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I have the opportunity to buy a 1970 International 444 with loader. I was told the tractor was reconditioned and painted about 10 years ago. It looks and sounds nice. No major oil leaks I saw. The hydraulics do not look like they leak and they are in good shape.

I had a few concerns, first the tires are filled but no one knows what with. It looks like on one side the valve stem is getting rusty. I am worried whatever it is filled with is eating from the inside out. How costly do you think that type of repair would be? Second, the loader has been painted so I do not know what it is but it looks like it might be a little over sized for the tractor. It also has a large steel plate that was added to the loader right above the bucket. I am assuming to help protect the tractor or reinforce the loader. What type of possible problems might I have with a loader that might be bigger or heavier than what should be on the tractor if any? When I tested the loader it did not seem like the tractor was having problems with it but maybe long term? I plan on using this tractor and loader to move gravel, dirt, and picking up some heavy stuff. In estimation, how much weight do you think a loader on this tractor might be able to lift? I am assuming the reasoning for the tire fill is for ballast. Lastly, this looks like a straight up utility tractor but I was wondering if anyone has every used this model or one similar for field work? I was wondering what size plow or disk set-up might it realistically pull?

I have looked on-line and have gotten specs and such but I was hoping to get some real world feedback from people who might own one of these or something similar like a 424. Any Opinions about this tractor even if not to my questions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.:tango_face_smile:
 

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A 1970's tractor with loaded tires would be almost positive they are loaded with calcium, but it's also most likely to be in a tube. i bought a similar size rim, for a 275, from one of our advertisers, partsman, tax included for under $300 Can. I'd keep an eye on the valve stem but it's probably from spillage over the years.

I'd hazard a guess and suggest that your loader is an aftermarket one instead of an IH one. Unless it was a recent addition to the tractor, I wouldn't be overly concerned about it's size. Lift wise, I can't say but my 275 was maxed out at 1000 lbs. It was not happy and protested but it did do the job with a 40 year old hydraulic pump, so I expect yours would be similar.

You shouldn't have any trouble with a 2 furrow plow and 8' of disc. Mine will handle that with no problems. Running a baler could be iffy, don't know for sure though, but a haybine would be no problem. No problems either with a 6' snow blower.

As far as I'm concerned, IH's are tough little tractors and it sounds like the one you are looking at is in pretty good shape. My 275 is over 4000 hours, but it is due for an overhaul. The pump is in for a rebuild right now,I'd still be running it but something came apart inside and it won't start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. I have always wanted a tractor with a loader to do some work with and I was thinking this would work but I am always a little nervous when making an investment into something. I think the only thing I would not get that I wanted was 4 wheel drive.
 

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If you are concerned about the FEL...just don't lift full buckets....they have a reputation of being one good little tractor...valve stems are brass....it really should not be rusting
 

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Thanks for the reply Mark. It's good you have heard they have a good reputation. I thought for sure the value stem had some rust on it and it did not look brass. I am not doubting what you say because I was looking more at all the rust around the stem.
 
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