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Case serial #'s, decals, etc

1617 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Hydriv
A few weeks ago I posted a picture of my partially restored '78 446 and Hydriv commented that the new decals I used (which were identical to the originals) looked like they were from a '77 model. The PIN on my 446 clearly indicates that it's a '78 model so I wondered, if perhaps, the previous owner had swapped the hoods and that I had used the incorrect decals. After reviewing the parts manual for my 446 (downloaded from this site), I noted that the '77 style decals were, in fact, used on 446's S/N prior to 9756430. The S/N on my 446 is 9755971. I'm posting this not to poke anyone in the eye. Tom's comment got me thinking and being more of a "purist" when it comes to restorations, I checked the info available here and it looks like I chose the correct decals. I credit the information available on this website with helping me choose correctly. :thumbsup:

I also recently picked up a 448 (with the hood scoop - couldn't resist, those are damn good looking machines!) and it's serial # is 9774328. I know the year/make chart posted here isn't the gospel truth but it indicates that the 448's started with S/N 9788940 however, it looks like the 448's may have started with S/N 9774000 based on the parts manual that I downloaded from the parts manual section. Once again, not taking shots at anyone, just pointing out a few things that I've uncovered as I restore the 446 and 448 and put together proper documentation libraries for these tractors.

Thanks again to everyone who had a hand in posting the various manuals here on this great web page. :trink:
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Now that I have returned from the Ophthalmologist, I can respond to this thread as long as the pain meds don't cause me to pass out. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:

In past posts, I have remarked about the very issue you are referencing. The chart we ......and everyone else.......have, cannot be trusted to provide the true year of the tractor. Once again, there are THREE factors involved here.

1. We have the Parts Manuals that don't give a damn about the date a tractor was made. All the parts books do is show how certain models were assembled beginning with one serial number and ending with another serial number. Those serial number "breaks" do not necessarily coincide with the end or beginning of either a Calendar Year or a Model Year.

2. Then we have the thing called a "Model Year". This is where the manufacturer decides to stop painting the tractors the way they did previously and start painting them differently. We see this when the Desert Sunset paint ended with the 1976 Model Year tractors and the beginning of the Power Red/Power White tractors for the 1977 Model Year. We see it again when the Power Red/ Power White tractors ended in the 1983 Model Year and the Black Frame/Power Red tractors were produced for the 1984 Model Year.

3. Calendar Year. This begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. Thanks to Bob Meyer's input on this issue, I am now convinced that the CHART shows the serial number of the FIRST tractor that rolled down the assembly line on January 2nd.

Factually speaking, huge numbers of 1984 Black Frame models were actually constructed and shipped to the distributers around the country, in the months leading up to 1984. As such, the serial number for those tractors imply that Black Frame models were made for 2 years, not one. On one hand, this is technically correct but in truth, it is wrong. The entire auto industry is a prime example. They dealers are told to stop taking orders for a 1985 Ford F-150 as of May of 1985 so that the plant has adequate time to build those trucks prior to shutting the assembly line down in mid-June. At that point, the assembly line is modified to build the 1986 Ford F-150's. New tooling, new jigs, new power tools as well as hand tools are all put in place so that when the workers are called back after summer vacation, the plant can begin building the next model year's vehicles. Case and Ingersoll were no different except for one thing. Their record-keeping system was crap and they left behind a legacy of confusion that was totally unnecessary. However, at the time of building these tractors, they were not thinking about what was going to happen with them 30 or 50 years later. The system apparently worked for them and now ...... we have to live with it.

I need to go lie down now. Those eye pokes really smarted. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
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Hydriv - I wondered about that as well. I have a 1977 - 444, with SN 9739728, hood decals look diferent on mine than whats shown on the cover of the parts manual. But the parts manual that I have actually shows 2 dif sets of decals depending on the before and after SN. Do any of you know about the wheel colors that mine came with?? I have power red (not sunset) and the rims are also power red?? Is this a circumstance that the production line used what was left at this change over and used power red rims instead of the white??
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I think it is unlikely that Case would use up Power Red rims from the 1976 Model year because the change to Power Red and the final discontinuance of the Sunset was a dramatic move for the Outdoor Power Equipment Division. They were the only hold-out in the Case family for Sunset paint. The construction and Ag divisions had dropped it years earlier. So... if they were going to make a statement for 1977 about adopting the "CASE POWER" mantra totally, then repainting some rims to Power White would not have been a big deal.

So.... how did your tractor end up with red rims? Well, a lot of things could have happened in the 30 plus years since 1977. We have seen tractors appear with the wrong hood or the wrong fenders and many times with the wrong paint and seat. The possibilities are many and you likely have one of those mysteries that will never be solved.
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