International Harvester S-Series

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International Harvester S-Series
1989 International S1754 dump truck.jpg
1989 International S-1700 single-axle dump truck
Manufacturer International Harvester (1978-1986)
Navistar International (1986-2001)
Also called Navistar International 4000-Series
Navistar International 8000-Series
Production 1977-2001
Body and chassis
Class Class 6-7 medium-duty truck
Body style
Truck (conventional)
  • Tractor
  • Straight truck
Layout 4x2
Related International S-Series "Schoolmaster"
International 3800
Engine Gasoline
197–236 hp (147–176 kW)
150–500 hp (110–370 kW)
Transmission Manual
Predecessor International Harvester Fleetstar (to 1978)
International Harvester Loadstar (1962-1979)
Successor International 4000-Series/DuraStar

The International Harvester S-Series is a medium and heavy-duty truck line that was manufactured by International Harvester. "S-Series" was first used as a label for the 1956 and 1957 Light Line trucks, until replaced by the A-series for 1958. The S-series label was reintroduced in mid-1977 as a replacement for the International Harvester Fleetstar. In 1979, other versions of the S-Series were introduced to succeed the Loadstar-series. Like the Loadstar, the S-Series were straight trucks commonly used for local delivery; the versions replacing the Fleetstar were semi-tractors or severe-service straight trucks. Additionally, the S-Series (and its replacement, the 3800) proved popular in the school bus industry. The S-Series was the last product line designed from the ground up by International Harvester themselves; it was produced in its original form until the end of the 1980s. Production of the second-generation S-Series ended in 2001.

Design History[edit]

1956 International Harvester S100

The origins of the S-Series nameplate date to 1955, when International Harvester introduced a successor to the R-Series for the 1956 model year. This S-Series was available primarily as light-duty (pickup) and medium-duty trucks, as the R-series of heavier trucks continued largely unchanged. Nonetheless, the heaviest versions (like the S-1840) had gross vehicle weights of 24,000 lb (10,890 kg) and 308 ci "Black Diamond" engines.[1] Production of the light duty S-Series ended in 1957, when it was replaced by the A-series.[2] As with its predecessor the R-series, the "S" also formed the basis of a full-size station wagon called the Travelall.

The S-184 heavy version was produced in Brazil by International's Brazilian subsidiary, until Chrysler bought it in 1966.[3]


In April 1977, at the New Orleans Superdome, the all-new S-series medium-duty trucks were introduced.[4] They would eventually replace the Loadstar and Fleetstar trucks, and had originally been intended to be marketed as the "Tristars" The heavier 2200, 2500, and 2600 models (28,000-45,000 lb GVW) were the first to hit the market, although lighter models (down to the 1600 series) followed in the summer of 1978.[5] The six-wheeled versions of the "S" were called F-series.[6]

In 1987, to reflect the corporate change from International Harvester to Navistar International, the S-Series received new badging. The IHC logo seen on the steering wheel was replaced by the Navistar diamond logo. On the outside, the International name was moved from the top to the bottom of the grille. Instead of matching the grille color, all S-Series trucks wore a red International badge.

1989 Facelift[edit]

Navistar International 4900 dump truck

Most of the components were carried over into an updated line of medium duty trucks (the straight trucks were re-branded International 4000 Series, while the tractors became the International 8000 Series) with a redesigned hood and interior in 1989. These products underwent interior updates in 1992 and 1995, remaining in production until the end of the 2001 model year.


Wayne Lifeguard school bus with International 3800 chassis (retired)
Navistar International bus in Mexico.
Trucks (International Harvester)
  • S-1600
  • S-1700
  • S-1800
  • S-1900
  • S-2000
  • S-2200 (short hood, wide cab)
  • S-2500 (long hood)
  • S-2600 (long hood, set back front axle)
Trucks (Navistar International)
  • 3600 (Australasia)
  • 4600
  • 4700
  • 4900
  • 8100
  • 8200
  • 1853FC front-engine forward control
  • S-Series "Schoolmaster" conventional
  • 3400 cutaway cab
  • 3600 semi-forward control
  • 3700 conventional
  • 3800 conventional (replaced "Schoolmaster" with 3700)


Name[7][a] Power[b] Type[c] Displacement Used
V345 197 hp (147 kW)@4000
309 lbf·ft (419 N·m)@2200
G V8 345 cu in (5.7 L) 1979-86
V392 236 hp (176 kW) G V8 392 cu in (6.4 L) 1979-86
MV404 210 hp (160 kW)@3600
336 lbf·ft (456 N·m)@2800
G V8 404 cu in (6.6 L) 1979-91
MV446 235 hp (175 kW) G V8 446 cu in (7.3 L) 1979-81
D150/170/190 190 hp (140 kW)@3000
340 lbf·ft (461 N·m)@2000
D V8 1978-79
IDI420 170 hp (130 kW)@3300 D V8 420 cu in (6.9 L) 1983-87
IDI444 D V8 440 cu in (7.2 L) 1986-89
DT466 210 hp (160 kW) D I6 466 cu in (7.6 L) 1979-89
210 hp (160 kW)@2800 D V8 636 cu in (10.4 L) 1979-81
3406 380 hp (280 kW) D I6 893 cu in (14.6 L)
350 hp (260 kW)@2100 D I6 855 cu in (14.0 L)
M11 500 hp (370 kW)@2100
1,550 lbf·ft (2,102 N·m)@1200
D I6
Detroit Diesel
230 hp (170 kW) D I6 426 cu in (7.0 L)[d]
6V92 335 hp (250 kW) D V6 552 cu in (9.0 L)
8V92 400 hp (300 kW) D V8 736 cu in (12.1 L)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Engines are International unless noted.
  2. ^ The highest rated version of engine in the S-Series.
  3. ^ G denotes gasoline, D diesel, and I inline.
  4. ^ Detroit Diesels are supercharged 2-strokes.


  1. ^ Crismon, Frederick W. (2002), International Trucks (2 ed.), Minneapolis, MN: Victory WW2 Publishing, p. 272, ISBN 0-9700567-2-9 
  2. ^ "International Harvester History: Trucks". International Harvester. 1961. 
  3. ^ Shapiro, Helen (Winter 1991). "Determinants of Firm Entry into the Brazilian Automobile Manufacturing Industry, 1956-1968". The Business History Review 65 (4, The Automobile Industry): 879. doi:10.2307/3117267. 
  4. ^ Crismon, p. 485
  5. ^ Crismon, p. 492
  6. ^ Crismon, p. 495
  7. ^ "International Truck Specifications - S Line". Wisconsin Historical Society. 2013. Retrieved 2014-10-28. 
  • American Truck & Bus Spotter's Guide: 1920-1985, by Tad Burness.
  • International Trucks, by Frederick W. Crismon

External links[edit]