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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, this may have been brought up over and over again here but I cant find any info on it. Most threads tend to get off topic pretty fast. Anyway, I want to know the pros and cons to the small tires (200 series) and tall tires (400 series). I have a 1986 220 and a 1987 224 ( ground up rebuild) and I was thinking of putting the tall tires on it but I read on here that it was not worth the hassle involved. I mow my grass and plw snow with my tractor. I will also use it in the yard to move dirt piles once my FEB is finished.

Why cant I just add the 400 series fenders and use adapter hubs for the rear wheels and then modify the front spindles to drop the front wheels lower so the tractor stays level? Are the wheels on the front of the 200 and 400 series tractors the same
 

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IMO, you are obsessing over something that doesn't matter. A 200 is every much as capable a GT as a 400 is. All you are talking about here is 4 little inches difference is ground clearance. So what's the big deal?

What do you think you are going to gain here, other than a whole load of unnecessary expense and grief? If you want a 400, then just go buy one and sell your 220. It's much simpler to go that route. When you start messing around like you are talking about doing, you end up with something that no longer does things the way the ENGINEERS designed them to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First of all I am not obsessing. I am merly looking for more knowledge on these tractors. I personally like the look of the 400 series tractors but do not have the money to buy one at the moment. I am not selling my 220 since it is complete and was given to me by my dad. My 224 on the other hand is going to be a frankenstein tractor since it is being built from the ground up from used parts I can find on CL and fleabay. My only intentions with my 224 are moving dirt/stone and plowing. I will NOT be mowing grass with it. That is what my 220 is for. Besides Im not even sure the mower deck would work correctly if I decided to modify a 200 series tractor and add taller tires to it. I could be wrong though.
I have the tools, materials and general knowledge of what to do to make the modifications but I figured I come in here and ask some of you guys that may have been at this point once in the past.

You cant argue that the look of the tall tires is just mean looking compared to the short ones.
 

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Benefits of 16's over 12's: The added circumference of 16's allow for better traction. My gf's father has several early Cubs that struggle for traction on his backyard hill and sliding downhill even when in low gear... with weighted ags. My 444 had no problems going uphill or down with turf savers. His tractor with weights and mine without were similar in weight.

Benefits of 12's over 16's: 12" tires already provide a good deal of traction. The weight of a 200/3000 series only add to that. Chains, weights, replacement wheels, and tires are easier to come by and around 1/2 price of 16" gear. The lower center of gravity running 12's is extremely helpful when mowing hills and uneven terrain. Yes there is the concern of less ground clearance compared to 400/4000 series... But if all you are doing is running a plow/snowcaster and a mower deck then ground clearance is a NON-ISSUE considering there will be something under or in front of the tractor ruining clearance to begin with.

Everyone who has a Case eventually wants a 400/4000. We all want the biggest gun at the card table. And that's fine - It's your equipment - Do with it as you see fit. But before you go investing tons of money, take a good look and see whether modification really tailors to your needs. After all, Case wouldn't have built, and kept building 200 series if they weren't useful, versatile machines.
 

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Hey there, the group over at the yahoo case ingersoll group just went through this a few weeks ago. It can be done but you need a donor frame from a high wheeler.
Personally, I have also thought about the larger tractors, but I have decided to work with what i have (224) and until the height becomes an issue, to be happy with it.
they really are the same tractor you know.
I also plan to garden with the tractor, which means an eventual tiller and plow/disc/harrow assortment. I really don't think it will be an issue unless the soil is really really loose or muddy.
just my opinion, fix up what you have first, then if you find a deal on a high wheeler, you will have alll the attachments and knowledge needed to upgrade within your budget.
 

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Well to make the change you would need to change so many things to make everything work, its not realy worth it. Its not just the wheels, and front axle, its also all the deck mount stuff, and the frame if diferent also.. Might be best to start with a basket case highwheeler, and use the 224 as a parts tractor. .. As far as what is better??? Well my 444 works much better when I am doing work in the rough ground of my woods. The extra ground clearance, and the twisting forces of going through ditches and stuff dont umload the wheels, and loose traction like my small wheelers do. Other then that, I perfer the small wheelers. They do a better job mowing IMHO.
 

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Hey there, the group over at the yahoo case ingersoll group just went through this a few weeks ago. It can be done but you need a donor frame from a high wheeler.
That's it??? Are you telling us that we just need to buy a 400 frame and we can convert our 200's into 400's?
 

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If its just the taller tires you need then switch to some ATV tires some of them are as tall as the 16" tires and much better traction.You can get some that are 29.5-10-12
and generally speaking an ATV 26-12-12 is a taller tire than a regular tractor tread
26-12-12.Remember too that a 4" taller tire only raises the tractor 2" more off the ground
and you only need 2" more clearance under the fender.Also the way ATV tires are molded a GT rim that has a 23-10.5-12 on it works just about perfect for a 26(or whatever height)-12-12 tire.
 

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No Castoff, I'm not saying that. But to start with, you need things OFF of a high wheeler frame, like the quick connect for the mule drive and the front spindles, (the "front clip" per se)as well as the rear axle and fenders. And yes, to my understanding, the general consensus is that it is much more trouble than it is worth. BIG time debate went on for days over there.
Just trying to help the guy out with what I learned over there.
He is more than welcome head over there and read for himself, just type in "big wheel conversion" in search messages, that should pull them up for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for input guys but I think so of you may not have read my wntire post. Here is the deal, my 220 is my mower/small yard work tracotr. My 224 which is incomplete at the moment will be my hearvy duty yard work machine. dragging rocks around the yard, hauling dirt, scooping dirt with my FEL I am building, plowing snow, etc. There will NEVER be a mower deck attached to the 224 if I decide to go with a the 16" tire option. Getting the 6 lug wheels to fit on a 5 lug axle shaft is childs play. All I need to do if fab up 2 adapters. The only downside to it is it will move each wheel outward an inch or so which really inst a bad thing. I can modify the spindles to bring the front wheels down a dit so the tracotr stays level.
Once all this rains decides to move out, I will go outside and take some measurments and see what I can come up with. I can either buy 400 series fenders of modify the ones I have now. I havent decided yet.
 

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Well if your just looking for more tracton and a little more hight, the swap to some kinda ATV tire would probably be the way to go. A taller front tire will eaven it out a little also. If you realy want the true big tire style of the 400 seires,the cheapest way would be to find a 44x with a bad motor, or blown up rear for cheap. You can probably find one for the cost of 4 new tires.. Swap parts out of the 224 and I bet you can be up and running for about 3-400 bucks.
 

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Cool no mower deck, but the same goes for snowcasters, blades or anything else that you may eventually want to mount on the front of tractor. It sounds like you have a plan already, I'll leave this one alone, best of luck to you...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cool no mower deck, but the same goes for snowcasters, blades or anything else that you may eventually want to mount on the front of tractor. It sounds like you have a plan already, I'll leave this one alone, best of luck to you...
so basically if I decide to use a front end attachment like a blade then it will not go all the way down to the ground anymore becauseof the added height (2") right? This is where the front end conversion comes into play when everyone talks about what is involved. That will have to be addressed as well as I decided what to do here.
 

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You're probably not really going to notice the difference and pulling things like you want to do it would be an advantage to raise the rear a little and leave the frontend where its at now.I put a set of 28-12-12 Mud Hogs to replace the 26-12-12 Ag tires on my Craftsman FF 18 and it pulls alot better now.Plus many ATV tires are 6ply which is good when you're in the woods.
 

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four inches. I'm sure it can be done, but I would think it would help immensely to have a 400 model frame, and or a full tractor to do side by side comparisons for placement before making final welds.
i know someone else (from the other group) is attempting this conversion at the moment, I was waiting to see what his results were.
 

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so basically if I decide to use a front end attachment like a blade then it will not go all the way down to the ground anymore becauseof the added height (2") right? This is where the front end conversion comes into play when everyone talks about what is involved. That will have to be addressed as well as I decided what to do here.
Let me put it this way.

To begin with.... Case NEVER, EVER made a FEL to mount on any of their garden tractors. They did let dealers install Johnson FEL's on the very early models but then certain weaknesses began to appear. Axle shafts and motor input shafts began snapping as did some front axles due to the extra strain FEL use puts on tractors that were never designed for them. The second issue was the entire steering system. Gears, drag link, tie rod, spindles, wheel bearings and rims.

The Winneconne ENGINEERS looked that all these issues and decided to work with the engineers at Racine who designed the 530/580 CK loader/backhoe for the Case construction equipment division and that unit has been an international success ever since. The result was the 1972 644 and 646 loader tractor and loader/backhoe because Case felt that was the best way to address the entire loader issue. And for those who just wanted a loader but also wanted to mow their lawn, till or plow their garden, the 600 loader tractor had that capability if the three point and rear PTO was added.

All of the weaknesses inherent in the 200 and 400 tractors were addressed with the design of the 600 series. The front axle will withstand a 5000 pound static load because it's made from structural steel with larger spindles that lead to tapered roller bearings inside cast iron hubs that accept rims that bolt on. The steering gears, drag link and tie rod are all built much heavier. The frame is built heavier and the FEL is unitized with the frame for added strength and durability. A higher torque drive motor is used along with 15" rims that also increase torque. And later on, power steering was added to the 648 model.

Yes. Owners have added FEL's to both the 200 and 400 models and are reasonably happy with the results. However, they quickly learned that their new FEL has severe operating limits and they have had to be careful to not exceed those limitations or things start to bend, crack or snap.

When those same engineers designed your 200 series tractors, they did so with all the attachments in mind. The attachments work best when they are mounted a certain distance off the ground. Now....you'd like to come along and change one or two components on the tractor but not all the components that the engineers changed when they made the 400 series. This is like putting a big block Chev crate motor into a 55 Chev that had a 265 inch small block in it but refusing to install a larger rad, an exhaust system that will flow the greater output, a drive shaft that will handle the greater horsepower and so one.

A tractor is very much a UNIT. It is not just this part or that part and that's what some of the people on the Yahoo forum couldn't grasp in that rather silly discussion. Countless hours of design, re-design, testing, redesign and more testing went into these tractors by many people before the tractor ever hit the dealer's showroom floor.

None of this is to say that modifications are out of the question because they are not. But successful modifications are not done piecemeal. There is a well-thought-out plan at the outset that takes everything into account. I will be very surprised if your Anniversary project does not end up costing you far more than just going out and buying a complete, running 400 series.
 

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Castoff....Good Show! That was an excellent explanation about how these things were designed. Just working on my tractor shows me how smart these guys were, they were genius to make it "simple" and time has proven that.

2: yeah, that discussion had it's bullet points, but it quickly got hijacked, whacked and RE-hijacked before anybody really learned anything.

3: You made me want a 600 series REALLY badly !!!!!!!!!!

BOTTLEDZ28: This is good common sense advice Castoff has offered, I think we all imagine the perfect tractor having big wheels and looking mean and strong, but the fact is, overall, the smaller ones STILL look pretty agressive, as well as they don't stick out as much, making them the "sleepers" of the garden tractor species. My 224 is not much bigger side by side than my neighbors Craftsman, or the other guys '66 Roper across the street, but it's sooo much more tractor than theirs and it will prove it.
Ultimately you will decide what you are going to do regardless, but don't rush into anything just to prove anyone wrong or just to prove that you can do it. Don't fail to plan...or.....you know the rest.
regards, Kungdrew
 

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Well, to directly address the items that need to be modified or changed to make a 2xx similar (no mower expected) to a 4xx the list looks like this:

(at least this is how I would do it)
Transaxle drive motor from 400\
Rear axles from a 400
wheels tires from a 400
front axle/spindles from a 400(It's wider and spindles different)

The rear axle swap and motor swap may be easier just to swap the transaxle complete, if available.

If you look at the list, it looks like a similar amount of work to swap parts from a running 200 to a donor 400 or adding parts to your 200. Your parts sources will likely dictate the direction.

As far a a front loader, I understand Castoff's logic, but remember, Case's goal was to build an industrial quality loader that would uphold the CK's reputation. You may not need that level of durability.

Your tractor, your money, your work, your call.
 

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Well look at the larger tractors Case,Ford,JD,AC,MF and others all built farm tractors to do general purpose farm work and then they built Industrial heavier duty tractors designed for frontend loaders but the farm tractors were plenty capable of having a loader on them and getting good service.The opeartor just has to be aware of the limitations of the machine and stay within those limitations.Any machine has to be operated with a dose of common sense.BTW there is nothing magical about the original engineering, as much engineeing is done to cut production costs and to have built in limitations because of warranties.Nothing ever built can't be improved especially if its for a specific application.Generally with loaders on a GT the front end is the problem much better frontends can be fabricated easily from stock steel and trailer axles or get a frontend off a compact tractor and modify it for the garden tractor then the front end will be the strongest piece on your GT
 

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You also need the rear fenders from a 400 and most importantly, you have to cut the front brackets off a 400 and the 200 being worked on so that the 400 brackets can then be welded onto the 200's frame. And those welds better be good and not like some of the chewing gum variety with no penetration like I've seen in the past.

I have to keep asking myself the same question. Why would anyone go through all that expense and aggravation just to get a 400?

You can make a kick-*** 200 by putting tri-ribs on the front, big 12:00 AGs on 12 " rims on the rear. Load those with beet juice. Add a stack of wheel weights. Put a HH-34 3 pt on the rear along with a modified rear PTO. That tractor will have all the push that you can get from any 400. If you want, start off with a 226 and put a 20 hp Performer engine in it. Just keep in mind that at best, you will only see 14 hp at the back wheels regardless of the engine choice.

In my opinion, Case's goal was to provide homeowners and contractors alike with a FEL tractor that prevented all the warranty claims that would have arisen had they offered a loader attachment for the 200 and 400 models. People who own 600's that have been well-maintained over the years, love them and rarely want to part with them.
 
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