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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
10 years ago I was given, by my then sister-in-law, 2 garden tractors. A mid 70's MTD and a mid 70's Case 444. I helped my brother-in-law keep these 2 tractors running until his death. They were a gift, from the family, for the help I gave him. Also because they knew how much I loved them! They both ran but needed major help.

After getting them home and the MTD tarpped and stored I tore the Case completely down. I also decided to photograph progress and to have a photo record of where the components go. You can see in the pictures just how bad shape they were in. Don't let the looks fool you they ran beautifully and were working right up to that fateful day.

I recently retired and I am going to get back to the restoration process. I will post pictures as I progress through the restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some more pictures of the Case. When I originally disassembled the frame I noticed a piece of angle iron welded to the main frame just above the transaxle. Looking at it further, I discovered cracks in the side rails about midway between the axle mounting holes. They had plates welded over the cracks. Later I discovered the front axle had been welded back together. My guess is it was dropped from a rather high platform or truck, landed on the tires but snapped the frame at the transaxle and snapped the front axle in two. Who ever welded the front axle back together did good professional repair. I'm not going to replace the axle. Just replace bushings and pins as needed. The frame repair isn't as professionally repaired as the axle was. After I get the frame sand blasted I'll decide what to do.

I also discovered that the oil in the transaxle is contaminated with water. If you look closely at the top cover you will see it is rust pitted very badly. Water got into the trans through the pits and emulsified with the oil. I'll replace the cover and flush out the case and drive motor.

I also have been sanding and priming some small parts.
 

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Hemlock Case Guy
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Some more pictures of the Case. When I originally disassembled the frame I noticed a piece of angle iron welded to the main frame just above the transaxle. Looking at it further, I discovered cracks in the side rails about midway between the axle mounting holes. They had plates welded over the cracks. Later I discovered the front axle had been welded back together. My guess is it was dropped from a rather high platform or truck, landed on the tires but snapped the frame at the transaxle and snapped the front axle in two. Who ever welded the front axle back together did good professional repair. I'm not going to replace the axle. Just replace bushings and pins as needed. The frame repair isn't as professionally repaired as the axle was. After I get the frame sand blasted I'll decide what to do.

I also discovered that the oil in the transaxle is contaminated with water. If you look closely at the top cover you will see it is rust pitted very badly. Water got into the trans through the pits and emulsified with the oil. I'll replace the cover and flush out the case and drive motor.

I also have been sanding and priming some small parts.
I would advise you hold off on any work to the frame. They are usually free from someone who has one after taking and selling or saving the rest.

I have one and it is free. You must make sure you get a Kohler frame and as far as I know, it may even be able to be a 200 series, not sure. For sure any horsepower of a Kohler. Your frame is a 1979 or earlier.
 

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Hemlock Case Guy
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I just did a 1980 446 for a guy. I stripped it down most the way worked on the engine while he finished the teardown. He had the tractor powder coated along with the engine tins.

That powder coating is some tuff stuff. It was pretty close on the color. One of those if you don't do a side by side you can't tell.

I think I can do these things by feel now. You know your "familiar" when you can put all the nuts and bolts in one tray and know which are which for the whole tractor.

I got his travel control to total perfection. I always replace the inline link and pivot washer. But, I have always noticed the play where the rod goes into the hole on the lever. Usually, I do not remove the control levers. On this one, I had to.

I welded the hole up and measured the control rod diameter and drilled an exact size hole, it took pliers to get the rod back in it was that tight.

This is the first tractor that I have seen the tire turn in both directions as soon as you come off neutral. I center adjust the linkage by blocking the front and jacking a tire up in the rear. Without any resistance you know for sure it is centered.
 

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Never seen a Case tractor so abused before you got her. I'm real impressed by the skill and love you are putting into her. Keep us posted there, Cubes.
 

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Hardcore
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Give some updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately there are no updates. I have actually been busy getting and repairing other tractors and lawn equipment to resell. I picked up a International Cub 1450 Hydro that had an engine with a rather large hole in the side of the block and various other broken internals. It is otherwise in good shape. I have hunted down all the parts I need but now the weather isn't cooperating. I do not have heat in the garage. I plan on using it to mow lots and properties for the Habitat For Humanity branch I volunteer for.

I have however not been completely idle on the 444. I replaced the burnt electrical system in a New Holland skid steer for a friend who happens to own an equipment sandblasting and painting business and I traded the labor on the skid steer for blasting and priming the big pieces. I'll get them to him in the next couple of weeks when I go and work on some more equipment for him. But until the weather warms up I'm stuck.
 

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No kidding! It's cold by our standards here but nothing like you are getting. That is an interesting paint scheme on the 444. My dad had one, the hood was a dark yellow and iirc the frame was red.
 
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