I recently took ownership of a used IH 384 diesel tractor that had 1048 hours on the working hour meter. So far I have been pleased with the performance of the tractor. It was purchased from a tractor salesman who has tractors parked in front of his house on a main highway. The tractor was parked behind his shop and had not been put on the lot for sale yet. He had replaced the starter with a new one because he said that the starter was dragging when he tried to start it.
Each time I started the tractor it started right up. The brakes were the best that I had seen on a tractor. Some smoke came out of the exhaust and he told me that he suspected that maybe a ring was allowing oil to get past it and onto the cylinder and being exhausted out of the pipe.
I drove the tractor around his testing area and it smoked very little. The front grill that houses the headlights was busted out, but nothing behind it, the radiator, etc. was damaged. The tractor does not have power steering, although it feels like it does, nor does it have a FEL.
I made a deal with him involving trading him a 2008 KAWASAKI 360 4 wheeler and $1500. and took ownership of the tractor. He brought it to my place that same day. I have used it to mow my pasture, drag my 7'landscape rake, my 4'box blade, my 7'straight blade, my disc and to pull chains and straps which I attached to three 73' trees to direct their fall when I cut them.
This tractor has met my expectations and I am well pleased with it. The powerlift and PTO work fine. I replaced the transmission fluid with HyTrans. When I drained it the fluid was milky looking, which I think means water contamination. The crankcase oil was changed by the dealer. The crankcase oil level has maintained full level. I have added 30 hours since I began putting the tractor to my test. The only other tractor I had to compare it to was my 9n Ford, which I recently sold.
My only concern is the turf tires which it came with. They don't get the kind of traction that I have needed in some situations. I will purchase some different tires some time in the future. As far as the smoking, it stopped smoking. I drive it for hours and it only lets a small amount of smoke out when I gun it, but no constant smoking.
This tractor cost $4000. (Value of 4 wheeler and $1500 cash). This tractor has been more valuable to me than the 4 wheeler and a heck of a lot more useful. If anyone else has a Model 384 please post about it in the forums for us to read. I search regularly for info on this model.