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International S series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International S series
1989 International S1754 dump truck.jpg
1989 Navistar International S-1700 dual-axle dump truck
Also calledNavistar International 4000 series
Navistar International 8000 series
  • 1977–2001
Body and chassis
ClassClass 6-7 medium-duty truck
Body style
Truck (conventional)
  • Tractor
  • Straight truck
RelatedInternational S series "Schoolmaster"/International 3800
197–236 hp (147–176 kW)
150–500 hp (110–370 kW)

The International S series is a range of trucks that was manufactured by International Harvester (later Navistar International) from 1977 to 2001. Introduced to consolidate the medium-duty IHC Loadstar and heavy-duty IHC Fleetstar into a single product range, the S series was slotted below the Transtar and Paystar Class 8 conventionals.

The IHC S series was produced in a number of variants for a wide variety of applications, including straight trucks, semitractors, vocational trucks, and severe-service trucks. Additionally, the S series was produced in other body configurations, including a four-door crew cab, cutaway cab, cowled chassis, and a stripped chassis (primarily for school buses). The chassis was produced with both gasoline and diesel powertrains (the latter exclusively after 1986), single or tandem rear axles, and two, four, or, six-wheel drive layouts.

The last complete product line designed within the existence of International Harvester, the S series was produced in its original form through 1989. During 1989, the S-Series underwent a major revision and was split into multiple model lines. After 2001, International phased in product lines based upon the "NGV" architecture; severe-service and bus chassis variants produced through 2003 and 2004, respectively.

Previous use of name

1956 International Harvester S100
1956 International Harvester S100

The S-series model designation was first used by International Harvester during the 1950s. During 1955 production, the R series model family underwent an update, with International renaming its light-duty and medium-duty trucks the S-series.

The model designation was used through 1957, when International introduced the A-series model family as an all-new design.

First generation (S series; 1978–1989)

Navistar 2500 in use as a municipal service truck.
Navistar 2500 in use as a municipal service truck.

In April 1977, International Harvester unveiled the medium-duty S series at an event at the New Orleans Superdome.[1] The initial lineup consisted of heavier-duty 2200, 2500, and 2600 models (28,000-45,000 lb GVW[a]), replacing the Fleetstar. In the summer of 1978,[2] lighter-GVWR models (replacing the Loadstar) were released for sale. The 21 models of the full lineup had a high degree of parts interghangability, this standardisation helped lower the number of parts used by thirty percent.[3]

Following the discontinuation of the IHC pickup-truck line in 1975, the S series was designed with a model-specific cab, replacing the pickup-truck cab used for the Loadstar (designed for the 1957 A series). More vertically-oriented than its predecessor, the design was much wider as well. To lower maintenance costs, all windows in the cab were designed with flat glass, including the windshield. Similar in style to the tilting hood introduced for the Loadstar in 1972, all S-series trucks were given a tilting fiberglass hood.

The S series would be produced throughout the 1980s largely unmodified. 1987 would mark several changes to the S-series trucks. To reflect the corporate change of the company from International Harvester to Navistar International, S-series trucks saw changes in their badging (alongside all International vehicles). On the grille, the word "International" across the top of the grille was replaced by a red Navistar "diamond" logo alongside "International" in red at the bottom left of the grille. Inside, the IHC "tractor" logo on the steering wheel was replaced by a Navistar diamond logo. In a major shift, for 1987, International became the first truck manufacturer to produce a medium-duty product line powered exclusively by diesel engines.


Originally intended to use the International Tristar nameplate, the S series consolidated the aging Loadstar and Fleetstar trucks under a single product line. Tandem-axle (6x4) versions of the S series were named F-series trucks.[4]

Class 6 trucks

The S1600, S1700, S1800, and S1900 were introduced in 1979. Replacing the International Harvester Loadstar model line, the model was produced in a number of configurations, with single and tandem rear axles, 4x4/6x6 drive options, and gasoline and diesel engines. The S-1800 and S-1900-were produced as both semitractors and straight trucks, while the S-1700 and S-1800 were used in the production of International Harvester bus chassis (primarily for school bus use).

Class 7-8 trucks

Introduced in 1978 as the replacement for the Fleetstar, the S2100 and S2200 were joined by the severe-service S2500 and S2600, slotted below the International Paystar 5000. Configured primarily as tractors, the S2100 was fitted with a sloped hood. To accommodate larger-bore diesel engines under a standard-length hood, the S2200 was fitted with a widened cab (distinguished by a two-piece windshield).

In 1982, the S2300 was introduced; the model line was essentially an S2100 with International diesel engines replaced with Cummins-sourced powertrains.[5]

1978–1983 models

Model[6] Max. front GAWR[b] Max. rear GAWR Engine[c] Trans [d]
1600 4x2 5,000 lb (2,300 kg) 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) V-345 4M, 4A
Binder 4x2 1,600 lb (730 kg) 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) V-345 5M, 4A
1700 4x2 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) 15,500 lb (7,000 kg) MV-404, D-170 10M, 5A
1800 4x2 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) 15,500 lb (7,000 kg) MV-446, DT-466 13M, 5A
1800 4x4 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) 15,500 lb (7,000 kg) MV-446, DT-466 5M, 4A
1900 4x2 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) 17,500 lb (7,900 kg) MV-446, DT-466 10M, 5A
1900 6x4 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) 34,000 lb (15,000 kg) MV-466, DT-466 10M, 5A
1900 6x6 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) 34,000 lb (15,000 kg) MV-466, DT-466 5M
2100 4x2 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) 17,500 lb (7,900 kg) V-537, DT-466 10M
2100 6x4 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) 34,000 lb (15,000 kg) V-537, DT-466 10M
2200 4x2 10,800 lb (4,900 kg) 23,000 lb (10,000 kg) Cat 3406 13M
2200 6X4 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) 23,000 lb (10,000 kg) Cat 3406 13M
2300 4x4 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) 41,000 lb (19,000 kg)
2500 4x2 16,000 lb (7,300 kg) 29,000 lb (13,000 kg) Cat 3406 13M
2500 6X4 18,000 lb (8,200 kg) 44,000 lb (20,000 kg) Cat 3406 13M
2600 4x2 16,000 lb (7,300 kg) 29,000 lb (13,000 kg) Cum PT 13M
2600 6X4 18,000 lb (8,200 kg) 44,000 lb (20,000 kg) Cum PT 13M

Second generation (1989–2001)

As a running change during 1989 production, the S-Series model line underwent an extensive revision. While the cab structure was retained, the interior and exterior underwent a complete redesign. To optimize aerodynamics, the model line was given a lower hoodline and closer-fitting fenders (with halogen headlamps and wraparound turn signals). An all-new dashboard received a redesigned instrument panel along with a two-spoke steering wheel.

During its production life, the second-generation vehicles saw few major changes. From 1989 to its 2001 discontinuation, the exterior remained nearly unchanged; in 1992, International changed the design of the instrument panel, updating the entire interior in 1995.


International 8100 4x2 tractor towing solar panels
International 8100 4x2 tractor towing solar panels

For 1989, International split the S-series model line into three distinct model families, all sharing the same cab structure. The 4000 series was the medium-duty truck range (the 3000 series bus chassis replaced the "Schoolmaster"), with the 7100/8100 serving as the Class 7/8 tractor series. The 2500/2600 severe-service truck were carried over, dropping their S-series badging prefix.

Class 5-7 trucks

Replacing the S1600 through S1900, the 4000 series was again produced in a number of configurations, with single and tandem rear axles, 4x4/6x6 drive options. Produced exclusively with diesel engines, the 4000 series was produced with the IDI V8 and DT360/DT466 engines.

The 4000 series was produced through 2001, when it was replaced by an all-new 4000 series (now the International DuraStar).

Class 7-8 trucks

Replacing the S2100 and S2300, the 7100 and 8100 were introduced in 1989; the wide-body S2200 was not replaced. Configured nearly exclusively as tractors, the 8000 series was powered by the Cummins L10 diesel; the 7100 was a variant powered by the DT466.

The 8000 series was produced through 2001, when it was replaced by an all-new 8000 series (now the International Transtar).

Severe-service trucks

Again slotted below the Paystar, the 2500 and 2600 severe-service trucks dropped their S-series prefix. During the 1990s, the set-back axle 2674 was restyled with the aerodynamic hood of the 8300. The 2500/2600 remained in production through 2003, outlasted only by the 3800 school-bus chassis.

Model Replaced Notes
4500 S1600 Low-profile chassis
4700 Low-profile chassis
4900 S1800 Available with tandem rear axles.
8100 S1900
8200 Long hood semi-tractor
8300 Long hood semi-tractor
2500 Long hood
2600 Long hood, set-back front axle
Available in 4x2, 4x4, 6x4, and 6x6 drive
3600 Australasia-specific model, similar to 2500
model-specific hood

Bus use

Wayne Lifeguard school bus with International 3800 chassis (retired)
Wayne Lifeguard school bus with International 3800 chassis (retired)
Navistar International bus in Mexico.
Navistar International bus in Mexico.

Throughout its production, the S series would be used as a cowled chassis for bus manufacturers. While used primarily for yellow school buses in the United States and Canada, the S series also was used outside of North America as a basis to produce other types of bus bodies. Introduced in 1979, the bus variant of the S series would be one of the final models designed by International Harvester before its transition to Navistar. In 1989, the S-series bus chassis was rechristened the 3000 series with the fitment of the new-generation Navistar cowl.

Produced until 2004, the bus chassis would outlive its truck counterpart by three years; its 25-year production run is the longest of any product ever sold by International Harvester or Navistar.


Models Replaced Notes


Loadstar 1703

Loadstar 1803

3600 See Thomas Vista

Produced 1992-1998






Model[e] Displacement Type[f] Power Torque
V-345 345 cu in (5.7 l) G V8 197 hp (147 kW) 309 lb⋅ft (419 N⋅m)
V-392 392 cu in (6.4 l) G V8 236 hp (176 kW)
MV-404 404 cu in (6.6 l) G V8 210 hp (160 kW) 336 lb⋅ft (456 N⋅m)
MV-446 446 cu in (7.3 l) G V8 235 hp (175 kW)
D-190 549 cu in (9.0 l) D V8 190 hp (140 kW) 340 lb⋅ft (460 N⋅m)
IDI-420 420 cu in (6.9 l) D V8 170 hp (130 kW)
IDI-444 444 cu in (7.3 l) D V8 190 hp (140 kW) 388 lb⋅ft (526 N⋅m)
Cat 3208 636 cu in (10.4 l) D V8 210 hp (160 kW)
Cat 3406 893 cu in (14.6 l) D I6 380 hp (280 kW)
Cum NTC-350 855 cu in (14.0 l) D I6 350 hp (260 kW)
Cum M11 659 cu in (10.8 l) D I6 500 hp (370 kW) 1,550 lb⋅ft (2,100 N⋅m)
DD 6-71 426 cu in (7.0 l) D I6 230 hp (170 kW)
DD 6V-92 552 cu in (9.0 l) D V6 335 hp (250 kW)
DD 8V-92 736 cu in (12.1 l) D V8 400 hp (300 kW)

See also


  1. ^ Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the loaded weight of the truck.
  2. ^ Gross Axle Weight Rating is the loaded weight of the axle.
  3. ^ Highest rated gasoline, diesel engine.
  4. ^ Speeds in manual(M), automatic(A) transmission
  5. ^ Engines are International unless noted as Caterpillar(Cat), Cummins(Cum), or Detroit Diesel(DD).
  6. ^ Gasoline(G), diesel(D), inline(I), (V), and number of cylinders.


  1. ^ Crismon, p. 485
  2. ^ Crismon, p. 492
  3. ^ Wren, James A.; Wren, Genevieve (1979). Motor Trucks of America. Ann Arbor MI: The University of Michigan Press. p. 320. ISBN 0-472-06313-8.
  4. ^ Crismon, p. 495
  5. ^ "Question about International S-series trucks". Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  6. ^ "International Truck Specifications – S Line – 1956–1983". 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

This page was last edited on 19 July 2020, at 12:38
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