knob.  Ouch!  We got the proper wheel and a new center "POWER STEERING" badge.  The handling of the 460 is now markedly better.  That old wheel was an accursed contraption.

* * * * *

In the 1950s tractor manufacturers found themselves in the midst of a horsepower race.  Many end users were modifying existing tractors to increase horsepower in order to pull larger implements on bigger farms.  These 'shade-tree' modifications generally shortened the lifespans of current drive train designs as they were built for milder engine HP outputs.  At that time, IH recognized (other mfrs. did, too) that they had better get with it and offer new tractors to meet the demands of the market trend.  Larger HP engines were obviously needed, and these needed to be matched to updated drive trains.  IH recognized that the venerable four-cylinder engines that had served them so well for decades would have to be forsaken in the proposed larger tractors.  Six-cylinder engines were the obviously the next step, and these had other benefits other than the 'growing room' offered by the added cylinders.  Multiple, relatively small-bore cylinders tend to be thriftier on fuel (where gasoline fuel is concerned) than a similar displacement four-cylinder.  Additionally, the six-cylinder crank throws are inherently better balanced than  a four-cylinder crank making for a smoother running engine.  Out of this new generation engine came the Farmall 460 and its brethren.

International Harvester introduced the -60 series in 1958 and continued producing these through 1963.  The 460 and its bigger brother, the 560, were considered pretty big power in their day.   Other members of this IH tractor generation are the 140, 240, 340, and the top-of-the-line 660.  The 660 is one big dude with a 78 BHP rating; most of these were slated for wheat country.  Rated as a four-plow tractor, the 460 does better here in our tough, clay-based soils with a set of 3-16s.

The 460 was also available in diesel and LP gas models.  IHC made an International 460 Utility variant configured with a lower profile and set-back standard front axle for loader work.  A 17 GPM hydraulic pump instead of the normal 12 GPM pump enhanced loader cycling on the Utility.  Of note regarding the -60 series is the change IHC made to its paint color.  The -60 series paint was just a touch brighter than what had been traditionally used by IH.  The old generation paint number is known as IH-50, whereas the newer paint hue is IH-2150.

The 460's lineage can be traced back to the original Farmall, the Regular.  The Regular's successors were the F-20, the H, the 300 and 350, and then the 460.

Ironically, maybe to rush the 460 and 560 to market (my speculation), both models suffered from teething problems in their early years.  Rear axle castings and rear end/final drive intermals were not beefed-up from the H and M designs.  The heftier horsepower available with both the 460 and 560 allowed owners to do heavier work than the letter series tractors could, but this put great strain on the rear ends and premature failures resulted.  IHC embarked on a massive multi-million dollar campaign to correct these problems.  While responding in a good faith effort to correct these failures, such a large and public repair program didn't do much to repair the reputations of the 460 and 560.  In hindsight, field reports of these failures came from areas of the country where it was typical to add weight to the tractors in such a manner as  to reduce wheel slippage to zero, which put undue strain on drive trains and castings. --- Joe


460 Vital Stats
Engine Bore x Stroke Rated RPM Compression Ratio Weight
IHC 6-221 Gas 3-9/16 x 3-11/16 1800 7.2 : 1 5650 # (actual)
Belt HP DrawBar HP Tires Fuel Capacity Coolant Capacity

49 (Nebraska)
51.63 (corrected)

45 (Nebraska)
47.24 (corrected)

13.6 x 38 Rear
6.00 x 16 Front

33 Gallons

5-1/2 Gallons

Crankcase Cap. Carburetor Years Produced

Qty. Made

9 Qts. IH 1-1/4 Updraft 1958-1963

32,528 (approx.)


A personal note:


The 460 is special to me in other ways than the ones mentioned above.  It represents an 'end' and a 'beginning.' 

Oddly enough, I never spent much time on the 460 when Dad got it.  He bought it in late '75, and I spent a little seat time on it plowing, maybe for only one weekend in the spring of '76 as I recall.  I was out of high school, going to tech school, and too busy running around and racing motorcycles. Dad didn't need me as much anyway--Peggy was an adept tractor operator.  She could do what I had traditionally done. I got married in 1980 and moved off the farm.  In 1986 Cara and I got a 15-acre place of our own, and my tractor world for a long time soley consisted of a little 23-HP Kubota.  Since buying that place, project after project consumed my time:  two major house renovations, a new garage, a barn rehab, birth of our daughter, and innumerable other smaller jobs kept me focused on our place only.

Amazingly, over the course of the 25-plus years or so since Dad got the 460, I can only recall being in its seat once.  Dad was mowing the field in front of the house some years ago, and he let me run the 460 for a while.  Whoa! I just couldn't get over how huge the 460 seemed to me.  I was accustomed to my little Kubota that almost literally was half the 460's physical size.

Bill, Mike, and Dad were right in the middle of planting the farm in soybeans when Dad died.  On the day before Dad's funeral, Bill asked if I could help Mike and him finish the fields out.  I was glad he asked, happy to do it, and that's what Dad would have wanted.  I assumed my old traditional job of disking.  It was great therapy for me, too.

I can't recall if I ever had the pleasure of disking with the 460, and what a better treat it was when I badgered Bill into mounting the set of duals on the old girl for better floatation.  What a wonderful sound listening to that IH six-cylinder pulling hard.  It even had power steering! Most of my disking years were spent in the seat of our JD 60 with a 12' disk overmatched for the tractor. 

My daughter, Andrea, wanted to 'drive the tractor,' so I slid the seat back, had her climb up, and let her steer. "OK....now for the second pass, we'll run diagonally to the first pass.  This will help level the field," I remembered telling her.  "Now, see where we've just been?  The dirt is darker and smoother.  Just track the right wheel on the edge of the dark strip."  My coaching sounded eerily familiar. After a while, we made extra passes to get the dead furrows 'walked in.' I showed her where to track the disk so that the lead disk gang would cast dirt into the furrow.  "Dad always had me pay extra attention to  the dead furrows--it makes it easier to plant, harvest, and make hay off the field later on," I told her.  I worked the hydraulic lever while Andrea worked the throttle and steered.  Haven't I seen this before? It wasn't too long before Andrea grasped the routine of throttling back at the end of a pass and not getting in a big hurry turning the 460 into the next pass.

The following day, the disk work progressed to the field in front of the house.  I absorbed again all the old sensory things that were once so entrained in my head:  the soil-polished disk coulters, the coulters clinking against stone, the smell of a warm gear box, and the distinct odor of dust collecting on weepy hydraulic fittings.  My mind wandered back to when I did this all the time every spring, and it hit me that it had been 25 years since I had done anything like this... 25 years... yet, it really seemed like yesterday.  Why hadn't I done more of this?  Why was I away for so long?  So  many things had transpired in my life--marriage, home ownership, career, and daughter.  Andrea was now twelve.  How could this all seem like yesterday?

At the field's high point, some urge came over me to just stop and throttle down.  Maybe it was the coaching I had received many years ago to periodically check things out. I'll bet Dad's grandfather had him rest the horses like this when he cultivated corn. I looked at the 460's tires and checked the engine area for any abnormal fluid leaks.  Walking to the tractor's rear and checking that area revealed nothing wrong.

After getting back in the seat, it occurred to me that doing my old traditional job of disking was, indeed, very good therapy as I hadn't dwelled too much on Dad's passing, but the sobering realization that he was gone hit me.  My thoughts took me back to my boyhood days.  I looked down the hill toward the barn.  This is about the time Dad would follow me up with the H and the planter.  He would always fill the seed and fertilizer boxes at that exact spot.  As I recalled those things, I could picture him tossing full fertilizer bags around with one arm as if they were mere potato chip sacks. Just to be a team again one more time and getting his nodding approval of a job well done....well, some other time; some other place, Dad.

I smiled at that vision in my head, and though our lives had just changed forever, at that moment, sitting on Dad's 460 surveying my straight disking lines knowing that he would approve, everything in my world seemed OK.

Who's that waving to me at the edge of the field?  Andrea? Looks like she wants to run the 460 again. Yep! Everything in my world is OK.