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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In search of Case/Ingersoll experts (here I see they are plenty). Some background, just bought a 1979 Case 444 with original 14HP Kohler K321AS and I am havin g a few issues. I would love for someone to let me know what it needs so that I’m not just buying things unnecessarily. Maybe I am overlooking something. I am not expertly mechanically inclined. I can do simple stuff but I can only get as far as my tools let me. I am new to the site but have done a lot of research before purchasing. And Case was at the top for my needs and future needs.

#1 issue is that it only runs for about 30min or so before it just cuts off. I assume this is due to overheating, which could be many things but I’m sure it’s ignition system related. (I have ordered parts to replace coil, condenser, points, wire and plug). Need to know whether this will solve that problem or if there is something much deeper. I also ordera complete carb kit to replace the carb and it’s components but that won’t be here until September (which doesn’t seem related).

#2 issue, which showed itself yesterday, went to start the tractor and when I turned the key, there was nothing. No sound, no click, not even lights. Battery is good. Reading 12.6V. So I narrowed it down to the starter (which shouldn’t affect the lights), the ammeter or the ignition switch.

#3 issue, while looking for a short in wires I noticed that the muffler was not attached to block. So I will need a gasket and bolts. Not sure if this is affecting the engine performance from #1 in any way.

At some point I plan to take the engine apart and rebuild it so that this thing is running and purring like new.

Well I am new to the area and new to the Case tractors but so excited for it as I’ve done a lot of research and people are very complimentary about them and speak highly of them. I must say they are a beautiful machine.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
 

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1973 Case 444, 1974 Case 644, 1976 Case 446, 1977 Case 646
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Welcome Adkin to the CCI forum. The 444 is a great machine I own one myself. #2 issue could be a safety switch like the one that is activated by the clutch control arm. If it's engaged it will not turn over, check to see if it's in the forward position. #1 issue could be over heating possibly because of the timing being off. This adjusted by the points setting. New ignition parts could help if points are adjusted properly. Manuals are available here on the site and many knowledgeable member here to help you out. Welcome to the club.

Keep the Peace ✌
Harry
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome Adkin to the CCI forum. The 444 is a great machine I own one myself. #2 issue could be a safety switch like the one that is activated by the clutch control arm. If it's engaged it will not turn over, check to see if it's in the forward position. #1 issue could be over heating possibly because of the timing being off. This adjusted by the points setting. New ignition parts could help if points are adjusted properly. Manuals are available here on the site and many knowledgeable member here to help you out. Welcome to the club.

Keep the Peace ✌
Harry
Hi Harry. Thanks for the welcome. So, I figured out #2 which seemed to be solved by replacing the fuse, which was blown. Once I replaced that, it seemed to allow power to the rest. I was under the impression that the stopping was ignition system related but I’m no expert.
That being said, now that I got the engine to crank, I can’t get it to turn over. Choke on or off. This is where I’m stuck now. Seems like the fuel pump is working. I cleaned the fuel filter out of fuel and put it back together and there was fuel that refilled the filter. So I assume that it is working correctly. Now my attention has been between the carb, which seems to be working and the coil malfunctioning or no spark. Or the spark plug wire not working right. But, while the wire could be the cause since it is cut, there is continuity.
I got the gasket and bolts for the exhaust and got that sealed up.
I’m just at a loss for what to do. I do have a dealer within 20 min of my location, but only have a truck bed to bring it and without it running, it’s not easy to just push this ~800lb beast up some ramps into the bed. I’m sure I’m missing something. Plus with the deck width, which can be dropped, it’s a little wide and would need to go on backwards.
 

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Since this tractor is new to you, I would recommend replace the ignition switch. Over the life of these tractors the switch points get oxidation, which can then build up heat in use (30 minutes is reasonable), cutting the voltage to your ignition coil.

Given you can't get it to fire (you say it will crank), what is the voltage at the ignition coil hot terminal with the key on? Key in start? Not 12V ... address the switch or wiring.

Not to say that is your specific issue, but it is a common one on old tractors ... the ignition switch is a good maintenance step and might just be your root cause.

While you don't list the tractor PIN, this is correct for a '79:


Brian
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since this tractor is new to you, I would recommend replace the ignition switch. Over the life of these tractors the switch points get oxidation, which can then build up heat in use (30 minutes is reasonable), cutting the voltage to your ignition coil.

Given you can't get it to fire (you say it will crank), what is the voltage at the ignition coil hot terminal with the key on? Key in start? Not 12V ... address the switch or wiring.

Not to say that is your specific issue, but it is a common one on old tractors ... the ignition switch is a good maintenance step and might just be your root cause.

While you don't list the tractor PIN, this is correct for a '79:


Brian
Hi Brian,
Thanks for the reply. Apologies for not including the pin (9766976 if I’m reading it correctly). Kohler K series K321AS (SN 2234209103).
I am not near the tractor at the moment to test the hot wire to the coil, but I did run to the store and purchase a spark plug wire and ignition coil. I replaced the spark plug last night. I will replace these either later tonight or tomorrow.
Additionally, I purchased a fuel pump to replace as well as all new fuel filter and fuel hoses. Upon further inspection, I pulled the fuel line from the fuel pump to the carb and tried to turn it over and got zero fuel flow. The line looked dry. Talking to the local dealer, he suggested replacing the hoses and filter. He also suggested I replace the fuel pump as well. So tomorrow I am going to try my hand at replacing the fuel lines and fuel pump. Any suggestions would be helpful in my journey.
I will keep you updated. I will also look into the ignition switch and confirm the one suggested is correct.
Thanks
 

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Your getting great advise there Adkinc89. Hope you get it going to your liking. Great tractors. What attachments do you have for it. ?

And just my 2 cents worth of information, if the timing is late it will run hot. And check to make sure the cooling tins are clear. Mice love to get in ther and plug engine fins and tins up, so the engine can’t cool its self.
And the coil you bought should have an internal resistor to lower the voltage to the points from around 12 to 9 volts so the points don’t burn up. The coil does this as it warms up, after start up.

Noel
 

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Hi Harry. Thanks for the welcome. So, I figured out #2 which seemed to be solved by replacing the fuse, which was blown. Once I replaced that, it seemed to allow power to the rest. I was under the impression that the stopping was ignition system related but I’m no expert.
That being said, now that I got the engine to crank, I can’t get it to turn over. Choke on or off. This is where I’m stuck now. Seems like the fuel pump is working. I cleaned the fuel filter out of fuel and put it back together and there was fuel that refilled the filter. So I assume that it is working correctly. Now my attention has been between the carb, which seems to be working and the coil malfunctioning or no spark. Or the spark plug wire not working right. But, while the wire could be the cause since it is cut, there is continuity.
I got the gasket and bolts for the exhaust and got that sealed up.
I’m just at a loss for what to do. I do have a dealer within 20 min of my location, but only have a truck bed to bring it and without it running, it’s not easy to just push this ~800lb beast up some ramps into the bed. I’m sure I’m missing something. Plus with the deck width, which can be dropped, it’s a little wide and would need to go on backwards.
if I am reading this correctly you said the wire for the spark plug is cut?
I had a tractor that would shut off after running for 15-20 min and it was from bad plug wires.

check ignition switch. Or try a new one as they do go bad.
Imo anything you replace as long as it’s good quality and you have the $ it doesn’t hurt to update wear items such as ignition switch, coils, condenser, plug wires, points and stuff like that
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your getting great advise there Adkinc89. Hope you get it going to your liking. Great tractors. What attachments do you have for it. ?

And just my 2 cents worth of information, if the timing is late it will run hot. And check to make sure the cooling tins are clear. Mice love to get in ther and plug engine fins and tins up, so the engine can’t cool its self.
And the coil you bought should have an internal resistor to lower the voltage to the points from around 12 to 9 volts so the points don’t burn up. The coil does this as it warms up, after start up.

Noel
Hi Noel,

How do I check to make sure the timing is set? Are you talking about the points and lining up with the S?
I did not get one with internal resistance and have yet to put it on. So I will stop and get a new one and return the one I bought. Is there a specific type of plug wire I need? I just got one from a pack from a Ford tractor which had different lengths (used the smallest one). Listed as low voltage and 7mm.

Attachments were the 48” mower deck, snow caster, hydro bagger with the rear hydraulics. Would love to get a tiller if I can find it for the right price, and a blade.
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if I am reading this correctly you said the wire for the spark plug is cut?
I had a tractor that would shut off after running for 15-20 min and it was from bad plug wires.

check ignition switch. Or try a new one as they do go bad.
Imo anything you replace as long as it’s good quality and you have the $ it doesn’t hurt to update wear items such as ignition switch, coils, condenser, plug wires, points and stuff like that
I figured I would replace what I can now until I can get the points and condenser delivered. Hopefully it won’t be too long. I will look into the ignition switch. It definitely looks pretty old.
 

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If you set the points to 0.020 that should be good for the timing. Yes. The S on the flywheel is the way to check timing. Just look up how to set or check timing on your engine and google or you tube will tell you. I’ve done the static check before. But can’t quite remember that now. A timing light is a another way to do it. I have never change a spark plug wire on any of mine. I would guess any car or tractor wire would work.
Nice attachments. My 446 only has a snow caster. I’d like to find a sleeve hitch for it.

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you set the points to 0.020 that should be good for the timing. Yes. The S on the flywheel is the way to check timing. Just look up how to set or check timing on your engine and google or you tube will tell you. I’ve done the static check before. But can’t quite remember that now. A timing light is a another way to do it. I have never change a spark plug wire on any of mine. I would guess any car or tractor wire would work.
Nice attachments. My 446 only has a snow caster. I’d like to find a sleeve hitch for it.

Noel
Thanks for the advice. I hear that static timing is better than setting the points to 0.020, but I’m no expert. I will look up both and pull the case and check the points. Hopefully they are set correctly and won’t need to adjust.
I wouldn’t mind getting a sleeve hitch or 3 point some day.
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Success!! I have finally got it running again. Brand new fuel lines, fuel filter, spark plug, spark plug wire, filter and pre filter and fuel pump. However, I am not sure whether it will run longer than 30 min but so far it has started right up after first crank with choke. Drove it around and it sounded much better. I have an ignition coil coming tomorrow as the one I bought did not have resistance. Still have the condenser and points coming. I might check the current ones later today or this weekend but so far they are working.
Let me tell you how hard getting that gas tank out with the hydro baggers and rear hydraulics connected. What a pain. But not as bad as trying to get the large bolts back it. That damn hydrobagger system is flipping heavy. Trying to lift it and place the bolt while trying to screw it partially so it’ll stay. Lots of swearing has occurred. But it’s back together and running.
Now I just gotta reattach the mower and see if it’ll run better. Like I said I’m still not done and no where near a finished project but it definitely seems to run better.
Thanks for all the help. I will still keep you informed on my project. Hopefully, I can get a change to post a picture of the beast.
 

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Success!! I have finally got it running again. Brand new fuel lines, fuel filter, spark plug, spark plug wire, filter and pre filter and fuel pump. However, I am not sure whether it will run longer than 30 min but so far it has started right up after first crank with choke. Drove it around and it sounded much better. I have an ignition coil coming tomorrow as the one I bought did not have resistance. Still have the condenser and points coming. I might check the current ones later today or this weekend but so far they are working.
Let me tell you how hard getting that gas tank out with the hydro baggers and rear hydraulics connected. What a pain. But not as bad as trying to get the large bolts back it. That damn hydrobagger system is flipping heavy. Trying to lift it and place the bolt while trying to screw it partially so it’ll stay. Lots of swearing has occurred. But it’s back together and running.
Now I just gotta reattach the mower and see if it’ll run better. Like I said I’m still not done and no where near a finished project but it definitely seems to run better.
Thanks for all the help. I will still keep you informed on my project. Hopefully, I can get a change to post a picture of the beast.
as somone with a small fleet of tractors I can say that once you get the odds and ends solver on these tractors they become extremely reliable. My 446 is a awesome machine and I am glad I stuck with it. I was about to dump it to the lowest bidder before I calmed down and listened to the people here.
 

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In search of Case/Ingersoll experts (here I see they are plenty). Some background, just bought a 1979 Case 444 with original 14HP Kohler K321AS and I am havin g a few issues. I would love for someone to let me know what it needs so that I’m not just buying things unnecessarily. Maybe I am overlooking something. I am not expertly mechanically inclined. I can do simple stuff but I can only get as far as my tools let me. I am new to the site but have done a lot of research before purchasing. And Case was at the top for my needs and future needs.

#1 issue is that it only runs for about 30min or so before it just cuts off. I assume this is due to overheating, which could be many things but I’m sure it’s ignition system related. (I have ordered parts to replace coil, condenser, points, wire and plug). Need to know whether this will solve that problem or if there is something much deeper. I also ordera complete carb kit to replace the carb and it’s components but that won’t be here until September (which doesn’t seem related).

#2 issue, which showed itself yesterday, went to start the tractor and when I turned the key, there was nothing. No sound, no click, not even lights. Battery is good. Reading 12.6V. So I narrowed it down to the starter (which shouldn’t affect the lights), the ammeter or the ignition switch.

#3 issue, while looking for a short in wires I noticed that the muffler was not attached to block. So I will need a gasket and bolts. Not sure if this is affecting the engine performance from #1 in any way.

At some point I plan to take the engine apart and rebuild it so that this thing is running and purring like new.

Well I am new to the area and new to the Case tractors but so excited for it as I’ve done a lot of research and people are very complimentary about them and speak highly of them. I must say they are a beautiful machine.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.
Case



t: 770907, member: 29037"]

Thanks for the advice. I hear that static timing is better than setting the points to 0.020, but I’m no expert. I will look up both and pull the case and check the points. Hopefully they are set correctly and won’t need to adjust.

I wouldn’t mind getting a sleeve hitch or 3 point some day.

[/QUOTE]

Warning: long post

Here’s a few tips to help you trouble shoot ignition systems so you’re not replacing good parts unnecessarily.

  • When your engine quits running after 30 minutes, with your key in Run position, take a spare spark plug, put the spark plug wire on it, and ground the body of the spark plug to the engine.
  • For ease of troubleshooting, remove the points cover before running.
  • Warning: prior owner(s) could have hooked up battery (+) to the (-) coil post by mistake. Verify battery (+12 volts) is on the (+) coil post. Key on will supply +12 volts to the (+) coil post.
  • Remove the wire on the coil (-) post.
  • Turn key to run position.
  • After verifying the coil is wired correctly, using an alligator clip test lead, attach one alligator clip to the (-) coil post ground and momentarily tap the other alligator clip of the test lead to any metal (ground) on the engine, like you’re sending a morse code.
  • Each time you break contact with ground, you should get a spark if the coil is good.
  • If you get a spark, the next step would be to eliminate the possibility of the wire from the points to the (-) post of the coil isn’t broken or grounded out from insulation that got rubbed through.
  • Turn the key off.
  • Turn the engine crankshaft until the points are open, or place a piece of paper or index card between the points contacts.
  • Connect the alligator clip to the spring of the points, being careful that it’s not grounded.
  • Turn the key to run position.
  • Depending on the test lead length, you might have to connect two or more together to reach the (-) coil post.
  • Tap the (-) coil post with the other end of the alligator clip test lead and you should get a spark. If not, the wire between the points and coil is faulty.
  • Turn the key off.

  • Turn the engine by hand until the points are closed.
  • Reattach the wire to the (-) coil post.
  • Turn the key to
    Automotive lighting Automotive tire Electrical wiring Gas Automotive wheel system
    Automotive lighting Automotive tire Electrical wiring Gas Automotive wheel system
Hi Noel,

How do I check to make sure the timing is set? Are you talking about the points and lining up with the S?
I did not get one with internal resistance and have yet to put it on. So I will stop and get a new one and return the one I bought. Is there a specific type of plug wire I need? I just got one from a pack from a Ford tractor which had different lengths (used the smallest one). Listed as low voltage and 7mm.

Attachments were the 48” mower deck, snow caster, hydro bagger with the rear hydraulics. Would love to get a tiller if I can find it for the right price, and a blade.
Warning: long post

Here’s a few tips to help you trouble shoot ignition systems so you’re not replacing good parts unnecessarily.

  • When your engine quits running after 30 minutes, with your key in Run position, take a spare spark plug, put the spark plug wire on it, and ground the body of the spark plug to the engine.
  • For ease of troubleshooting, remove the points cover before running.
  • Warning: poor owner(s) could have hooked up battery (+) to the (-) coil post by mistake. Verify battery (+12 volts) is on the (+) coil post. Key on will supply +12 volts to the (+) coil post.
  • Remove the wire on the coil (-) post.
  • Turn key to run position.
  • After verifying the coil is wired correctly, using an alligator clip test lead, attach one alligator clip to the (-) coil post ground and momentarily tap the other alligator clip of the test lead to any metal (ground) on the engine, like you’re sending a morse code.
  • Each time you break contact with the (-) coil post, you should get a spark if the coil is good.
  • If you get a spark, the next step would be to eliminate the possibility of the wire from the points to the (-) post of the coil isn’t broken or grounded out from missing insulation.
  • Turn the key off.
  • Turn the engine crankshaft until the points are open, or place a piece of paper or index card between the points contacts.
  • Connect the alligator clip to the spring of the points, being careful that it’s not grounded.
  • Turn the key to run position.
  • Depending on the test lead length, you might have to connect two or more together to reach the (-) coil post.
  • Tap the (-) coil post with the other end of the alligator clip test lead and you should get a spark. If not, the wire between the points and coil is faulty.
  • Turn the key off.
  • Remove paper between points contacts
  • Turn the engine by hand until the points are closed.
  • Reattach the wire to the (-) coil post.
  • Turn the key to run position.
  • Manually open and close the points. I use a small screwdriver from the side to do this. You should get a spark as the points are opened.
  • Turn the key off.
  • If no spark, try to clean the points contacts with a points file or scrape them with a knife.
  • Turn the key to run position.
  • Repeat manually opening and closing the points.
  • If you get a spark, then replace the points and condenser. If the points makes large sparks when you open them, the condenser is likely bad.
  • Once you understand his procedure, it all can be accomplished in less than five minutes.

I realize this is exercising the ignition switch and could wipe the contacts clean again. I’ve actually had luck by exercising ignition switches a hundred times to clean the contacts, especially on equipment that hasn’t been used for years. A way to eliminate this variable would be to use another alligator test wire to directly power the coil from the (+) battery terminal to the (+) coil terminal in lieu of the ignition switch. Might be a good idea to remove the (+) coil post wire if you choose to test in this way, unless you’re confident that back feeding +12 won’t be an issue.


For timing an engine, I use a continuity tester which is an old D cell flashlight equipped with a mono Jack plug and two wires that have to be touched together to turn the flashlight on. A multi meter that has a continuity buzzer will work too.

  • I’m going with the assumption that the engine spins clockwise when facing the flywheel.
  • The following procedure is performed with the (-) coil post wire removed from the coil
  • Connect the new set of points to the (-) coil post wire, along with the new condenser, letting the condenser hang in the air ungrounded. This way you’re not going to affect the points gap hooking wires up later.
  • Install points and set the gap starting at 0.020.
  • Remove the spark plug so you’re not fighting compression.
  • One alligator clip of the continuity tester is hooked to the points spring and the other to ground.
  • Looking through the timing hole in the air shroud, turn the engine by hand in the running direction until you align the first line on the compression stroke in the timing inspection hole.
  • This is your timing line. This is when your points should open to give a spark and the continuity test light will turn off.
  • The second line on the flywheel is top dead center (when turning in the direction that the engine turns while running).
  • Set your points gap until you just lose continuity (flashlight will turn off or the meter will quit buzzing).
  • To verify that the points are set correctly, rotate the engine backwards half a rev or more and then turn it in running direction pointing the flashlight in the hole. The light should turn off (or quit buzzing) when the first line is centered in the inspection hole, or shortly after.
  • If the light turns off early, increase the gap.
  • If it light turns off too late, decrease the gap.
  • You don’t want to have the light turn off before the first line passes the inspection hole because the timing will be too far advanced. The engine will fire too far before top dead center, stop your starter, and turn the engine backwards. I broke a starter shaft because the timing was advanced too far and because of me being too lazy to readjust it. The problem is more prominent in the winter.
  • The ignition timing could be verified with a strobe timing light while the engine is running.
Hope this helps when trying to troubleshoot ignition issues, and setting static timing when replacing points and condenser. Thank God for electronic ignition!!
 

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1979 Case 444
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update!!!
Sorry it’s been a while since I posted here. I ran the thing a few days later after getting it started (see previous post) and it ran the entire time I mowed. Did great!! Sat in the garage as there was no need to mow.
New issue (or same?) Pulled it out today to do a mow and couldn’t get it started, would crank but not turn over. Finally got it to turn over but wouldn’t last more than a few seconds on choke and when it cut off the 30A fuse blew. Replaced the fuse and it turned over for a little longer, in choke only, and cut off. Again, blowing the fuse. I’m unsure what else is needed. Maybe a short in wiring somewhere? But seems weird that it would run fine when parked. Could be the ignition switch? Although, it works but is definitely old. Could I unhook the lights? Maybe a short there?
Still waiting in my coil, condenser and points to be shipped. Thanks in advance for any advice. You all sure know your stuff.
 
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