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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received this tractor for free, from my sister and brother-in-law. It had been used for years in southern Illinois, maintaining the grounds of a nursing home by his father. Last few years, it was used to maintain my sister's property, before mechanical issues sidelined it.

There were issues with the starter, many oil leaks, PTO clutch not working, wiring problems, sheet metal damage, etc, etc.

Here are some views of when I got it home -

My initial plans were merely to do initial checks, see what seemed to be the "big" problems, fix those, change fluids, do a tune-up/routine maintenance, then try it out. After all, I was told the engine ran good and it had been used for mowing within the last couple of years. Only other problems were that it would not charge/start (might need a new battery) and the PTO would not engage to drive the deck.

So, I started small, bought a new battery and discovered that it wasn't the battery after all. Both the charging circuit and starter were not working correctly. Well, you all know the rest of the story as I'm sure it's an all too familiar, but one issue leads to another, and another, and another...
Before I knew it, my "just fix what's broke" approach turned into a full blown teardown! Believe me, in retrospect, if you receive something you're not sure about, that's the only way (at least for me)!! I discovered so many issues that would have only cropped up later after I had everything together.

This is what I had discovered during the teardown -

• Missing motor mount
• Leaking lift cylinder
• High pressure hydraulic lines were rotten and leaking (outer casing literally crumbled in your hands)
• Small cuts in the low pressure (return) hydraulic lines, big leaks
• Loose oil filter adapter bolts
• Warped breather/valve cover
• Leaking/hardened/cracked valve cover gaskets
• Defective Starter
• Muffler outer cover wrap rusted to the point of crumbling
• Heat shield under muffler on heat exchanger support rusted away
• Incorrectly assembled PTO clutch, with damaged components
• Missing deck tension spring
• Front axle was bent
• Bent drag link
• Failed PTO safety switch (broken internal spring)
• Improperly grounded rectifier
• Missing hood release
• Worn out steering components
• Steering sector teeth profile destroyed due to worn out upper and lower steering shaft bushings, allowing the steering shaft to drop and improperly mesh with the sector
• Ball joints worn out on the tie rod and one end of the drag link
• Spliced/disconnected wiring
• And, of course, bent sheet metal, fender "droop", rust, bad paint, trashed dash decals, etc, etc

The "good" -

• It's basically all there (except for the missing deck access cover and discharge chute)
• Once I got it started, it ran and drove rather well prior to teardown
• Good compression, very little smoke at startup
• First year for integral holding/travel valve
• Engine oil filter adapter
• Structurally pretty sound, the grease covered undersides were actually very well preserved, even the paint
• Not as much of a basket case as my '65 Impala was, when I started that project, which helps with how bad it could be

Progress pics during the restoration -

Fully disassembled and frame being painted

New dash decal, edging, control lever bushings and upper steering shaft bushing

Front suspension and wheels back on

Control Tower 're-stuffed", steering components completely reworked (no slop now!)

Control tower before....

Control tower after...

Lift cylinder fixed, new high pressure hydraulic lines hooked up

Fenders, rear sheet metal, seat, steering wheel and control levers installed

Replacing completely "rotten" muffler outer cover

Engine issues resolved, repainted and going back in

PTO rebuilt and re-installed

All wiring replaced, new hydraulic lines, engine complete and ready to run!

Grill straightened, waiting for filler, primer and paint. Two glass lense, 777 Speaker headlight assemblies will go into the hood when complete


· Registered
2,052 Posts
Nice resto Dr. I MAY be able to get you the correct hood decals in the next week or two. I am going to have to pull some serious strings but I will keep in touch with you about if all goes well. YOu do need new decals right? I know they dont sell those anymore

· Site Founder
1,801 Posts
Nice work Dr. Thanks for posting. It is great to see what Members have done in their spare time. :smile: As Tom said posts like yours should inspire others to take on their own restorations. When we were discussing a Restoration Section I was thinking Colts and old Cases. But certainly restorations covers all Models being made like new.

Keep the pictures and descriptions coming. I think it would be interesting to describe the process used to refurbish the muffler. If you have some pictures that would be excellent. It would make for a good separate topic as I know others have restored mufflers and could add their thoughts.

· Registered
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mastifflawyer -

Thanks. I'll continue to edit and add to that post with additional words, photos and issues I encountered, along with any further progress on project completion. I did do a muffler re-wrap write-up for another site, that I'd be more than happy to bring in. This is the replacement of the outer cover that helps contain the heat insulation around the muffler. Hey, my words and pictures, right? Also did one on removing pinned CASE steering wheels that I'd be more than happy to bring in too.

99flhr -

Thanks for the compliments on the project and the property. Yes, I like the area too. Lots of wide open space!

kcunningham -

I suspect there are others that feel our pain. I soon became a realist and took hydriv's (castoff's) advice, that to really know what you've got, you've got to take it all down and inspect. Boy am I glad I did. Otherwise, I would have been fixing one thing after another!

Now I need to go figure out how to start giving "thanks" to people!

· Registered
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, guys! These machines were/are really made well and are way overbuilt to last for decades (easy). I've really enjoyed returning it to it's former glory.

It's rewarding after tearing everything down, working around all the unexpected obstacles that get in your way (did you know I broke 6 head bolts off in the block, trying to remove the heads? :crazy: ), then put it back together, you fire it up and go "wow"! I really need to find a source for the thin stripe Ingersoll hood decals over the winter though. That's really the last piece I need to complete the restoration.

· Registered
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, after a long hiatus on the restore, I finally got back on completing the hood. Basically after straightening the grill (previous pics show the damage) and getting it in primer, I used the 446 all summer long for mowing duties (worked like a champ). Work and my son's baseball season got in the way too, but I recently found an opportunity to pull the hood off and start to work on a few minor dings, reprime and paint.

Here are the results (hadn't got the headlights back in at the time of the pic, and the rest of it needs a bath) -

I was able to get a couple of hood decal sets reproduced for me by a local decal shop from the one NOS decal I had. I also have a set of NOS "446 Hydriv" decals that will go on too. The hood stripes turned out well and hope to get all of them on this week.

Although I went through the deck mechanically in late spring (bearings, couple of replacement spindle housings, everything shimmed and aligned), a repaint will be a fall project. So, please pay no attention to how it looks now! It does mow beautifully though!

· Registered
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know someone who knows a person that works for DeCal Works. They are a big time decal manufacturer for the motocross circuit. I got a couple of sets made as "one offs", so no file. Really nice, the color goes all the way through the decal.

I did send a NOS decal of Jonathan's to Maple Hunter back in May, for him to start producing this style. I think many have checked with him, but he still does not offer it yet although I suspect he should soon.

Been using this tractor "alot" this summer, mowing a couple of acres twice a week. It's been great to use, runs well and cuts excellent! Had one issue last week with the replacement starter I bought last summer. Same aftermarket brand that Snotrocket purchased and had problems with. It eventually failed the same way too (snout bracket and end housing casting broke away from the starter). The quality of the metal in the casting left a lot to be desired. Very lightweight and brittle.

Good thing I saved my OEM starter! I cleaned it up and rebuilt it yesterday (new shaft bushings and brushes, new spring for the Bendix) and it works like new. Alot heavier duty than the other one was. Forgot what a PITA job it is to remove and replace a starter! Oh well, all back together and back in business now.
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