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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, had a question concerning the strength of a case 444 frame, the tractor I'm asking about I believe is from around 1975. I'm curious because I have a chance to buy this tractor, and the seller forwarded me a few pictures of it. From the pictures it looks like on the section of the frame between the seat and steering column somebody welded pieces of angle on each side. It's painted so from the pictures it could almost pass as factory, but I'm guessing in person it might be another story. When I go and look at the tractor in person tomorrow I'll have a much better idea about what's going on. But I just wanted to see if there are known issues with the frames on these during that time period. Like I said I have some pictures I just didn't now if I could post them here since they aren't technically mine.
 

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Yes, you can post them here but thanks for asking. We post photos from advertisements all the time. No one is making any money off of those photos including this site.

There have been known issues with the frames from the early 70's that have resulted in the type of repair you describe. I would chalk it up more to mis-use of the tractor than a design flaw. Get the serial number of the tractor and you can pin down the year using the chart in the FAQ's section.

Here's how I would look at it.


If you are buying this tractor as a restoration project, then the angle iron could be removed, the frame could be repaired properly and then refinished.


If this is to be a work tractor, then the angle iron won't affect your use of the tractor.

It all comes down to what you have to pay for the tractor no matter why you are buying it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will try to get the pin from the tractor today. I have a picture but since attachments are turned off on the forum I'll have to work on posting it later on tonight, I don't have an account currently set up with a picture hosting site. Here are other things that I have noticed from the picture. It also looks to have some type of repair on the front edge of the deck. The lack of an air filter concerns me since I don't know if this was run without it. The exhaust is pieced together and the welds on the pipe here and on the deck further make me think the previous owner had a welder and probably welded the angle onto the frame. The front steering bar looks to be slightly bent at each end. The tires look to be original, none of them are flat in the pictures but dry rot may be a concern. I did think the sheet metal looked fairly straight on it. It does not currently run and owner has no other info on it. With the engine not running I guess you would have to plan for the worst case. From what I have read the K321 has the ACR feature so checking the compression with my compression gauge isn't an option. I will follow up later with more info and hopefully a picture.
 

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If you go to the Help and Feedback section at the top of the main page, you will find tutorials on posting photos in your thread. You don't need a hosting site to do that.

Decks run into immovable objects and get bent, torn and broken welds. Repairs are common on decks that have seen many years of service. A missing air filter is definitely a red flag and a compression test should be made. If you read the Kohler manuals in our Tech Library, you will discover how to disable the ACR for this test. The tie rod between the front wheels should be straight. End of story. Dry rot has to be pretty bad before replacing tires is necessary. Fronts and rears can have tubes added to extend their useful life for many years. When the tube begins to show, then one should think about new rubber.

Based on your report, this is nothing more than a parts tractor at the moment and it should be sold for parts tractor price. I'm thinking $200.00 tops for it. If he's well above that number, then my suggestion is to forget about that one and keep looking unless you have your heart set on a Sunset tractor and they are hard to find in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice I'm going to read up on how to disable the ACR and see about performing the compression test on it. Here is a picture, if it works I have a few other ones, not sure if this will work or not, if you look close you can see the angle that I was talking about. Ahhh.. that didn't work, OK I will try this, it should be a link to the picture:

tractor picture

I'm not in desperate need of a tractor right now, this one came up and I just happened to check into it. I thought if I could get it at a reasonable enough price it would be worth taking a chance on, not running though it's probably a pretty big chance. I can't help but see the potential in this thing but I just don't know if it's too far gone for my abilities. I wasn't set on the sunset model as much as I'd be set on a 444 with the Kohler, I know how to work on them.
 

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Looks like a very straight and complete Sunset model. The angle iron is in the typical spot for the frame issue. Not a big deal as far as I'm concerned. it would not stop me from buying the tractor. What is he asking for it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He hasn't given any indication at all on the price, I was just going to make an offer on it at see what happens. If I get the tractor it would probably see occasional use while I slowly restore it back to original condition, at least that would be my ideal plan for it. I was thinking about offering 250 for it or is that too much?
 

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This is a non-runner. I would offer him $100.00 for it and see what he says. He might say OK.....you never know. That might be more money than he thought it would bring. If you go in too high, then he will think that it's worth more anyway. So start out by low-balling him and get his reaction. If he laughs and says that he wants $900.00 for it, then wish him luck.... leave your name and phone number and ask him to call you if he can't get that amount. Tell him that you've done a fair amount of research on the value before you came and made your offer. Until you do that compression test, you have no idea whether the engine is in need of a rebuild. Even then, a leakdown test would be in order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will do just that, I have read enough of your posts on this site to know I can trust your opinion on this stuff. Thanks again, I will check in tomorrow hopefully with new pictures of the tractor in the back of my truck, then the fun will begin.
 

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The picture tells the story. It appears that the tractor was well taken care of during most of it's life. There are a few modifications, but nothing that can't be reversed. I have seen much worse that were made to run in a short time. If you can get it for a decent price you will have a nice tractor worthy of your time and effort.
 

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caveman said:
I will do just that, I have read enough of your posts on this site to know I can trust your opinion on this stuff. Thanks again, I will check in tomorrow hopefully with new pictures of the tractor in the back of my truck, then the fun will begin.
Go easy caveman. She often has more than one opinion. :thumbsup: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
 

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Stewart said:
caveman said:
I will do just that, I have read enough of your posts on this site to know I can trust your opinion on this stuff. Thanks again, I will check in tomorrow hopefully with new pictures of the tractor in the back of my truck, then the fun will begin.
Go easy caveman. She often has more than one opinion. :thumbsup: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
[dropshadow=blue:4kstfqor]It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.[/dropshadow:4kstfqor]
 
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