This is the Case 444 that I just finished reassembling. I was a mechanic at a Case dealership a long time ago and one of my jobs was small tractor guy, so I always wanted one of my own. These things are not as common on the west coast so when I saw one for sale in Oregon, I snapped it up. I bought it for work and for a hobby.
It had the wrong exhaust, a backward rotation hydraulic pump that had a radiator hose for suction, a non-running engine, metal on metal brake, etc., etc. It was disassembled, cleaned, and, partially repainted. I moved to Germany for seven years in the middle of the process, and came home to a pile of parts and little memory of where they went. Millions of dollars in parts were added (or so it seems), painting was completed, and I managed to get everything back together and running.
The great part is, I had one leak initially, and all it required was tightening a hydraulic fitting. Now I have a big leak from the gas tank and a missing spring for the neutral return. I consider that minor and it will be the subject of another post.
Did I mention that the differential bolts broke and cracked the transmission case? Yeah, that was also a good time, but the repair is working.
Since I live on a quarter acre lot, and ¾ of that is covered by stuff, you could say it has been a labor of love and nostalgia. It is probably the best hobby I have, the neighborhood kids love it, and I can use it to haul things around the yard. My neighbors think I am crazy, but I think they are all jealous!
It is mounted directly to three pipefittings screwed into the block; a close nipple, a 45 and another short nipple. The muffler is for a 12 HP Kohler on a Cub Cadet, but I got it free. I had to cut a bracket off, but that was to make it look better.
The biggest problem was the hood. Unless you cut a semi-circle like the one for the intake, you will have to use a cluster of fittings to make it work. I clamped a 2 x 4 under the hood edge with enough sticking down to fit the full circle. I then used a 2 ½” hole saw to cut the opening. The center is a bit below the hood edge and the center pilot hole was drilling into the wood. I smoothed it up and since I was painting the hood, it looks factory.
So far no problems. I thought that the weight would be an issue but it is stable, even when hot. I might put an extension on it to take it above my head, but it doesn’t work much so that isn’t really an issue.
The factory exhaust leaves a lot to be desired. Both of the tapped holes in the block were ruined and the exhaust had leaked badly enough that it ate away the gasket surface. I am not a machinist so after trying to repair things, I gave up and used what I have now. Hood.jpgExhaust 2.jpgExhaust 1.jpg
This was a bolt together version, no longer carried by Agri Supply. Don't recall what the advertised max capacity was but it has done everything I wanted it to. I did shorten the forks 8-10" (+-) and...